How to backup Windows files that are currently in-use (Outlook .pst file)

When you have backup clients that are Windows PCs, you might run into a situation where you want to backup a file that is constantly in-use. For example, I leave MS Outlook open on my computer during the night but still want to perform a backup of my .pst file nightly. When BackupNetClone attempts to copy the file from the backup client, it will get an error message from Windows saying that the file was in-use and cannot be copied:

rsync: read errors mapping “/Documents/Emily’s Outlook E-mail.pst” (in ddocs): Permission denied (13)
ERROR: Documents/Emily’s Outlook E-mail.pst failed verification — update discarded.

In order to backup a file that is in-use, Windows provides a mechanism called shadow copying. You can create a copy of an entire drive by making a shadow drive. Or if you only want to copy a single file, you can do so by using the following files from a Microsoft programmer’s blog:

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