Open File Support - FAQs

Do you have questions about the Open File Add-On?  Check out the Open File Add-On FAQs below.  If you do not see your question here, we would like to hear from you - send an email or give us a call today!

Q:  Can Backup for Workgroups backup open files?

Yes.  Backup for Workgroups includes an open file add-on that is built into the Backup Client.  This open file add-on allows the Backup Client software to access and backup open files.  The Open File Add-On works on Windows 2019 / 2016 / 2012 / 2008 / 2003 Servers, Windows 10, 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista and Windows XP computers.  The open file add-on license is included in purchased licenses for Backup for Workgroups version 5.0 and higher.  Prior to version 5.0 the open file add-on license and the Backup Client licenses were sold separately.

Q:  What is the Open File Add-On?

The Open File Add-On is component software that works in conjunction with the Backup Client software to expand the coverage of the backup to include files that are in use and locked at the time of the backup. 

Q:  Why do I need an Open File Add-On?

Files that are in use and locked are normally skipped in the backup process.  To backup these locked files the Backup Client uses the open file add-on which interacts with Volume Shadow Services to allow the Backup Client to access the open and locked files.   

Q:  Can I use the Windows Volume Shadow Services instead of your Open File Add-On?

No. The portion of Volume Shadow Services (VSS) that you can interact with does not provide you with a general purpose Open File agent.  VSS is built from many components and the component that provides Open File Access is only available at a low level in Windows and can only be accessed at the API programming level.

Q:  How does the Open File Add-On work?

The Open File Add-On can backup any file or database that is open and in use by utilizing the Windows Volume Shadow Service (VSS) available with the Windows operating system.  When a backup is ready to start, VSS will make a copy of the database at that moment.  This allows Backup for Workgroups to backup the copy of the database while users can continue to interact with and makes changes to the original database on the server.  Any changes made to the original database after the copy was made will be included in the next backup that occurs.

Q:  What versions of Windows does the Open File Add-On work with?

The Open File Add-On is only for Windows 2019 / 2016 / 2012 / 2008 / 2003 Servers, Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista and Windows XP.

Q:  How do I activate the Open File Add-On during the trial period?

When you create Backup Client accounts during your trial period, the accounts are created with the Open File add-on already active.  You do not need to take any additional steps to activate the open file add-on during the trial period.  

Q:  How can I check to make sure the Open File Add-On is activated and working?

Go to the Backup Server and look at the Clients panel.  Find the name of the Client computer in the list and see if there is an asterisk in the column labeled "OF" - which stands for Open File. 

Q:  Does the Open File Add-On interact with Volume Shadow Services (VSS)?

Yes.  The Open File Add-On interacts with Volume Shadow Services at a very low driver level. 

Q:  I have the Open File Add-On activated but some files are getting skipped in the backup process; what can I do?

The Open File Add-On interacts with a component of Windows called Volume Shadow Services (VSS). If the VSS component becomes resource locked, you must reboot the computer to unlock the VSS resource within Windows.  Note that VSS consists of many different layers and the layer that Backup for Workgroups interacts with cannot be restarted by stopping and restarting a Service.  You need to reboot to reset VSS.

Q:  Can I purchase just an Open File Add-On license?

If you purchased Backup for Workgroups Client licenses after June 2010 (version 5.0 and higher), then the client license included both the Backup Client and the Open File Add-On license, as a result you already have the Open File Add-on license.

If you purchased Backup for Workgroups Client licenses before June 2010 (versions 1 through 4) then you had a choice to purchase the Open File Add-On with the Client or to purchase a Client only.  If you chose to purchase just a Client license then you can purchase the Open File Add-On license for the Backup Clients that do not have an existing open file add-on license. For more information about pricing, check out our pricing chart.

Do you need a Sales Quote to show your purchasing department?  Be sure to contact our Sales Department by sending an email to or calling 480-596-9432.

Q:  If I use the Open File Add-On to backup my Exchange Server and/or SQL Server; is the backup data coherent?

Yes.  Exchange Server 2003 and higher and SQL 2005 and higher are Volume Shadow Service (VSS) aware applications.  When Backup for Workgroups uses the Open File Add-On to interact with VSS, one of the first steps performed in the backup process is to inform all VSS aware applications that a backup is starting.  These VSS aware applications react to the initialization of the backup process by bringing their databases up-to-date on disk.  For example, these VSS aware applications will play their logs, flush data from memory to disk, and place their databases in a clean state, ready for backup.  Then, these VSS aware applications will start new logs after the backup completes.  As a result, the databases that are backed up during the backup process have been prepared by Exchange and/or SQL to be in a "ready for backup state."

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