Not able to delete Volume Shadow Copies

Posted: April 25, 2012 in Exchange 2010, Info, Windows Server
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

A couple of days ago I had a problem with an Exchange Server running out of space. I controlled database and logfile partitions and could not detect anything suspicious.

After some researches I figured out Volume Shadow Copies require much space because a backup job didn’t finish succesful and leave the VSS data on disk.

In my case vssadmin deleteshadows didn’t work, too. After some investigation I found a way to delete the Shadow Copies with the command line for WMI – WMIC

In summary you have to do the following

  • Start an elevated commandline window
  • Type in wmic and press enter
  • wmic:root\cli is shown
  • Type in shadowcopy which will list the current shadow copies
  • Type in shadowcopy delete and confirm to delete the copies one after the other
  • To leave the WMI commandline type exit



  1. Oved says:

    I had the same issue with vssadmin. Another method to delete shadows that can’t be delete from vssadmin is to use DISKSHADOW command. Enter the DISKSHADOW prompt by using the command DISKSHADOW, and then for example DELETE SHADOWS FOR VOLUME C:

  2. Damian G says:

    This was a lifesaver… after scouring the net, trying various ‘solutions’ including setting a 300MB limit, trying vssadmin command line tool, nothing else working at all. This solution finally did the trick, and almost no one else out there mentions this solution… Thanks a million 🙂

  3. Mubarak says:

    DELETE SHADOWS FOR VOLUME C: sorted this issue, thank you all

  4. Jarrett says:

    Thank YOU!!!!!!

  5. Tsuby says:

    Thanks for the tip, I could finally delete the faulty shadowcopies laying around. Thanks!!!

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