On a Windows Small Business Server 2011, I have redirected the shadow copies for all volumes to a single, dedicated volume. This volume contains no other data; the only folder is System Volume Information.

Is it necessary to back up this folder for disaster recovery purposes?

I understand that the System State backup as well as Exchange and other services are backed up using VSS and that VSS writes to the System Volume Information folder, but it's not clear to me if that data is also written to the backup media separately as part of the VSS operation (that is, the SVI is used as a staging area) or if the SVI folder must be backed up after the VSS backup using simple file-based backup techniques.


According a forum on TechNet, backing up this folder from your secondary drive is not necessary. It merely contains information about the drive itself, which isn't necessary for restoration.

Forum Post -- I've posted the forum if you'd like to review their scenario. Very similar to yours.


No, it's not necessary and in fact is normally not even possible on a running system. That folder will be created by Windows on each drive. Therefore, if you need to replace the drive and restore everything else Windows will create the System Volume folder by itself.

I would suggest you take a different approach to your backups. Merely backing up to another drive in the same machine is very risky. One decent power surge could take out both drives, leaving you with nothing. A fire or other disaster would do likewise. Consider, at the very minimum, copying everything on your "backup" drive to some external storage and taking that home with you each night. A backup that's left with the machine that was backed up is a business disaster waiting to happen. A disaster that few businesses ever recover from.

  • We are backing up to separate media that is taken offsite. The redirection of Shadow Copies was done for performance reasons. My question was specifically regarding backing up the SVI folder. – Jonathan J Jan 21 '13 at 21:15

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