KB ID : 103052
Products :
Published : March 30, 2016
Created : March 30, 2016
Last Modified : Oct. 24, 2019


Backup jobs fail due to errors related to Microsoft Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS) suggesting “Insufficient storage to create either the shadow copy storage file or other shadow copy data".


Microsoft Volume Shadow Copy Services (VSS) in disk image backup by default writes a volume shadow copy to a folder on the volume itself during a backup job. This can cause problems like insufficient disk space during volume backup. It is possible to customize the shadow storage location of each NTFS volume on a Windows server to use a different NTFS volume.

Note: This feature is only available on Microsoft Windows Server editions and is not available on desktop versions of the operating system. For Windows desktop versions (Windows 7, 8, 8.1, 10), the shadow copies of the volume are written to the volume itself, and this can not be changed.

There are two solutions to overcome this issue.

Solution 1

The ideal solution would be to create a separate drive dedicated to storing shadow copies (The page files should not be located on this drive). If this is not possible, storing the shadow files in a drive that contains the page files is much better than storing them on the drive that is being backed up.

To configure the location of the shadow copy for each volume:

  1. Browse to C:\Windows\System32 to access the command line as an administrator. Right-click on cmd.exe and pick Run as administrator.

  2. Run the below command

vssadmin add shadowstorage /for=<drive being backed up> /on=<drive to store the shadow copy> /maxsize=<percentage of disk space to allow to be used>

For example: If the VSS shadow copies of D: drive will be stored on the C: drive and allowed to use up to 90% of the free disk space on the C: drive, the command would look like:

vssadmin add shadowstorage /for=d: /on=c: /maxsize=90%

If the command has been successfully executed, the following message will be displayed: "Successfully added the shadow copy storage association".

Note: The existing shadow copy storage locations for each volume can also be checked by executing the following CMD command: vssadmin list shadowstorage.

Solution 2

Alternatively, check the minimum free space requirement for shadow copies in the configured volume (The volume must have a minimum free space of 300 MB to create a snapshot) and try to run the backup schedule. It is better to set a shadow copy storage area to "No limit" for backups to complete successfully.

To change the VSS storage size to No Limit:

  1. Right-click on C:\ drive and choose Properties.

  2. On the Shadow Copies tab, click the Settings button.

  3. Change the maximum size to no limit. Then schedule the backup.

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