How to backup an Exchange server using the Attix5 VSS plugin

Attix5 Pro makes use of the MS Volume ShadowCopy Service (VSS) to back up open files such as an Outlook PST file, which is just a fraction of what VSS can do. The VSS plug-in utilises VSS on a much more advanced level by allowing you to protect any VSS-enabled database and application available on your server with a single plug-in; without the need for a database dump. A perfect example of this is an Exchange email server.

The Attix5 VSS plugin supports the following versions of Microsoft Exchange:

  • Exchange 2003
  • Exchange 2007
  • Exchange 2010
  • Exchange 2013
  • Exchange 2016

Installation & Configuration

  1. Ensure the Attix5 Pro software is installed and a backup account has been created.
  2. Download and run the Attix5 Plug-in installer from the Download page.
  3. Follow the plug-in wizard and ensure that the VSS plugin is enabled.
  4. Run the Attix5 Pro software. You will now notice a new entry on the left hand side.

    Attix5 VSS Exchange Plugin
  5. When you select and expand the VSS Plug-in you will see the Exchange Group. Right click on this note and select it for inclusion in the backup.
  6. On the right hand side you will also see further options. Select the type of backup you require: Full Backup or Copy Backup and click Apply.
  7. Click on Backup to start the backup process.
Useful Tip

Occasionally the VSS plug-in will not display the Exchange Group, or the backup will fail with various errors. Commonly this is due to an existing backup program. Ensure that the old backup software has been uninstalled and restart the server to reset the VSS.

Additionally, check the Windows Event Log for further errors.

Exchange Backup Notes

Full Backup

Following a Full Backup, the backup history of each file will be updated and, in the case of Exchange writers, the backup transaction logs will be truncated. 


If employing other backup/archiving processes in addition to Attix5 Pro that require full backup transaction logs (e.g. Exchange tape backup), it is recommended that you use Copy Backup instead, as Copy Backups retain full transaction logs.

Copy Backup

Copy Backups leave the backup history of each file and the application logs as they were before the backup. This is recommended if using additional backup/archiving processes that require full backup transaction logs. 


If both the SQL database and Exchange server are on the same machine, the Full/Copy setting will apply to both.

 See the how to restore an Exchange server article for restoration instructions.