WHS 2011 doesn't back up anything RRS feed

  • Question

  • It would appear I have made a grevious error in upgrading from WHS 2008 to WHS 2008.  I thought that since all our home PCs were running Windows 7 that WHS 2011 would be a marked improvement over 2008.  WHS has faithfully backed up a half dozen desktops and laptops for three years.  Now not one with WHS 2011.  They all get to somewhere between 1 and 10% then fail on there initial backup.  Various errors from server interupted, server disconnected, to client disconnected, etc.  I have sat at the console watching the server and a desktop, connected through a one gig switch creep alone at less than 1% backing up per minute.  It is only a 70 gig drive for goodness sakes!

    I don't even know where to start debugging.  WHS 2008 worked so flawlessly.  Maybe just reload the old WHS and be satisfied.


    Sunday, December 30, 2012 1:54 AM

All replies

  • Sorry to hear you are having troubles.

    It works for me, and for virtually everyone else here--(though of course this forum is for the times when something doesn't work).

    It sounds like there is something amiss with your server or network that is causing the connection failures.  It's impossible really to suggest what to do with the information you have provided.  I'd consider the usual suspects: 3rd party firewalls, 3rd party anti-virus, a bad network switch or router, etc.

    Sunday, December 30, 2012 2:34 AM
  • Gary,

    What information would be helpful?  Let's keep in mind that WHS 2008 worked flawlessly.  A bad switch or router would seem unlikely with that in mind.  I run Microsoft Security Essentials and Microsoft firewall on all our machines.  The only third party software is Ad-Aware which I believe only influences the goings on in IE9.  All machines are rigorously updated.

    I would be happy to provide any information requested, run any tests, etc. so that I could become one of the happy WHS 2011 users.


    Sunday, December 30, 2012 1:16 PM
  • Froggie, I was simply trying to convey that WHS 2011 works under "normal" circumstances.  I have a mix of nine Win7 and Win8 machines backing up successfully every night; have had for a long time.

    So I am fairly sure there is something wrong with your hardware and/or software configuration that is causing the issues.  Unfortunately, I could not say what, but from your description it sounds like *all* of your clients are failing to back up, and not just one, so this suggests the problem could be with your server or your network.

    I think you'll need to do the usual troubleshooting; check the server event logs for clues, etc.  For example, is the disk on which your client backup share is located known to be healthy?  If you are having I/O errors to that disk, that could inhibit backups from completing successfully.  Did you build your new server yourself?  I've had issues with flaky cables in my own builds that caused intermittent problems.  Perhaps your backup database has become corrupt somehow; you could try repairing your client computer backups using the backup repair tool (in the Dashboard in the Computers and Backups tab, click on 'Additional client computer backup tasks').

    It's hard to be more specific unless you are willing to do some more troubleshooting and investigating on your end and post your findings here.

    Hope you can get it sorted...

    Sunday, December 30, 2012 4:50 PM
  • Hi,

    On the Dashboard, click the Alerts to see the backup database error notification. The notification includes a Repair button, which starts the Backup Database Repair Wizard. The wizard may take several hours to finish.

    The wizard examines your backup database and attempts to repair the database if errors are detected. In some cases, the wizard cannot repair the entire backup database. Before you start the wizard, verify that all the external hard drives that you use on your server are connected to the server, turned on, and functioning properly. The backup database error may be fixed automatically by reconnecting a missing hard drive.

    For more troubleshooting information, please also refer to the following Microsoft TechNet article:

    Troubleshooting Computer Backup and Restore Errors



    Arthur Li

    TechNet Community Support

    Monday, December 31, 2012 6:05 AM
  • Arthur,

    Thanks for the suggestions.  The backup repair tool terminates shortly after it starts.

    "Backup repair did not succeed.

    An unknown error prevented the backup repair process from starting.  Make sure that all services

    are running and then try again."

    As I have not had a successful backup yet, is it possible to delete the entire backup database and start from scratch?


    I agree there is a system wide probelm.  I have run chkdsk on the drives.  I have changed the SATA cables.  As I said, I am very willing to troubleshoot the system.  I am just not sure where to proceed to next.  WHS 2003 seemed much less complicated. 


    Monday, December 31, 2012 2:55 PM
  • Your hard disks should be checked first. There are some (freeware) programs that will read the S.M.A.R.T. attributes of your drives and report if they are OK.


    Monday, December 31, 2012 3:20 PM
  •  I have run chkdsk on the drives.
    Did you fun "chkdsk /R" which will try to recover bad sectors?

    Phil P.S. If you find my comment helpful or if it answers your question, please mark it as such.

    Monday, December 31, 2012 3:44 PM
  • Luc,

    My BIOS reports on the SMART status of the drives.  I am running two Samsung 2TB 5400rpm drives on the server.  Both were low level formatted before installation.  I am running a chkdsk /R on both to be sure nothing has gone south since they were formatted.


    I have run a chkdsk /R on all the client drives.  So far nothing is showing up as bad.  As this thread is getting some length, and I appreciate all you folks that are weighing in with helpful suggestions, I will restate that this was an upgrade from WHS V1 which I installed in 2007.  It has been backing up clients for several years.  I changed because I noted that MS had discontinued WHS and I saw it offered very inexpensively to non-system builders.  As I believed it was based on W7, and all our home machines are running some version of W7, it seemed like it would be prudent to upgrade to software that was likely to be supported for several more years.


    I have access to Windows Server Essentials 2012.  I did not choose to install that because it sounded more like a real multi-purpose server than simply a network back-up system.  If it turns out I have to do a reinstall, I would appreciate your thoughts on staying with WHS 2011 or installing WSE 2012.


    Monday, December 31, 2012 4:25 PM
  • Arthur,

    I have been reading the backup error page which is very helpful.  I have tried to run the vssadmin console as suggested.  The DOS window opens and close before I can read it.  I have tried several different command line switches, all with the same result.  Perhaps this service is not running properly. 


    Monday, December 31, 2012 4:36 PM
  • Froggie, when you say the "DOS windows opens and closes before you can read it", it sounds like you may be trying to run vssadmin directly from the Windows Run dialog.  To use this tool, what you want to do (after connecting to your server with Remote Desktop) is first open a command prompt from the Start menu. In this window, type 'vssadmin list volumes' and you should see a listing of all volumes on your server that are participating in volume shadow copies, and the command prompt window will remain open.   But I'd be very cautious about doing much with this tool unless you really know what you are about. 

    You also said: "I have run a chkdsk /R on all the client drives."  Actually, what Phil was suggesting is that you run this command on the *server* drives, since it sounds from your description that the problem may be with your server.  I'd check the server event logs to see if any disk-related and/or VSS errors show up there. This could tell you right away if you have a bad disk.

    Good luck. 

    • Edited by Gary Voth Tuesday, January 1, 2013 9:44 PM
    Tuesday, January 1, 2013 9:44 PM
  • Gary,

    Up about four or five messages, in one of my responses to you, I confirmed that I had run check disk on the two server drives (as well as changing the two SATA cables).

    I ran vssadmin.

    Microsoft Windows [Version 6.1.7601]
    Copyright (c) 2009 Microsoft Corporation.  All rights reserved.

    C:\Windows\system32>vssadmin list volumes
    vssadmin 1.1 - Volume Shadow Copy Service administrative command-line tool
    (C) Copyright 2001-2005 Microsoft Corp.

    Volume path: C:\
        Volume name: \\?\Volume{63ee1e74-f308-11de-848c-806e6f6e6963}\
    Volume path: D:\
        Volume name: \\?\Volume{9cb45f41-45da-4aaa-973c-c6bd63f9f809}\


    Those are the correct volumes.


    Tuesday, January 1, 2013 10:33 PM
  • I have no idea what "normal circumstances" are either.

    After 5 days and numerous chkdsk /r and reinstalls I was able to get a client installed. Now I have Froggie's problem. Wherever this client database is, it is flakey. Should be a way to delete it and make another.  No third part addins, anti-virus, or fire walls; just MS Essentials and Windows Firewalls. WHS worked just fine. I did not know there was a Client Backup Data Base with WHS. WHS NEVER failed. I never ran chkdsk on any client or the server in WHS.

    I can back up the Server, but not a client. Ever.

    Did you ever reconcile this problem?

    My server is becoming either a candidate for another Windows 7 machine, or the old WHS.


    Wednesday, November 20, 2013 5:53 PM