You might know that I regularly check all running processes as part of a cleanup process. It is also important from a security point of view. I spotted the file vssvc.exe today running on my computer and I was pretty sure that it was not running last time I checked. A quick check reveled that it was related to the Volume Shadow Copy Service in Windows XP.
This service is used by several backup applications to create backups of files that are currently in use, on the fly backups so to say. I knew that I did install two backup applications in the last week, Cobian Backup and MozyHome and I suspect that one of these was responsible for the change.
The real question however is if I need this service at all. It was using a little bit more than six Megabytes of RAM without any real benefit. I decided to stop the service and run a backup to see if it would go through and backup all the files selected. Since I'm not backing up any Windows system files I suspected that it would not make a difference.
I stopped the Volume Shadow Copy Service and the file vssvc.exe disappeared from the list of open processes. The backup completed without errors afterwards. Vssvc.exe has been set to disabled in Services.msc so that it does not get started accidentally if set to manually.
It would be different if you would backup system files regularly in Windows. Those files can't be processed if they are in use at the moment of the backup if the Volume Shadow Copy Service is not running in the background.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.