How Do I Back Up Non-VSS Aware SQL Databases on Windows Machines?



How do I back up non-VSS aware SQL databases?


  • Datto ALTO
  • Datto SIRIS
  • Windows OS (all versions)
  • Windows Server OS (all versions)


This information is specific to protected machines running Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Windows Server. Review this article for information about running quiescing scripts on Linux machines. 

SQL databases and VSS

To guarantee a healthy SQL database backup using the Datto backup solution, it must be application-aware. This means the SQL software needs an available VSS writer. The VSS writer tells the Datto device how to back up the application and its data.  

A VSS writer must be present for the Volume Shadow Copy Service to quiesce (freeze) the program in order to take an application-aware backup. Without a VSS Writer present, the Datto device will attempt to take a backup while transactions are actively being written. This could result in a corrupt or unhealthy backup of the database.

Datto agents do not offer the functionality to inject pre or post-backup scripts in order to pause database activity on Windows and Windows Server operating systems. Datto does not endorse third-party tools providing VSS-like functionality.

Backup method

Datto recommends creating a NAS share on the Datto device, then using the database software's native backup functionality to run a backup to that NAS share. This will ensure a healthy backup of the database is available in case of disaster.


When logging into a non-VSS aware SQL server that is virtualized on the Datto device, you may find that the database is in a corrupt state. If so, you must perform a database restore using the backup file(s) that were created using the backup method above.

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