StorageCraft ShadowProtect English ReadMe

General Information

This file contains additional information to supplement the manual. Please read all the sections before you proceed with the installation.


Table of Contents

1. Features/Enhancements
2. Known Issues
3. Issues Resolved
4. System Requirements
5. Installing and Upgrading ShadowProtect
6. Activating ShadowProtect
7. General Usage Notes
8. CDDL Source Code


1. Features/Enhancements

For a complete list of changes, see also Section 3 ("Issues Resolved")

ShadowProtect version 5.0.4 (June 2013)

  • ShadowProtect now upgrades any previous version from v3.5.2 or higher to v5.0.4 and preserves existing job configurations. 
  • ShadowProtect now attempts to automatically deactivate licenses during upgrades. (Previously, users had to manually deactivate licenses when upgrading between major releases. This required multiple reboots.) If the deactivation effort fails, ShadowProtect displays a message to perform a manual deactivation.
  • ShadowProtect now supports Polish and Czech languages.

ShadowProtect version 5.0.3 (May 2013)

  • There are no new features in this maintenance release.  See Section 3 for a description of fixes in this release.

ShadowProtect version 5.0.2 (April 2013)

  • ShadowProtect SBS license support both Windows Server 2012 Foundation and Windows Server 2012 Essentials.
  • Recovery Environment now supports setting a static IP address, such as for systems without DHCP.
  • ImageReady runs with any backup chain which includes at least one incremental file created using ShadowProtect 5.x or newer regardless of the license status.

ShadowProtect version 5.0.1 (January 2013)

  • Includes enhanced support for Large Block Devices (LBD) such as Advanced Format (AF) drives.
  • Improved detection of Hyper-V environments.
  • Generates localized backup log files.

ShadowProtect version 5.0 (December 2012)

  • Supports UEFI motherboards. Recovery Environment requires BIOS emulation on UEFI.
  • Supports GPT boot volumes
  • Supports mounting backup files in writeable mode from LBD drives (ones with a sector size of 4096 vs 512 bytes)
  • Includes an enhanced ISOTool utility which now:
      • Mounts/dismounts ISO images
      • Authors ISO images
  • Includes an automated image testing tool, ImageReady, which can:
      • Run a command such as chkdsk.exe against a mounted image or images (such as a point-in-time Exchange server)
      • Run a script against a mounted image or images (again, as with a point-in-time SQL or Exchange server)
  • Includes an upgraded VirtualBoot.exe (v1.0.0.55) which now:
      • Automatically detects the target's OS version
      • Supports VirtualBox versions through 4.2.4

VirtualBoot Plugin Files  |  Supported VirtualBox Version


ForVBoxVBox4.0.0           |  4.0.2, 4.0.4, 4.0.6, 4.0.8, 4.0.10, 4.0.12,
                                            |  4.0.14, 4.0.16 (VirtualBox 4.0.0 not supported)

ForVBox4.1.0                    |  4.1.0

ForVBox4.1.2                    |  4.1.2, 4.1.4, 4.1.6, 4.1.8, 4.1.10, 4.1.12,
                                            |  4.1.14, 4.1.16, 4.1.18

ForVBox4.2.0                    |  4.2.0, 4.2.2, 4.2.4

    • Supports Windows 8 (x86 and x64) and Server 2012 (x64) image files
    • Boots images stored on LBD (4K sector) devices which support 512e emulation
    • Boots images of a GPT boot volume taken from a UEFI system
  • VirtualBoot support for Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012. (Requires VirtualBox v4.2.0 or newer.)
  • Supports the TRIM command for use with SSDs.
  • Recovery Environment supports both format and partition actions on MBR and GPT drives.

ShadowProtect version 4.2.7 (August 2012)

  • There are no new features for this maintenance release.  See Section 3 for a description of the fix in this 4.2.7 release.

ShadowProtect version 4.2.6 (August 2012)

  • Expanded the number of third-party drivers (including USB 3.0 and ICHR) for use in StorageCraft Recovery Environment and HIR.
  • Improved detection of Xen Hypervisor. This allows a Xen VM to use a ShadowProtect virtual license.
  • Enhanced backup to continue an image chain with incrementals after restore.
  • Added a mechanism to enable the Push (Silent) installer to force a reboot prior to install.
  • Extended the ShadowProtect MSP Trial Period to 15 days.

ShadowProtect version 4.2.5 (April 2012)

  • VirtualBoot has been updated to support VirtualBox versions thru 4.1.12.
ShadowProtect version 4.2.0 (December 2011)
  • It's critical that all users who upgrade to ShadowProtect 4.2.1 carefully read the material in Section 5 "Installing and Upgrading ShadowProtect" in this ReadMe file.
  • The following languages are now supported: English, German, Spanish, French, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese (Portugal), Turkish, and Chinese (Traditional and Simplified).
  • There are now only two installers for ShadowProtect.  See Section 5:"Installing and Upgrading ShadowProtect" of this ReadMe document for more information.
  • The Recommended Recovery Environment, based on 32-bit x86 Win7/2008R2, now comes on its own .ISO (independent from the Legacy Environment) and this .ISO supports all supported languages.  Note that the Recommended Recovery Environment now requires 768MB physical RAM to function properly.  The Legacy Environment .ISO is available for download, but is typically not needed.  Text in the Legacy Environment is only displayed in English.  Note that both of these environments are 32-bit environments, and so if you provide additional storage/network drivers to these environments, you'll need to use the 32-bit (x86) Win7 or 2008R2 drivers for the Recommended Recovery Environment, and 32-bit (x86) 2003 or XP drivers for the Legacy Recovery Environment.
  • ShadowProtect's VirtualBoot feature now supports VirtualBox versions from VirtualBox 3.1.0 up to and including VirtualBox 4.1.6.
  • The Recommended Recovery Environment now has experimental support for iSCSI. Select iSCSI from the Tools menu.

ShadowProtect version 4.1.5 (May 2011)

There are no new features for this maintenance release.  See Section 3 for a description of the fix in this 4.1.5 release.  If you are not experiencing any issues with your current ShadowProtect Desktop/Server/SBS Edition 4.1.0 installation, then there is no need for you to upgrade to this 4.1.5 maintenance release.

ShadowProtect version 4.1.0 (February 2011)

  • ShadowProtect for Managed Service Providers (SPMSP) provides a subscription-based licensing option for Managed Service Providers (MSP). SPMSP has the following characteristics:
    •  "This single installer file can be installed on Desktop, Server, and SBS platforms.
    • When upgrading from a previous version of ShadowProtect Desktop/Server/SBS Edition to SPMSP, first *deactivate* (but don't uninstall) the install of Desktop/Server/SBS Edition before upgrading to SPMSP.  You do not need to uninstall the previous installation of Desktop/Server/SBS Edition before installing SPMSP, but rather an *upgrade* install operation will work, and is recommended in order to preserve your existing job settings.
    • SPMSP can be push installed, but not auto-activated as part of the push install.
    • It is suggested that SPMSP be activated at the time that the initial jobs are configured.
    • To obtain license keys for SPMSP, partners should login to the StorageCraft Partner Portal at:
  • The ShadowProtect Small Business Server (SBS) Edition now supports Windows Server 2008 R2 Foundation.
  • When using Weekly or Monthly backup jobs and replicating to a local disk or network location, image chains removed by ShadowProtect retention will also be removed from local and network replication folders by ImageManager.
  • VirtualBoot has been updated to support VirtualBox 4.0.2 and 4.0.4.  However, the older VirtualBox 4.0.0 does not properly use any third-party plugins, so VirtualBoot will never support VirtualBox 4.0.0.
  • VirtualBoot automatically pauses (disables) backup jobs within the VM when it creates a new VM. If users wish to continue backups within the VM, they must use the ShadowProtect GUI within the VM to un-pause the job(s) within the VM (and ensure that the job's network destination object has the correct credentials and points to the current image chain location).
  • ShadowProtect's Monthly backup schedule now supports intra-daily incrementals.  Previously, only one incremental could be performed daily by this particular schedule type.
  • All scheduled backup schedules (Weekly, Monthly, and Continuous Incremental) now automatically generate SPK (Password Key) files for use by ImageManager with encrypted backup image files. Users no longer need to manually generate the SPK file for encrypted backup images.
  • The ShadowProtect installation now includes the SPDiagnostics tool that can gather detailed information about a ShadowProtect installation. Information from SPDiagnostics is useful for troubleshooting and gathering information for StorageCraft Support.
  • Recovery Environment now has an option which enables users to change the system keyboard layout within the booted Recovery Environment.
  • ShadowProtect's Recovery Environment CD no longer includes the Push Install installers executables.  This change was necessary to ensure that the .ISO file will fit onto standard CD-R media.  To obtain the Push Install installer files, visit:
  • ShadowProtect 4.1.0 is released for English, Japanese, French, German, and Portugal-Portuguese.

ShadowProtect version 4.0.5 (December 2010)

  • The Recommended Recovery Environment is now based on a clean baseline WinPE build of Windows Server 2008R2, which has excellent default device support. No additional 3rd party drivers are auto-installed.  Instead, all additional 3rd party storage/network/misc drivers (including drivers for various VMs) are found in the Additional_Drivers directory on the Recovery Environment CD, and should be loaded manually, as needed, using the TOOLS -> LOAD DRIVERS menu item.  In future builds, any changes to the contents of this Additional_Drivers directory will be noted in a ChangeLog.txt file contained within the Additional_Drivers directory.  The purpose for using the clean baseline WinPE was to eliminate some driver conflicts which were occurring (where an injected 3rd party driver would incorrectly claim ownership of hardware it didn't actually support).
  • VirtualBoot has been updated to support VirtualBox versions 3.1.0 through 3.2.12 (previously it supported 3.1.0 through 3.2.6).  When VirtualBoot.exe is run, it will display a prompt to automatically upgrade the VirtualBoot-VirtualBox plugin files if you have upgraded to VirtualBox 3.2.8, 3.2.10 or 3.2.12.  However, if you upgrade VirtualBox to 3.2.8, 3.2.10 or 3.2.12, and you have existing VirtualBoot-VirtualBox VMs created with an earlier version of VirtualBoot, and you do *not* run VirtualBoot.exe, then you will need to upgrade the plugin files manually in order for your VMs to work with your newer version of VirtualBox, by copying the correct three plugin files (VBoxHDDXSP.dll, sbimageapi.dll, and sbimageapi.dll.conf) from the Program Files (x86)\StorageCraft\ShadowProtect\VirtualBootVBoxPlugin\ForVBox3.x.x directory to the Program Files\Oracle\VirtualBox directory.  To choose the correct plugin files to manually copy into the VirtualBox directory, if you have upgraded to VirtualBox 3.2.8 then copy the plugin files from the ForVBox3.2.8 directory, or if you have upgraded to VirtualBox 3.2.10 or 3.2.12 then copy the plugin files from the ForVBox3.2.10.  If you are using a 32-bit version of Windows, then the 32-bit version of VirtualBox is installed, and you should copy the "32BitX86" flavor of the plugin files.  Otherwise, if you are using a 64-bit version of Windows, then the VirtualBox installer will have installed 64-bit executables, and so you should copy the "64BitX64" version of the three plugin files, overwriting the older three plugin files in the VirtualBox directory.  Note that you need to close all VirtualBox windows (and ensure that there are no VirtualBox or VBoxSvc processes in your process list in Task Manager) before you overwrite the older three plugin files in the VirtualBox directory with the newer three plugin files.  The following table describes the versions of VirtualBox which are supported by the different versions of the plugin files:

VirtualBoot Plugin Files  |  Supported VirtualBox Version


ForVBox3.1.0                    |  3.1.0, 3.1.2, 3.1.4, 3.1.6

ForVBox3.1.8                    |  3.1.8

ForVBox3.2.0                    |  3.2.0, 3.2.2, 3.2.4, 3.2.6

ForVBox3.2.8                    |  3.2.8

ForVBox3.2.10                  |  3.2.10, 3.2.12


ShadowProtect version 4.0.1 (July 2010)

  • The Restore Wizard in the Recovery Environment has been enhanced to reduce confusion.
  • Several enhancements have been made to VirtualBoot.  VirtualBoot now supports x86/x64 VirtualBox versions 3.1.0 - 3.2.6.  VirtualBoot will now prompt for an automated update of more compatible VirtualBoot plugin files (VBoxHDDXSP.dll, SBImageAPI.dll, and SBImageAPI.dll.conf) in cases where an older, or incompatible, plugin is found installed in the VirtualBox directory.  Such incompatibilities can occur when users upgrade from one supported version of VirtualBox to a newer supported version of VirtualBox (which perhaps requires a different version of these plugin files).  VirtualBoot now creates VMs which use VirtualBox-native .VDI files (written by VirtualBox itself) to store the VM's disk writes, rather than .SPWB files (which were not crash-proof).  These .VDI files are much more crash-resistant, and hence this reduces or eliminates situations where the VirtualBoot-created VM is unbootable after situations where the host has crashed or the VirtualBoot processes (VirtualBox.exe or VBoxSVC.exe) have crashed.  It is still recommended that users, who are using VirtualBoot for failover scenarios, continue incremental backups within the VM in order to protect any new data.  Also, now that VirtualBoot uses .VDI files to store the VM's disk writes, you will notice that when you power off the VM, VirtualBox gives you the option to "Restore current snapshot to 'VirtualBoot'."  YOU SHOULD *NOT* CHECK THIS BOX!  Checking this box will cause the VM to discard all writes made within the VM since its creation.  If you do intend to revert the VM back to its creation state, then it's okay to check this box.
  • The product help links now refer to online help.  For those who wish to have local help, it is still available, and is found on the Recovery Environment CD.

ShadowProtect version 4.0.0 (April 2010)

  • HeadStart Restore (HSR) capability has been added to the ShadowProtect Recovery Environment.  HSR makes it possible to begin restoring a backup image chain while new incrementals are still being created on that same backup image file chain.  HSR can apply new incrementals which were *created after* the HSR operation itself was initiated.  HSR in the Recovery Environment supports target volumes with a drive letter.  HSR can recommence where it left off after an interruption.
  • The ShadowProtect console interface now includes a management tab in which groups of multiple agents can be managed (and states viewed) simultaneously, within a single view.  This feature also supports silent push installation of the ShadowProtect product to target hosts.
  • The ShadowProtect console installation now includes VirtualBoot, a feature which makes it possible to directly boot a ShadowProtect backup image within a Sun VirtualBox VM without the need to restore the image file and without the need to convert the backup image to another file format.  VirtualBoot supports data volumes larger than 2TB in size, and the ShadowProtect backups within the VM can continue generating fast incrementals on the same image file chain, protecting any new data created within the VM.  The combination of HeadStart Restore (HSR) and VirtualBoot make it possible to reduce the downtime windows for failover/failback/upgrade/migration/restore to a few *minutes* rather than *days* when dealing with terabytes of data.
  • The Backup Image Tool wizard now supports conversion of ShadowProtect backup image files into .VMDK or .VHD virtual machine disk files.
  • The Boot Configuration Tool within the Recovery Environment has been enhanced.  It now supports the assignment of the permanent drive letters which are assigned to any volume for a given operating system.
  • Interrupted restore operations can new recommence where they left off.  This applies to regular restore operations, as well as to the enhanced HeadStart Restore operations.

2. Known Issues

  • When performing a Push Install of the ShadowProtect agent only over an existing full install of ShadowProtect, language strings do not install for the console. The console runs, but without text strings.
  • When using the Image Conversion Tool to convert to a VMDK file, the file path to the VMDK file cannot contain non-ANSI characters. This is a fundamental limitation of the VMware VDDK libraries which are used by ShadowProtect to write to the VMDK file.
  • ShadowProtect may not operate correctly if there are no supported locales on your system for the language chosen in the ShadowProtect install wizard.
  • ShadowProtect does not support the deduplication function of Windows Server 2012.
  • VirtualBoot does not support Windows boot volumes greater than 2TB in size.
  • VirtualBoot does not support the latest 4.2.10 version of VirtualBox.
  • VirtualBoot does not support UEFI System volumes. This is an existing limitation of VirtualBox.
  • The ImageReady utility does not support Windows 2000.
  • Various dialogs may lack complete or have incorrect localization.
  • SPDiagnostic runs on most, but is not guaranteed to run on all Windows 8 UEFI systems, in particular the Japanese Windows 8 on UEFI.
  • In some rare cases an error message could occur that will not fit into a regular-sized error window.
  • The Recovery Environment Settings, Network Manager, Partition Editor, BCU, and Disk Format dialogs lack localized strings in several languages.
  • ShadowProtect Recovery Environment backup wizard may display an error message concerning file attributes when a  user changes the default backup name (such as C_Vol). However, if the user closes the error, the Backup Wizard can complete the backup without an issue.
  • Dismounting a backup file as writeable with a user-defined name results in the extension “spi” appended to the filename twice.
  • Dismounting a backup file as writeable results in a filename that appears to be the next file in the existing backup chain. However, this new file is actually a branch to the chain.
  • Simplified Chinese EULA contains HTML markup characters.
  • ShadowProtect Uninstall lacks localized string in Brazilian Portuguese.
  • ShadowProtect Recovery Environment contains a small number of strings that are not fully localized in all languages.
  • ShadowProtect Uninstall removes the contents of the ShadowProtect directory but does not remove the now-empty directory.
  • Silent installs require the language string value in the command line option (e.g. LANG=en). This is mandatory for ALL languages and ALL versions of Windows. Refer to Knowledge Base Article 200 for details.
  • Silent uninstalls from ShadowProtect 5.0.4 with a Perpetual or Virtual license will not automatically deactivate the license. Use the DEACTIVATE option with the ShadowProtectSetup.exe then run the Setup .exe with the UNINSTALL option.


3. Issues Resolved

For a complete list of changes, see also Section 1 "Features/Enhancements".

ShadowProtect version 5.0.4 (June 2013)

  • Fixed a bug where ShadowProtect could be installed to the root of a drive.
  • Fixed a bug where ShadowProtect UI and the Management View did not display the progress value for a monitored remote backup correctly in all languages.
  • Fixed a bug which could potentially allow a malicious payload to execute during a ShadowProtect operation.
  • Improved various localization strings in both ShadowProtect and Recovery Environment as well as text in the EULAs.
  • Fixed a bug in the ShadowProtect Mount Wizard which could cause a crash of the UI when pasting a URL into the Backup File path field.
  • The ShadowProtect MSP Installer now explicitly lists the install as the MSP version in its final window.
  • The Restore Destination dialog no longer includes extraneous text regarding free space.
  • Improved readability of the About dialog.

ShadowProtect version 5.0.3 (May 2013)

  • Improved localization strings.
  • ShadowProtect now supports Japanese language keyboards.
  • Fixed a bug where selecting the same source and destination for a job used previously for an earlier job may cause the program to hang.
  • Fixed a bug in Recovery Environment MD5 verification could fail if the backup file name contained a space.
  • Recovery Environment restore process now always lays down the correct boot code for MBR disks. This corrects a potential issue where in rare circumstances the boot code was not laid down. This error which would prevent an active system volume to a blank, uninitialized disk from booting.

ShadowProtect version 5.0.2 (April 2013)

  • Fixed a bug which caused image files created at 12:00AM to appear without a time stamp.
  • Fixed a bug which caused the image conversion tool to incorrectly calculate the size of  VHDs and VMDKs.
  • Prevents duplicate backup job entries in the registry after a normal upgrade.
  • Fixed multiple issues with localized strings in Recovery Environment dialogs.
  • Fixed a bug where on rare occasions ShadowProtect would maintain a handle on a registry key while taking backups.
  • Users of Recovery Environment can now acquire an HIR authentication code via the StorageCraft website.
  • Recovery Environment now defaults to using sector rather than track alignment for partitions.
  • Recovery Environment no longer displays finalize options in the Restore wizard during a restore, such as "Write MBR" or "Hidden Tracks", when finalize is not selected.
  • Fixed a bug which required a reboot after initializing an iSCSI disk in Recovery Environment.
  • Recovery Environment now supports setting a static IP address, such as for use on non-DHCP-equipped networks.
  • Fixed a bug which prevented Recovery Environment from recognizing a VMware ESXi virtual NIC even after loading the driver from "Additional Drivers".
  • Recovery Environment now ships with an updated set of Intel network drivesrs (PRO1000) in the Additional Drivers folder.
  • Recovery Environment now supports overwriting an existing backup with the same name.
  • ImageReady now runs on the German Windows OS.

ShadowProtect version 5.0.1 (January 2013)

  • Fixed a bug where ImageReady would be unresponsive after editing mail settings.
  • Allows ISOTool and ImageReady to use the same install language as ShadowProtect.

ShadowProtect version 5.0 (December 2012)

  • Fixed multiple issues with localized strings.

ShadowProtect version 4.2.7 (August 2012)

  • Fixed a bug which in some circumstances could cause VirtualBoot to fail.

ShadowProtect version 4.2.6 (August 2012)

  • Fixed an issue so HIR in the Recovery Environment can continue the image chain in the event of a migration failure.
  • Fixed a bug in which two machines backing up to the same image chain could occasionally cause data loss.
  • Fixed a bug in which the ability to include multiple daily incrementals with a monthly backup job was not working.
  • Fixed a bug in which image enumeration in sbimageapi.dll could fail when enumerating image files on a share which is local to the host of the share, which would then lead to mount and VirtualBoot failures.
  • Fixed a bug in the Split Image File wizard in which an error was thrown every time a ‘1’ was entered.
  • Fixed a bug where a successful upgrade from the Perpetual to the MSP license would cause Windows to erroneously launch the "Program Compatibility Assistant"

ShadowProtect version 4.2.5 (April 2011)

  • Updates VirtualBoot to support VirtualBox versions thru 4.1.12.
  • Fixed a bug in the Recovery Environment in selecting the locale could change the system clock. 
  • Fixed a bug in which MD5 files were not created for backups to a network share.
  • Fixed a bug in which the backup wizard would hang when selecting a network destination.
  • Fixed a bug in which an HIR restore to new hardware would deactivate the product.
  • Fixed a bug in which the backup wizard would sometimes hang when a Destination Object became inaccessible.
  • Fixed a bug in which the 4.2.1 console would not create a backup job on a 4.1.5 agent.
  • Fixed a bug in which an English error message was displayed in French.
  • Fixed a bug in which some CT, CS, and KO log messages would display in English.
  • Fixed a bug in which occasionally an upgrade install on a 64-bit system would not properly upgrade the snapshot driver files stcvsm.sys and sbmount.sys.
  • Added EULA acceptance for SPDiagnostic to the installation interview where needed.
  • Added an information dialog box to the installer warning the user that upgrading may deactivate the product and require reactivation.
  • Reorganized StartMenu to reflect new branding.
  • Fixed a bug in which modify install would deactivate the product.
  • Fixed a bug in which sbimgmnt.dll was not being properly installed, which would result in the right-click shell extensions not showing properly.
  • Fixed a bug in which the old stcvsm.sys was not cleaned up on upgrade.
  • Fixed a bug in which 4.1.5 satellite dlls were not being cleaned up on upgrade, causing occasional runtime errors.
  • Fixed a bug in which a known compatibility issue with Acronis True Image would cause the installation to quietly fail by adding an information box to the installer that informs the user of the cause of the failure.
  • Fixed a bug in which under certain circumstances uninstall could remove additional files that should not be deleted. 
  • Fixed a bug in which uninstall would leave unnecessary registry keys.
  • Included heavily updated translations for all shipping languages based on country partner feedback, including modifying some UI elements to eliminate instances of string truncation.
ShadowProtect version 4.2.0 (December 2011)
  • It's critical that all users who are upgrading to ShadowProtect 4.2.1 carefully read the material in Section 5 "Installing and Upgrading ShadowProtect" of this Readme file.
  • Three bugs have been fixed in the stcvsm.sys snapshot driver. 1) A rare NTFS parsing bug, which resulted in a BSOD, has been resolved. 2) A bug which would cause the very first snapshot to fail after an initial install (a successful retry would then occur) has been fixed. 3) An intermittent bug which would result in "-2 file not found" errors accessing the snapshot, after the snapshot was successfully created, has been fixed.
  • A bug has been fixed which prevented keyboard-only navigation of backup and restore wizards within the Recovery Environment interface.
  • A bug has been fixed where backups to an LBD disk (LBD disks have 4096 bytes-per-sector, and report this to the OS, whereas Advanced Format disks have 4096 bytes-per-sector but report 512 to the OS - there was no issue with Advanced Format disks) were being divided into multiple split files.

ShadowProtect version 4.1.5 (May 2011)

  • A bug has been fixed which caused high CPU and network utilization if a backup destination object became inaccessible.

ShadowProtect version 4.1.0 (February 2011)

  • A bug has been fixed in the Legacy Recovery Environment in which drive letters would not be found for new partitions. Users would see something like "*:" in the Disk Map rather than say "E:" for a new partition, which could cause confusion and potentially dangerous usage scenarios.
  • All flavors (there are different flavors to support the different versions of VirtualBox) of the VirtualBoot plugin which ship with ShadowProtect 4.1.0 have been fixed to properly support scenarios where the VM has disks on a controller on which "Host I/O Caching" is disabled.  This situation occurs if more than 3 hard disks are needed within the VM in order to contain the imported volumes - the additional disks will be placed on an VM LSI SCSI adapter in non-Host-I/O-cache mode.  Prior to this fix, disks on the VM's LSI SCSI controller would appear uninitialized within the VM.
  • Issues with the interface of the Image Conversion Tool wizard within the Recovery Environment have been resolved.

ShadowProtect version 4.0.5 (December 2010)

  • Fixed issues in the installer which, in previous versions, could result in hangs during uninstall or upgrade install.
  • Fixed code which selects the shortest image file chain for restore or mount, which was using longer chains resulting in slower or failed operations
  • Fixed a hang on startup of the ShadowProtect.exe GUI/console
  • Added event logging in cases where email reports aren't successfully sent
  • Fixed an issue which was preventing drive removal of removable devices used as backup destinations
  • Fixed an issue in the Recovery Environment which prevented users from specifying a .HSR file when resuming an interrupted restore operation
  • Fixed an issue in the ShadowProtect Service which caused failed jobs to be immediately rescheduled and executed
  • Fixed an issue with character encoding for Japanese email notifications
  • Fixed an issue which could cause a "DiffGen" incremental backup to fail with an "Access Denied" error
  • Fixed an issue in the Recovery Environment which caused the UI to close when right-clicking a destination in the Restore Wizard

ShadowProtect version 4.0.1 (July 2010)

  • Resolved a rare crash of the ShadowProtect interface/GUI (ShadowProtect.exe) on startup
  • Resolved an issue with the calculated time remaining value in the Legacy Recovery Environment
  • Fixed the search functionality within the ShadowProtect help
  • Fixed an issue where the ShadowProtect backup job email notification showed the same time for both the job start and job end times
  • Resolved an issue with VirtualBoot incompatibilities with VirtualBox 3.1.8 and 3.2.0.  The VirtualBoot feature in ShadowProtect 4.0.1 is now compatible with VirtualBox versions 3.1.0, 3.1.2, 3.1.4, 3.1.6, 3.1.8, 3.2.0, 3.2.4, and 3.2.6.

ShadowProtect version 4.0.0 (April 2010)

  • A fix has been made to eliminate some harmless (yet confusing) event log errors (NTFS Warning 57, and NTFS Error 137).

4. System Requirements

  • Must meet the minimum operating system requirements.
  • Upgrading from ShadowProtect 4.x requires a current maintenance agreement.
  • To boot a system the Recovery Environment CD requires a minimum of 768 MB of physical RAM. 
  • The VirtualBoot feature requires 1GB of available RAM (in addition to memory required by the OS and other applications).
  • 150 MB of free hard disk space for installation files
  • CD-ROM or DVD drive

Supported Operating Systems

ShadowProtect supports the following Windows 32-bit x86 or 64-bit x64 operating systems (IA64/Itanium is not supported):

  • Windows 8
  • Windows 8 Pro
  • Windows Server 2012
  • Windows Server 2012 Core (Agent only)
  • Windows Server 2012 Essentials
  • Windows Server 2012 Foundation
  • Windows Server 2012 Standard or Datacenter Hyper-V
  • Windows Small Business Server 2011
  • Windows Server 2008 R2 Foundation
  • Windows Server 2008 R2 (64-bit x64)
  • Windows Server 2008 R2 Hyper-V (64-bit x64)
  • Windows Server 2008 (32-bit x86 and 64-bit x64)
  • Windows Small Business Server 2008 (32-bit x86 and 64-bit x64)
  • Windows EBS Server 2008 (32-bit x86 and 64-bit x64)
  • Windows Server 2003 (32-bit x86 and 64-bit x64)
  • Windows Small Business Server 2003 (32-bit x86 and 64-bit x64)
  • Windows 7 (32-bit x86 and 64-bit x64)
  • Windows Vista Home Basic (32-bit x86 and 64-bit x64)
  • Windows Vista Home Premium (32-bit x86 and 64-bit x64)
  • Windows Vista Ultimate (32-bit x86 and 64-bit x64)
  • Windows Vista Enterprise (32-bit x86 and 64-bit x64)
  • Windows Vista Business (32-bit x86 and 64-bit x64)
  • Windows XP Media Center (32-bit x86 and 64-bit x64)
  • Windows XP Professional (SP2 or above) (32-bit x86 and 64-bit x64)
  • Windows XP Home (SP2 or above) (32-bit x86 and 64-bit x64)
  • Windows 2000 Server/Advanced Server (SP4 or above) (32-bit x86)*
  • Windows Small Business Server 2000 (32-bit x86)*
  • Windows 2000 Professional (SP4 or above) (32-bit x86)*

Windows 2000 support: While ShadowProtect fully supports backup of Windows 2000 environments, lack of hardware support and suitable device drivers for this legacy environment might make recovery of System volumes difficult. If you use Windows 2000, be certain that you have suitable hardware and device drivers available for use as a recovery target in the event of a disaster. The ImageReady utility also does not support Windows 2000.

* Tablet support: ShadowProtect currently does not support any tablet OS, including Windows 8 (such as the Surface Pro). However, the Windows XP Tablet Edition, which is a desktop OS with stylus capability, is supported.

Supported Hypervisors

ShadowProtect Virtual supports Windows guests in these hypervisors:

  • VMware
  • Microsoft Hyper-V (including Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V)
  • Oracle VirtualBox
  • Red Hat KVM
  • Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization (RHEV)
  • Xen

* ShadowProtect is currently not supported on VMware Fusion for the Mac.

Supported File Systems/Disk/Volume Types

ShadowProtect supports the following File Systems:

  • FAT16
  • FAT16X
  • FAT32
  • FAT32X
  • NTFS
  • MBR Disks
  • GPT Disks
  • Basic and Dynamic Volumes and Disks
  • 4K/AF drives with 4096 byte sectors

ShadowProtect does not support the exFAT or the ReFS file systems. It also does not support Windows Storage Spaces storage pools.

Supported Storage Media

ShadowProtect supports the following storage media:

  • Locally-attached and network disk drives
  • SAN
  • NAS
  • iSCSI
  • SCSI
  • USB
  • Firewire
  • Solid State Disks (SSD)
  • Optical media such as CD/DVD/Blu-Ray

5. Installing and Upgrading ShadowProtect 5.0.4

In versions of ShadowProtect prior to version 4.2.0, there were separate installer files for each of the five editions of ShadowProtect (Desktop Edition/Server Edition/SBS Edition/VM Edition/MSP Edition). For each of these editions, there were also separate installers for each supported language. This complex situation no longer exists. Starting with ShadowProtect 4.2.0, there are only two installers:

  • ShadowProtectSetup_5.0.4.exe (aka "Standard install") - Use this installer if you have purchased a ShadowProtect Desktop Edition, ShadowProtect Server Edition, ShadowProtect SBS Edition, or ShadowProtect Virtual Edition product serial number/key, in any supported language.
  • ShadowProtectSetup_MSP_5.0.4.exe (aka "MSP install") - Use this installer if you are a Managed Service Provider (MSP) and intend to activate ShadowProtect using an MSP product serial number/key, in any supported language.


In most circumstances, you can upgrade to ShadowProtect 5.0.4 over an existing v3.5.2 or newer installation. You will need a valid and current maintenance agreement to reactivate the license. After the upgrade, ShadowProtect 5.0.4 displays a 30-day Trial license. Use the existing license number (which has the maintenance agreement) and click Activate to re-activate this existing license.

The exceptions to an upgrade include:

Installing over a ShadowProtect MSP Version

If the existing 4.1.5 installation is an MSP installation, you must use the ShadowProtectSetup_MSP_5.0.4.exe installation file to upgrade to 5.0.4. 

Installing over ShadowProtect 3.5.2 or Newer Versions

If your existing 3.5.2 or newer installation is a Desktop/Server/SBS/Virtual Edition, then to upgrade to 5.0.4 you must use the ShadowProtectSetup_5.0.4.exe installation file. 

You do not need to uninstall ShadowProtect 3.5.2 before installing 5.0.4. The installer will upgrade your system from 4.1.5 to 5.0.4 and preserve your job configurations. ShadowPrectect Setup will attempt to deactivate the existing license prior to the upgrade. Should this deactivation fail, the program displays a message to perform a manual deactivation prior to the uninstall.

Installing over Pre-3.5.2 ShadowProtect Versions

If your system has a version of ShadowProtect older than 3.5.2 already installed, then you will need to de-activate and then fully uninstall it (including the post-uninstall reboot) before you can install and activate ShadowProtect 5.0.4.

6. Activating ShadowProtect

You will need to activate ShadowProtect before the trial period ends.  Each time you take a backup, the number of days left in your trial period will be displayed in the history. 

To activate ShadowProtect, click Product Activation on the Help menu.  Type in the Serial Number (product key), Name, and Organization (optional) and click OK for immediate online activation. 

Language, Platform, and Serial Number Must Match

The language of your product serial number/key must match the language you chose in the 5.0.4 install wizard at the time you install ShadowProtect. Otherwise the ShadowProtect agent will fail to activate.  For silent installs, the 5.0.4 silent install answer file provides a way to specify the language of the install.

When activating ShadowProtect standard install, your product key type (Desktop/Server/SBS/VM) must match your platform.  Desktop Edition product keys can only be used to activate ShadowProtect on non-Server platforms. SBS Edition keys can only be used to activate ShadowProtect on SBS or Foundation Servers. Virtual Edition keys can only be used to activate ShadowProtect on virtual machines.  Server Edition keys can be used to activate ShadowProtect on any supported server platform (Server, SBS, Foundation, etc). ShadowProtect MSP keys can activate ShadowProtect on any supported platform (all supported workstation and server platforms).

Reactivate after Upgrading to 5.0.4

Upgrading from 3.5.2 or later should preserve your activation if you have a current and valid maintenance agreement. If you upgrade from an activated 3.5.1 or earlier installation of ShadowProtect to 5.0.4, you will need to re-activate your license. 

To do this, after performing the upgrade, go to the ShadowProtect user interface's Help menu. Click Product Activation. Fill in any remaining fields (your product key will usually be automatically entered). Click OK to re-activate. 

Error on Activation

** If you receive an error indicating that the StorageCraft Activation server cannot communicate with your system and you access the internet through a firewall, confirm that the SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol) is enabled on your firewall. **

Trial Version

If you install the Trial Version of ShadowProtect, you can install all the applications and create backup image files of system and data volumes.  You can also restore data volumes or specific files and folders. You will not be able to restore the system volume as the StorageCraft Recovery Environment is not made available with the Trial Version.

When your trial period ends, your ShadowProtect Trial Version will cease to operate.  You can then purchase ShadowProtect at any time and re-activate your install, making it fully functional, without having to reinstall the software. Any existing backup image files will still be accessible.

Evaluation Version

StorageCraft also offers an Evaluation Version of ShadowProtect. The difference between the Trial Version and the Evaluation Version is that the Evaluation Version also includes the bootable StorageCraft Recovery Environment (as an .ISO file which must be burned to a CD-R).  The ShadowProtect installer is identical for both the Trial and Evaluation versions. Like the Trial Version, you can install all the applications and create backup image files of system and data volumes using the Evaluation Version. However, in addition to data volumes, you can also restore system volumes using the Evaluation Version.

Like the Trial Version, when your trial period ends your ShadowProtect Evaluation Version will also cease to operate.  You can then purchase ShadowProtect at any time and re-activate your install, making it fully functional, without having to reinstall the software.

ShadowProtect Licensing

Please review the End User License Agreement for further clarification.


7. General Usage Notes



ShadowProtect tracks all sector changes when taking incremental backups. Since disk defrag software changes sectors, the next incremental backup may become larger than expected, especially if the disk is severely fragmented. Disable any disk defrag software if you have scheduled continuous incremental backups. If necessary, perform the defragmentation prior to taking the base full image backup then disable the defrag software. If you have a weekly or monthly backup schedule, perform the defragmentation prior to the next full backup.

Windows OS Upgrades

You will need to deactivate the ShadowProtect license and uninstall the software prior to upgrading an existing

  • Windows 7 system to Windows 8
  • Windows 8 to Windows 8 Pro

Windows 7 to Windows 8

After the OS upgrade, reinstall ShadowProtect and reactivate the license. While it is possible to restore the previous backup job configurations and other ShadowProtect settings, a Best Practice is to create a new backup job for the upgraded system rather than continue an older, existing chain.

Windows 8 to Windows 8 Pro

This upgrade is the same as when upgrading from Windows 7 to Windows 8. Perform a fresh install of ShadowProtect and create a new backup job for the upgraded system.

Test the StorageCraft Recovery Environment CD

You should test the StorageCraft Recovery Environment to ensure that it runs properly on your computer.  To do this, boot the StorageCraft Recovery Environment from the ShadowProtect CD.

If the StorageCraft Recovery Environment boots and runs as expected, then you can perform ShadowProtect operations from the Recovery Environment:

  • You need access to a volume In the event the system does not boot.
  • You need to restore a system volume from a backup image file.
  • You wish to create a cold state backup image using the Recovery Environment.

If the StorageCraft Recovery Environment does not boot:

  • Confirm that the system is configured to boot from the CD and that the system has a minimum of 768MB physical RAM.
  • Confirm that the Recovery Environment CD is readable and includes all files from the ISO.

If the StorageCraft Recovery Environment does not run as expected, you should investigate the following issues:

  • If you cannot access the network, verify that you have the necessary network interface card (NIC) drivers to access the network. With older NICs, you may need to contact your NIC vendor for the required drivers. For instance, suppose you boot the Recovery Environment on a VMware guest. You  need to use the Load Drivers menu option to load both of the VMware NIC drivers found within the CD's Additional_Drivers directory.  After loading these two VMware NIC drivers, you will then be able to successfully start networking services.
  • If you cannot access local drives, verify that you have the necessary storage drivers to access the storage devices on the computer. Use the Tools menu’s Load Drivers option within the booted Recovery Environment to find a compatible driver. If you can, browse to the "Additional_Drivers" directory on the CD to find additional storage drivers for physical and virtual machines. 
  • Maintain a set of necessary storage drivers on a disc in the event you need to boot the Recovery Environment. You can dynamically load the required storage drivers by providing the directory where the drivers are located. Driver files for the Recovery Environment must be 32-bit x86 Windows 7/2008R2 drivers in the .inf and .sys format. Please contact StorageCraft Technical Support (send an email to and identify these drivers so that they may be included in subsequent builds of ShadowProtect.

The ShadowProtect Evaluation and the Product and Recovery CDs contain the StorageCraft Recovery Environment. Be sure to store the CD in a safe place for use in the event that you require a bare metal recovery of your computer. In that event, use either of these CDs as a boot disk for restoring a backup image to the system volume using the Recovery Environment. 


8. CDDL Source Code

ShadowProtect's VBoxHDDXSP.dll files were built in part using unmodified CDDL-licensed code.  The CDDL license itself, and all referenced CDDL-licensed source code, are available at the following links:



Copyright © 2013 StorageCraft Technology Corp. All rights reserved. This Software and Documentation are copyrighted.  Ownership of the ShadowProtect Server Edition Software is reserved to StorageCraft Technology Corporation.  StorageCraft, the StorageCraft logo and the ShadowProtect Server Edition logo are trademarks of StorageCraft Technology Corporation.  StorageCraft, ShadowProtect, ShadowControl, and HeadStart Restore are registered trademarks of StorageCraft Technology Corporation in the United States and elsewhere. ShadowProtect Server Edition, intelligentFTP, and ShadowStream are trademarks of StorageCraft Technology Corporation in the United States and elsewhere. All other brands and product names are or may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners.

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