How To Create Shadow Copy Backups of FileMaker Server Databases with the Neverfail Heartbeat Data Rollback Module



This Knowledgebase article describes how to install and use the FileMaker Server Create Shadow Utility to ensure consistent shadow copies of FileMaker Server databases are made.

There is a sister Knowledgebase article Knowledgebase article #1034 -  'Versions of the FileMaker Server Create Shadow Utility', that lists all the versions of this utility together with the versions of other software that each version of the utility operates with.

More Information

FileMaker Server requires all databases to be in a consistent state (paused or stopped state) before a backup can be taken using the FileMaker backup tool. During the backup period, the database is inaccessible to users; on large production databases, this can result in lengthy down time.

Lengthy backups can be avoided with Neverfail Heartbeat's Data Rollback Module (DRM) on Windows 2003. Neverfail's Data Rollback Module (DRM) is capable of making instantaneous snapshots of data using the Volume Shadow Service (VSS). FileMaker Server is not a VSS aware application. Neverfail has developed a utility to coordinate with FileMaker Server to prepare the databases for the Data Rollback Module (DRM) to create the shadow copy.

In the event an Administrator needs to restore to a previous point in time, or recover from data corruption, a roll back can be performed to the desired shadow copy using the Neverfail Heartbeat Management Client.

The utility checks if the server is active, and aborts if it is passive. Provided the configuration checks succeed, FileMaker Server databases will be paused to prepare them for the snapshot. Neverfail Heartbeat Data Rollback Module (DRM) will then perform a ‘create shadow’ of the protected data set. The FileMaker Server FMSAdmin resume command is then issued to make the databases accessible to users.

The utility will log to R2\Logs\FileMakerAM_DRM.log in the Neverfail Heartbeat install directory e.g. C:\Neverfail\R2\logs\FileMakerAM_DRM.log. If you experience problems, please submit the log to Neverfail Support.


Please refer to Knowledgebase article #824 - 'How to Setup Data Rollback' for instructions on how to recover a snapshot and roll your data back to a previous state using the Neverfail Heartbeat Management Client.


  • Windows 2003
  • FileMaker Server
  • Neverfail Heartbeat
  • License for the Data Rollback Module
  • Neverfail Heartbeat for FileMaker Server
  • Active Server

Installation and Use

  1. Download the zip file ''.
  2. Extract the file 'FileMakerServerCreateShadow.vbs' into R2\bin within the Neverfail Heartbeat install directory.
  3. Run the script from the command line.

    c$> cscript FileMakerServerCreateShadow.vbs
  4. If you use FileMaker Server authentication you will need to specify the user name and password or runas a user of the FMSAdmin group.

    c$> cscript FileMakerServerCreateShadow.vbs -u username -p password
  5. Alternatively create a scheduled task using the Windows Task Scheduler.

Applies To

All Versions

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