Applies To: Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2012, Windows 8

Disassociates a shadow copy volume from VSS and makes it accessible as a regular volume. The volume can then be accessed using a drive letter (if assigned) or volume name. If used without parameters, break displays help at the command prompt.


This command is relevant only for hardware shadow copies after import.

For examples of how to use this command, see Examples.


break [writable] <SetID>





Enables read/write access on the volume.


Specifies the ID of the shadow copy set.


  • Exposed volumes, like the shadow copies they originate from, are read-only by default.

  • The alias of the shadow copy ID, which is stored as an environment variable by the load metadata command, can be used in the SetID parameter.


To make a shadow copy with the alias name Alias1 accessible as a writable volume in the operating system, type:

break writable %Alias1%


Access to the volume is made directly to the hardware provider without record of the volume having been a shadow copy.

Additional references

Command-Line Syntax Key