In Vista / 7 I can create a shadow copy with vssadmin (VSSADMIN.EXE version 1.1)

vssadmin create shadow /For=c:

In XP, vssadmin version is 1.0, and doesn't support the create command, only list

Then, how can I create a volumen shadow copy for a complete backup?


Shadow copies are non-persistent in XP:

The Volume Snapshot Service was first added to Microsoft Windows in Windows XP; this version of VSS is used by NTBackup, however it can only create non-persistent snapshots (a temporary snapshot, usually used for creating a file-based backup or more generally, accessing copies of files that have been locked by applications for editing).


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  • but if NTBackup or DriveImageXML can create a shadow copy of the volume, isn't there an Win32 API available to do it? – PabloG Sep 15 '11 at 21:48
  • I suppose there is, but I think it's more that in XP VSS can only be used to make temporary file shadows so that they can be backed up if they're open, and/or to prevent backup failure from affecting the files being backed-up. – Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007 Sep 16 '11 at 0:03

The easiest way to do this seems to be the (supposedly Public Domain) tool known as vscsc, found here: http://vscsc.sourceforge.net/

Shadow copies on XP are only temporary, but that's the simplest way to use them.

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