VSCMap is a tool for mapping drive letters to Volume Shadow Copy snapshots. Microsoft's Volume Shadow Copy service is incredibly useful for many purposes. You have probably used it for backups and "Previous Versions" of files. But it is capable of so much more! Microsoft offers a tool in the Volume Shadow Copy SDK called VSHADOW.EXE which allows you to perform many tasks from creating, deleting, and managing snapshots manually to mounting snapshots as drive letters. The problem with the drive letter mapping feature is that it takes two steps: one step to create a "mountable" snapshot and another step to actually map the drive letter. From a scripting standpoint, it gets complicated because you have to remember the snapshot's GUID to mount it as a drive letter. If you search on the web you'll find numerous examples which work, but they all require temporary folders and are more complicated than it's worth (afterall, you have to install the SDK in addition to writing the scripts). So I took the VSHADOW.EXE example as a model and wrote my own command-line tool which creates a volume shadow copy snapshot and mounts it to a drive letter in ONE step. You can also delete previously created and mounted snapshots in ONE step. This tool has numerous possibilities, one is that it can turn ANY "copy" application (including XCOPY) into a backup tool that can copy open files. Just use VSCMap to map your source drive, copy the point-in-time versions of source files, then delete the snapshot when you are done. Please e-mail me any clever uses for this tool that you come up with! I'd love to hear from you.
Please note that this tool will only work on Windows Server 2003 (and newer) and Windows Vista (and newer). Volume Shadow Copy does is not available on Windows 2000 and older. Also, on Windows XP, Volume Shadow Copy can not create what are called "persistent" snapshots. XP can only create snapshots for backups. This is a feature limitation of XP. There are "hacks" to get snapshots to act persistent, but VSCMap does not support this currently. Sorry!
If you enjoy using this application, please consider sending a donationto the author, so he can provide timely updates and more great free applications!
Avian Waves Blog Posts about VSCMap...
• Introducing a way to easily map drive letters to Volume Shadow Copy Snapshots (June 17, 2007)
• Avian Waves Forums