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Windows Home Server Console hangs -- won't connect after entering sign-on credentials RRS feed

  • Question

  • I installed WHS in my home  month ago with pretty good success.  In fact, there is only one needlesome problem I can't figure out.  After a period of use, something happens where the Windows Home Server Console won't connect (after I right-click on the systray icon on a networked computer, choosing Windows Home Server Console from the menu).  I can get as far as entering my password on the blue sign-on screen, but then, nothing happens....after a minute or so, the WHS console sign-on screen turns a pale blue and is left just hanging -- no server connection is made.  If I make a second attempt, but this time I choose the "Options" link, then "Reset the Windows Home Server Console", still the problem persists.

    This behavior doesn't start out this way.  After a server restart, the WHS Console connects just fine (albeit slowly) from any networked computer.  I can't yet figure out what causes it to stop working other than a) several days go by and/or b) I might install or uninstall an add-in program.  Today, the WHS Console hanging began after I did a server backup for the first time.

    Notably, I can use Remote Desktop Connection to reliably connect to the server and start-up the WHS Console from the server's Desktop, even when I can't use the WHS Console from a networked computer.

    So, this isn't a real big deal except that I can't reliably connect to my server remotely, because when the WHS Console won't connect from a networked computer, it also won't connect from my website, either.

    Restarting the computer always puts things right, but I'd like to avoid unnecessary restarts, yet still be able to use the WHS Console from a networked computer without having to use RDC.

    I've Googled this several times, but I don't find that anyone else has this same problem.  I'm using the Acer-branded WHS, not an HP or other.

    Does anyone else have this problem with WHS Console?  If so, short of a server restart, is there any way of getting this corrected?
    Friday, August 7, 2009 4:12 AM

Answers

  • All,

    Just to let you know that for me, the solution was uninstalling McAfee's Total Protection security that came with my Acer (and which I subsequently bought a one-year license to use).  About three months ago, I replaced McAfee -- which I suspected was the cause of several issues I was having -- with Avast antivirus for WHS.  Knock on wood, since I switched to Avast, I have *never* had an issue logging on to my Acer server.  Before then, I couldn't go a week without that problem.  The Acer server does once-a-month reboots for the automatic Microsoft updates, but that's it.  It's always been a terrific little black box, but especially so since I got rid of McAfee's software.

    Thursday, June 3, 2010 3:45 PM

All replies

  • I installed WHS in my home  month ago with pretty good success.  In fact, there is only one needlesome problem I can't figure out.  After a period of use, something happens where the Windows Home Server Console won't connect (after I right-click on the systray icon on a networked computer, choosing Windows Home Server Console from the menu).  I can get as far as entering my password on the blue sign-on screen, but then, nothing happens....after a minute or so, the WHS console sign-on screen turns a pale blue and is left just hanging -- no server connection is made.  If I make a second attempt, but this time I choose the "Options" link, then "Reset the Windows Home Server Console", still the problem persists.

    This behavior doesn't start out this way.  After a server restart, the WHS Console connects just fine (albeit slowly) from any networked computer.  I can't yet figure out what causes it to stop working other than a) several days go by and/or b) I might install or uninstall an add-in program.  Today, the WHS Console hanging began after I did a server backup for the first time.

    Notably, I can use Remote Desktop Connection to reliably connect to the server and start-up the WHS Console from the server's Desktop, even when I can't use the WHS Console from a networked computer.

    So, this isn't a real big deal except that I can't reliably connect to my server remotely, because when the WHS Console won't connect from a networked computer, it also won't connect from my website, either.

    Restarting the computer always puts things right, but I'd like to avoid unnecessary restarts, yet still be able to use the WHS Console from a networked computer without having to use RDC.

    I've Googled this several times, but I don't find that anyone else has this same problem.  I'm using the Acer-branded WHS, not an HP or other.

    Does anyone else have this problem with WHS Console?  If so, short of a server restart, is there any way of getting this corrected?

    It might be a hardware issue of some sort (bad RAM, failing hard drive, etc.)  Have you tried calling Acer for support yet?  (After all, you paid for it.  :)  )
    Friday, August 7, 2009 10:40 PM
    Moderator
  • Yes, I contacted Acer's support -- this was their "support" response -- not very supportive of their products!
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Thank you for contacting Acer America. I apologize for the inconvenience that you have experienced.

    As per the mail I understand that you have an issue with the WHS console on a networked console.

    Unfortunately, we are unable to offer support for this type of issue. Please understand that Acer technicians have not been trained on every possible software title or hardware component.

    Acer technicians can assist you with the removal or installation of any hardware or software purchased from Acer.

    Due to the magnitude of information that would need to be learned, Acer technicians are not trained on all the advanced features of the software or hardware Acer sells.

    There are a number of options below that you can use for assistance with your request.  Below you will find two options that should be able to assist you with your question or issue.

    1.  Most software applications have help files that can usually answer your questions on how to use or configure the software or hardware obtained from Acer.

    2.  Another option is calling Answers by Acer.  Our representatives have advanced industry knowledge of all major brands and their merchandise so they are able to provide you with expertise when answering questions about those products. 
    Saturday, August 8, 2009 2:55 AM
  • Yes, I contacted Acer's support -- this was their "support" response -- not very supportive of their products!
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Thank you for contacting Acer America. I apologize for the inconvenience that you have experienced.

    As per the mail I understand that you have an issue with the WHS console on a networked console.

    Unfortunately, we are unable to offer support for this type of issue. Please understand that Acer technicians have not been trained on every possible software title or hardware component.

    Acer technicians can assist you with the removal or installation of any hardware or software purchased from Acer.

    Due to the magnitude of information that would need to be learned, Acer technicians are not trained on all the advanced features of the software or hardware Acer sells.

    There are a number of options below that you can use for assistance with your request.  Below you will find two options that should be able to assist you with your question or issue.

    1.  Most software applications have help files that can usually answer your questions on how to use or configure the software or hardware obtained from Acer.

    2.  Another option is calling Answers by Acer.  Our representatives have advanced industry knowledge of all major brands and their merchandise so they are able to provide you with expertise when answering questions about those products. 

    I would try calling (an email is almost worthless now-a-days because the "live" interaction with someone else could be hours - or even days - in between each comment).  (And frankly, if the phone support is as worthless as the email support, I wouldn't hesitate to box it up, return it, and demand a refund.)

    In any event, I went back and re-read your first post and you said "...I might install or uninstall an add-in program."  Are you using your server as a testing ground for different add-ins?  If so, I would advise against that.  While some of the add-ins written for WHS are top-notch, others are......well......less than perfect.  Although it can be interesting to try out all of the add-ins available, if the add-in you're thinking about installing doesn't have a clear value to fit your needs, I would recommed against installing it (or at least not on your production server).  It might be that one of those add-ins is causing some problems.

    Has your server been acting like this since the day you got it?  If not, then you might need to do a Server Reinstallation/Server Recovery/whatever-term Acer uses on their product which reinstalls the OS but leaves the data alone.
    Saturday, August 8, 2009 1:38 PM
    Moderator
  • This problem is usually caused by sessions that were left open.  To correct follow these steps in order:
    Log onto the WHS using Remote Console
    Make sure that you have not left a Settings tab open
    Shut Down the WHS while in the Remote Console
    Re-start the workstation(s) as the WHS re-starts.

    In some cases simply just connecting using Remote Console will clear the open session.

    If you are unable to login using Remote Console manually down and re-start the WHS and re-start the workstation(s).
    Saturday, August 8, 2009 3:59 PM
  • kariya21,  When I got the server, I had done enough research beforehand to know that there were a few add-in programs that I'd like to install straight away:  Advanced Admin, WHSDBB, Disk Mgmt, and WebGuide.  I installed these, and also tried AutoExit, but later uninstalled it.  No more add-ins except these, and thse are pretty well used by the WHS community, it seems.  So, I don't know with certainty whether the console hanging issue would have occurred without me installing these add-ins.  Thus far, I can alway use Remote Desktop Connection to connect to the server and start the console.  I have no intention of doing a lot of installs/uninstalls on my server -- stability and reliability are top concerns for me.  The only real drawback I'm finding is that if I wanted to connect remotely to my server's console application via the Internet, I probably won't be able to unless the server restarted recently.  That's not a big issue for me, though -- I don't need to create new user accounts and stuff while traveling. I just need the server to stay up and be responsive so I can get to my data whenever I want.

    BetaVirus, I haven't found that anything other than a restart puts the Windows Console back to working correctly.  I don't leave any sessions open, and I only remote to the server in the event I want to get to the server console application -- something I've done a lot of since I got the server, but something I'll do less of as time goes on.  I'm hoping that I get the point where I don't tinker with the server's console app -- how hot is the CPU running?  -- and just let it stay and quiet and undisturbed, quietly doing its thing 24/7.
    Saturday, August 8, 2009 5:36 PM
  • famousdavis, I just bought the Acer WHS box yesterday and set it up.  I had previously logged in to the console this morning.  I had done a backup the night before and I wanted to look at the backup so I did the restore/view backup.  After that the same thing happened that you described, after inputting the password it took a long time "thinking" then the window went to a light blue color and nothing happened after that.
    Saturday, August 8, 2009 8:39 PM
  • I am experiencing the same thing as of yesterday. I have an HP EX485, 2 GB of RAM. All five of my PCs can no longer connect via the Console.

    When I try, it takes about 130 seconds, then I get a blank Console window.

    Starting the Console through a Remote Desktop connection is always successful, although it still takes ~30 seconds.
    Wednesday, August 12, 2009 5:11 PM
  • Gordon,

    Your post is especially interesting to me because you're on the HP platform, not the Acer.  I was thinking because of the lack of Internet chatter on this issue, that this might have been an Acer-specific problem.  I'm guessing, based upon your experience, it may be more of a WHS issue.  What I don't understand is why there aren't more people reporting this as an issue?  I suppose if people don't regularly use the console, the problem wouldn't be evident.  Or if they do a server restart frequently, that might also be a reason. 

    I have to add this interesting experience to the mix:  after several days of no console response on the networked computers, I decided I'd just see how long I could go without doing a restart and so I just contented myself with using Remote Desktop anytime I wanted to use the console.  But several days later after the console stopped working, one day I tried connecting using a networked computer, and this time, it connected!  I hadn't done a server restart -- the uptime was at 8 days+ at that point -- so I don't know why it began working once more, but it did.  That's the only time that has happened.

    The Microsoft security patches were automatically installed on the 12th, so my server did an automatic restart, and so the console is currently operating normally once more.  I'll just continue monitoring this problem, as there's little else I can do.  I wonder if the Microsoft development team has experienced this issue themselves, and if this is a reported bug?

    Thanks to those who've added to this thread.  It helps to know "it's not just me."  ;-)
    Thursday, August 13, 2009 3:45 PM
  • There are some possibilities where to look:
    Network drivers on server side (Power save settings in device manager for the network adapter should be disabled, the most current Windows Server 2003 compatible drivers provided, eventually a separate network card with adequate drivers provided, since onboard cards sometimes are not good with Server OS).
    There can also be a possibility, that system ressources are low. To fix this, try to copy following lines into notepad, save it as pool.reg on a server share and apply it to the server. Although it is only a shot into the blue, it helped me on some clients and servers with network problems (usually there was some message indicating about a lack of ressources if trying to map a network drive to the server).

    Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Memory Management]
    "PagedPoolSize"=dword:ffffffff
    "PoolUsageMaximum"=dword:00000030


    If your server has an NVidia graphic card, check this FAQ.

    What is the output of ipconfig /all on server and client?
    If the server has more than one network adapter, this is enabled or there are happening name resolution issues due to wrong DNS configuration on the clients, this can also be a reason for working/not working effects.

    Are client and servers connected to the same switch? Wired or wireless? It may be worth to apply the latest firmware to the router as well, if the machines are connected to that device.

    You may also look into the servers event log for error messages.

    Best greetings from Germany
    Olaf

    Thursday, August 13, 2009 8:56 PM
    Moderator
  • I am seeing this problem(as described by Gordon) on my self-built WHS box as well. Doing some other poking around I saw another thread from June that I think described a comparable problem that appeared to be related to .Net 1.1 making an appearance on WHS. However, that solution didn't appear to work for this problem, and Olaf's registry change doesn't change things either. (But I was generally expecting that result to happen, as the NIC can't be asleep if I have an active Remote Desktop Session in progress on the WHS box at the same time)

    I am seeing .Net 1.1 present on the server, by indirect means. It isn't available in Add/Remove programs, but it is showing up in Control Panel -> Administrative Tools with "Microsoft .Net 1.1 Configuration" and "Microsoft .Net 1.1 Wizards" showing as options in the menu.

    IIS Manager shows ASP .net Version 1.1.4322 being available(and tries to default to it). Forcing all of the sites to ASP.NET 2.0.50727 instead(as per the other thread) changed nothing.

    A complete uninstall of ASP.NET 2.0, 3.0 and the 3.5 Service pack, followed by a reboot and re-install(with another reboot) likewise changed nothing.

    Some poking in the registry suggests to me that 1.1.4322 found its way onto the WHS through SP3 for Windows Server 2003.

    However, unlike FamousDave who appears to have been able to occasionally get WHSConsole to work remotely on occasion, it doesn't work for me at all any more suggesting a different problem is possible.

    Also of note, up until the point in time that I tried to re-install the Console the remote machine, the remote backup functions continued working, that has stopped since I've been unable to connect to the server since.
    Wednesday, August 19, 2009 12:10 AM
  • I just wanted to share that I'm having the exact same problem on a brand-new HP EX495.

    It was working fine, then I started having the same problem:  Can't log into the console, remote access stopped working.  Backups and remote desktop still work fine.
    Sunday, October 25, 2009 7:15 PM
  • I just wanted to share that I'm having the exact same problem on a brand-new HP EX495.

    It was working fine, then I started having the same problem:  Can't log into the console, remote access stopped working.  Backups and remote desktop still work fine.

    Same here (home built), only just happened yesterday.  Shared folders are accessible, can't log into WHS console and WHS console does not work from server desktop. I can now only remote desktop the server by IP not name.
    Monday, October 26, 2009 10:08 PM
  • If the console won't run when you're at the server desktop, something is pretty badly broken. I'm afraid the most likely way to correct the issue is to follow the instructions in your documentation and perform a server recovery. Note: don't choose factory reset, as it will wipe your server clean!
    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Tuesday, October 27, 2009 3:59 PM
    Moderator
  • Thanks for the reply,


    The problem started after I arrived home and found the Network card had no activity. After a reboot and a play around with the switch it was lights on and I then managed to get remote desktop working from an IP only. After a careful look at the network adapters properties there appeared as if there was to something missing. A comparison with my other adapters revealed that there was no Client of Microsoft Networks Service. Installing this service fixed the issue, but I have no idea why it disappeared.

    Thursday, October 29, 2009 12:26 AM
  • After a month of my ACER working perfectly, I too cannot log into the WHS using the Console. 

    Posted to just let you know of my issue.
    Thursday, October 29, 2009 5:40 PM
  • I had the same problem. Here's how I fixed it. It was a disconnected Administrator session that was in some kind of bad state. Log on using remote desktop, and look at the logged on users in the task manager. See any disconnected users (where Status = disconnected)? Log them off. This fixed it for me. I could then log on with the console just fine. Note that when you log back on via remote desktop and look at the logged on users, you'll see a disconnected admin session again, but this time it will be in a "good" state, no need to log it off every time you see it in the task list. You should be able to reconnect with the console from then on. Well at least I could :)

    Good luck!
    Monday, November 9, 2009 5:33 PM
  • I had this issue too. It seems that the console logs in with the Administrator password, but when you close the Console. this session is disconnected, not logged off. On my server, Remote Desktop was set to never kill any disconnected sessions. For some reason, when the Console reconnects to this session, you get the blank screen.

    To fix this:

    1) Open a Remote Desktop session to the server. You don't have to log in with the Administrator account, but you should use an account with admin access to the server.
    2) Click Start, Control Panel, Administritative Tools, Terminal Services Configuration
    3) In the right panel, click on 'Connections'
    4) In the left panel, right click on 'RDP-Tcp' and select 'Properties' from the right-click menu
    5) Click on the 'Sessions' tab
    6) Check the first checkbox ('Override user settings - End a disconnected session:')
    7) Select '1 minute' from the dropdown list. You can use a longer interval if you wish, but it
        should be reasonable finite length. This will dictate how long you have to wait between
        WHS Console sessions.
    8) Click okay. Click okay to any messages that appear.

    The above changes will not affect any existing sessions, so you will need to manually kill any
    existing disconnected sessions:
    1) Right-click on the taskbar, and select 'Task Manager' from the right-click menu
    2) Click on the 'Users' tab.
    3) The existing sessions will be listed on this tab. For each session that says 'Disconnected' in
    the 'Status' column, select that session and click the 'Logoff' button.
    4) Click yes to confirm, and close the Task Manager
    5) Log off of the server.

    • Proposed as answer by esassaman Monday, April 5, 2010 4:55 AM
    Monday, January 4, 2010 5:05 AM
  • I too had this issue but in my case it was self-inflicted!

    I reconfigured my RDP encryption and password settings in Local Policy settings to improve security over the internet. However, the WHS console did not like that, more specifically don't switch on "Always prompt client for password on connection". It times out and occasionally drops you to a proper RDP session login prompt (after all you know that the console is just another RDP session).

    I have successfully enabled the the encryption though which is what I was after anyway, this does NOT affect WHS console.

    If like me you decide to play with your terminal server settings, don't forget to test your WHS console afterwards!
    Friday, March 12, 2010 7:55 PM
  • BINGO!  This was one of the most helpful comments.  Most solutions to issues are simple and straightforward.  It is very frustrating to see how many times post are jumping to major issues and reinstalls.... etc.

    This was a simple check and it fixed the problem immediatly.  Thank you!

    Saturday, April 3, 2010 12:45 PM
  • Thank you Schfooge. Your solution has fixed my problem (but why has it started to occur - I suspect a faulty add in not allowing the session to close). Very clear instructions. I never knew you could log a session off using task manager - I've always used terminal services manager.

    thanks again

    Pete Cousins

    Thursday, April 8, 2010 4:24 PM
  • All,

    Just to let you know that for me, the solution was uninstalling McAfee's Total Protection security that came with my Acer (and which I subsequently bought a one-year license to use).  About three months ago, I replaced McAfee -- which I suspected was the cause of several issues I was having -- with Avast antivirus for WHS.  Knock on wood, since I switched to Avast, I have *never* had an issue logging on to my Acer server.  Before then, I couldn't go a week without that problem.  The Acer server does once-a-month reboots for the automatic Microsoft updates, but that's it.  It's always been a terrific little black box, but especially so since I got rid of McAfee's software.

    Thursday, June 3, 2010 3:45 PM
  • Hey

    I have had some problems with my server and wondered if you could help. I got a acer aspire home server. It think my problems is the same as yours basically I can put my password in no problem and enter  the console. The console opens up but upon opening frezzes. I cant press any button or anything like that and after about a couple of seconds the window goes blue and then it windows home server console closes and some message come up about servre not detected.

     

    Addtional info:

     

    The problem occured when i Installed an add-in (im pretty sure).

    I can access my shared folders.

     

     

     

     

     

    Friday, January 21, 2011 12:03 AM
  • a month i only had it for a few days :D
    Friday, January 21, 2011 12:12 AM
  • I had this issue too. It seems that the console logs in with the Administrator password, but when you close the Console. this session is disconnected, not logged off. On my server, Remote Desktop was set to never kill any disconnected sessions. For some reason, when the Console reconnects to this session, you get the blank screen.

    To fix this:

    1) Open a Remote Desktop session to the server. You don't have to log in with the Administrator account, but you should use an account with admin access to the server.
    2) Click Start, Control Panel, Administritative Tools, Terminal Services Configuration
    3) In the right panel, click on 'Connections'
    4) In the left panel, right click on 'RDP-Tcp' and select 'Properties' from the right-click menu
    5) Click on the 'Sessions' tab
    6) Check the first checkbox ('Override user settings - End a disconnected session:')
    7) Select '1 minute' from the dropdown list. You can use a longer interval if you wish, but it
        should be reasonable finite length. This will dictate how long you have to wait between
        WHS Console sessions.
    8) Click okay. Click okay to any messages that appear.

    The above changes will not affect any existing sessions, so you will need to manually kill any
    existing disconnected sessions:
    1) Right-click on the taskbar, and select 'Task Manager' from the right-click menu
    2) Click on the 'Users' tab.
    3) The existing sessions will be listed on this tab. For each session that says 'Disconnected' in
    the 'Status' column, select that session and click the 'Logoff' button.
    4) Click yes to confirm, and close the Task Manager
    5) Log off of the server.

    This worked for me. Thank you for the very clear instructions.
    Saturday, October 26, 2013 4:14 PM