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Server date skew gave the apperance of lost backups. Was:Messy server install with PP1 lost last 3 months backups RRS feed

  • Question

  • High-level view: My home-built server running PP1 is now complaining there have been no backups of any of my machines in 3 months; Console View Backups shows no backups of any computer recorded since end of December.

    The difficulty: This is a difficult one to troubleshoot because by WHS is:

    • A selfbuild and not a nice OEM setup
    • I was running a PP1 build from about 3 months ago as I didn't connect to the internet for a WU in that time.
    • I did a WU this weekend and am not aware of when the vanished backups issue first appeared (I don't know if it was before or after the update).
    • I forgot to disable my 'Testing' WHS HDD so I booted into my production WHS with the test drive attached - I see in the logs that qsm has noticed the new hdd. It's still a non-storage drive however.
    • I only noticed this AFTER the log cleanup which happened yesterday

    In the logs after a brief look, I don't see anything which indicates when the last backup took place.

    I'll get around to filing a bug on Connect but for now does anyone have any suggestions on what to try to help diagnose this problem. I'm holding off on doing any backups for a while anyway.

    I thought I might be able to get back the logs directory to VSS but there don't appear to be previous versions on c:?

    Thanks,

    • Edited by Michael Walsh Saturday, March 21, 2009 12:18 AM Question is not a problem anymore. Editing the title of the thread.
    Tuesday, March 17, 2009 12:07 AM

Answers

  • An update on this issue:

    I did some digging in the event logs and was completely confused as to why events showed a successful shutdown in January and then a successful boot in March - how were 3 months worth of events cleanly removed from the system? I thought "Could it be an old set of logs that got appended to?" - I consulted WindowsUpdate.log and noticed the gap too.

    Then it hit me... the day of the time change was the day I did a new install on my test hdd of a different WHS install... and I remember I had to fix the clock during setup!

    I was juggling 2 WHS installs (for various reasons - one for my production machines, one for other stuff) and both had clock skew and I never noticed it until I upgraded my test build...

    I just have to say I was so relieved to know that I didn't actually lose 3 months worth of backups at all - I actually started doubting myself wondering if it was really 3 months since I brought my laptop over to backup (turns out it was 2 weeks...).

    It's the simple problems and solutions. I guess this is just one of those things that MVPs should be aware of because WHS doesn't alert to server<->client clock skews.

    (My server doesn't have direct internet access so NTP updates don't happen that often)

    I hope if someone else ever finds that WHS complains about it being a long time since backups - they should simply check the server date/time.

    Michael
    • Marked as answer by Michael Walsh Saturday, March 21, 2009 12:15 AM
    Saturday, March 21, 2009 12:15 AM

All replies

  • If want to restore from shadow copies you first need to share the folder then (probably best from a client) right click the folder and check if there's any previous version available.

    Please note there's some issues with VSS on WHS: How to regain access to previous version of files in WHS shares. Also please read the linked topics in the first few lines.
    Tuesday, March 17, 2009 12:15 AM
    Moderator
  • brubber said:

    If want to restore from shadow copies you first need to share the folder then (probably best from a client) right click the folder and check if there's any previous version available.

    Please note there's some issues with VSS on WHS: How to regain access to previous version of files in WHS shares. Also please read the linked topics in the first few lines.



    Hi Brubber,
    Yeah, Those are the instructions I had tried - I shared the folder, but there's no Previous Versions tab for me from either the directory itself, or the \\server\logs share - I think those logs are probably gone.
    Tuesday, March 17, 2009 12:21 AM
  •  Yes, WHS default install only creates shadows for data partitions. Didn't think about that.
    Tuesday, March 17, 2009 12:34 AM
    Moderator
  • An update on this issue:

    I did some digging in the event logs and was completely confused as to why events showed a successful shutdown in January and then a successful boot in March - how were 3 months worth of events cleanly removed from the system? I thought "Could it be an old set of logs that got appended to?" - I consulted WindowsUpdate.log and noticed the gap too.

    Then it hit me... the day of the time change was the day I did a new install on my test hdd of a different WHS install... and I remember I had to fix the clock during setup!

    I was juggling 2 WHS installs (for various reasons - one for my production machines, one for other stuff) and both had clock skew and I never noticed it until I upgraded my test build...

    I just have to say I was so relieved to know that I didn't actually lose 3 months worth of backups at all - I actually started doubting myself wondering if it was really 3 months since I brought my laptop over to backup (turns out it was 2 weeks...).

    It's the simple problems and solutions. I guess this is just one of those things that MVPs should be aware of because WHS doesn't alert to server<->client clock skews.

    (My server doesn't have direct internet access so NTP updates don't happen that often)

    I hope if someone else ever finds that WHS complains about it being a long time since backups - they should simply check the server date/time.

    Michael
    • Marked as answer by Michael Walsh Saturday, March 21, 2009 12:15 AM
    Saturday, March 21, 2009 12:15 AM
  • Actually I think WHS should report time discrepancy with one or more clients, or automatically connect to time server. Perhaps you can file a suggestion on Windows Home Server Connect Feedback site, instructions at the bottom of this page.

    I have my servers synchronizing with time.windows.com, however don't recall if I set this manually or if this was set during install. 

    THANKS for posting solution!
    Saturday, March 21, 2009 6:16 AM
    Moderator