SHP Desktop V5.2: strange behaviour of Shadow Protect Backup Agent service in Windows 10

I  use SHP Desktop for several years (currently V 5.2.3). In the last few weeks I see some strange behaviour of the Shadow Protect Backup Agent (shadowprotectsvc.exe). Service startup is set to automatic as it should. The service gets active at different times without associated backup jobs, uses 5-10% of the cpu resources (most time 1st place in the sorted list of all tasks in an idle machine) and is associated with a low but constant read activity (about 100 KB/sec)  of some harddisks but no sdd. The “moderate activity” SHP service is running until shut down of the machine or manual stop. There are no noticeable negative impacts of manually stopping the service.

 I see this phenomenon on 2 machines and realized it after the Windows 10 creator update. One machine was a fresh install with Windows 10/1703, 64 bit, and has currently no backup jobs of SHP installed after the program installation of SHP Desktop. On the 2nd machine full SHP backups are running without a problem.

Fresh or repair installation of SHP Desktop doesn´t help. All “vssadmin-checks” show no errors  and list no “shadows”.

Bug or feature? Any information? What should I do to  solve this problem? Should I ignore it until a problem solution by STC or Microsoft?







More additional informations...

Meanwhile I realised some very negative impacts of that running and somehow active Shadow Protect Backup Agent (shadowprotectsvc.exe) service.

1. If a SHP backup job is starting during that activity, the backup job is not able to create snapshots via VSS API by STC provider. When I kill the Shadow Protect Backup Agent service and restart the backup job, that job will run and finish successfully.

2. When the SHP Backup Agent service is running as described with low CPU load and is continously accessing a harddisk, it is e.g. not possible to copy files from that harddisk to another location  because of extreme low transferspeed (some kb(!)/sec). After killing the Backup Agent Service process the file copy runs at normal transfer speed. 

Again, I see that strange activity of the SHP Backup Agent after the Windows 10 1703 upgrade.

Can somebody help to solve the annyoing problem?



Same here ...


Same problem here - started just after the Win10 Creators Update;

Submitted a support case on 8/13 with no response yet.
​Called StorageCraft support this morning, was on hold for ~7-mins, then routed to generic voicemail. Essentially dropped. Having growing concerns over support behind the product. SOME response from SC would be nice.


I'm having the same problem

I've been having the same problem, and it started right around the time that I installed the Creators Update on Win10.

ShadowProtect Ver. on Win10 64 bit

This on a Surface Pro 4. When the Backup Agent process goes into "runaway mode", it heats up the machine, makes the fan run full blast, and kills battery life. For some time, I've had it automatically run a backup job once a day while I'm connected to an external drive, but the problematic behavior pops up at various times, and I am going to have to stop the process from auto-starting until this gets fixed.


Dennis Bowtell

Creators Update on Win10

The agent started consuming upto 20% of CPU all day since upgrade to Creators Edition Win10.  Another very similar machine that has not upgraded is not experiencing the CPU drain.

If I stop the process with Task Manager the laptop fans spin down almost instantly.

If I run another incremental backup the fans come up but then go away soon after the backup stops.  Agent not left running.

I will post this, then restart my PC to see if that has anything to do with it.


Dennis Bowtell

Creators Update (1703)

I just upgraded from ShadowProtect 5 to ShadowProtect SPX, and now my agent is behaving perfectly.



Same problem here!

I noticed this too when my external HHD enclosure (where I store my image backups) access lights started flashing immediately when I brought my comptuer out of sleep mode.  Task Manager showed that the only thing that was running was ShadowProtect Backup Agent at ~10% CPU.

Did anyone find out why this happens yet?


Hi STC, no comments to this problem?? :-(

I wonder that nobody of the STC-Team seems to have any information (interest?) concernig the problem with the Shadow Protect Backup Agent within Shadow Protect Desktop after Windows 10 Creators Upgrade (1703) . It is still there after several monthly updates of Microsoft.

Is that a problem of Shadow Protect Desktop or Microsoft? Are there any plans of STC to solve the problem?
Could the upgrade to Shadow Protect SPX be a possible solution?




USB3 card responsible for trouble?

i've been monitoring my situation over the past few days.  I installed the Win10 Creator's update some time ago and hadn't experienced this particular problem until recently.  i suspect now that it might have something to do with a new PCIe USB 3.0 card I've installed in my system.  If I have something like a external HHD attached to this new USB3 card and I bring my comptuer back from sleep, the Backup Agent starts up and starts accessing my disks and uses about 10% CPU.  If I reboot, the problem doesn't reappear until the system goes to sleep and comes back from sleep.  That said, if I don't have an external HHD attached to the USB3 card, I don't experience this problem at all when the system comes out of sleep.

I'd also like to hear from someone at StorageCraft for possible solutions, but I also wonder if this only affects a small subset of us with specific computer configurations.

For those of you who have upgraded to SPX, do you like it?  I've got no problems in upgrading if this is an improvement, but SPX looks to have less features than SPD5 and some of the forum comments on the topic have mixed reviews.

I may try another USB3 card to see if the problem persists.  I've also contacted the card manufacture to see if I should be using a different driver.


Will this annoying bug fixed or not?

We, the customers, should at least be worthy enough to get any response from StorageCraft about this really nasty bug.

Will it get fixed or not?





Additional observations

I am experiencing a similar problem on my laptop running SP V5.2.7. After a normal startup, I do not see anything unusual, but if I connect the external USB 3 drive that I use for backups, the SP client service immediately starts consuming up to 20% of processor resources, even without starting Shadow Protect. If I manually stop the client service, the processor load of course drops to normal, however If I attempt to run a backup with the service not running, transfer speed is too slow to be of any use.

I cannot pinpoint exactly when this started, but it has been relatively recent - could have been after the Creator update on W10.

If I connect the external drive some time before the backup, when I attempt to start a manual backup, the SP interface is either very slow to respond, and the selection of backup location from  a pulldown flashes and is almost impossible to select. Usual solution is a reboot with the external drive connected, start SP, and it seems to run OK.

Really a PITA if I am trying to access something else on the external drive - have to shut down the client service or put up with a hot machine with the fan running at full blast.

Hopefully another voice will inspire some investigation/response from the Software Wizards.


Additional Observations

I am having similar problems with V5.2.7. As soon as turn on my USB3 connected external drive, the SP client service starts to consume up to 20% of processor resources on mu laptop.

If I stop the service manually, the processor load returns to normal, but any attempt to run a backup without the client service running either fails or transfers so slowly as to be of no use at all.

If I connect the external drive and leave it on for a while before strating a backup (putting up with the fan noise and heat), the UI for SP is very slow to respond, and the pull-down menu to select a backup destination flashes so that it is impossible to select anything.

Usual solution is a reboot with the external HD connected, then run SP right away.

This issue has started relatively recently - may have coincided with the Creator update on W10, but I cannot be sure - may have been a bit after, and I simply did not look into it until now. No other system config changes such as adding USB3 cards.

Time the wizards had a look at this - hopefully another voice added to the choir will help!

Jim Kasson

Same problem after current Win 10 feature upgrade

I'd been putting off the Win 10 feature upgrade for a while, but the OS just went ahead and did it. Of course, now I have this problem, too.

I'd sure be interested in what to do about it.




Same Issue!

Same here: After Win10 Creators Update, SP spins up disk IO in the background that seems to do nothing but waste resources and IO.
No backup jobs running. A distinct behavior change after the Win10 Creators Update.

Please, StorageCraft - pursue a fix for this!

Update 8/18/2017:
I opened a support case w/StorageCraft on this on 8/13, received an acknowledgement email but no response back to date. I called their support number this morning, was on hold for ~7-minutes, then routed to someone's generic voice mail - essentially dropped. Concerned about the support behind the product.
StorageCraft, we would appreciate a response.


Neville Wright

Same problem after creators update on Win 10

I am using Shadow Protect Desktop version on a Dell Inspiron 15-5567 and am experiencing the same problems described in earlier posts.

ShadowProtect Backup Agent runs at ~10% CPU. The UI for SP is very slow to respond, and sometimes "freezes" while trying to edit a job. The USB3 external drive used as destination constantly flashes as "in use" when the UI is started. Drive goes idle again on exit from UI.

If a backup job is started, it is not able to create snapshots via VSS API by STC provider.

Worked fine before Creators Update.


Neville Wright

Backup Agent runs at 10% CPU

I am using Shadow Protect Desktop version on a Dell Inspiron 15-5567 and am experiencing the same problems described in earlier posts.

Backup Agent runs at ~10% CPU. The UI for SP is very slow to respond, and sometimes "freezes" while trying to edit a job. The USB3 external drive used as destination constantly flashes as "in use" when the UI is started. Drive goes idle again on exit from UI.

If a backup job is started, it is not able to create snapshots via VSS API by STC provider.

Worked fine before Creators Update.

I was able to resolve this issue by setting the Shadow Protect Backup Agent service (shadowprotectsvc.exe) to Automatic (delayed start)


Upgrading to SPX seems to fix it.

My theory about it being a specific PCIe USB3 card didn't pan out.  I noticed the problem on multiple USB3 cards and even using a USB3 port connected directly to the motherboard, just not 100% of the time.  (Still, before the Win10 Creator's Update I never saw it.)

I got tired of waiting for a better solution and upgraded to SPX.  I haven't noticed the problem since, just as Dennis noted earlier, and SPX has been working perfectly fine for my needs.  Not really a solution to the folks who want to hang on to SPD5, but if StorageCraft is no longer supporting SPD5, an upgrade probably makes the most sense to those with this problem.


StorageCraft support team, is there anybody out there?

This website is called "StorageCraft Support Center" and I wonder, that you, the StorageCraft support team, seems not to want or to be able to give support or at least some information regarding this situation! Why? I can´t understand this.

It would be ok, if you could bring yourselve to help by saying: we know about this problem, we will not change it in SHP Desktop 5 and yes, you have to upgrade to SPX. I am your customer, is it to much to ask for this basic information? It would be helpful knowing, that upgrading to spx is the solution for this annoying situation.Thank you


Upgrade to SPX

I submitted a support ticket and the support team started with asking to be sure I was running the latest version. I 'thought' I was, but discovered I was running version 5.x, not the latest SPX. I upgraded to SPX and it resolved the issue. It's my understanding that version 5.x is no longer considered current or being maintained. SPX is the 'current' version - seems fine.


Same Issue with both USB2 and USB3 drives

I, too see this whenever I attach/remove any drive to either a USB2 or a USB3 port. My USB3 ports are also on a PCIe card. The only workaround is to restart the ShadowProtect service. I become aware of it because it starts repeatedly accessing the floppy disk drive. It didn't occur until I installed the Windows 10 Creators Update.



Gave up waiting for any response here and paid for an upgrade to SPX, which of course does not exhibit this problem. A bit frustrated with the changes in SPX. In SHP I was doing a manual backup of my laptop once a week, running  a full, followed by 5 or 6 incrementals before starting another full. The option of running manual incrementals seems to have been eliminated in SPX. I have moved to a scheduled continuous backup regime - I just have to remember to turn on the external drive, and once in a while start the job again manually to run another full backup. (At least this is the theory).



I'm not sure how I missed

I'm not sure how I missed this thread, I'm sorry for chiming in so late.  I've been running SPX on my latest systems for a while, so I didn't notice anything go wrong when my Windows 10 system forced the creators upgrade on me.  Have you tried performing a Repair install of SP 5.2.7 after the creators upgrade?  I wouldn't recommend running anything less than SP 5.2.7 because it has the latest fixes for that product.  Even though SPX supports the same image structure and uses almost the same snapshot driver, the way that SPX interfaces with the machine and the service is much more efficient in my opinion.  New development is going into SPX, so I'll have to find out if there is any possibility about them developing a patch for ShadowProtect 5 after providing steps to reproduce this issue.  Do you have any support cases open regarding this issue?

These old forums are being discontinued.  Please continue this conversation by posting to our new discussion threads found here:


@ STC-Nephi: ShadowProtect Backup Agent // new Forum

As other forum members have already reported, there seems to be some evidence, that the described faulty behaviour of the ShadowProtect Backup Agent service could be triggered when connecting a external hard disk as target for backup (after Windows 10 Creators Upgrade). Additionally I saw this problem after connecting a eSata drive. Otherwise I am not sure whether there are other triggers for that faulty behaviour of the ShadowProtect Backup Agent service. Nevertheless the problem still exists. I use the latest version of Shadow Protect Desktop 5.2.7 (checked for update) and tried several repair installations after Windows 10 Creators Upgrade. Support case? I am not sure, whether my licence actually has a valid maintenance option. Can I open a support case under that cirumstances?Footnote: STC still sells(!) Shadow Protect Desktop and the information about system requirement includes Windows 10. Just tried to register for the new support website without success (website admin was informed automatically), therefore I responded here.Any suggestions? RegardsWerner


Werner, Do you still see

Werner, Do you still see these issues after installing the new Windows update for KB4038788?  

I found 2 new community login users created under your 2 email addresses, and it says you were able to login at 9/25/2017 1:58 AM (Mountain Time).


@ STC-Nephi: effect of KB4038788...

I am not sure, that the September cumul. update KB4038788 finally solves the problem, because the strange  behaviour of the ShadowProtect Backup Agent service can at least still be provoked. The last backups after KB4038788 were ok, so there may be at least some mitigation. I will check this further..

Steps I found to provoke the problem with the ShadowProtect Backup Agent service (even after KB4038788) are:

1. Attach a external drive (via usb or hot-pluggable via eSata).

 2. Ensure, that some program or process blocks / accesses the drive. Afterwards you should not be able to disconnect the drive safely (Windows "Safely Remove Hardware") and therefore get a Windows error message accordingly (drive can not removed ...). In my environment I could "block" a hot-pluggable sata-drive by running the Windows taskmanager(!); this was possible most of the time also with a usb attached drive.

3. Disconnect the drive mechanically or electrically despite the shown Windows error message.

4. In the taskmanger you will see the ShadowProtect Backup Agent service permanently(!) running with relatively high cpu usage (my machine about 5%) and accessing different harddisks permanently with very low transfers shown (about 0,1 MB/s).


If the drive is not blocked

If the drive is not blocked from being disconnected, and safely remove hardware says it's cleared to be disconnected, does this service issue occur?

If you re-start the ShadowProtect service after these steps to reproduce, does the service go back to normal, or does it spike the cpu % up again?


RE: If the drive is not blocked

I find that this service issue occurs regardless of whether or not the drive is blocked from removal. In other words I always see this after a safe removal. Restarting the service restores it to normal operation. However, subsequent insertion or removal of a drive will reproduce the issue. For the record I am running ShadowProtect Version on an 64-bit AMD Athlon-based computer running Windows 10 version 1703 with KB4038788 applied.


If the drive is not blocked

I do not know the answers to your questions before the September cumul. windows 10 update KB4038788, because I made this test a few day ago after the update.

If the drive is not blocked from being disconnected, and safely remove hardware says it's cleared to be disconnected, does this service issue occur?
No, service runs normal (almost all time CPU 0%, no disk access). But please see "Additionial information" below.

If you re-start the ShadowProtect service after these steps to reproduce, does the service go back to normal, or does it spike the cpu % up again?
It does come back to normal.

Additional information: today I used another external sata-attached drive for testing. Here the faulty behaviour of the  - before normally running - SHP service started spontaneously! That means that decribed provoking steps were not necessary. Clean disconnect of the drive did not influence the strange service behaviour. After restart the SHP service it came back to a normal state. It was not possible to reproduce this phenomenon again. I do not have any idea why this happens and the possible role of KB4038788  - does something has changed after a 2nd connection & recognition of the drive?  


New Windows 10 patch - 2017-09 Kumulatives Update für Windows 10

Just for the record:

Since the patch (2017-09 Kumulatives Update für Windows 10 Version 1703 für x64-basierte Systeme (KB4038788)) was installed (for 3 days now) the runaway wasn't shown again.

There is some hope ....


Problem stills exists after Windows 10 KB403878 update

Testing the situation on a different machine shows, that the problem stills exists even after the September 2017 cumulative update of Windows 10 (KB403878). Attaching a external usb drive results in faulty behaviour of the SHP Backup service (constant higher CPU load and constant low access of other drives). Normal use of the machine only after manual restart of the service.

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