Maintaining and Deleting Snapshots

Applies To: Microsoft iSCSI Software Target

It is important to manage the size and number of snapshots (also known as shadow copies). In general, the amount of disk space that is allocated for these snapshots depends on how frequently the data changes rather than how much data is being stored. If the frequency of changes to each file is greater than the amount of space allocated for storage of the shadow copies, then no shadow copy is created.

You can configure the location and size of the storage to be used for snapshots by modifying Properties for the virtual disk. Volume Shadow Copy Service requires that the NTFS volume have at least 300 MB of free space (the default) available on the system to store the snapshots. For more information about modifying the maximum storage size, see Modifying the Configuration of a Virtual Disk.

Snapshots of virtual disks generally remain in the Microsoft iSCSI Software Target console, and they are available for use unless the following condition or action causes them to be deleted:

  • When the maximum size of the storage area is exceeded, the oldest snapshot is deleted. You should ensure that sufficient storage is available for active and scheduled snapshots.

  • You can manually delete a snapshot. You should ensure that the snapshot is no longer needed before you delete it.


If a snapshot is deleted, it cannot be recovered. You should take precautions to ensure that snapshots are not accidentally deleted.

Membership in the local Administrators group, or equivalent, is the minimum required to complete this procedure. Review the details in "Additional considerations" in this topic.

To delete a snapshot

  1. In Microsoft iSCSI Software Target, in the console tree, double-click Snapshots, and then click Active Snapshots.

  2. In the results pane, right-click the snapshot that you want to delete, and then click Delete Snapshot.

  3. When you are prompted to confirm the deletion, click Yes.

Additional considerations

  • You must be a member of the local Administrators group to perform these tasks.

  • To open iSCSI Software Target, click Start, point to Administrative Tools, and then click Microsoft iSCSI Software Target. (Another way to open iSCSI Software Target is to click Start, click Run, and then type iscsitarget.msc.)

Additional references

Creating and Managing Snapshots and Schedules

Modifying the Configuration of a Virtual Disk