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Backup failure after client hard-disk partition resize RRS feed

  • Question

  • I recently purchased and installed Windows Home Server in conjunction with a complete rebuild of all my home PCs.  WHS is awesome and I love it!!

     

    One of my client machines (Vista Ultimate) had a 40Gb system partition.  I installed WHS console and this machine was getting backed up as scheduled by WHS.  Yesterday, I resized the system partition on the client machine using Disk Management.  Now, all the partitions that did not change are getting backed up fine but I get a bogus error message in the WHS console when it tries to back up the resized partition.  The error says that the network connection was lost but that's not possible because I'm using the client to remote logon to the WHS box over the network in order to run the backup!  Scheduled and manual backups of this machine give the same error.  Backups of other machines on the network are working fine.

     

    The only thing I can think of is that the partition resize confused WHS.  I suppose I could uninstall the console from the client PC, do a Remove Computer on WHS and then re-add it but I understand that removing the computer will delete all past backups and I don't want to lose these.  Is there any way to manually save past backups in a different location (and restore them later if necessary)?

     

    Any help would be appreciated.  I understand this is a bit of an unusual scenario but since Vista disk management makes it so easy to expand existing partitions (and WHS makes it so easy to back up the machine before the resize operation) I figured this was a perfect use of WHS.

     

    Thanks,

     

    - Narendra

    Friday, October 19, 2007 2:55 PM

Answers

  • I just installed Power Pack 1 on my WHS and the new connector.  This seems to have fixed my original problem!!  Thanks Microsoft!  Unfortunately, I cannot be 100% sure that this was the reason everything now works since windows update also installed an updated network driver on the machine at the same time so it's possible that the network driver solved the problem and not PP1.  However, I'll take what I can get!
    Tuesday, July 29, 2008 2:25 AM

All replies

  • Some more information:

    • I expanded the partition on my client machine from 40Gb to 80Gb.
    • I tried to turn off backups for this machine on WHS and then turn them back on again -- same problem.
    • I tried to configure backups and remove this partition from the list -- backup worked fine.  I then selected configure backups again and added the partition back -- same error.
    • Client disk is working fine (it is the partition with the OS on it and I'm writing this from that machine).  Chkdsk on the partition reports no errors.

    - Narendra

    Friday, October 19, 2007 3:20 PM
  • This was really bugging me so I made a backup of my machine using DriveSnapshot and then proceeded with the following steps:

    1) Uninstall Windows Home Server Connector from client machine.  Reboot.

    2) On the WHS machine, using the console did "Remove Computer".  Reboot.

    3) Installed WHS connector on client machine.  It said backups were turned off for this machine (that's odd, it didn't do that for any of the "new" machines I added!)

    4) Tried a backup -- same problem, the partition that was resized fails.  The error is more descriptive now in the WHS console (event manager provides no additional information):

     

    An unexpected exception occured on the computer.

    NullReferenceException

    Object reference not set to an instance of an object.

    at

    Microsoft.HomeServer.Backup.BackupOp.BackupOperation.IsSamePath(DirectoryInfo di, String[] path)

     

     

    This is seriously affecting my hitherto very positive impressions of WHS...

     

    Any help would be appreciated!! 

     

    Friday, October 19, 2007 8:04 PM
  • I seem to recall that someone else had to rename their client before WHS would deal with it as a reconfigured computer...the WHS database remembers your previous client name.

     

    I could be wrong.  You have an independent backup - try it.

    Saturday, October 20, 2007 11:48 AM
  • I already tried to rename the machine -- didn't work.  I think WHS is using some sort of more permanent machine identifier that is unrelated to the machine name.  I seem to recall something about a machine certificate on Win Server 2000 Active Directory so I imagine Server 2003 does the same thing.
    Saturday, October 20, 2007 2:48 PM
  • It doesn't seem that this is a problem anyone else has encountered which is not surprising.

    I was wondering -- can anyone tell me how to submit an official bug report to Microsoft?

    Monday, October 22, 2007 3:25 PM
  • I have encountered similar error when resizing the primary partition of my laptop (after getting rid of "preinstalled" vendor's maintenance partition). Can you please run Backup Wizard and check if you see the "old" partition in the list of disks? In my case I've seen two disks (only one HDD installed) and could "except" one of them from being backed up. No issue since then.

     

    Good Luck!

    Tuesday, October 23, 2007 7:37 PM
  • I can see all the partitions in the WHS backup wizard.  If I select the partition that was not resized, it works fine.  If I select the partition that was resized, backup fails as described above.
    Wednesday, October 24, 2007 4:00 PM
  • Just to be sure - these are the steps you've taken?:

     

    1. Launch the Connector software > log in > click the home computer from Computers & Backups > click Configure Backup
    2. At the Backup Configuration Wizard click Next > select all desired volumes > click Next > click Next > click Done
    3. Close the Connector window > right-click on the Windows Home Server tray icon > select Backup Now

    If you've done this and still receive errors, please contact me at whsforum at microsoft.com, we'd like the opportunity to collect and review your logs. Thanks!

    Thursday, October 25, 2007 11:17 PM
  • I am having exactly the same problem on my laptop.  Running Vista business on Asus R1F laptop.  80 gig drive with 2 partions.  C:vista, DBig Smileata.  Can select D: only and it will back up.  If I select C alone or C and D I get the error discussed in this thread and backup fails. Do you have a solution?

     

    Alan G

    Wednesday, December 19, 2007 1:39 PM
  •  

    I keep getting this error.

    An unexpected exception occured on the computer.

    NullReferenceException

    Object reference not set to an instance of an object.

    at

    Microsoft.HomeServer.Backup.BackupOp.BackupOperation.IsSamePath(DirectoryInfo di, String[] path)

     

    Have you found a solution yet.

     

    Friday, January 4, 2008 4:07 AM
  • Alan,

     

    I have not found a solution to this as yet.  I tried using the toolkit to clear all backup data (including old backups of all my machines) but this did not help either.  Of course, I also suffer from the data corruption issues that have been the topic of frequent media attention so perhaps I'm just unlucky!!

     

    - Narendra

    Friday, January 4, 2008 4:34 PM
  • Narendra,

    There is something about the Vista partion on my laptop that is causing this problem. I have another partition on this computer and backup works and my xp computers backup fine. I have another Vista computer, but it is 64 bit and I can't use it with WHS backup.  It seems our problem is falling on deaf ears since we have not heard from the moderator of this forum.  I would not say that you are unlucky, but rather ignored.

     

    Alan

    Thursday, January 10, 2008 2:18 PM
  • Alan,

     

    After I initially reported this problem in Mid-October, I got email from Marc Moon asking me to send the WHS team my server logs.  Since then I have not heard back and, like you, continue to suffer from this problem.  Not sure if I'd characterize the lack of response as "ignored" but I am definitely not feeling the love!

     

    I have to say that my initial very positive impressions of WHS have been severely tainted.  Between this backup problem, constant data corruption issues and the restore CD not booting on one of my machines when it crashed (http://forums.microsoft.com/WindowsHomeServer/ShowPost.aspx?PostID=2355652&SiteID=50), I have not reaped any "benefits" from WHS as yet.  On the contrary, I have lost days of work due to data corruption and not being able to restore a backup.

     

    As of yesterday, I have decided to keep WHS (since the backups are still a desirable feature for me and I have tested the restore CD on all my remaining machines) but move all my data to a set of mirrored hard-drives managed by the core OS and not by WHS.  I think the Drive Extender technology is a nice idea but it obviously has some kinks that need to be worked out...

     

    Perhaps I should have waited for version 2 --  I just didn't think that something as basic as data integrity based on a rock-solid server platform (Win Server 2003) would be an issue...

     

    - Narendra

    Thursday, January 10, 2008 4:28 PM
  • I'm not sure if this is related, but I have been having the same issue since I replaced my D: data drive in a client P.C. with a new drive (exactly the same size/type of drive) and restored. When backup failed, I did "Configure Backup" and WHS shows the new D: drive AND the old D: drive with the word (unavailable) by the old drive name. If I go to Control Panel, Administrative Tools, however, the old hard drive doesn't show. The new drive won't backup, even when I "removed" the non-existent hard drive from the list of drives to be backed up.
    Thursday, January 10, 2008 6:59 PM
  • Any updates regarding this issue? I have the same problem after resizing my HD. I have two partition and I can only backup D, if I select both C and D i'm getting the same error.

     

    Sunday, February 10, 2008 5:34 AM
  • For those of you suffering backup failures or backup configuration errors after changing a client's disk conifguration, here's another thread that details my problem after replacing a failed external drive:

     

    CTP bug not dead yet? "... or Windows Home Server cannot access the computer's hard drive"

     

    In my opinion we all share a desire to find a workaround less destructive than resetting the backup database and losing all backups for all PCs.  WHS is identifying client computers persistently somehow. Even removing a client by uninstalling the connector then using the console Computers and Backup tab to remove the computer (losing access to backups for that PC) is not enough to really reset WHS's backup configuration and history related to that client.

     

    I'm baffled that this variety of pain has been documented for so long and yet no one has revealed to us how we might at least work around it by changing something to get WHS backup to treat it as an unlreated client PC to its old self.

     

    Tell me it's a bad idea.  Tell me I'll have to reset my backup database and incant a cleansing spell before I apply the power pack if I do this.  Just please tell me what I can nuke ono a client or WHS to really break a client PC's backup configuration persistence short of resetting the database.

     

    With everlasting hope,

    Dave Hart

    Sunday, February 10, 2008 6:25 AM
  • Dave,

     

    I tried to reset my backup database (using the toolkit) thereby losing all my existing backups but it STILL DID NOT SOLVE THE PROBLEM!!

     

    I had assumed that resetting the database would solve my problem and although I was totally loathe to lose all my backups (because like others I use the WHS backup system to take snapshots of my machines when I first install the OS, updated drivers and application software), I took the plunge.  To my complete dissapointment, this did NOT help!

     

    Personally, I am of the opinion that WHS is fundamentally flawed execution of a great concept.  For me, taking the plunge with version 1 turned out to be a very bad idea.  For example, I now use a mirrored set of data drives outside of the WHS Drive-Extender framework for all my data (because I lost data from the well publicised data-corruption bug).

     

    Suffice it to say that I am NOT a satisfied customer...

     

    If you do decide to reset your backup database, I hope you have better luck than I did.

     

    - Narendra

    Sunday, February 10, 2008 3:18 PM
  • That is useful and disappointing information.  It occurs to me in that situation I would probably nuke the contents of the backup database folder under d:\folders after verifying the backup service isn't running, then restart the box.  I don't know that it would do any more than resetting the backup database via the console, but there's nothing more to lose.

     

    Cheers,

    Dave Hart

     

    Sunday, February 10, 2008 9:35 PM
  • Hope this helps - I had exactly the same trouble after moving the partition on a disk. The partition that I increased was Ok the one decreased would not back-up - communication error. Always one worked - two on the same disk crashed and one on an entirely separate drive crashed.

     

    Tonight it worked OK - after 3 days and much hair tearing. Last thing that may have cracked it was that on the suspect drive I ran a boot time chkdisk, MFT defrag, move folders together, all via diskeeper 10. Don't think it was co-incidence. 

     

    Cheers

     

     

    Thursday, February 21, 2008 10:21 PM
  • I have just bought a new HP WHS box and it is lovely in all regards.....except for this same problem.

     

    I have NOT resized any partitions.  I do run Vista Ultimate with bit locker installed on C:; the only disk i can back up is the partition the original machine OS is on.

     

    It's deeply frustrating as it removes one of the key benefits of this box.

     

    Saturday, March 1, 2008 3:30 PM
  •  cben wrote:

    Hope this helps - I had exactly the same trouble after moving the partition on a disk. The partition that I increased was Ok the one decreased would not back-up - communication error. Always one worked - two on the same disk crashed and one on an entirely separate drive crashed.

     

    Tonight it worked OK - after 3 days and much hair tearing. Last thing that may have cracked it was that on the suspect drive I ran a boot time chkdisk, MFT defrag, move folders together, all via diskeeper 10. Don't think it was co-incidence.

    Thanks for that, doing a Boot Time defrag using PerfectDisk solved my backup problem on 2 laptops as reported here.

    Bauke

    Sunday, March 2, 2008 5:38 PM
  • I just installed Power Pack 1 on my WHS and the new connector.  This seems to have fixed my original problem!!  Thanks Microsoft!  Unfortunately, I cannot be 100% sure that this was the reason everything now works since windows update also installed an updated network driver on the machine at the same time so it's possible that the network driver solved the problem and not PP1.  However, I'll take what I can get!
    Tuesday, July 29, 2008 2:25 AM