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Can I save old client backups? RRS feed

  • Question

  • After nearly 1.5 years of flawless operation my WHS now has a strange failure. I spent 2 days researching the error but can't find a solution.

    Setup:
    WHS from MSFT company store and installed on my own hardware. Drive C/D = 1 TB drive. I also have a second 1TB drive that is added to WHS.

    Starting about a week ago I loaded all the monthly updates including the new WHS Power Pack 3. Now my troubles begin.

    The system boots just fine. All drives show healthy. CHKDSK reveals no problems. I can see all files and everything looks normal using Windows Explorer on all drives.

    The system says the backup service is not running. So I went through all the help here to try and repair that. No luck yet.

    I can log onto the Windows Home Server Console locally and remotely. It shows all the computers that are being backed up. WHen I visit server storage tab I see the second 1TB drive as status = healthy. The C/D drive shows 'Not Added'. I can go to settings -> backup -> repair and it runs with what appears to be no errors. It says it repaired all my backups and successfuly restarted the backup service and rechecked the database. It shows me all the machines with a checkmark beside them. However even though it says the backup service was started successfully it is not running. I have rebooted several times and the backup service is still not running.

    Is there ANY way to fix this and keep my client backups? I have tried all the repair suggestions I can find here that seem somewhat related to my issue.

    The client backups all seem to be intact as best I can tell. Unfortunately if I reinstall the software on a new drive or even the same drive I suspect all those GUIDs will not link up and the client backups will be orphaned. Has anyone reintegrated client backups on a new setup? Replace the GUID maybe?

    I have sets of client backups for 8 machines and 2 of them are no longer online. WHile it will not be the end of the world it would be a super pain to lose those.

    There has to be a better way to maintain the integrity of client backups in case of a WHS failure. Duplicated folders are great for folder shares but client backups are just as important if not more so in some cases.
    Saturday, November 28, 2009 7:10 PM

All replies

  • After nearly 1.5 years of flawless operation my WHS now has a strange failure. I spent 2 days researching the error but can't find a solution.

    Setup:
    WHS from MSFT company store and installed on my own hardware. Drive C/D = 1 TB drive. I also have a second 1TB drive that is added to WHS.

    Starting about a week ago I loaded all the monthly updates including the new WHS Power Pack 3. Now my troubles begin.

    The system boots just fine. All drives show healthy. CHKDSK reveals no problems. I can see all files and everything looks normal using Windows Explorer on all drives.

    The system says the backup service is not running. So I went through all the help here to try and repair that. No luck yet.

    I can log onto the Windows Home Server Console locally and remotely. It shows all the computers that are being backed up. WHen I visit server storage tab I see the second 1TB drive as status = healthy. The C/D drive shows 'Not Added'. I can go to settings -> backup -> repair and it runs with what appears to be no errors. It says it repaired all my backups and successfuly restarted the backup service and rechecked the database. It shows me all the machines with a checkmark beside them. However even though it says the backup service was started successfully it is not running. I have rebooted several times and the backup service is still not running.

    Is there ANY way to fix this and keep my client backups? I have tried all the repair suggestions I can find here that seem somewhat related to my issue.

    The client backups all seem to be intact as best I can tell. Unfortunately if I reinstall the software on a new drive or even the same drive I suspect all those GUIDs will not link up and the client backups will be orphaned. Has anyone reintegrated client backups on a new setup? Replace the GUID maybe?

    I have sets of client backups for 8 machines and 2 of them are no longer online. WHile it will not be the end of the world it would be a super pain to lose those.

    There has to be a better way to maintain the integrity of client backups in case of a WHS failure. Duplicated folders are great for folder shares but client backups are just as important if not more so in some cases.
    FYI, trying to use the backup database on WHS as a long term storage area (i.e. archiving) is not a good idea as the database can be spread across multiple drives and loss of any one drive can mean the loss of the entire database.  It's designed to be a quick recovery scenario where your client hard drive fails, gets a virus, etc. and you need to get back to your last good backup (which will normally be from the previous night).

    Having said all of that, you should check the BDBB add-in.  It's designed to backup the backup database (and I believe one of the newer features allows re-integration as well, although I'm not sure of that as I personally don't use it).
    • Proposed as answer by kariya21Moderator Saturday, November 28, 2009 7:19 PM
    • Unproposed as answer by Steve Smegner Saturday, November 28, 2009 10:52 PM
    Saturday, November 28, 2009 7:19 PM
    Moderator
  • Thanks. I will check out that tool. Regardless of the status of the backups I still have to get past the problem of getting D back online.

    I am not sure how to paste a snippet here but my WHS Console -> server storage tab says the following:

    Storage Hard drives:
    ST31000340AS (drive icon)  931.51 GB Internal(ATA) Healthy
    ST31000340AS (drive icon with Windows flag - system) 931.51 GB Internal(ATA) Not Added

    These are 2 physical drives. Both are healthy and chkdsk with no errors. The second drive contains C and D. D is offline and I cannot get it back online. I have tried to run Backup Database Repair multiple times. It says everything is repaired and all is well and the backup service has been successfully started which in fact it has not been started.

    When I try to right-click on the drive all 3 of the options (add, repair, remove) are greyed out. The same options are not available on the ribbon bar. I can't figure out how to get that drive back online and added back into the server storage.
    Saturday, November 28, 2009 10:45 PM
  • OK, so I took a brand new 2TB drive and reinstalled WHS. I have a big empty D drive. I am really hoping I can copy over all the client backups to the new drive and have it either find them auto-magically or find them if I run a repair operation.

    Any suggestions on how to do this properly the first time?
    Sunday, November 29, 2009 6:04 AM
  • The Home Computer Backup and Restore technical brief contains instructions on how to copy the backup database manually. Since you'll be copying from your old drives, you will want to copy the files from the prior installation from <drive>:\DE\Folders\etc. (DE is a hidden folder, btw), rather than D:\Folders\etc.
    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Sunday, November 29, 2009 2:59 PM
    Moderator
  • Well good news and bad news. On the brand new WHS I followed the instructions exactly as outlined in the Home Computer Backup and restore technical brief. It takes a long time to copy down. But it went flawlessly. I started the services. All was well. I went into the console and did a repair. It came back and said everything was fine. I looked in the computers and backups and they were all there. I went into each computer and viewed the backups. All the dates were there. I even opened one and it seemed to be just fine.

    But each one was greyed out indicating that the client computer was not connected. This was expected and mentioned in the document. So I went to the first computer that had a backup set. I re-setup the client software and that went flawlessly. On the console the client computer went from grey to black letters and then complained that a backup had not been done in so many days. OK, that was also expected.

    So I crossed my fingers and initiated a manual backup. That also completed without errors.

    Now things got weird. After the client indicated it was done, I went back to the console. The computer I just backed up had the green icon at the right that all was well. But........ all the other clients that were greyed out are now gone. Hmmmm. So I rebooted. Still gone. I ran a repair. It showed ALL the clients and said all was repaired. Each one had a green checkmark. But the console still only showed the 1 client. I checked the event log and found no errors. I found the informationals that showed the beginning and completion of the backups. No errors in the home server, system or application event logs. I tried several reboots, several repairs but no go. When I look in the folders the client computers are still shown. Repair finds them and says they are goo to go. But the client only shows the 1.

    So repair must walk the files and check everything out. But the console must be looking at a different list of clients and only sees 1. Or maybe it sees them all and some other interferance causes it to only show the 1.

    Okay..... now what?

    I am so close..... yet so far.
    Thursday, December 10, 2009 4:25 AM
  • On each client try running discovery.exe from C:\Program Files\Windows Home Server. Do the machines reappear then?
    Which version is shown in the console under Settings/Ressources?
    Do all clients have the most current Connector software installed?
    Best greetings from Germany
    Olaf
    Thursday, December 10, 2009 12:32 PM
    Moderator
  • Olaf,
    I had only rejoined the first client when the others vanished from the console. Several of the clients were actually powered down. They showed a grey then vanished from the list. As far as the versions on the console:

    Windows Home Server Console: 6.0.2423.0
    Windows Home Server Backup & Restore: 6.0.2423.0
    Windows Home Server Drive Extender: 6.0.2423.0
    Windows Home Server Remote Access: 6.0.2423.0
    Windows Home Server Storage Manager: 6.0.2423.0
    Friday, December 11, 2009 2:19 AM
  • Hi Steve,
    the version numbers are the correct ones.
    Maybe the backup database has issues, not always the restore works flawless (especially if it was already scratched before). This is one of the reasons, why the backup database cannot be seen as a long term archiving method. Could eventually also be, that there are changes with Power Pack 3, which are not considered with the available version of the Add-In.
    Do the issues still happen, if you delete the entire backup database and start from scratch?
    Best greetings from Germany
    Olaf
    Friday, December 11, 2009 8:43 AM
    Moderator
  • More progress, new problem.

    The only way I could fix this was to take the section from the old whs.reg file and merge into the new whs.reg file. Then integrate the whs.reg file into the actual registry. I found that no amount of repairs I would bring back the clients in the list. Even though the repair tool said the database was fine and showed me all the clients all with a green checkmark. Plus everytime I ran a repair it reworked whs.reg and threw away my edits. So I had to merge them with the main registry and immediately reboot. So they now all show up. And I have pulled up the backed up volumes and all appears to be just fine.

    Now I a new problem. On one of my clients I have a C and a D drive. I configured the client to backup the machine. It already has a series of backups but I wanted a new backup. Drive C backs up just fine. During the process it creates some .TMP files and those eventually vanish. However no matter what I do whenever it backs up the D drive volume I get the following error in the events and a fail in the WHS console.

    Unexpected error 0x57 from SetFileValidData on D:\folders\{00008086-058D-4C89-AB57-A7F909A47AB4}\{3F6F0460-4C66-4CD4-BBFB-7459B8021E31}.tmp: The parameter is incorrect.

    For more information, see Help and Support Center at http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/events.asp.

    Followed by the next event:

    Client Backup server failed at d:\wssg_src\whs_pp3\qhs\src\backup\util\diskfile.cpp(179)

    For more information, see Help and Support Center at http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/events.asp.


    These are new drives. I have run chkdsk /f /r multiple times on each drive and no errors of any kind are showing up. All are healthy.

    Any clues? Or how to get past this?

    Wednesday, December 23, 2009 12:56 AM
  • Chkdsk on the server? Or on the client drive, which is having the issue while being backed up?
    Best greetings from Germany
    Olaf
    Thursday, December 24, 2009 7:32 AM
    Moderator
  • Greetings Olaf,
    Merry Christmas and Happy New Years!

    The server side is throwing the error. CHKDSK has been run several times on both sides. It comes up clean with no errors entered in the event log on either the client or server when running chkdsk /f /r.

    I have not found anything to explain the error code on the MSFT websites so I have pulled down the platform SDK and will be installing it today. Hopefully I can figure out exactly what that code means.
    Saturday, December 26, 2009 4:36 PM
  • I assume  that one of the files which are part of the backup database is damaged (independend from how often you get told about the repair was successfully) and as soon as the damaged position (i.e. a cut end of file) is reached, the unexpected error comes up.
    But this stuff is technically too heavy technical insider stuff, so I would recommend to register on Connect, if you have not already, and issue a bug report.
    Best greetings from Germany
    Olaf
    Saturday, December 26, 2009 10:35 PM
    Moderator
  • Olaf,
    The error shows up on a .TMP file each time. It is created during the backup process and has a new name each time. Once the backup completes or errors out the file is deleted.
    Sunday, December 27, 2009 12:16 AM
  • Hm this is indeed strange.
    Networking issues? How long is the DHCP renewal time configured in the router?
    Or an hardware issue?
    This kind of problems happens that rarely, that it is hard to say, what is causing this.
    I would try to backup your WHS Backup database with the WHS Database Backup Add-In, delete all client backups and try to start a backup from the scratch.
    If the problem does not happen any more, the problem is somewhere in the DB consistency of the previous backup database.
    Best greetings from Germany
    Olaf
    Sunday, December 27, 2009 12:39 AM
    Moderator