Why Windows Server Backup Keep Only One Copy?

Posted by @Cody

March 7, 2016

Learn why Windows Server Backup keep only one copy in the target drive after running several scheduled backups. How many number of copies to keep with it?

Does Windows Server Backup keep only one copy?

Many users have created backups using Windows Server Backup. Some users assigned a drive letter to the backup drive, and then check the image backup files. To their surprise, there was only one virtual hard disk (VHD) file in the backup location even after running scheduled backups several times. To figure out why this happened, you must understand how Windows Server Backup works. Actually, there no such thing about Windows Server Backup number of copies to keep. If you run a backup, Windows Server Backup will create a VHD file. Then Windows will create a shadow copy of target backup drive where stores the image backup. If you keep running scheduled backups, a lot of shadow copies will be taken. Though there may be one VHD file or VHDX file (in Winodws Server 2012 or latter), you can still restore to previous versions using these shadow copies.

How to track the missing VHD?

To better understand where the VHD file goes, you can actually track the windows server backup multiple copies. To list all the shadow copies, you can run a command “ssadmin list shadows” in an elevated command prompt.

Vssadmin Listshadows

Based on the “Shadow Copy ID” shown in the output, you can find out the backup that is associated with the shadow copy by getting the snapshot ID. To reveal the snapshot of the backups, you can run the command “wbadmin get versions”.

Wbadmin Getversions

If you are still not sure about this, you can assign a drive letter to the shadow copies , and then you can view the contents in File Explorer by using the following command.

Diskshadow <shadowcopyID> <driveLetter>

For example, to assign drive letter H: to shadow copy {c7ed0406-d157-4bf5-af3c-29223db987a5}. However, if you need more easier ways to handle multiple backup versions, you can switch to third party server backup software that does not have a limit number of copies.

How to keep multiple backup copies?

The server backup and recovery program, AOMEI Backupper Server allows you to save many versions of backup files that can be easily handled in File Explorer. It supports daily/weekly/monthly schedule backup, and you can choose to perform it with full, incremental/differential backup. What’s more, it provides the Disk Space Management feature to automatically clean up the previous obsolete backups.

To backup Windows Server with AOMEI Backupper:

Step1. Download free trial and run this backup tool for Windows Server. Within the intuitive interface, click “System Backup” under the Backup tab.

System Backup

Step2. Doing System Backup, the program will select all the needed items for system restore automatically by default. Therefore, just click “Step 2” to select the destination location.

Schedule Settings

Step3. After specifying the destination path, click the “Schedule” button down there, and determine when you want the backup to run in the pop out window.


Step 4. After all settings are done, click “Start Backup” to get the backup running.

Since many people have wondered Why Windows Server Backup keep only one copy, AOMEI Backupper comes in to play and made the versions of backups more easier to understand, which also gives conveninence regarding of Windows Server restore.