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Server backup catalog not removed when reformatting server backup drive RRS feed

  • Question

  • In an attempt to start my server backup on a clean drive, I stopped the backup, removed the drive, reinstalled the drive as a backup and selected to reformat. This performed correctly until I discovered the old server backup catalog remained. Yes the drive was reformatted and yes the new backups appear to perform correctly.

    What do I do to remove the old non-functioning catalog entries.

    GW

    Monday, October 3, 2011 7:50 AM

Answers

  • Microsoft hasn't provided a GUI interface to allow you to do what you want, I'm afraid, and it's not standard behavior in the underlying tool (Windows Backup from Windows Server 2008 R2). It is possible using the wbadmin command line tool. You can learn more about wbadmin here. Once you've deleted the catalog, you will probably also want to clear out the event logs. The log you will want to clear is found in Event Viewer: Applications and Services Logs/Microsoft/Windows/Backup/Operational.

    Note that this is technically "unsupported" in Windows Home Server. It should work without issues, but you get no guarantees and do this at your own risk.


    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    • Proposed as answer by Ken Warren Monday, October 3, 2011 12:35 PM
    • Marked as answer by scnet Tuesday, October 4, 2011 8:15 PM
    Monday, October 3, 2011 12:35 PM

All replies

  • Microsoft hasn't provided a GUI interface to allow you to do what you want, I'm afraid, and it's not standard behavior in the underlying tool (Windows Backup from Windows Server 2008 R2). It is possible using the wbadmin command line tool. You can learn more about wbadmin here. Once you've deleted the catalog, you will probably also want to clear out the event logs. The log you will want to clear is found in Event Viewer: Applications and Services Logs/Microsoft/Windows/Backup/Operational.

    Note that this is technically "unsupported" in Windows Home Server. It should work without issues, but you get no guarantees and do this at your own risk.


    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    • Proposed as answer by Ken Warren Monday, October 3, 2011 12:35 PM
    • Marked as answer by scnet Tuesday, October 4, 2011 8:15 PM
    Monday, October 3, 2011 12:35 PM
  • Thanks Ken - that nailed it.

    I expect the intend of leaving out a GUI to delete the catalog is to provide a way to swap backup drives while maintaing access to all backups - in my case I simply needed to zero out the list. Perhaps MS should leave things as they are for the default but provide a GUI to delete the catalog when required.

    GW


    GW
    Tuesday, October 4, 2011 8:19 PM
  • In an attempt to start my server backup on a clean drive, I stopped the backup, removed the drive, reinstalled the drive as a backup and selected to reformat. This performed correctly until I discovered the old server backup catalog remained. Yes the drive was reformatted and yes the new backups appear to perform correctly.

    What do I do to remove the old non-functioning catalog entries.

    GW

    What happens if you just stop the Server backups and then restart them and confirm that you want to delete the old backups?

    Phil P.S. If you find my comment helpful or if it answers your question, please mark it as such.
    Tuesday, October 4, 2011 8:25 PM
  • ... Perhaps MS should leave things as they are for the default but provide a GUI to delete the catalog when required.

    Microsoft intends that this be a simple "set it and forget it" tool for the most part, with most of the difficult (for the average consumer or other non-technical user) decisions co-opted to "do the right thing in most cases". Deciding how to deal with old backups is one of those decisions where "the right thing" for most people is to just keep the catalog forever. So no, I don't agree that Microsoft should provide a way in the Windows Home Server GUI (i.e. the Dashboard) to clean the catalog.

    If there's a lot of demand for better backup management, someone will probably build an add-in.


    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Tuesday, October 4, 2011 8:29 PM
  • The drive is wiped clean but the catalog continues to show the list of the previous backups in spite of the fact they no longer exist.

    As I mention above - this might be useful if you have two or more drives you swap in as the server backup allowing you to go back to a backup on an old drive. It would be nice if the catalog also indicated the name of the drive for each catalog entry.

     

    GW


    GW
    Tuesday, October 4, 2011 8:32 PM
  • The drive is wiped clean but the catalog continues to show the list of the previous backups in spite of the fact they no longer exist.


    GW

    But you wiped the drive clean, you did not tell WHS to delete the backups, which should have given a different result.

    Also, the catalog does indicate which drive they are on as you have to give the external drive a name - of course if you reuse the same name you will not be able to see any difference.

     


    Phil P.S. If you find my comment helpful or if it answers your question, please mark it as such.
    • Edited by Phil Harrison Tuesday, October 4, 2011 9:09 PM Further clarification
    Tuesday, October 4, 2011 9:06 PM
  • Phil -

     

    You are correct. The catalog does indeed list "Location" - the named drive - that part is solved and will make it easy to swap drives and maintain a catalog of backups by drive.

     

    I am at a loss on how to delete a backup other than "Customize backup for the Server" - which does not delete the catalog as Ken above confirms and provides an answer.

     

    GW


    GW
    Tuesday, October 4, 2011 9:18 PM
  • Try what I suggested above. When you set up backups on a drive already containing backups WHS asks if you want to keep the old backups. I suspect if you say "No" then they will also be deleted from the Catalog?
    Phil P.S. If you find my comment helpful or if it answers your question, please mark it as such.
    Tuesday, October 4, 2011 10:06 PM
  • Been there - done that - it will not delete the catalog - only the backups themselves - to delete catalog you must call "wbadmin" as outlined by Ken above.

     

    GW


    GW
    Tuesday, October 4, 2011 10:22 PM
  • Strange - I am sure it worked for me but I am not going to try it as I do not have any test machines any more.
    Phil P.S. If you find my comment helpful or if it answers your question, please mark it as such.
    Tuesday, October 4, 2011 10:24 PM