SIRIS, ALTO, and NAS: Datto Windows Agent: Excluding the DFS writer for VSS backups



This article describes the procedure to exclude the DFS Replication Service VSS writer from being used in Datto Windows Agent backups due to performance issues in some scenarios.


  • Datto Windows Agent version 2.2 and newer
  • Microsoft Windows 2016
  • Microsoft Windows 2019


The procedure outlined below should only be necessary on Windows Server 2016 and 2019 systems that have DFS replication enabled and are having performance issues, such as Windows Explorer crashing while running backups with Datto Windows Agent version 2.2 or newer. 

Excluding the VSS writer for any application will result in a crash-consistent backup of that application, which will not capture data in memory or data that the system is processing at the time of the backup. Datto has not observed backup issues resulting from the exclusion of the DFS writer. Contact Microsoft for support if you have any questions about how excluding this VSS writer may impact your environment.


To exclude the DFS Replication Service VSS writer from future backups, follow the steps below.

  1. Open the GUI for the Datto appliance.
  2. Click the Protect tab.
  3. Find the agent you wish to configure and click Configure Agent Settings.
  4. Scroll down to the Advanced section to the VSS writer exclusion settings.
  5. Disable the DFS Replication Service VSS writer.
  6. If backup performance issues persist after making these changes, contact Datto Technical Support

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