Volume Shadow Copy (VSS) Service Defaults in Windows XP

Manages and implements Volume Shadow Copies used for backup and other purposes. If this service is stopped, shadow copies will be unavailable for backup and the backup may fail. If this service is disabled, any services that explicitly depend on it will fail to start.

Default Settings

Startup type: Manual
Display name:Volume Shadow Copy
Service name:VSS
Service type:own
Error control:normal
Registry key:HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\VSS

Default Behavior

Volume Shadow Copy is a Win32 service. In Windows XP it won't start until the current user starts it. When the Volume Shadow Copy service is started, it is running as LocalSystem in its own process of vssvc.exe. If the Volume Shadow Copy fails to start, the technical information about the error is added to the Event Log. Windows XP startup should proceed, but a message box should be displayed informing the user that the VSS service has failed to start.


Volume Shadow Copy depends on the Remote Procedure Call (RPC) service.

Restore Default Startup Configuration of Volume Shadow Copy

Before you begin doing this, make sure that all the services on which Volume Shadow Copy depends are configured by default and function properly. See the list of dependencies above.

1. Run the Command Prompt.

2. Copy the command below, paste it into the command window and press ENTER:

sc config VSS start= demand

3. Close the command window and restart the computer.

The VSS service is using the vssvc.exe file that is located in the C:\Windows\System32 directory. If the file is removed or corrupted, read this article to restore its original version from Windows XP installation media.