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Multitude of WHS Problems ... Possibly Fixed By Shutting Down Zone Alarm RRS feed

  • General discussion

  • I hope I'm not wasting everyone's time with issues/solutions that may already be known, but I wanted to share my recent WHS experiences with the forum.  All questions/comments are welcome.  Many thanks to all concerned.

    My systems (described below) had been plagued by several problems in recent months:
    1. Inability to restore large files.
    2. Restores failing with the "Cannot mount the backup" error
    3. Intermittent failed backups

    I was about to report these problems again, hoping to learn if any fixes have been found, when a hunch made me wonder about my ZoneAlarm.

    Earlier today I had two failed backup attempts .  The client errors shown in the logs appear below.  For some reason, the backups would seem to start okay, but they'd fail as WHS was trying to backup my 2nd hard disk (F:).  So, as I said, on a hunch, I decided to shutdown ZoneAlarm; I did not reboot after shutting down ZoneAlarm.

    Results/Observations :
    1. After two failed backups, Zone Alarm was shutdown, and the next backup attempt finally succeeded.
    2. A test restore of a large file (800 MBytes) from the latest backup of F: succeeded.
    3. A test restore of a large file (400 MBytes) from an older backup of F: succeeded.  Previously, attempts to access this same backup had repeatedly failed at the 81% point with the "Cannot mount the backup" error.
    4. The speed of these two restore tests was just 1.3 MBytes/sec to a client with a 10/100 network interface.  I have no idea whether that is poor or optimal throughput, though.
    5. During the test restores, a high rate of Deferred Procedure Calls (approx 50%) was observed.  I've observed this before, but have no idea whether this is normal or indicative of a problem.
    6. And for some reason, whenever I open a backup, I usually receive two Explorer windows; the 2nd Explorer Window appears after a short delay.  If I try working with the first Explorer window, Z: will disappear, but it reappears after the second Explorer window opens.

    Until now, I had no clue that Zone Alarm might be the problem.  I hesitate to claim total success, but other than shutting down ZoneAlarm, I made no other changes, nor did I reboot anything, neither the server, nor the client.

    Client Description : Windows Vista Home Premium, with SP2, fully patched

    WHS Software Versions
    Using the HP MediaSmart Server
    Windows Home Server Console: 6.0.2030.2
    Windows Home Server Backup & Restore: 6.0.2030.0
    Windows Home Server Drive Extender: 6.0.2030.0
    Windows Home Server Remote Access: 6.0.2030.0
    Windows Home Server Storage Manager: 6.0.2030.13
    (With PowerPack 2)

    Log File Error Messages

    - System
      - Provider
       [ Name]  HomeServer
      - EventID 770
       [ Qualifiers]  53247
       Level 2
       Task 3
       Keywords 0x80000000000000
      - TimeCreated
       [ SystemTime]  2009-10-10T15:52:28.000Z
       EventRecordID 69349
       Channel Application
       Computer Tony-PC
       Security

    - EventData
       19
       HPSERVER
       Microsoft.HomeServer.Backup.Protocol.ProtocolException: Client / Server connection lost at Microsoft.HomeServer.Backup.Protocol.ReconnectableStream.TryReconnect(Int32 localGeneration) at Microsoft.HomeServer.Backup.Protocol.ReconnectableStream.ReadWithReconnect() at Microsoft.HomeServer.Backup.Protocol.ReconnectableStream.Read(Byte[] buffer, Int32 offset, Int32 count) at Microsoft.HomeServer.Common.Client.BinaryReaderEx.ReadByteArray(Int32 length) at Microsoft.HomeServer.Backup.Protocol.BackupProtocol.RecvFileRecordHash() at Microsoft.HomeServer.Backup.BackupOp.BackupOperation.DoFileRecordPass() at Microsoft.HomeServer.Backup.BackupOp.BackupOperation.RunWithoutCatch() at Microsoft.HomeServer.Backup.BackupOp.BackupOperation.Run() at Microsoft.HomeServer.Backup.BackupOp.BackupSetOperation.RunWithoutCatch() at Microsoft.HomeServer.Backup.BackupOp.BackupSetOperation.Run()


    - System
      - Provider
       [ Name]  HomeServer
      - EventID 773
       [ Qualifiers]  53247
       Level 2
       Task 3
       Keywords 0x80000000000000
      - TimeCreated
       [ SystemTime]  2009-10-10T15:52:15.000Z
       EventRecordID 69348
       Channel Application
       Computer Tony-PC
       Security

    - EventData
       19
       F:
       HPSERVER
       Microsoft.HomeServer.Backup.Protocol.ProtocolException: Client / Server connection lost at Microsoft.HomeServer.Backup.Protocol.ReconnectableStream.TryReconnect(Int32 localGeneration) at Microsoft.HomeServer.Backup.Protocol.ReconnectableStream.ReadWithReconnect() at Microsoft.HomeServer.Backup.Protocol.ReconnectableStream.Read(Byte[] buffer, Int32 offset, Int32 count) at Microsoft.HomeServer.Common.Client.BinaryReaderEx.ReadByteArray(Int32 length) at Microsoft.HomeServer.Backup.Protocol.BackupProtocol.RecvFileRecordHash() at Microsoft.HomeServer.Backup.BackupOp.BackupOperation.DoFileRecordPass() at Microsoft.HomeServer.Backup.BackupOp.BackupOperation.RunWithoutCatch() at Microsoft.HomeServer.Backup.BackupOp.BackupOperation.Run()
    • Edited by Tony Rony Saturday, October 10, 2009 6:50 PM Further clarification
    Saturday, October 10, 2009 6:13 PM

All replies

  • I too have problems with ZA Pro. I only backup one of my machines, which is running Vista Ultimate 64-bit. With ZA running, I can restore the C:\ drive, but not the D:\ drive. When I shut down ZA, I can restore both drives. I have went through all of the program entries in ZA and have given everything WHS related full permissions. I cannot find anything in ZA's logs that show it is blocking any whs activity, but something is going on.

    I have posted here and on other forums and so far, you are the only one I have found to have similar problems. I don't know if we have unique situations or nobody else cares.
    Sunday, October 11, 2009 5:56 PM
  • If you have a problem with Zone Alarm, or some other piece of software, unfortunately you will probably not get the best support for that issue here. Your best bet is (always) to start with the vendor of the software you're having trouble with.
    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Sunday, October 11, 2009 8:02 PM
    Moderator
  • I don't know if WHS is the offender or ZoneZlarm. One program causes an issue with the other. Who is at fault? I don't know.

    I am having trouble opening a backup in WHS, so I posted the question in the forum of the program that is giving me the problem.

    I am trying to find out how to fix the issue, not afixing blame.
    Monday, October 12, 2009 1:24 AM
  • Well, I'm grateful to both of you — Ken and Randavis — for your replies.  I was getting so annoyed and disappointed in the various WHS errors/problems I was having, frankly, I'm very grateful simply for finding where the conflict seems to be.  Since I'm behind a router (of course), I don't mind having to shutdown Zone Alarm while working with WHS.

    Oh, it just occurred to me that most WHS forum readers might think I'm crazy for expressing my willingness to tolerate this problem I suspect between WHS and Zone Alarm; I don't blame them.  However, since I use WHS only for backups (I actually shutdown the server when I'm not using it), I guess I can live with this issue until the problem is solved, whether the problem be with WHS or ZA.

    Good luck, Randavis.  I hope these problems we've been having are gone forever.

    Thanks again, folks.

    Tony M.

    Monday, October 12, 2009 6:36 AM
  • I spent the better part of the last four hours working with settings in Zone Alarm Pro. At first, I wanted to backup my configuration and reset to the default settings and rebuild my configuration, thinking that my original settings may be corrupt. ZA would not backup my settings. I contacted ZA support and they had me reset ZA Pro. I rebuilt my settings as best as I could remember. I tried to open one of my WHS backups and I got the cannot mount backup error as usual.

    I contacted ZA support again and this time they had me download and run cpes_clean.exe which is their clean up uninstaller. I reinstalled ZA Pro and about half way through the installation, I got an error message that claimed I did not have sufficient rights to install. I logged off my user account and on to the Administrator account and the install finished. The program opened and I set about setting up my special open ports and setting permissions for the detected programs. I opened the preferences tab and clicked the backup button and it open a box asking where to save it. At that time, I had not set all of my program permissions, so I canceled out and proceeded to set my permissions.

    I logged back in to my user account and opened the WHS console. I went to the backups to see if they would open and I'll be damned, IT WORKED! At that point, I thought I had better get that configuration of ZAPro backed up. I opened the program gui and when I clicked on the backup button, nothing happened. WTF! I had just opened it a while ago. DUH! It opened while I was running in the administrator account. So, maybe, you have to set up ZA while in the admin account and then go back to your regular user account to get things working correctly.

    I have two hard drives in my main machine which WHS backs up. Previously, I could open the C: backup most of the time, but the D: backup refused to open unless I shut down ZA. I have just now opened both the C: and D: backups while ZA is running. I hope it is fixed. I'm keeping my fingers crossed. <wink>

    I don't know how much time you have invested in setting up ZA, but you might try to download their uninstall clean up utility and then run it from your administrator account and then reinstall and set up ZAPro while still in the Administrator account. Then change back to your regular user account and see if that works for you.

    Good Luck, you'll need it.

    randavis
    Tuesday, October 13, 2009 1:50 AM
  • RanDavis ... Thanks for investing so much time in determining how to deal with this.  In my case, though, since networking is not one of my strong points, I think I'll leave my Zone Alarm alone and I guess I'll just shut it down each time I need to use WHS.  Remember that I'm one of the WHS users who doesn't even run his WHS system all the time.  I suppose there aren't many people who use WHS that way, but because I use it only for backups, I see no point in leaving the server running all the time.

    I hope there won't be any more WHS surprises.  I was on the brink of abandoning it, but hopefully my confidence in WHS will begin to grow again.

    Thanks again ... I'm sure the entire community appreciates the research you've conducted.

    Tony M.

    Tuesday, October 13, 2009 3:59 AM