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Unable to connect PC to Windows Home Server because 8 PC's (NOT 10) already connected

    Question

  • Attempting to connect a PC to the home server (full copy of WHS with Power Pack 2). The server is located OK (using http://server:55000), The connector software is successfully downloaded from the server and installed on the PC. Immediately following the subsequent Logon (to the home server) screen, I get the message "This computer cannot be added to the Windows Home Server".
    It goes on to say "A maximum of 10 computers have already been added. Use the Windows Home Server Console to remove a computer that is no longer being used and then try again." 
    I do not have 10 computers connected to the server. I do not have 10 computers.
    There are 6 PC's currently connected to the server, although in the backup tab this shows as 8 since 2 of the connected PC's have multiple OS's (XP and Windows 7) and each is backed up as a separate machine. I also see the server itself, since this is also backed-up. (Does the server contribute to the 10 PCs limit? Surely not!)
    But even including the server itself, that only makes 9 computers.
    The PC I am trying to connect has previously been successfully connected to the server. I removed it due to the same 10 PC problem when I added the last additional PC. I didn't have time to search for the solution at that point in time.
    Is there a way to get Windows Home Server to only count the connected computers (i.e. refresh the counting). Clearly it has lost count somewhere along the line.
    Or is there a way to see what the Windows Home Server thinks is connected, other than the backup tab (which clearly isn't a reliable mechanism)?

    I am unable to get the WHS Toolkit Connector Troubleshooter to run on this PC either. Downloaded from server, it complains that it is the wrong version for the version of the server and advises that I download it from the server!
    • Edited by DaveD UK Saturday, May 02, 2009 9:19 AM
    Saturday, May 02, 2009 8:18 AM

Answers

  • Could be there's a "ghost" client which is not showing up in the console. You may wish to check the key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows Home Server\Transport\Clients in your home server registry. Logon to your homeserver desktop (remote desktop), then Start, Run, Type regedit and Hit Enter. If there's a "ghost" client entry you can delete it. If you're not sure you are deleting the right key export the key (right click) before deleting it. Please note that if you make any errors there you risk messing up your server

    Aternatively you can file a bug on the windows home server connect feedback site, instructions at the bottom of this page
    • Marked as answer by DaveD UK Saturday, May 02, 2009 4:23 PM
    Saturday, May 02, 2009 1:43 PM

All replies

  • Could be there's a "ghost" client which is not showing up in the console. You may wish to check the key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows Home Server\Transport\Clients in your home server registry. Logon to your homeserver desktop (remote desktop), then Start, Run, Type regedit and Hit Enter. If there's a "ghost" client entry you can delete it. If you're not sure you are deleting the right key export the key (right click) before deleting it. Please note that if you make any errors there you risk messing up your server

    Aternatively you can file a bug on the windows home server connect feedback site, instructions at the bottom of this page
    • Marked as answer by DaveD UK Saturday, May 02, 2009 4:23 PM
    Saturday, May 02, 2009 1:43 PM
  • You may well be right. The registry shows 10 keys, 8 of which are identifiable as clients but the first and the last keys are not.
    All keys have the (default) with value '(value not set)'.
    The recognisable keys then have approximately 15 more values (e.g. IP Address / Machine Name etc.) whereas the First/Last keys have just 2 more.

    First key;
      value   Joined                                      with value 'Yes'
      calue   Transport.LastDisconnected   with value binary value (presumably a date)

    Last key;
     value    Transport.LastConnected        with value binary value (presumably a date)
     value    Transport.LastDisconnected   with value binary value (presumably a date)

    Brubber, would you recommend deleting either/both of these? I am uncertain myself since I rarely play in the regisrtry.

    The original installation did not work (not an unusual occurrence at the time), which may account for the first key. I have also experienced a server failure at one point (motherboard failure), that may account for the other. It may well be that the keys are a hangover from those failures rather than a bug in the OS.  
    Saturday, May 02, 2009 3:26 PM
  • Decided to try anyway, deleted just the last key and all appears well. 9th Computer all connected OK.

    When I'm feeling brave enough and I need to I'll also delete the first key.

    Thanks for your help, Brubber.

    • Marked as answer by DaveD UK Saturday, May 02, 2009 4:13 PM
    • Unmarked as answer by DaveD UK Saturday, May 02, 2009 4:24 PM
    Saturday, May 02, 2009 4:13 PM
  • If you have, at some point, done a server reinstallation, or in some other way have managed to "abandon" a PC which was no longer connected but had been backed up, it's possible that your "ghosts" are from that. When Power Pack 2 was released, it made some minor changes to the way the backup database is handled that could, I believe, have resurrected those PCs.
    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Sunday, May 03, 2009 2:03 PM
  • Decided to try anyway, deleted just the last key and all appears well. 9th Computer all connected OK.

    When I'm feeling brave enough and I need to I'll also delete the first key.

    Thanks for your help, Brubber.


    If you export the key first (save as .reg file to homeserver desktop) you can safely delete it. If it was the wrong key to delete you can simply double click the safed .reg file to merge the key with the registry.
    Monday, May 04, 2009 11:50 AM
  • Thanks for this very clear solution - I was having the same issue and you guys have fixed it for me. Just to add some more information from how I got to the situation with "ghost" clients; I had clean installed one of my PC's to windows 7 x64. Install all went well until I tried to install the 64bit version of the connector software, it would not install correctly. The install went all the way to connecting to the server then there was an issue and it uninstalled. I tried numerous ways to try to install until I got to the statement that I had reached the 10 computer max. I have 4 computers so I knew this was from erroneous data from the install that really should have also been removed from the WHS registry on uninstall. Never figured out the reason for the problem with the install - but that's another topic! Thank you. Robin.
    Friday, February 18, 2011 7:13 AM