Frequently Asked Questions - ShadowProtect Desktop, ShadowProtect Server, and ShadowProtect Small Business Server

StorageCraft ShadowProtect® Desktop, ShadowProtect Server, and ShadowProtect for Small Business are currently identical in terms of features and functionality, though this may change over time. Right now the only difference is in the license that you purchase.

Each ShadowProtect version will only install on its respective operating system type. For example, ShadowProtect Desktop will only install on desktop operating systems (such as Windows 8, 7, XP or Vista), and will not work on server operating systems (such as Windows Server 2012, 2008, 2003 or SBS).

If you have purchased ShadowProtect®, you will find the User Guide on your product CD.  If you are using the trial version, you may download the User Guide from the 'Downloads' section of our Support Center.  There is also an online version available at:

ShadowProtect User Guide

The recovery CD is a separate download. When you purchased the software, you should have had the opportunity to download an ISO file. If you purchased ShadowProtect® from our Web store, but missed this download, you should be able to log back in to the Web store (using the email address and password you used during your purchase) and access the download.

The download starts by downloading a small executable file, which is a download manager. Simply run that executable to start the download. Once it is finished, extract the ISO file out of the .zip file and double-click it to burn the ISO to a blank CD using your CD burning software (such as Roxio or Nero).

The ISO file may be burned to CD to create the ShadowProtect® Recovery CD. This can be done using most commercial CD-burning applications, such as Roxio, Nero, and many others. If you do not have a CD-burning application, there are free tools available on the Internet for burning ISO files to CD, or you can use ISOTool.exe, an ISO burning tool that is included with ShadowProtect.. In the burning process, the software will extract the necessary files from the ISO image file and place them on the CD.

Once the CD is burned, you should be able to boot to it or, if you insert it into a running Windows machine, it should open the install page for ShadowProtect®. You may also browse to the CD in Windows Explorer and see that multiple files are on the disc. If you do not see this, it is possible that the CD was not burned properly. For example, you might have ended up with a CD containing a copy of the ISO file (which, of course, would not work). In this case you may need to refer to your CD-burning software's documentation to get help with burning the ISO to CD correctly, or to verify that the software is capable of dealing with ISO files.

To manually activate ShadowProtect®, fill in the necessary information on our manual activation form and submit it.  Note that the Machine ID required in the form may be found on the Product Activation dialog in ShadowProtect. After submitting the online form, you will soon receive an email with the activation key you need.

To move a ShadowProtect® license from one machine to another, you will first need to deactivate the license on the machine where it is currently installed.  To do this, go to the Help menu in ShadowProtect®, select Product Activation, and click the Deactivate button. After deactivating, you should then be able to activate on a different system.

Note that the number of allowed deactivations per license is limited. For testing purposes, we recommend using the free 30-day trial period rather than moving a license from machine to machine.

The most common reason for blue screens during ShadowProtect® backups is the presence of Acronis TrueImage. Certain versions of their snapshot driver cause the crashes when our backups are run. The only work-around is to uninstall TrueImage.

If, after uninstalling TrueImage, the blue screens still occur, the snapshot driver may have been left behind and will need to be removed manually. Instructions for doing this may be found here.

A bare-metal restore is a restore of your entire system to new or existing hardware. To restore a system volume, you will need to do so from the StorageCraft® Recovery Environment (boot to the recovery CD).  Note that it may be necessary to press a key during boot to tell the system to boot to the CD or to bring up a boot menu that allows you to select the CD-ROM drive as the boot device. You may also need to change the boot priority in your system's BIOS settings so that it will check for a bootable CD before booting to the hard disk. Refer to your computer's documentation for more information.

Once you are in the recovery environment, there are a few things you'll want to do before you begin:

  • Check the Disk Map tab to make sure your internal hard disk(s) is/are listed there.
  • If you are restoring the image from an external hard disk, make sure it is listed in the Disk Map as well.
  • If you are restoring the image from a network location, start the Network Configuration utility and map a drive to the network location

If any drives or hardware are missing or not working properly, you may want to try using the other recovery environment (i.e. if you were using the XP/2003 environment, try the Vista environment), as sometimes hardware that does not work in one environment will work in the other.  There is also the option of loading drivers for certain hardware (which is most easily done from the Tools menu when using the Vista environment).

Once everything is ready, step through the Restore wizard. Choose the image file you want to restore, and the partition (or unallocated space) to which you want to restore. In most cases, when restoring a system image, it is okay to restore the MBR, disk signature, and hidden disk track. (If you were using a full disk encryption product on the machine the image was created from, or to learn more about what these options mean, search for them on the StorageCraft Support Forum.) Also, check the HIR (hardware independent restore) box if you are restoring to a different machine than the one from which the image came.

Restoring to a virtual machine is much the same as performing a bare-metal restore as described in the previous question.  Simply create a new virtual machine, making sure it has an adequately sized virtual hard disk and access to the host machine's CD-ROM drive and network.  Then boot to the ShadowProtect® recovery CD inside the virtual machine.

Follow the steps for a bare-metal restore (including HIR), then reboot the virtual machine and it should load Windows.  Depending on which virtual environment you are using, you may not have the ability to restore the image from an attached USB drive (as not all virtual environments support USB devices), so you may need to restore the image from a shared network folder on the host or another machine.

ImageManager is a utility specifically for use with the Continuous Incremental backup schedule. It monitors the folder where your ShadowProtect or SPX backups are stored and, according to the schedule you specify, collapses regular incremental backups into daily, weekly, and monthly backup files. This helps to minimize the number of backup files on the destination and the amount of space used for storing them. It also ensures that all backups except for the initial full backup will be comparatively small in size, which can be useful in situations where backups are being sent off site.

Use of the Continuous Incremental schedule and ImageManager is not recommended for most home and desktop users. If you are using a Weekly or Monthly backup schedule, you do not need to install or use ImageManager.

To update to a new version, simply visit Software Updates, and download and run the latest installer. It should carry over your existing license, activation, and settings. Note that if you did not purchase the annual maintenance agreement along with ShadowProtect®, or if your maintenance agreement is expired, you may not be able to activate the new version with your current serial number.

To purchase an upgrade to the new version, or to renew a maintenance agreement, please contact our Sales department.

With the ShadowProtect 5 installation, licenses are made inactive and need to be manually reactivated from the Help > Product  Activation section. 

The 30-day trial of ShadowProtect® recovers files and folders. Backup images created during the trial don't expire and are compatible with the full-priced ShadowProtect software.

To test restoring a system volume, request a StorageCraft Recovery Environment evaluation. Hardware Independent Restore is not included.


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