SIRIS, ALTO, and NAS: Changing from Datto Windows Agent to ShadowSnap



This article explains the process of uninstalling the Datto Windows Agent on a Windows machine and installing the ShadowSnap agent.


  • Datto SIRIS
  • Datto ALTO



Refer to the KB article on Getting started with the ShadowSnap Agent for complete information on the agent's requirements. 

This procedure will create a new full backup chain on the Datto appliance. Please ensure the Datto appliance has free space greater than the amount of protected storage on the machine in question. If needed, Archive your agent first, then delete all local data.


  • This process requires several reboots of the protected machine. 

  • Small form-factor devices (Alto, X1, X2, X4) support a limited number of agents. Please review the article on archived agent limits. 

  • Backing up ReFS volumes is not supported with the ShadowSnap agent.

  • Backing up Windows Server 2016 or 2019 is untested and unsupported.

Do NOT use Revo Uninstaller to remove the Datto Windows Agent. Unrecoverable host system damage may occur.

Getting started

Ensure that a backup is not in progress and pause backups on the protected machine in the Datto Device Web UI. 


Figure 1: Pausing backups in the remote web

Removing the Datto Windows Agent

  • Deprecated Datto Windows Agent Version 1.0 includes an uninstall tool for removing the agent software from within its Program Files directory. Datto recommends using this utility, instead of the Windows Add/Remove Programs feature, to ensure that the agent software uninstalls completely.

  • If you are using Version 2.0 or above of the Datto Windows Agent, use the Windows Add/Remove Programs feature to remove the software, per the instructions below. 

1. Launch the Windows Programs and Features control

blobid27.png Figure 2: Selecting the Datto Windows Agent uninstaller

2. The uninstaller will launch. Click Uninstall to continue to the uninstallation.

ceclip1.pngFigure 3: Datto Windows Agent Uninstall

3. The uninstall tool will scan for the location of the agent software and then run.

4. This process may take one to two minutes to complete, depending on the performance of the host server or workstation. Once finished, you'll see the following.

mceclip2.pngFigure 4: Uninstallation Complete

5. Click Next to proceed to the final step, rebooting the server or workstation. A reboot is necessary to complete the installation of the agent. Click Restart to reboot now, or click Close to reboot later.

Installing the ShadowSnap agent

1. Download the ShadowSnap Agent. When the installer finishes downloading, run the executable with Administrator privileges. Running the installer without elevated privileges may cause the installer to exit with the error "ShadowProtect installation failed."

2. Click Next to start the ShadowSnap Setup.

mceclip4.pngFigure 5: ShadowSnap installation wizard

3. Select the destination folder for the installer, and click Next.

4. Click Install.

5. The ShadowSnap installer will also install VirtualBox Guest Additions.

6. Click Next once the installer has completed.

mceclip5.pngFigure 6: Installation complete

7. Click Close (either restart immediately or later). Backups will not function until the system reboots, and the agent is paired.

8. Reboot the production machine to complete the uninstall

Pairing the ShadowSnap agent

1. Archive the backup chain which used the Datto Windows Agent. This will permanently set this dataset to read-only so that a new backup chain can be created with the ShadowSnap agent.

mceclip6.pngFigure 7: Archiving the agent

2. The system will prompt you to confirm the archival. This is irreversible

mceclip7.pngFigure 8: Confirming agent archival   

3. Pair the system, following the procedure for Protecting a System

4. Once the machine is paired, start a backup, and confirm that is starts successfully. 

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