Backup locked files on Windows 10: Volume Shadow Copy Update

Demo of ShadowTask

The Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS) can be used to mount a copy of a drive in a crash consistent state (like you just unplugged your computer) as a different drive letter. My shadow task command line tool makes it easy to do this. Here's an example:

ShadowTask64 C V test.bat

This creates a shadow copy of the C: drive, mounts it as V: and then runs test.bat. When test.bat completes the shadow V: drive is removed.

What can you do with this?

The simple case is grabbing a copy of a locked file. In this case test.bat could just run pause and then grab the file you need from V:.

It's also a great way to run a backup. In this case the batch file can run XCOPY (to a network share or portable drive) and you'll get all your files including anything locked like running executables or Outlook PST files.

Grab the latest from GitHub: abfo/shadow/releases. You'll find a ZIP file and source code if you want to use/extend this. There are 32 and 64-bit binaries - you need to use the right one for your computer and you also need to run the tool with administrative privileges. This only works with NTFS drives.


(Related: Do useful things with the volume shadow copy service (VSS); WiX Tricks for Screen Savers; Capture DropCam (Nest Cam) frames to Google Drive)

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Vernal (Spring) Equinox 2020


Firmware update warning

"Please be careful not to update while in riding on vehicles, such as trains, or in environments where 2.4 GHz band radio waves such as Wi-Fi, microwave ovens, cordless phones and many other radio waves are intermingled."

It looks like I need to travel to the United States National Radio Quiet Zone in West Virginia to update the firmware in my headphones, and I don't think that's on the cards for several months so I hope the update isn't important.

Nice touch that they gave an example of a vehicle though, that really helps.

Maybe use a checksum Sony?

(Related: Going Chrome; Android 11 Gripes; Securing the Internet of Things)

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Kirby Cove

Trail to Kirby Cove in the Marin Headlands

Kirby Cove Beach in the Marin Headlands

San Francisco through the Golden Gate Bridge from Kirby Cove

Salesforce Tower framed by the Golden Gate Bridge

A short two mile out and back from the Battery Spencer parking area on Conzelman Road to Kirby Cove.

The Marin Headlands have had a bit of a traffic management change recently so you need to go through the tunnel to get in and Conzelman Road is now one way back to highway 101. The advantage is that there is way more parking then there used to be. I think I've only ever managed to park near Battery Spencer once in 20 years.

The walk is my least favorite profile, downhill to start and uphill on the way back and also not a loop. It's worth it though because it's short and Kirby Cove beach is quiet and has wonderful views of San Francisco through the Golden Gate Bridge. You can also visit Battery Wagner and Battery Kirby on the way back up.

Hike starts at: 37.829459, -122.48401. View in Google Earth.

(Related: Lands End; Golden Gate Park - Stow Lake, Strawberry Hill and Museum Concourse; Coastal and Julian loop plus Black Sands Beach)

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(Hike Map)

News: We May Be Living in a Simulation, but the Truth Still Matters


Updated on Saturday, February 19, 2022

Frame from Coastal Timelapse

An abstract timelapse of the California coast.

The sequences were shot over about six hours using a Sony RX100V, f5.6, 1 second exposure, ND3 filter and ISO 80 to around 250 depending on the light. Most of the frames are from the Marin headlands, one sequence is from Sutro Baths in San Francisco.

Post production used Lightroom and LRTimelapse. I skipped LRTimelapse rendering and wrote a custom application to mirror the frames (for this video mirroring is left/right top/bottom and for one sequence both). I then used ffmpeg to render each mirrored sequence and Premiere Elements to edit them together. Finally I added music with Filmstro.

If anyone is interested in the mirroring application post a comment below and I'll tidy it up a bit and release it.

This timelapse is absolutely inspired by the main title sequence for Bosch on Amazon Video.

(Related: Style Transfer for Time Lapse Photography; Slow Camera for Android; West Portal Timelapse of Timelapses)

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(More Timelapses)

More Bangalore

Updated on Saturday, February 12, 2022

Tipu Sultan's Palace, Bangalore

Timelapse of Bangalore (Bengaluru) in Karnataka, India:

The segments in order are:


(Related: Bangalore Timelapse; Bangalore Sunsets; #Resist)

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(More Timelapses)

Book reviews for February 2020

The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern

The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern



Hidden Order (Scot Harvath #13) by Brad Thor

Hidden Order (Scot Harvath #13) by Brad Thor



Black List (Scot Harvath #12) by Brad Thor

Black List (Scot Harvath #12) by Brad Thor



(Related: #Resist; Using the Todoist API to set a due date on the Alexa integration to-do list (with Apps Script); Brexit Prize)

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Updated on Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Book reviews for January 2020

Updated on Sunday, February 9, 2020
A Small Town: A Novel of Crime by Thomas Perry

A Small Town: A Novel of Crime by Thomas Perry



Full Black (Scot Harvath, #10) by Brad Thor

Full Black (Scot Harvath, #10) by Brad Thor



(Related: Nonfiction; #Resist; Go-arounds: LEGO and Legislative Service)

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I Thought He Came With You is Robert Ellison's blog.