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Configure WHS Notification of missed backups RRS feed

  • Question

  • WHS doesn't send notification until a PC has missed 5 backups.  I would like to change that to be notified every time a backup is missed.  Other posts have suggested WHS toolkit, but for some reason - that ability has been removed. 

    I looked at the Remote Notification add-in - but I don't think it allows notification for only backup related problems.

    Are there any other solutions ?

    Rich
    Friday, March 20, 2009 12:06 AM

Answers

  • RW1053 said:

    WHS doesn't send notification until a PC has missed 5 backups.  I would like to change that to be notified every time a backup is missed.  Other posts have suggested WHS toolkit, but for some reason - that ability has been removed. 

    Correct.  It was only in v1.0 of the Toolkit.  v1.1 no longer has that ability.

    RW1053 said:

    I looked at the Remote Notification add-in - but I don't think it allows notification for only backup related problems.

    Are there any other solutions ?

    Rich

    You would have to modify the registry on the server (which is unsupported and, if you don't know what you're doing, can cause much more harm than good).  If you want to try it anyway, please see Ken Warren's first post in this thread.

    Friday, March 20, 2009 2:25 AM
    Moderator

All replies

  • RW1053 said:

    WHS doesn't send notification until a PC has missed 5 backups.  I would like to change that to be notified every time a backup is missed.  Other posts have suggested WHS toolkit, but for some reason - that ability has been removed. 

    Correct.  It was only in v1.0 of the Toolkit.  v1.1 no longer has that ability.

    RW1053 said:

    I looked at the Remote Notification add-in - but I don't think it allows notification for only backup related problems.

    Are there any other solutions ?

    Rich

    You would have to modify the registry on the server (which is unsupported and, if you don't know what you're doing, can cause much more harm than good).  If you want to try it anyway, please see Ken Warren's first post in this thread.

    Friday, March 20, 2009 2:25 AM
    Moderator
  • Thanks for the reply.  I just read that PP2 is on the way.  Before I mess with the registry I think I will wait and see what's included.

    Let's hope they come to their senses and add back the ability to specify warning and error parameters for backups for each PC.  Seems to me such functionality should be a no-brainer for a system who's main purpose it to backup PCs.  Letting users decide how and when to be notified if that doesn't work should have been a basic part of WHS from the beginning.  

    Rich
    Friday, March 20, 2009 9:13 PM
  • RW1053 said:

    Let's hope they come to their senses and add back the ability to specify warning and error parameters for backups for each PC.  Seems to me such functionality should be a no-brainer for a system who's main purpose it to backup PCs.  Letting users decide how and when to be notified if that doesn't work should have been a basic part of WHS from the beginning.

    One of the design goals for Windows Home Server is to be simple, easy for a non-technical individual to configure and use. As such, the number of buttons and knowbs that users need to (or even can) tweak was reduced wherever possible, and the team tried to make sure that Windows home Server makes the "right" decision for users.

    So I wouldn't expect that the ability to set warning and error thresholds for backups will be put back in any version of the product. There is an undocumented registry edit that will allow you to do this (see the link kariya21 posted). It's perfectly harmless; even if the user interface that the toolkit used to have is now gone it continues to work.


    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Saturday, March 21, 2009 1:56 PM
    Moderator
  • Thanks for the reply Ken.

    I tried the regedit in the post you refer to, but I could not find any of the keys that are mentioned.  I could get to ...\Windows Home Server\backup, but when I got there it didn't look anything like the post described, so I chickened out.  Maybe the OEM (HP EX485) version of WHS is different.

    If M/S doesn't include in PP2 then I hope somebody writes an add-in that fixes the problem.  I bet the download numbers would be off the charts !

    I'm sure you've heard all the arguments, so I will spare you my soap box.  But, in my view it's a serious oversite and/or bad decision by M/S.

    Know where I can get my hands on WHS Toolkit v 1.0 ?  Will it work on my box (EX485, PP1) ?

    Thanks again for the info.

    Rich
    Saturday, March 21, 2009 9:46 PM
  • The toolkit version 1.0 is no longer available for download. As for the registry keys and values, you can create them if they don't exist.

    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Saturday, March 21, 2009 10:00 PM
    Moderator
  • Ok - I would like to give the registry mods a shot. 

    I reviewed your instructions, but my reg tree hits a dead-end at .....\Windows Home Server\Backup.  There are some entries there but I don't see any keys for each computer. 

    Can you guide me on what to create from there ? 

    I understand the OverdueWarningThreshold and OverdueErrorThreshold, but not sure what to due for the key for each computer, and the value under the key containing PC Name.

    Thanks,

    Rich
    Wednesday, March 25, 2009 10:17 PM
  • RW1053 said:

    Ok - I would like to give the registry mods a shot. 

    I reviewed your instructions, but my reg tree hits a dead-end at .....\Windows Home Server\Backup.  There are some entries there but I don't see any keys for each computer. 

    Can you guide me on what to create from there ? 

    I understand the OverdueWarningThreshold and OverdueErrorThreshold, but not sure what to due for the key for each computer, and the value under the key containing PC Name.

    Thanks,

    Rich


    Ken's fourth post down in the thread I linked to before gives steps on what to create when necessary.
    Thursday, March 26, 2009 4:17 AM
    Moderator
  • Found it - thanks !!

    Now - before I dive into the registry - how do I back it up 1st.

    It looks like I can export it pre-modification, and if I have a problem import it and get back to the orginal.

    Will that work ?

    I live in fear that I will trash the server.  I have done it before to other boxes :)

    Thanks,

    Rich
    Thursday, March 26, 2009 4:49 PM
  • There are things you can do using registry editing tools that will "trash the server" beyond any hope of recovery short of server reinstallation. You shouldn't be doing any of those things, but if you're truly hesitant about doing this, I will politely suggest that perhaps you don't really need to do it at all. What you're dealing with is (at most) a convenience issue, and you can turn off notifications for any PC you don't want to actually see the pop-ups on. My home is configured so that the only machine that displays network health warnings is mine...
    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Thursday, March 26, 2009 6:48 PM
    Moderator
  • I also have the warnings set so that only my machine gets the warning.  The reason I'm trying to do this is because I want to be warned if even 1 backup gets missed.  The problem is not that it is over-warning me.

    Can you comment on the export / import method of restoring the registry if I have a problem ?

    Thanks,

    Rich
    Thursday, March 26, 2009 8:51 PM
  • I think warning if even one backup is missed is excessive, to be honest. All sorts of things can cause a backup to fail, including things like power failures, system updates, random network glitches, etc. 

    But as long as you bear in mind the warning in my first sentence above, yes exporting the registry key that you'll be modifying will work, and you'll be able to recover by deleting, then re-importing, that key if you must.

    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Thursday, March 26, 2009 9:31 PM
    Moderator
  • Thanks for the reply.

    I made the changes for 1 PC and I will power it down tonight and see what happens.  I am assuming/hoping that I only need to make the changes for the PCs that I want to change the defaults on. 

    In terms of all kinds of things cause a missed backup - that is exactly my point.  My wife has a home business, and if anything causes a backup to be missed - I want to know about - regardless of the reason. 

    I really wish M/S had left the ability in the toolkit, or made some other provision.  Assuming that their users only need to be notified if a PC misses 5 backups in a row is a pretty bold assumption - and I bet wrong in a lot of cases.

    Anyway - Thanks for the info.  I will post again and let you know how it goes.

    Rich
    Thursday, March 26, 2009 11:18 PM
  • Well - it worked - kind of.  When I go look at 'Computers and Backups', the little dot in the 'Status' column is yellow.  But, the little green Home Server Icon on my desktop is still green.

    I was hoping for a Yellow indicator on my desktop - giving me the clue that I should go investigate.

    Rich
    Friday, March 27, 2009 10:21 AM
  • Notifications for every missed backup: My point is really that ther are very few things that will cause a missed backup that you can actually do anything about. Missed backups will only rarely indicate a problem with a PC; far more often they're due to rebooting after automatic updates, power failures, rare timing issues that you'll never be able to prevent, etc.

    Network health notifications: There are a number of factors which can interfere with receiving network health notifications; they're mostly outside of the control of the Windows Home Server team. There is a suggestion on Connect to add an item to the tray icon's popup menu to allow you to review recent alerts. You might want to go there and vote.
    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Friday, March 27, 2009 2:59 PM
    Moderator
  • I am beginning to see your point.  I missed a few backups when I 1st installed, but I don't think it has missed any since then.  It pretty much just runs.  If a PC does have a problem - it gets fixed when the user tries to use it again anyway.  So - perhaps my concern is a little over-blown by my experiences of the 1st week.

    I discovered in my exploration last nite that each client has a backup log file created for each date that the backup runs.  So - I think I can write a VB routine to check for the presence of that file on each client and send me an email if it doesn't find it.  Maybe overkill - but it sounds like fun.

    Thanks,

    Rich
    Friday, March 27, 2009 3:32 PM
  • Follow Up:  It was fun, and it works like a charm.

    Rich
    Saturday, March 28, 2009 11:05 PM