I won’t go into great detail here but in short, if VSSAdmin is not letting you delete shadow copies and is throwing this message:

Error: Snapshots were found, but they were outside of your allowed context.  Try removing them with the backup application which created them.

There is another (less safe…) program called DiskShadow which will.

It’s built into windows server… and using it to get rid of pesky shadow copies that won’t otherwise goes away looks like this:

DISKSHADOW> Delete Shadows All

and away they go…

One of the best blog articles I came across that details both VSSADMIN and DiskShadow tool and why VSSAdmin sometimes falls short is here:


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2 comments on: VSSAdmin Delete Shadows FAIL – DiskShadow to the Rescue

  1. Dan Lee

    Thanks for the link back 🙂

    • nbeam

      Hey Dan! – Happy to link back! – Your write-up on this topic was one of the best/clearest I had come across and it was really helpful. I use my own blog as a type of work journal to record fixes. That way I don’t have to scour the internet again 3 months later when I need the same fix. Anyhow, I often feel like the beneficiary of a lot of other peoples hard work so I try to link back whenever I can.

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