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  • WHS and Win7 backup restore problem

    Posted on WSmform Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Home Forums Admin IT Lounge WHS and Win7 backup restore problem

    This topic contains 14 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  joep517 9 years, 2 months ago.

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    • #469186 Reply

      WSmform
      AskWoody Lounger

      Perhaps someone knows thew answer to this problem that seems to have been around for a few years. I just installed WHS on a small ATOM powered machine and applied all of the security updates including PP3. Things seem to be working OK as far as backing up my Win7 machine. However, when I try to open a backup to look at the files inside I get an error message at 81% that it cannot mount the volume. I searched this on Google and other places and it seems that this has been a problem for several years but I could find no solution to get around it including on Microsoft’s site, where the 81% (and also a similar 79% problem) problem is not even mentioned. Again, this is a fresh install of WHS with all updates on a brand new computer with brand new disks.

      Backing up without the ability to restore is kind of pointless and it is hard to believe that Microsoft sells a product with this “feature”. Any help or suggestions would be appreciated.

      Thanks for any ideas on how to solve this.

      Mike

    • #1226061 Reply

      WSmform
      AskWoody Lounger

      An update— On the exact same machine, it dual boots XP and Win7, under XP everything works fine. So it seems to be some WHS and Win7 problem and nothing to do with the computer, network, etc.

      Again, any suggestions would be appreciated from anyone who solved this on their Win7 machine.

      Thanks.

      Mike

      • #1226084 Reply

        joep517
        AskWoody MVP

        An update— On the exact same machine, it dual boots XP and Win7, under XP everything works fine. So it seems to be some WHS and Win7 problem and nothing to do with the computer, network, etc.

        Again, any suggestions would be appreciated from anyone who solved this on their Win7 machine.

        I’ll have to check on my Win7 machine at home later today.

        Did you make sure PP1 & PP2 were installed also? I’m pretty sure that is a pre-requisite for PP3.

        See Download details: Windows Home Server Release Documentation for more information on the various power packs.

        Joe

        --Joe

    • #1226143 Reply

      WSmform
      AskWoody Lounger

      Thanks for the response. PP1 came with the DVD and the install. Then, via Windows Update, about 100 patches were downloaded and installed. Running Windows Update again gave me PP3. So, I have everything installed that Microsoft thinks should be installed. I do not remember if PP2 was installed before PP3. It seems to be Win7 related since, as I posted, the exact same machine running XP has no problem seeing the files. Let me know if your Win7 machine works OK.

      Mike

    • #1226164 Reply

      joep517
      AskWoody MVP

      Mine works fine on my Windows 7 Ultimate x64 machine. PP2 specifically mentions a fix for the stopping at 81%. You should verify that PP2 is installed. If not, you need to uninstall PP3, install PP2, reinstall PP3.

      Joe

      --Joe

    • #1226168 Reply

      WSmform
      AskWoody Lounger

      Joe:

      I checked the installed updates and both PP2 and PP3 are installed. If it works on my XP booted computer but not on the same machine booted into Win7, there must be some setup of Win7 that is causing the problem. Admittedly, my Win7 is a 32 bit installation, but I doubt that that that is the problem.

      Thanks for your response. Any other ideas from anyone else are welcome.

      Mike

    • #1226335 Reply

      joep517
      AskWoody MVP

      You might have better luck in the Forums at MediaSmartServer.net — The Windows Home Server Enthusiast Community[/url]. Also, see the blog roll on th bottom right for other WHS site that may be of use.

      Joe

      --Joe

    • #1226380 Reply

      WSmform
      AskWoody Lounger

      Thanks for the “referral” but I have already looked there and several other WHS blogs/forums and while I have seen many cases of the same sort of problem, there are no actual solutions. There are usual boilerplate answers like run “chkdsk”, “repair backups” and the like but as I mentioned, in my case, the same machine running XP can open the backups while running Win7 it cannot. So it is not likely that there is any problem with the backups at all, it is the way WHS opens them on the client machine—it cannot mount the virtual drive that it tries to create to view the files, that is the problem. I was just evaluating the product as a possible solution to backing up my computers so nothing was lost except my time and money installing WHS. I pity the poor people who were actually using and relying on the product to back up their data and found that it was not possible to restore it when that fateful day arrived that necessitated them to do so.

    • #1226383 Reply

      joep517
      AskWoody MVP

      That is too bad. I’ve had WHS for almost two years and have not had a problem with viewing backups or restoring files.

      Have you tried uninstalling and reinstalling the connector?

      Joe

      --Joe

    • #1226386 Reply

      WSmform
      AskWoody Lounger

      Yes. Same problem, stops at 81% —Cannot Mount Backup.

      The 81% has no meaning other than that is when I think Win7 tries to mount the virtual drive. There must be some incompatibility between the mounting service and some update or feature of Win7. As I said, the same machine booted into XP works fine. There have been several postings from people who say that things were working fine and then this same problem arose. The only thing that I can think of is some update/patch to the OS changed something for them. Is your machine up to date with all patches, etc.?

    • #1226530 Reply

      joep517
      AskWoody MVP

      Yes. Both the WHS and the Win7 machines are completely up-to-date with patches. I wonder if the problem is related to the size of the backup. Can you temporarily substantially increase the size of the Win7 backup? BTW, what version of Win7 are you running?

      Joe

      --Joe

    • #1226625 Reply

      WSmform
      AskWoody Lounger

      I am running the 32 bit version of Win7 Pro. So, that is one difference between our two machines as you said that you are running the 64 bit version. I am not sure if Ultimate vs. Pro has any bearing. What do you mean “substantially increase the size of the Win7 backup”? What do you feel that this will do?

      Mike

    • #1226662 Reply

      joep517
      AskWoody MVP

      I’m running Windows 7 Ultimate x64. By “substantially increase the size” I meant download a file or several files to total several hundred MB. Sometimes there are timing issues or decompression issues that can appear and disappear as the amount of data changes. This is pure speculation since there was work in PP2 & PP3 on this issue.

      It may be worthwhile to go to Microsoft Products Accepting Bugs and Suggestions | Microsoft Connect[/url] and join the WHS group. One suggestion I saw there for this issue was to run a “chkdsk /f /r” on the failing PC.

      Joe

      --Joe

    • #1226665 Reply

      WSmform
      AskWoody Lounger

      Joe:

      The initial full backup was several tens of GB, the whole C drive as well as another E partition containing data. Believe me, there was enough data.

      The disk on the WHS machine is good enough so that the same machine booted into XP can deal with it. So it is not a problem that can likely be solved by running chkdsk. The problem is that Win7 cannot mount the virtual drive that the Connector is trying to set up, or some aspect of that function.

      As far as Microsoft accepting bugs, when you go to the web page, as far as I can tell, they are only collecting problems with the new Vail product. They seem to think that there are no problems with the current WHS. That is why I am disgusted with the whole thing.

      Mike

    • #1226669 Reply

      joep517
      AskWoody MVP

      I’m sure there was enough data. But the amount or type of data that was there could be the issue. I’m suggesting that changing the amount and type of data may change the timing or some other factor enough that the problem will disappear.

      The reason you want to run a “chkdsk /f /r” is that a newer OS (i.e. Win7) has a slightly different version of NTFS that XP. It may be more sensitive to issues that XP could not detect. The process of mounting the virtual drive may be “touching” an area of the disk that is not normally accessed. Windows 7 does things differently than XP. While chkdsk may not (& probably will not) solve the problem it can’t hurt to run it and see.

      At the WINDOWS HOME SERVER | Microsoft Connect site click on the “Feedback” link on the left panel.

      Joe

      --Joe

    • #1226758 Reply

      WSlmod
      AskWoody Lounger

      I’m running W7 Ultimate 32 bit – fully updated – and WHS – also fully updated – and I am able to open a backup and inspect the files. My anti-virus (Vipre Premium) wanted to scan a new volume at the 81% mark. The firewall also asked permission before the virtual drive was created.
      Lionel

    • #1226780 Reply

      WSbpj
      AskWoody Lounger

      I run Win7 Professional 32-bit and an EX475 WHS (2GB RAM), both fully updated. I have no problem with accessing and restoring individual backup files. (I have identical responses to Lionel’s at the 81% mark with my Vipre Premium AV/firewall installation).
      Brian

    • #1226789 Reply

      WSmform
      AskWoody Lounger

      Lionel, Brian, thanks for your input. I turned off the Windows firewall and my AV program and still get the “Cannot Mount Backup” message at 81%. Perhaps the AV program would have asked to scan the new volume if it had been able to be mounted. Win7 asks permission to run the program that mounts the virtual drive every time and I always say yes, but that is all the feedback that I get until I get the error message. I will run chkdsk on the drives in the WHS to see if it picks up something as JoeP suggested. Since other people seem to be able to run WHS with Win7, there must be something in my setup or configuration that is preventing the drive from being mounted. What that may be is the question.

      Mike

    • #1226904 Reply

      WSAGetzler
      AskWoody Lounger

      This is a guess – could you have a drive letter already assigned that the Mount wants?
      Can you temporarily change your drive letters, as in XP?

    • #1226933 Reply

      WSmform
      AskWoody Lounger

      Abraham, thanks for the suggestion. As far as I can tell from other postings, the system wants to mount the drive as “Z”. I checked this early on and “Z” is available. I am currently using drive letters C, D, E, F, M, N, P, Q and R. All others are available. So I don’t think that this is a problem.

      I ran chkdsk /f /r on the D drive in the WHS as JoeP suggested. No problems.

      I do not think that there is any problem with the WHS itself. The problem seems to be my setup of Win7 not being able to mount the virtual drive either due to some incompatibility with the client software or some basic driver or other issue interfering with the mount.

      Mike

      • #1226935 Reply

        joep517
        AskWoody MVP

        Abraham, thanks for the suggestion. As far as I can tell from other postings, the system wants to mount the drive as “Z”. I checked this early on and “Z” is available. I am currently using drive letters C, D, E, F, M, N, P, Q and R. All others are available. So I don’t think that this is a problem.

        I ran chkdsk /f /r on the D drive in the WHS as JoeP suggested. No problems.

        I do not think that there is any problem with the WHS itself. The problem seems to be my setup of Win7 not being able to mount the virtual drive either due to some incompatibility with the client software or some basic driver or other issue interfering with the mount.

        Try the chkdsk on your Window 7 machine.

        Joe

        --Joe

    • #1227057 Reply

      WSmform
      AskWoody Lounger

      JoeP:

      I am not sure what running chkdsk on the Win7 machine would do since the problem is trying to mount the backup virtual disk. I did it anyway since who knows what the problem may be, certainly not anyone at Microsoft even though they make both WHS and Win7.

      Chkdsk found no problems with my disks and partitions on my Win7 machine. Previously, chkdsk found no problems with the disk on the WHS machine.

      I ran the “Open” dialog on the WHS screen again and one time I got an “Application Crash” warning of the “MountBackup.exe” program along with some debug info. There were the “normal” info boxes displayed that would normally say “Cannot Mount Backup”, but this time they were empty, just the blank box. The next time I tried to view the backup I just got the “normal” “Cannot Mount Backup” dialog box.

      It is too bad they do not have a fix for this since otherwise it would seem to work and play well with Win7 and solve a backup problem. I guess that I will post this on the Connection site although they seem to have a whole bunch of “Cannot Mount Backup” postings already with no real solution.

      Any other ideas welcome.

      Mike

    • #1227069 Reply

      WSripley
      AskWoody Lounger

      Maybe needless to point out but you probably did cleanup your drives as well as checked your registry for errors? If so, which tool or tools did you use for the task? If not, you might want to try CCleaner for a good robust operation. Particularly in the days of older Win systems lot of trouble was caused by temp files and other junk remnants in the file system and registry. This would be my first step.

      Next point to look at is Event Viewer – what does it say? Usually most of the notions are somewhat cryptic, but it sure doesn’t hurt to check.

      And still another, maybe a sidestep, but have you tried any other virtual disc software – even just to see if there might be a system configuration problem? I use MagicISO virtual CD/DVD Manager (MagicDisc). Just a fancy, and certainly not a solution to the primary issue.

      If none of above gives any clue, I’d try DependencyWalker and/or perhaps ProcessExplorer next.

      Just a few ideas for a starter —

      – ripley –

    • #1227480 Reply

      WSmform
      AskWoody Lounger

      I cannot find anything that points to a problem. I installed the Windows Home Server Toolkit in order to send logs to Microsoft. While the Server generated the logs that were sent, the error reporting run on the Win7 machine causes an error when trying to zip up the log files and so does not send the information to Microsoft. However, I do have the log files that it generates.

      I have tried to fill out a Bug Report on the WHS Connection but it keeps telling me that “Required Information is Missing” even though I have completely filled out the bug form. This makes it impossible to submit the bug report. Has anyone done this successfully? I assume so, since I see bugs listed, but I cannot figure out what they want for the required missing information.. By the way, the only bug report form that I found was for Vail. It looks like they have stopped supporting the current WHS unless that bug reporting form is hidden someplace else. Any suggestions as to what I am doing wrong would be useful.

      Microsoft offers paid Tech Support at $79 plus tax which will effectively doubles the cost of the product for me. I am not going to throw good money after bad since the support for the product seems poor and I can’t justify spending $79 every time there is another problem. I am about ready to give up and try and get my money back. If anyone has any suggestions, I would appreciate it.

      Thanks.

      Mike

    • #1232279 Reply

      WSjmessman
      AskWoody Lounger

      I am late coming to the party on this issue, but did you try to mount the image on another PC? That will tell you if it is the Servers problem or the PC.

    • #1232287 Reply

      WSmform
      AskWoody Lounger

      Joe:

      The exact same hardware booted into Win XP (system set up as dual boot into XP or 7) works fine. So it is something about the way WHS builds the virtual drive that prevents Win7 from mounting it. In that sense, the problem could be the server’s fault. I never got an answer from Microsoft Connect or any user group that had a solution that worked. I tried them all. 🙂 Otherwise, WHS seems like an ideal product to me. However, not being able to restore files from a backup is a major problem for backup server.

      As an interesting note, the beta of Vail works fine with Win7. But, who knows when Vail will see the light of day. I will probably run BackupPC on a FreeNAS server. Not as easy or as nice, but at least it should work. I have the FreeNAS running fine. Now just to add BackupPC.

      Mike

      • #1237737 Reply

        WSDrBob
        AskWoody Lounger

        Joe:

        Otherwise, WHS seems like an ideal product to me. However, not being able to restore files from a backup is a major problem for backup server.

        As an interesting note, the beta of Vail works fine with Win7.

        Mike

        Hi Mike,

        I feel for you as I have been in similar situations many times.

        I have run successively (and even simultaneously, each computer only connected to one WHS product however) WHS w PP3 on a ASUS TS-Mini, a HP EX490 Mediaserver and Vail Beta 1 on an older E6850 Core 2 machine. They all worked flawlessly backing up as many as 7 commuters winning WinXp Pro, 64b Vista Home Premium, Win 7 32b & 64b Pro, and Win 7 64b Ultimate. While that is little comfort, I believe you can assume that there are many 1000’s of WHS and Win 7 configurations out there that are not having your problem and probably only a few dozen (rightfully vocal) users are generating the 81% problem issues you are running into.

        It is very likely something that is not intentionally reproducible by others and considering it is likely effecting a very very small percentage of users, is not being addressed by the WHS team or anyone else other than those effected.

        One way I have attacked problems like this that I have had in the past, is to explore ANY options that may lead to acquiring more information – and I believe you have several suggestions already along that line.

        Perhaps you have done it, although I did not see it suggested, but I would suggest removing your current HDDs, taking a fresh HDD and reinstalling just Win 7 on it. If you can make a fresh backup then restore from WHS now, that would eliminate a significant number of failure possibilities and point to possible culprits. As as fast as Win 7 installs, that test can probably be done in about an hour, likely a very small fraction of the time you have already spent researching a solution.

        Or get a buddy with a Win 7 machine laptop and see if it works on that.

        The more information you have, the more likely you are to be The Hero that solves this problem!

        Good luck.

        BobD

    • #1237744 Reply

      WSmform
      AskWoody Lounger

      Bob D:

      Wow, a whole month since the last post and people are still looking at the postings. 🙂

      I agree with you entirely that, in general, most people do not have a problem and so support totally doesn’t care to fix the situation. There are quite a few people with “81%” problems posting so I am not alone, as you noted but we are stuck with no hope of a fix. The thing that most annoys me is that the MS FAQ on bugs does not even mention this and there are no real suggestions other than run chkdsk on all of the WHS drives, etc. As I said, the problem is probably not with the server end of things, the exact same computer booted into XP works fine, it is how WHS mounts the virtual disk in Win7. This problem coupled with other problems seen posted about things suddenly no longer working convinced me that using WHS as a backup program was asking for trouble and I have totally given up any hope of using it.

      I am sure that most development work is now going on with Vail and not much support is being given to WHS v1. The Vail beta worked fine on my system so I might give WHS v2 a try when it comes out—whenever that may be. Right now I am using a small Atom CPU to run FreeNAS and using that to backup files. I might try using BackupPC to do the incremental backups automatically. Not quite as spiffy as WHS, but a whole lot more reliable.

      Mike

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