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Windows® Internals, Sixth Edition, Part 2 by David A. Solomon Mark E. Russinovich and Alex Ionescu

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Volume Shadow Copy Service

The Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS) is a built-in Windows mechanism that enables the creation of consistent, point-in-time copies of data, known as shadow copies or snapshots. VSS coordinates with applications, file-system services, backup applications, fast-recovery solutions, and storage hardware to produce consistent shadow copies.

Shadow Copies

Shadow copies are created through one of two mechanisms—clone and copy-on-write. The VSS provider (described in more detail later) determines the method to use. (Providers can implement the snapshot as they see fit. For example, certain hardware providers will take a hybrid approach: clone first, and then copy-on-write.)

Clone Shadow Copies

A clone shadow copy, also called a ...

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