Server Fault is a question and answer site for system and network administrators. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I have one machine with Hyper-V (not the bare metal version - the Windows 2008 OS version) that we are experimenting with.

I would love to backup from the host OS and not from each individual virtual machine. I would love to be able to simply make a copy of the virtual drives and/or virtual machine, to my backup drive.

To do this, I need to use Shadow Copy Services... I understand... but how?

It should be easy enough to do with RoboCopy, but RoboCopy doesn't support Shadow Copy Services.

What is the next best thing? What is the easiest way to backup these computers to another mapped drive?

share|improve this question
up vote 4 down vote accepted

One thing you can do if you want to use robocopy with volume shadow copies is use the VShadow tool from MS (

I've outlined a brief approach below, you'd want to create a batch script to automate this process but it isn't too difficult.

You can create a shadow copy using the vshadow tool. Following this, using the -el flag (with vshadow again) you can expose the shadow copy under a drive letter (like x:). Following this you can use robocopy to create backups from the mounted shadow copy drive.

I've outlined a rough script below, note this hasn't been tested. It takes a shadow copy of C: and mounts it as X:


set CALLBACK=%~dpnx0
vshadow.exe -p -script=TempScript.cmd -exec=%CALLBACK% C: 

call TempScript.cmd
vshadow.exe -el=%SHADOW_ID_1%,X:

del /f TempScript.cmd

robocopy X:\ \\backup\server

Obviously the robocopy command needs to be customised to suit whatever you're doing (copy VHD's from some location etc). Hopefully this is helpful!

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.