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"Home Server Restore Driver 2" has to be installed over and over RRS feed

  • Question

  • Two questions:

     

    1.

    Any reason that when the WHS console (running on Windows SBS 2003) tries to access files on the backup server the SBS intermittantly requires an installation of “Home Server Restore Driver 2”?  After "installation" of this driver it's possible to open WHS volumes.  The SBS is accessed via RDP (assume it would do it at the console, but haven't tried).  Sometimes it requires this driver installation when opening any volume, every time the volume is opened from the WHS console.

    All known updates are applied to the SBS and the WHS.

    2.

    Any way to automatically open the WHS explorer type windows for a volume at WHS client restart?  Right now it appears that you have to manually log to the console and open the window (i.e. mount the volume), so any scripts that copy files from the WHS elsewhere won't work on the client machine after a reboot.

    Thanks.

    Tuesday, November 11, 2008 3:35 PM

Answers

  • Alex, Windows Home Server isn't designed for the type of use you're asking about. There's no scripting interface that would allow you to automate the restoration of certain files. It would probably be possible to write a custom application that would make use of the same APIs that Windows Home Server itself does, but any such applicaiton would be completely unsupported, because the APIs it would use are undocumented. It would also be risky, because with undocumented APIs there would be no guarantee that they wouldn't change in future versions of the product, or in a theoretical future patch.
    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    • Marked as answer by Alex Barimo Monday, November 17, 2008 1:44 AM
    Tuesday, November 11, 2008 11:25 PM
    Moderator

All replies

  • Hi Alex,
    please clarify, what you try to do.
    1. Do you mean the backup files here? This is the only situation for which it would be necessary to install specific drivers, since the shown restored drive will be build from clusters stored in the backup database at each time.
    2. You should not work with the backups besides you need to perform a restore. But this is nothing done daily. If you use the shares for storing files and the logged in user account has enough permissions, there are all usual methods available to access the drives - i.e directly calling the server shares via UNC path or mapping a network drive.
    Best greetings from Germany
    Olaf
    Tuesday, November 11, 2008 3:42 PM
    Moderator
  • Hi Olaf and thanks for your response.

    On (1) my SBS server keeps asking me for the "Home Server Restore Driver 2" whenever I try to restore a file.  It probably shouldn't do this, as this behavior is weird.

    For (2) I would like to robocopy the backup files off the WHS on a daily basis to another machine, if possible.  I don't want to back up the contents of the drives, i.e. the 'de' directory and all that, I want the actual files.  Perhaps leaving the Explorer type windows open (you get access to these from the WHS client) would disallow a backup, I don't know.  So is there a way to robocopy the backed-up files (not the files that are stored by WHS, but the files as they were on the machines that were backed up) off the WHS without having to manually log to the server, open the explorer windows, perform the script, and then close the explorer windows?  That's the question.

    Thanks again!
    Tuesday, November 11, 2008 4:55 PM
  • Alex,

    There is no reason that the SBS should be asking for any drivers - unless there was an error during the install. I have a couple of customers running WHS in conjunction with SBS, with no errors whatsoever. I would recommend that the Console is uninstalled from the SBS, and then re-installed when logged in as Admin.

    The Backup files on WHS aren't stored as files; it's a database in 4GB 'chunks' and uses Single Instance Storage to de-duplicate any files that may exist in more than one file, or on more than one Client. Also, to copy the backups off, the backup service has to be stopped before transferring and then re-started afterwards. There is a description available in the Backup & Restore Tech Brief available from here on how to do this.

    Colin





    If anyone answers your query successfully, please mark it as 'Helpful', to guide other users.
    Tuesday, November 11, 2008 5:38 PM
    Moderator
  • Windows Home Server uses a "pseudo" driver to supply an interface between Windows Explorer and WHS Backup. That's the "Home Server Restore Driver 2" you're being asked to install. This driver will be started up in the process of opening a backup, and it may request permission to install at this time. This is normal behavior, and (I think; I don't have an SBS computer running to test with) is related to exactly how your SBS is configured. If you've ever connected an external drive to a computer, you've seen similar behavior; Windows goest through several steps once an external drive is connected, between the initial connection and the point where Windows reports that your hardware is ready to be used.
    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Tuesday, November 11, 2008 6:29 PM
    Moderator
  • Colin & Ken: thank you for your reply

    I will try reinstalling the client on the SBS machine.  There were no errors in the installation of the WHS.

    With regard to copying files, my question is whether I can script the copying of the actual files.  I am not interested in the chunked representation (i.e. see the 'de' folder reference in my original post).  In other words, I can manually open the explorer-type window from within the WHS console and copy these files just like I could a mapped drive.  However I have to manually log to the server, pick a backup poiint, click to specify that a driver should be installed, and then finally copy the files from the WHS client provided explorer-type window (or at that point use robocopy, etc.).

    So instead of doing all of this manually can I script it?  Can I automate the login, picking of the backup point, and the mapping to the pseudo-drive, or whatever you want to call it.  That's the question.  I don't care if software development is required, I am just looking for a way to do it (or just to know that it can be done).

    Thanks in advance for any reply.
    • Edited by Alex Barimo Tuesday, November 11, 2008 10:01 PM
    Tuesday, November 11, 2008 9:59 PM
  • Hi Alex,
    I am just curious now, but what is the reason that you try to restore files from backup that often, that it seems to be a pain to do manually?
    Best greetings from Germany
    Olaf
    Tuesday, November 11, 2008 10:22 PM
    Moderator
  • Alex, Windows Home Server isn't designed for the type of use you're asking about. There's no scripting interface that would allow you to automate the restoration of certain files. It would probably be possible to write a custom application that would make use of the same APIs that Windows Home Server itself does, but any such applicaiton would be completely unsupported, because the APIs it would use are undocumented. It would also be risky, because with undocumented APIs there would be no guarantee that they wouldn't change in future versions of the product, or in a theoretical future patch.
    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    • Marked as answer by Alex Barimo Monday, November 17, 2008 1:44 AM
    Tuesday, November 11, 2008 11:25 PM
    Moderator
  • Ken: Thanks for your response, I appreciate it.

    Olaf: To reduce the RTO (i.e. recovery time objective).  Given the documented problems with WHS (database corruption, 79% errors, non-reporting of crc errors, etc) it is desirable to know for sure that the data has integrity and is restorable.  One way to do this is to periodically restore the data.  And that type of periodic restoration of data is easier when done automatically.

    It is nice to log to a redundant (and current) machine and know that the data is there and the programs that operate on that data are there (not installed by WHS, installed once and manually).  Sure I can robocopy it from the original machine (or maybe synctoy it), but if I do that what do I then know about the integrity of the data on the WHS?  Not much.

    I find it really odd that there is no way in WHS to programatically connect to each of the managed volumes of the last backup to copy files from those managed backups.  Of course I also find it strange that the WHS people put effort into an API without any significant functionality.  You aren't supposed to use it as a real machine, (other than maybe to RDP out and for IE7 and patches) and that's fine, but you also can't use it to programatically copy data from the backups?  That's really bizarre since the thing is a backup server.  A backup server from which you have to manually copy your files.  Huh?


    Wednesday, November 12, 2008 12:31 AM
  • Alex, you're thinking like an IT pro. Windows Home Server isn't something designed for the IT pro, really. It's intended primarily for non-technical users, people who wouldn't have any idea what you were talking about if you tried to explain what you're looking for.

    The backup tool has two primary uses. One is to restore a hard drive if it fails; this is much like any other image-based backup tool. The other is to let you recover your daughter's homework from last night's backup when she deletes it by accident (or in a fit of pique :) ). It's not designed for the end user to have deep programmatic control over the contents of, and access to, backups.

    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Wednesday, November 12, 2008 2:17 AM
    Moderator
  • Ken: I appreciate your reply very much.

    I think you are right, it is a good product for restoring homework, but maybe not appropriate for certain other kinds of applications.

    I can't see the harm in allowing programmatic access to the managed volumes.  Perhaps the post-Server 2008 server product will have the functionality in WHS not found in Server 2008 and will also  provide such access.

    Thanks again.

    Wednesday, November 12, 2008 11:29 PM