What is VSS or Volume Shadow Copy Service in Windows 10/8/7

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In Windows 10/8/7, if you check the Windows Task Manager at different intervals, you may notice that it sometimes contains a VSSVC.exe process. When you move your mouse over the process, the Windows Volume Shadow Copy Service message does not always run, but is triggered by certain events to create a copy of your entire hard disk as single or multiple sets, depending on the number of disks you have. In this post, we will (what is) Microsoft Volume Shadow Copy Service in Windows and try to cover as much detail as possible.

Disk backup against disk imaging


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Most of us regularly back up our files using third-party programs or MS-DOS commands like XCOPY. Our primary concern with data backup is creating and storing the latest copies of our important files. Therefore, the backup of the hard disk is mainly connected to the data files.

On the contrary, we create an image of the entire hard disk or at least the system drive in order to be able to use it in the event of damage to the operating system. The main reason for disk imaging is that manually installing the operating system and then installing and configuring each application we use takes a lot of time and effort. If you have an image of the system disk, we can simply boot from the device where the image is stored and recover the system disk so that it can be reused. Therefore, disk imaging is more the backup of files and system properties than the backup of user data.

In short, save your files and create an image of your system drive (program files/settings). When you restore with backed up data, you recover the last backed up data files. If you use imagery to restore your computer, copy program files, operating system status and properties – including the Windows registry and other databases/files relevant to the operating system.

There is therefore a difference between saving data and creating a disk image. I hope I have been able to clarify the difference here.

The Shadow Copy Volume service on Windows is relevant for disk backup. The service is used to restore your computer – an entire drive or folder – to a previous state.

Volume shadow copy under Windows 10

When you right-click a folder under Windows, you get the Previous versions option. You may also have used the option to reset the folder settings and sometimes the contents to a previous state. You also know that you can use System Restore to restore your computer to a previous state. Of course, there will be a loss of some of the programs and changes you’ve made recently, but compared to the turbulence associated with having to start all these things manually, recovery is pretty easy.

The VSS service is also used by third-party programs to create a disk image whenever you want. The VSS itself starts on some triggers to create an image of the system disk and other disks/disks connected to this computer. If all drive types are of the same type – i.e. NTFS, only one snapshot is taken. If the drives are of different types and perhaps also different makes or models, the VSS takes a series of snapshots for each drive type. Whether it is a single snapshot or a set of snapshots, they are stored in a secure area of your system disk and receive a unique ID (date-time) with which they can be used to recover the entire system disk or a folder inside it.

Remember that the system drive must be NTFS type for VSS to work. It will not work if you press s

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