Recovery and Reliability Technologies

Applies To: Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2003 with SP1, Windows Server 2003 with SP2

The recovery and reliability technologies in the Microsoft Windows Server 2003 family help you to prevent problems such as data loss and system instability during all phases of operation —from startup through shutdown. In the event of a problem, these technologies help you to recover and repair your data and operating system.

Recovery and Reliability Technologies Components

The recovery and reliability technologies can help you to protect your data, prevent server instability and diagnose performance problems.

Volume Shadow Copy Service

The Volume Shadow Copy service provides an infrastructure for creating consistent point-in-time copies known as shadow copies. The Volume Shadow Copy service can produce consistent shadow copies by coordinating with business applications, file-system services, backup applications, and storage hardware. Several features in Windows Server 2003 use the Volume Shadow Copy service, including Shadow Copies for Shared Folders and Backup.


The Backup utility helps you protect your data in the event your hard disk fails or files are accidentally erased due to hardware or storage media failure. By using Backup you can create a duplicate copy of the data on your hard disk and then archive it on another storage device, such as a hard disk or a tape. Backup takes advantage of the Volume Shadow Copy service to create an accurate copy of the contents of your hard drive, including any open files or files that are being used by the system.

Shadow Copies for Shared Folders

Shadow Copies for Shared Folders provides you with point-in-time copies of files that are located on shared resources, such as a file server. With Shadow Copies for Shared Folders, you can quickly recover deleted or changed files that are stored on the network without administrator assistance, which can increase productivity and reduce costs.

Recovery Console

Recovery Console is a character-mode environment that you can run from the Windows Server 2003 operating system CD or install on x86-based computers as a startup option. Using Recovery Console, you can enable and disable services, format drives, read and write data on a local drive (including drives formatted to use NTFS), and perform many other administrative tasks. Recovery Console is particularly useful if you need to repair your system by copying a file from a floppy disk or CD-ROM to your hard disk, or if you need to reconfigure a service that is preventing your computer from starting properly.

Emergency Management Services

Emergency Management supports remote management and system recovery for servers that are not accessible through a standard network connection, such as a Local Area Network (LAN) or the Internet. By using Emergency Management Services in conjunction with other software and hardware components, you can remotely perform tasks such as recovering unresponsive servers or powering servers off and on, even if you cannot access the servers through a conventional connection. Emergency Management Services can also help you to save space, energy, and the cost of hardware because it supports servers that are configured without a locally attached keyboard, monitor, or mouse. Emergency Management Services helps you to return servers to a state where it is possible to manage them using standard tools — Windows technologies that rely on a standard network connection.

Shutdown Event Tracker

Shutdown Event Tracker is a technology that provides you with a way to consistently track why IT professionals restart or shut down servers. It is enabled by default, and is a routine part of the computer shutdown process. Shutdown Event Tracker gathers the reasons that users give for restarting or shutting down servers. This data can help you to create a comprehensive picture of the performance and reliability of your system environment.