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Copy / Backup Open Files and Databases Using the Volume Shadow Service

Now you can copy and backup open files and databases with ViceVersa PRO. This includes Outlook files, Quicken databases, open SQL databases, documents, etc. ViceVersa PRO is now fully integrated with the Volume Shadow Service (VSS) on Windows XP (all editions), Windows Server 2003 (all editions), Windows Server 2008 (all editions), Windows Server 2012 / 2016 / 2019 / 2022 (all editions), Windows Vista (all editions), Windows 7 (all editions), Windows 8 / 8.1 (all editions) and Windows 10 / 11 (all editions).

You can activate VSS under Profile Settings->Advanced Settings.

How It Works

  • Before starting a new file copy operation ViceVersa calls the Volume Shadow Service (VSS) and requests the creation of a Volume (=Disk) Shadow Copy for the files to be copied. This is not a full copy of the entire disk, but a differential copy. Hence, its creation will take only a few seconds.
  • Once the Volume Shadow Copy is available, ViceVersa uses it to access the files to be copied.

  • Finally, ViceVersa releases the Volume Shadow Copy.


  • By using the Volume Shadow Copy ViceVersa can access and copy files even when they are open, locked or in-use.

  • You can change and work on your files while ViceVersa is copying them. ViceVersa uses the Shadow Copy to access the files, so it will never interfere with your work.


  • It takes a few seconds to create the Volume Shadow Copy before file copying can start. However, you can set ViceVersa to create the shadow copy only if there are in-use / locked files.


  • Works on Windows XP, Windows Server 2003 (all editions), Windows Server 2008 (all editions), Windows Server 2012 / 2016 / 2019 / 2022 (all editions), Windows Vista (all editions), Windows 7 (all editions), Windows 8 / 8.1 / 10 / 11 (all editions) or newer.

  • At least one NTFS volume needs to be present locally.

  • The file being copied must be on a local disk, not on a network disk.

  • The account running ViceVersa must have administrator access rights or backup privileges (e.g. member of the Backup Operators group).

  • On Windows 11, 10, 8.1, 8, 7, Vista, Windows Server 2008, 2012, 2016, 2019, 2022 or newer, if User Account Control is enabled, ViceVersa must be running with elevated privileges (i.e. use the Windows 'Run as Administrator' command). When running from VVScheduler, VVLauncher or VVEngine, they must be running with elevated privileges.

  • Volume Shadow Copies are not possible for CD/DVDs.


  • If you get the message "Can not create shadow copy, access is denied", it is most likely that the account running ViceVersa PRO does not have backup / restore privileges and cannot create shadow copies. On Windows Vista, 7, 8, 8.1, 10, 11, Windows Server 2008, 2012, 2016, 2019, 2022  or newer, ViceVersa PRO must be running with elevated privileges (i.e. use the Windows 'Run as Administrator' command) to use the Volume Shadow Copy feature. When running from VVScheduler, VVLauncher or VVEngine, they must be running with elevated privileges.

  • Make sure that the Windows Shadow Service is enabled (normally it is already enabled in default installations) or ViceVersa will report an error.

: This new feature is integrated in ViceVersa PRO 2 or later. It can be activated in the profile settings. It does not require any additional plug-ins.

User Comments
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roger -  11-Apr-06
Will the Volume Shadow Service feature work on a Windows 2000 Advanced Server?
TGRMN Software -  12-Apr-06
No, Windows Server 2003 or Windows XP is needed.
Will -  16-Oct-06
VSS is an extremely useful feature. Not being able to use VSS on a remote volume during file synchronisation is a real limitation (albeit an operating system limitation). It would be useful if ViceVersa could get around this limitation by having an installation ViceVersa on the remote computer managing the file synchronisation and VSS on that remote machine.
john -  19-Oct-06
Is ViceVersa PRO 2 compatible with VSS running on Windows SBS2003 (Small Business Server) ?
TGRMN Software -  24-Oct-06
John -  26-Oct-06
Does this work on Windows 2003 Web Edition?
TGRMN Software -  27-Oct-06
Yes, ViceVersa PRO is compatible with all Windows 2003 editions.
Davey -  05-Feb-07
So if we have a NAS system, where multiple users access the shared storage, ViceVersa cannot sync the open files on the NAS device because it is not local to any computer?
Is there a way around this?
TGRMN Software -  06-Feb-07

Source = PC folder (local to where ViceVersa PRO is running)
Target = NAS folder

The VSS snapshot can be created for the source folder, so open files can be copied from source to target. But if a file is opened on the NAS it cannot be copied to the PC (while open).
Hoyt -  06-Mar-07
Is ViceVersa PRO 2 compatible with VSS running on Vista (Home Premium Edition)
TGRMN Software -  07-Mar-07
Yes, ViceVersa can use VSS on Windows Vista.
Joe_ELM -  09-Apr-07
Hi, so since MS Win2000 Server doesn't have the Volume Shadow Service, how can we use VVPro to backup files even when they are open or being used? What can win2000 Server users do to obtain the same results as winxp and 2003 computers in regards to backing up files?

Chris -  13-Apr-07
This is working great to mirror to an external SATA drive on server, then to a secondary server for a hot backup.
Database is open and in use all day.
TGRMN Software -  20-Apr-07
Joe_ELM, unfortunately ViceVersa PRO cannot copy open files on Windows 2000, because Microsoft VSS does not run on Windows 2000.
raphael -  12-Jun-07
is it possible to use the volume shadow copy through the command line without profiles?
like: /use volume shadow copy:0 ?
thanks, raphael
TGRMN Software -  12-Jun-07
No, a profile is needed for that.
bookishlass -  03-Sep-07
Does Volume Shadow Service function in ViceVersa Pro 2.014 under Windows Vista if the target is a directory on a remote file share? This works without fail under Windows XP, but I have not been able to get it to function under Windows Vista.
TGRMN Software -  04-Sep-07
Yes, it should work fine if the source is local and you are enabling shadow copies for the source only. (shadow copies are not available for a remote folder).
Ronaldone -  13-Oct-07
Any idea why the 'Volume Shadow Copy' option is always unavailable to me under Vista (works fine under XP)? I make sure that the service is running and that ViceVersa has been started with administrative privileges.
TGRMN Software -  02-Nov-07
Windows Vista is supported in ViceVersa PRO 2 Build 2014, or newer... thanks!
Danny -  17-Apr-08
So when it uses shadow copy, it is still updating information up until that moment? I read somewhere that server 2003 creates shadow copy once a day by default (ie at 7am). So if I run a backup at noon, does it create it's own copy with all changes up until noon, or does it use the shadow copy windows made at 7am?
TGRMN Software -  17-Apr-08
Hi, when it runs, ViceVersa always creates a new volume shadow copy with all the latest changes. thanks
JeffL -  21-Jun-08
I've read above that Vista is supported. Ok... but in the context of Volume Shadow Services, are ALL Vista versions supported? I read that Vista supports "Shadow Copy Backup" only on Vista Business and Ultimate. Is this needed for ViceVersa? Or is Vista Home Premium ok for ViceVersa's use of Volume Shadow Backups? Just want to be clear on this before deciding which version of Vista to get.
TGRMN Software -  24-Jun-08
The Shadow Copy Service (VSS, also known as Volume Snapshot Service) is included in all Vista editions, including Home Premium and Basic. The Shadow Copy Service is used by the Vista’s backup utility "System Restore", which is enabled in all editions of Vista.

What is included only in the Ultimate, Business and Enterprise editions, is the "Previous Versions" feature; however to backup open files, ViceVersa only needs the Shadow Copy Service, which is included in all Vista editions.

In summary, ViceVersa PRO can copy and backup open files and databases on all Vista editions. thanks
Peter -  01-Mar-10
Why do I get an error under Windows 7 using VSS? It says Unknown error code.(ViceVersa 2)
TGRMN Software -  04-Mar-10
ViceVersa Volume Shadow Copy support for Windows 7 has been updated in the latest version 2.5.
Version 2 generally works on Windows 7 but some features such as VSS do not work.
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