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Windows Home Server Backup Issues

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It’s been quite a while since I decided to buy and setup a Windows Home Server box. So far I was using one of my machines (the one, which my son was using) to hold all my files, but I needed more centralized, permanently online (and quiet) box, on which I could relay.

Windows Home Server (WHS) out of the box functionality was more than satisfactory, so I decided to invest in this. The investment itself is not significant, considering the fact that you always buy WHS on OEM price.

WHS comes with very handy automated backup feature, which is extremely easy to configure, if your other home machines have the Connector software already installed (the Connector software is free application, which is part of WHS). Only few clicks and you get any home machine automatically backed up on your home server.

However (and here the big “however” starts :) ), for some strange reason the Connector software did not want to backup Vesi’s machine. Each backup run ended very quickly with this (I agree, extremely helpful as usual :) ) message:

Received abort message from VESIBOOK with reason 7.

Creepy!

And then, to make the things even worse:

Backup set 0 on SERVER failed: System.ArgumentException: Expected BeginBackupSet response, received BeginBackupSetFailed response.
   at Microsoft.HomeServer.Backup.Protocol.BackupProtocol.Consume(Response response)
   at Microsoft.HomeServer.Backup.Protocol.BackupProtocol.RecvBeginBackupSet()
   at Microsoft.HomeServer.Backup.BackupOp.BackupSetOperation.RunWithoutCatch()

Geeesh!

I was thinking that this bug was OS or Connector bug, so I decided to wait for a couple of months for the release of Windows Home Server Power Pack 1. It was released with big fanfares a couple of weeks ago and I immediately got that and installed it.

Alas, no luck! The same!

It seemed that I’ll either have to completely give up these nice backups, or start looking for solution myself. First, if was Live Search for the subject. It quickly led me to two possible reasons for this error:

  1. First very strange reason is seem only on Vista boxes (yes, VESIBOOK is Vista Ultimate). The reason for the error might be… that the backup is turned off at the home server!
    Each box, which is registered in your home server, can have its backup turned off. If that’s the case with your machine, any Manual Backup try may end up with this error.
    To resolve that, just turn on your the backups for this machine (WHS Server Console => Computers & Backups => Right click the machine => “Turn on backup”):
    image
  2. Also, this error might be caused by [even slightly] corrupted file system on the target machine. To resolve that, run “chkdsk /r” on all drives, where the backup is supposed to run. Most probably you will have to restart your machine, because usually at least one of the drives is your system drive, which cannot be “dismounted” without hassle.
    After the run, check for errors, especially be careful for bad sectors, which might mean that you should really start saving your data. Then retry your backup.

Please note that sometimes you might have both the problems :) . My case was precisely that, so after turning on backups for that box, I had to run “chkdsk” as well. After executing both fixes, VESIBOOK was successfully backed up.

One day I guess I have to do real, better overview of WHS. Because I’m really glad it’s there for me, doing its job quietly and helping all the rest in the “family IT” to run smoother.

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3 Comments

  1. This is basically a simple solution for a complicated problem. This once happened to my computer and, luckily, I know someone who was able so figure it out with something similar or exactly what you presented in this tutorial. I’ve bookmarked this page just in case it happens again. Thank you for the post!

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