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No Backup...are there logs somewhere? RRS feed

  • Question

  • I have a machine that has not been backed up in 10 days.   If I log onto the machine, I see a blue WHS icon in the tray and a notice that 0% of the backup has completed.  If I try to work on the machine, everything freezes up so I reboot -- this happens every day.

    Is there a log somewhere that can tell me why this machine is not being backed up?
    Athena
    Friday, October 23, 2009 3:17 PM

All replies

  • I would start by running chkdsk /r on all partitions on the client machine that's having problems. It's possible that there's a disk issue causing backups to fail. Then I would check event logs on the client and the server. After that I would check the backup logs on the client (this link is for XP): C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Microsoft\Windows Home Server\logs\Backupengine.xxx.yyy.zzz.log.
    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Friday, October 23, 2009 3:30 PM
    Moderator
  • Hi Ken,

    • This is a Vista machine configured with weekly, automatic defragmentation so all the disks have been checked twice during this period of no backups with no notice that anything is wrong.
    • There are only two errors in the logs and they have nothing to do with WHS
    • I think the path you mentioned is for XP.  I can't find a corresponding folder on the failing Vista machine -- eithr in "C:\Users\Default\AppData" or in any of the other user trees.

    Athena
    Friday, October 23, 2009 5:01 PM
  • I don't have Vista handy where I am, but from memory I believe the equivalent is C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows Home Server\logs. Something like that anyway. :)
    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Friday, October 23, 2009 5:38 PM
    Moderator
  • I can't find any WHS logs on either of my Vista machines.  The problem machine does have a WHS subfolder in Program Data but there is only one item there "Z__.drivedat"  The other Vista machine doesn't even have a Program Data folder.  Vista Search being as bad as it is, I have manually looked everywhere I could think of and still haven't found a single log on either machine.

    I did find logs on one of my XP machines and that led me to another rather distressing discovery:  That machine didn't back up for 2 days because, according to the log, it was waiting for the Vista machine and missed the window.   There was no notification that it had missed two backups.

    This morning the WHS icon was green so I checked and sure enough, the problem machine did get backed up this morning -- and so did the XP machines.   The console said that the other Vista machine was backed up but in fact, it wasn't backed up today and when I checked, I saw that it has multiple instance where the backup was incomplete.   That machine is a laptop that I leave plugged in and hibernating every night.  I have no idea why it backs up some days and not others.

    So...I'm back to my original question:  how is a user supposed to know what has caused a machine to not be backed up.  If thee are logs on Vista machines, where are they?

    I know I can force manual backups but that's really not the point -- I installed this for automatic security.
    Athena
    Saturday, October 24, 2009 7:41 PM
  • I can't find any WHS logs on either of my Vista machines.  The problem machine does have a WHS subfolder in Program Data but there is only one item there "Z__.drivedat"  The other Vista machine doesn't even have a Program Data folder.  Vista Search being as bad as it is, I have manually looked everywhere I could think of and still haven't found a single log on either machine.

    Z__.drivedat should be at C:\Users\All Users\Windows Home Server.
    I did find logs on one of my XP machines and that led me to another rather distressing discovery:  That machine didn't back up for 2 days because, according to the log, it was waiting for the Vista machine and missed the window.   There was no notification that it had missed two backups.

    That's normal in the sense that you don't receive any notifications about failed/missed backups until it's been 5 days.  That can be changed, but it involves modifying the registry on the server (which is, of course, unsupported).

    This morning the WHS icon was green so I checked and sure enough, the problem machine did get backed up this morning -- and so did the XP machines.   The console said that the other Vista machine was backed up but in fact, it wasn't backed up today and when I checked, I saw that it has multiple instance where the backup was incomplete.   That machine is a laptop that I leave plugged in and hibernating every night.  I have no idea why it backs up some days and not others.

    So...I'm back to my original question:  how is a user supposed to know what has caused a machine to not be backed up.

    That's what the logs are for.

    If thee are logs on Vista machines, where are they?

    I don't know why it's not where it belongs, but Ken's path is correct.  However, there is another path as well (and it's the one I use).  It's C:\Users\All Users\Microsoft\Windows Home Server\logs (although I suspect those are symbolic links so you will probably see the same data as you did when you used Ken's path).

    I know I can force manual backups but that's really not the point -- I installed this for automatic security.
    Athena

    Saturday, October 24, 2009 11:28 PM
    Moderator
  • "It's C:\Users\All Users\Microsoft\Windows Home Server\logs"

    • There is no "\Users\All Users\" path on either of my Vista machines.
    • The only non-Programs folder I have that is labeled "Windows Home Server" is the one under Program Data that includes the .dat file.
    • I have no Windows Home Server logs anywhere on either of the Vista machines.
    I created this server in June and had no (known) problems at all with it until this past month. How are these folders supposed to be created and what determines whether or not a log will be created. Is it possible that there creation was/is prevented by UAC? I plan to change both of the Vista machines to Windows 7 in about 6 weeks (will be keeping XP for a bit longer). Should I expect the same problems with it?
    Athena
    Sunday, October 25, 2009 2:26 PM
  • C:\Users\All Users will be a shortcut to C:\ProgramData.

    As for the issue you're experiencing, I think it's time to submit a bug on Connect . Include logs gathered using the Windows Home Server Toolkit from your server, and from a client displaying the issue.
    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Sunday, October 25, 2009 2:33 PM
    Moderator
  • Okay, I finally found the logs (am I the only one that wishes she could set the Vista search engine to always include hidden folders when doing an "advanced" search in "Everywhere"?)...for all the good it does me.  In most cases (like today) there isn't a log for a missed backup.  Yes the machine was on, but it just didn't try to back up.  Sometimes there are logs for days that weren't successful and  on ther days we have the mysterious

    [1]091023.022531.6012: Status: Exception in CreateShadowVolume: TimeoutException VSS Operation timed out at Microsoft.HomeServer.Backup.VSS.ShadowVolumeSet.Wait(IVssAsync va) at Microsoft.HomeServer.Backup.VSS.ShadowVolumeSet.CreateShadowVolume(VolumeInfo[] volumes)

    Maybe it's just me, but I would think the fact that the backup stays stuck at 0% for hours would be a clue that something timed out...the question is why?

    In any case, I have done as you suggested and submitted a report.   I'm beginning to think though, that the solution to my problem will be to chuck Vista and hope that Windows 7 will be better behaved.


    Athena
    Sunday, October 25, 2009 5:42 PM
  • That tells us that you have a problem with Volume Shadowcopy Services (VSS) on that client computer. So do you have any backup, partition management, or disk imaging software installed on it?
    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Monday, October 26, 2009 1:38 AM
    Moderator
  • Nope, I don't use any of my old toys on the Vista machines -- no True Image, no Ghost, and no Partition magic.  


    Athena
    Tuesday, October 27, 2009 7:22 PM
  • There are other things that can mess up VSS. Some anti-virus products install their own writers, for example.

    You'll find a good discussion of the issues (not related to Windows Home Server, but they're the same basic issues anyway) over here. Read the blog post, bearing in mind the fact that the issue doesn't exist on your server but on a client computer, then download and run (as administrator) the batch file Adrian has provided and see if it helps. It certainly shouldn't hurt. :)

    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Tuesday, October 27, 2009 8:46 PM
    Moderator