How to delete and remove shadow copies on Server 2008

VSSAdmin has been replaced by Diskshadow under Server 2008.  Diskshadow comes built in to the OS.  If you try to remove a corrupted shadow copy using VSSAdmin you may receive the following error:

Error: Snapshots were found, but they were outside of your allowed context. Try removing them with the backup application which created them.

Diskshadow runs like diskpart does so perform the following:

  1. diskshadow
  2. list shadows all
  3. delete shadows id 36350cd8-5ae2-4ccc-a9e3-e0db64116883 => The ID of the shadow you want to delete if you have multiple and want to remove one.
  4. delete shadows all => To delete them all if the only ones listed are the ones you want to delete.
  5. Go to the drives where the shadow copies resided and you will see a folder named after the shadow copy which is now empty.  This can be deleted using explorer.
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One Response to How to delete and remove shadow copies on Server 2008

  1. agentbuzz says:

    Thank you for the post. Your procedure did allow me to delete the snapshots when I could not do so using vssadmin. I am still getting ‘The system or provider has insufficient storage space. If possible delete any old or unnecessary persistent shadow copies and try again.’ errors from AppAssure, but I learned something today.

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