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"Cannot mount the backup" - why? RRS feed

  • Question

  • OK. Things are getting worse.

    Previously I reported on the incredibly unhelpful "unknown network error..." during restore (http://social.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/whssoftware/thread/21b2cb88-4a15-4834-98bb-6f7a2550075a)

    So I went to another client PC and tried to open the backup. It appears that trying to open any backup of any of the ten PCs supposedly secured by this system, I get "Cannot mount the backup". I've tried the re-install of the "Restore Driver" as suggested in other threads - no change.

    Please, can anyone help. (The failed PC belongs to my son who is in the middle of exams currently - while I have further backups of his documents, the intent was to get his PC back and running quickly)
    Thursday, June 4, 2009 4:08 PM

All replies

  • Hmm. Sounds like bad luck. This more or less confirms my response to your other question. It seems there's an issue with the backup database, although there could also be some other issue preventing proper mount / restore.

    My advice would be to start with running chkdsk on all partitions of the server. With some luck this fixes your issue;

    Logon to your server desktop, open command shell ("DOS" window), then run the following commands.

    1. net stop pdl
    2. net stop whsbackup
    3. chkdsk D: /x /r 
    4. for /d %1 in (c:\fs\*) do chkdsk /x /r %1 
    5. chkdsk C: /r

    System may ask you to run chkdsk at next boot (for C partition), Answer Y. Please note chkdsk may take a long time to run, so you may need to be patient. Results for chkdsk on C can be found in windows application eventlog , source winlogon.

    If this doesn't fix it try running Repair from the WHS Console, Settings, Backup Menu.

    Alternatively (or after trying the steps above) you can file a bug report. This will allow the WHS team to look into and possibly fix your issue. Instructions in the thread  Windows 7 and Windows Home Server Bugs and at the bottom of this page. Please note it may take some days before they respond so please be patient.

    Thursday, June 4, 2009 11:48 PM
    Moderator
  • I've already tried the database repair option, that tells me that everything is OK.
    The discs are relatively new and all indicate that they are fine from SMART indicators, so random disc corruption seems unlikely.

    A full CHKDSK like you suggest will take days to run, so I cannot run it until I've transferred (a lot) of data from the server to another machine for access. (I have another backup machine for data, but I'm not risking that live!)

    However, the implication of all of this is that WHS can suffer file/database corruption in it's own backup system and not be able to detect it. This is appalling. How many other people believed that their systems are working and then find, just when they need it, that the system just doesn't work? On this basis WHS is not fit for purpose. How can anyone trust this?
    Friday, June 5, 2009 7:32 AM
  • Please register on Microsoft Connect and issue a bug report as outlined in this thread.
    Did you already try to reboot the server before attempting another backup mount?
    Which operating systems do the machines have?
    Can you find any incidence in the event logs of the client or the server giving more details about the mount failure?

    The only redundancy of the backup database is unfortunately the running client, unless you have enough space to create a backup of the backup database. In that case an Add-In exists.

    Best greetings from Germany
    Olaf
    Friday, June 5, 2009 1:18 PM
    Moderator
  • Bug has been filed at connect.

    The clients are a mix of XP and Vista (x86 and x64).
    Everything has been rebooted...several times :)  Still no joy.

    Out of the 480 (!) log files that result from the Toolkit copy logs option, I can't find a reference to "mount" - any idea which log file it would be in.


    I have an interesting comment in "Enroll Client" that claims "10 clients already joined. This exceeds the license limit of 10 clients only". Is it possible that the restore action to different hard disc counts as a new PC?


    I looked at the idea of backing up the database a few months back, but when I looked at the size of it, it looked a bit unfeasable. What's more, in this case, unless I could roll back an unknown period, it wouldn't guarantee a recovery. I'd have to keep 10's Terabytes around - not really feasable for a home network...
    Friday, June 5, 2009 1:50 PM
  • Thanks for filing the bug!

    The error does not necessarily mean your backup database is corrupted beyond repair. There's a fair chance one or more bad blocks on one or more of the server harddisks are causing the problem, and it could even be a controller or driver problem. 

    If there's really bad block(s) this could be block(s) that has data from the backup database, however could also be an unrelated block, for example a block which contains data from a file which is essential for mounting backups. Even a bad block in an area where the restore/mount process wants to write temporary files could disrupt the process, resulting in the errors you observe.

    I can imagine you're reluctant to run chkdsk, I would be too. It will take a long time and you don't know the outcome in advance. You may want to check the server eventlogs (On your home server do Start, Run, type eventvwr.msc and Hit Enter) If there are disk or controller issues I would expect disk or ntfs errors in the system logs. More specifically EventID 7 provides a strong indication there's really one or more bad blocks.

    The "10 clients issue" could be related to "ghost" clients that weren't properly removed from the registry when a client was removed or the name of a client changed. This issue has been reported before in the forums not too long ago.
    Friday, June 5, 2009 2:29 PM
    Moderator
  • There's something about this that just doesn't feel like a hardware issue. There are no errors in the event log that would indicate any issues with the disc or controller. If it were a bad block, I'd expect WHS to do the normal Windows actions such as retrying (causing long pauses) or backing down the interface speed. Either way, there'd be some indication. From the server side, this all claims to be wokring - except that it only takes seconds and doesn't do the restore (or mount)!

    What *is* disappointing is that the database check is finding nothing wrong. If there were bad data, then something should tell me. This is basic coding and since the introduction of secure coding at Microsoft back in 2001/2002, the algorithms should be validating all data. So somewhere in the code, something is being ignored ...or worse, silently fixed to be in a broken state. And if that is the case, how many other WHS installations are out there reporting everything as fine...until it is needed.

    Friday, June 5, 2009 2:41 PM
  • I fully agree that the database should report any error which results in the problems you are experiencing. Personally I check mounting backups one a week. In fact I think that's something WHS should do automatically on a daily basis.

    For now you may be able to find more details on the error in the most recent backup log on the server. You can find the log file in the folder C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Microsoft\Windows Home Server\logs on your home server. If you find one or more specific errors I may be able to help you fix it.

    Friday, June 5, 2009 3:00 PM
    Moderator
  • I have the same issue. Backup restores get to 81% then I get the cannot mount error.  I have filed a bug on Connect a month or two back but not heard anything back. I don't get any errors at the time that the backup is run, but I can't mount them to restore. This is very frustrating as I don't have confidence in my backups - which was the whole point of my server. 

    I checked the log for one of the backups I couldn't mount and there are no errors shown.  Chkdsk logs show no bad sectors. Hard drive health looks fine. 

    Any other ideas for things I can check? 

    One client is XP and the other Vista. 
    • Proposed as answer by palavering Sunday, July 12, 2009 12:04 PM
    Friday, July 10, 2009 8:57 PM
  • Same issue here :(
    Wednesday, August 5, 2009 4:05 PM
  • Hi all,

    Has there been any progress on the resolution of this issue?

    I have recently purchased an acer WHS and would like to know if I can be confident in the backup feature, as it was one of the main reasons for the purchase!

    Thanks,

    PP

    Monday, August 31, 2009 9:17 PM
  • Hi all,

    Has there been any progress on the resolution of this issue?

    I have recently purchased an acer WHS and would like to know if I can be confident in the backup feature, as it was one of the main reasons for the purchase!

    Thanks,

    PP


    Power Pack 3 (which is now in beta and can be downloaded from Connect) is supposed to have some new fixes for the 81% issue.  Having said that, the best way to make sure your backups are functioning properly is to periodically check them yourself (as brubber mentioned in his post).
    Tuesday, September 1, 2009 2:03 AM
    Moderator
  • I now have PP3 and am getting the same error, but mine is at 95% completion on the test restore.
    Saturday, October 24, 2009 7:40 AM
  • I now have PP3 and am getting the same error, but mine is at 95% completion on the test restore.
    Did it work before you installed PP3 beta?  If so, you should file a bug report on Connect.
    Saturday, October 24, 2009 11:30 PM
    Moderator
  • I have the same problem, can't mount backups on either of my machines that are being backed up.  Fails at 81% on both.

    I've filed a connect bug.

    Here's my setup:  Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit on one machine, the other is a Windows Vista Home Basic 32-bit installation.  My WHS is a HP MediaSmart 485 with 3 Western Digital Green 1TB hard drives in it.  Note that my original 750GB hard drive failed with bad sectors about 3 months after purchase, prompting me to replace it with a WD Green.  I've since added to additional, identical drives.

    The thing is, this is a new problem.  I used to be able to mount and open backups at will.  I'm not sure when they started failing, but I was going to do a rebuild of the Home Basic system, went to open the latest backup, and couldn't.  Fails at 81%.  I've tried opening backups done on one machine on the other machine, and vice versa, no luck.  No matter what I try to open, it fails.  I can see it mount the Z: drive, but it disappears shortly afterwards and sends out the error message.  It also kills the backup monitor process on the WHS itself, which restarts automatically after a minute or so.

    I've tried rebooting everything.  I've tried doing the repair check on the backups (returns nothing bad).  I've upgraded to the PP3 beta.  Changed nothing.

    I really hope this gets fixed soon.  As it stands, my WHS is essentially useless.  Please ask me for any additional info, I'm willing to do whatever to get this working.
    Monday, October 26, 2009 9:50 PM
  • I have the same problem, can't mount backups on either of my machines that are being backed up.  Fails at 81% on both.

    I've filed a connect bug.

    Here's my setup:  Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit on one machine, the other is a Windows Vista Home Basic 32-bit installation.  My WHS is a HP MediaSmart 485 with 3 Western Digital Green 1TB hard drives in it.  Note that my original 750GB hard drive failed with bad sectors about 3 months after purchase, prompting me to replace it with a WD Green.  I've since added to additional, identical drives.

    The thing is, this is a new problem.  I used to be able to mount and open backups at will.  I'm not sure when they started failing, but I was going to do a rebuild of the Home Basic system, went to open the latest backup, and couldn't.  Fails at 81%.  I've tried opening backups done on one machine on the other machine, and vice versa, no luck.  No matter what I try to open, it fails.  I can see it mount the Z: drive, but it disappears shortly afterwards and sends out the error message.  It also kills the backup monitor process on the WHS itself, which restarts automatically after a minute or so.

    I've tried rebooting everything.  I've tried doing the repair check on the backups (returns nothing bad).  I've upgraded to the PP3 beta.  Changed nothing.

    I really hope this gets fixed soon.  As it stands, my WHS is essentially useless.  Please ask me for any additional info, I'm willing to do whatever to get this working.

    You should probably file a bug report on Connect.
    Wednesday, October 28, 2009 1:49 AM
    Moderator
  • I have the same problem, can't mount backups on either of my machines that are being backed up.  Fails at 81% on both.

    I've filed a connect bug.

    Here's my setup:  Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit on one machine, the other is a Windows Vista Home Basic 32-bit installation.  My WHS is a HP MediaSmart 485 with 3 Western Digital Green 1TB hard drives in it.  Note that my original 750GB hard drive failed with bad sectors about 3 months after purchase, prompting me to replace it with a WD Green.  I've since added to additional, identical drives.

    The thing is, this is a new problem.  I used to be able to mount and open backups at will.  I'm not sure when they started failing, but I was going to do a rebuild of the Home Basic system, went to open the latest backup, and couldn't.  Fails at 81%.  I've tried opening backups done on one machine on the other machine, and vice versa, no luck.  No matter what I try to open, it fails.  I can see it mount the Z: drive, but it disappears shortly afterwards and sends out the error message.  It also kills the backup monitor process on the WHS itself, which restarts automatically after a minute or so.

    I've tried rebooting everything.  I've tried doing the repair check on the backups (returns nothing bad).  I've upgraded to the PP3 beta.  Changed nothing.

    I really hope this gets fixed soon.  As it stands, my WHS is essentially useless.  Please ask me for any additional info, I'm willing to do whatever to get this working.

    I have the same problem exactly.  I could mount backups a week or so ago but now it stops at 81%.  Client is running W7 x64 RTM and WHS is running PP3.  I've tried rebooting everyting, verifying server updates are current, etc.  Pretty much everything short of running repair which, apparently, doesn't help this particular issue.

    I read somewhere this possibly being related to a recent MS update but now I can't find the reference.

    For now, I'll keep reading and prepare a bug report.

    EDIT: I found that I could mount backups on other clients (W7 x86 RTM, W7 x64 RTM) so I suspected it was my W7 OS, not WHS per se.  I tried uninstalling everything I'd installed over the past couple weeks to no avail.  I ran sfc /scannow which found (and ostensibly corrected) errors.  Still couldn't mount backups.

    Then I ran System Restore to my earliest Restore Point (about 2 weeks ago).  I was then able to mount backups!  So, although I must have had a problem with the one particular client's OS, I think it still should be considered a WHS bug because my OS ran fine otherwise.  I did prepare and submit a bug report prior to restoring my system.

    Since this issue was really worrying me with respect to whether the backups could be used for a bare metal restore I made an Acronis system backup (in case something went wrong) and then did a bare metal restore of the OS to one of my earlier backups (that I couldn't mount).  That worked fine.  So, that's sorta good news.

    FWIW, for my restore I used UltraISO to add a folder to the System Restore Disk with the necessary x86 ethernet drivers so I could find the server (OS is x64 and "Windows Home Server Drivers for Restore" won't work with the x86 recovery environment).  Then I used UltraISO to create a bootable USB stick with the Restore Disk files and the x86 ethernet drivers.  That saved the extra step of searching a separate USB stick for the network drivers.  Worked like a dream; the RE loaded much faster than reading from a CD.
    • Edited by zrtom Friday, November 6, 2009 4:22 PM
    Tuesday, November 3, 2009 2:24 AM
  • OK thought it was just me, this problem is really frustrating.

    I have tried everything I can find in the forums. Installed Power Pack 3 Beta NO SUCCESS. I feel the same way WHS is useless might as well have bought a cheap External Backup Hard Drive.

    Is anybody out there?????????????

    Friday, November 6, 2009 1:45 PM
  • Tuesday, November 10, 2009 8:56 PM

  • However, the implication of all of this is that WHS can suffer file/database corruption in it's own backup system and not be able to detect it. This is appalling. How many other people believed that their systems are working and then find, just when they need it, that the system just doesn't work? On this basis WHS is not fit for purpose. How can anyone trust this?
    I am finding this very same thing, right after one of my hard drives failed and I need to restore to a new hard drive. Just when I need my WHS the most, it fails me. 'Cannot mount the backup' at 6% is what I'm getting. I have also tried the Backup repair option, which is probably what corrupted my files in the first place. I cannot begin to tell you how frustrated I am at this! I have been working for over a week trying to fix this problem. Right now, I am in the process of using the commands that brubber gives to try and gain the restore capability back. At the very least, I want access to my files. Crossing my fingers! After that, I am buying a NAS storage device, Acronis True Image, and dismantling my server. The thought of running a device non-stop that uses this much electricity and doesn't serve it's intended purpose is appalling, as Barry said.
    • Edited by The Hackman Wednesday, April 27, 2011 8:44 PM grammatical corrections
    Wednesday, April 27, 2011 8:28 PM
  • Now he tells us !
    Friday, September 18, 2020 9:02 PM