Archive for WHS

Reset WHS Backup Database

I still have several Microsoft Windows Home Servers (WHS) running in some customer offices. Had an issue where the backup database got corrupted, not allowing me to retrieve any backups. I tried many solutions, but none fixed the problem.

So, how do you wipe out the WHS backup database to essentially start clean?

What you will have found out is that there’s not an option for doing this from the WHS console. Yes, you “clean” the database, but that only removes backups older than your declared backup settings. And a “repair” does not do the trick.

So, I dusted off an old post (kudos to Jim Clarke) that will do exactly what we need – reset the current WHS backup database, and free up all the disk space previously used.

  • Use mstsc to login to the WHS Server
  • Open a command prompt (Start –> Run –> cmd)
    Type: net stop PDL
    Type: net stop whsbackup
  • Leave the command window open, as we will need it in a minute
  • Meanwhile, open up Windows Explorer and locate:
  • Delete the contents of that folder – but DO NOT delete the folder itself!
  • Now go back to the command prompt window
    Type: net start whsbackup
    Type net start PDL
  • Jim notes that after doing this you will need to go to each workstation and either reinstall the WHS Connector software or run the Discover.exe program.

And, in case you are wondering, PDL is Microsoft’s Persistent Drive Letter service!

.Net Updates will break client backups

Microsoft released today (May 13, 2014) a security update for the .Net Framework (KB2960358).

However, after applying this update, client backups on SBS 2011 Essentials, WHS 2011, Server Storage Essentials 2008, and 2012 Essentials will fail.

Microsoft has already released updates to fix this problem:

  • KB2934957 for Windows 2012 Essentials
  • KB2934950 for Windows 2011 Essentials, WHS 2011, WSSE 2008*
    * Please note, before applying this fix, there is a pre-requisite that the server has the appropriate Rollup 4 update applied.

WHS 2011 and UEFI GPT Partitions

Yes, this info is a year old, but I’m just getting around to having customers by Windows 8.1 computers Smile

One of my customers is using a Windows Home Server (WHS) 2011 system to backup his office computers. He just obtained a Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro laptop. I install the WHS connector, and attempt to backup the laptop, and it died sitting at 1%. I rebooted both the laptop and the server, with the same result. Both systems are current on patches.

Then I discover that there is a Microsoft hotfix for the WHS server that is required to properly backup computers with UEFI/GPT disk partitions.


There are plenty of web sites posting this information, but none fully address the process, which I will do. What the KB article does NOT tell you is that after installing the hotfix, the workstation will need to apply an update to the Launchpad before the backup will function properly.

Part 1 – from the WHS Server

  1. Login to the WHS system, and go to the Microsoft KB2781272 link and click on the button “Hotfix Download Available –>”
  2. You will be offered three versions of the hotfix. the first version listed is the most recent one.
  3. Select it, and fill in your email address. Microsoft will send you an email with a link to download the file
  4. Look for the email, download the file and move it over to a temp directory on the WHS server. I created a temp folder labeled “UEFI-Hotfix” under the Downloads folder.
  5. Double click on the file, which is a self-executing zip file, and it will expand out the contents to your temp directory. If you are not able to do so, right click on the file and look to see if the file has been “blocked”. If so click on the Block button.
  6. You will be prompted to select a folder to unzip the file. Use the “Browse” button and go to the temp folder you created.
  7. Locate the actual hotfix file (labeled Windows6.1-KB2781272-x64.msu, double click and install it.
  8. You will be prompted to reboot the server

Part 2 – from the Windows 8.1 computer

  1. From the computer in question, startup the WHS Launchpad. Note: you don’t need to sign in, just start it up.
  2. You should then see a task activity button indicating that an update to the LaunchPad is being installed.
  3. Once that is finished, you should be able to successfully create a backup.

WHS 2011 and UEFI support

Microsoft released a hotfix (KB 2781272) earlier this year to add backup support for UEFI-based client computers that contain a GUID partition table (GPT) formatted disk. The hotfix addresses four issues that are defined in the KB post.

Please note that prior to installing this hot fix, it is necessary to remove those client computers that contain GPT-formatted disk from the WHS 2011 dashboard, and select ‘Do not archive backup’.


HP MicroServer Graphics Driver for WHS 2011

From the FWIW dept: I recently installed WHS 2011 on HP MicroServer N36L hardware at a site. Customer wants to use it to display rotating family photos on an attached monitor. Two things were required:

  • Finding screen saver software to use
  • Installing the right graphics driver


The screen saver software was easy to resolve. I downloaded and installed the free version of gPhotoShow. It runs on WHSv1 (Windows server 2003), and WHS2011 (Windows Server 2008R2). I like it because you can have it randomize the photos to be displayed, and other tweaks.




The graphics driver was a bit more work. By default, installing WHS 2011 uses the standard VGA graphics driver.

If you go to HP’s support site, they direct you to ASPEED’s web site for downloading the graphics driver.



There’s no install file, just the driver (inf) files for each operating system. However, as I could not determine which specific model to install (AST1100, AST1160, etc.), I decided to try a different approach..

I then installed and ran the free HWiNFO64 utility (there is also a HWiNFO32 version as well).


It told me that I had an ATI/AMD Mobility Radeon HD 2400 graphics. How interesting! What’s nice about the HWiNFO64 utility is that by simply clicking on the graphic card link, it took me right to the AMD site to download the appropriate driver.