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Client backup - cannot connect to the server


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Starting a few days ago, all my backups started failing.  This is on a couple of desktops running Windows 10 Pro x64 20H2, and a desktop and laptop running Windows 7 Pro x64. The message is:


"Cannot connect to the server"


"Backup cannot run because the computer cannot connect to the server.  To ensure that backup runs, make sure that the computer can connect to the server."


I logged in to the server the other day, and restarted it (it was pending a restart for an update), but it's still not working.  Shared folders are still visible on the clients.  I could kind of understand the Windows 10 clients having an issue, but not the Windows 7 clients.


One of the Windows 10 machines was recently updated from 1909 to 20H2 (I uninstalled the Server Connector and deleted its registry entries, then reinstalled it).  After the upgrade, it was at least starting backups, but then failed before finishing (the network connection was interrupted - I assumed it was a network traffic or bandwidth issue).  On the other one, I recently updated from 2004 to 20H2 (it was still backing up after that).


Any ideas out there?  Is anyone else seeing this?  Nothing's changed on these systems recently, except for the usual monthly Windows updates (in the case of the Windows 10 machines, anyway).


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  • 3 weeks later...

Bit late to the party, but it has been a while since I visited these forums on a regular basis and I've only just seen this whilst researching a related topic.


I have had this problem across a variety of systems and Windows updates and have found the instructions here to be really useful: https://sbsland.me/2020/11/04/fix-windows-10-update-and-small-business-essentials-connector/ (NOTE that the site is primarily in German but this issue is so widespread that there is an English language version of this one topic).

Edited by Steve Pitts
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Ah, so I need to run the PS script on the affected Windows 10 clients?  Using the exact command, running the script from within the folder where the ps1 file and the .reg files are located?


I'll try the PS script on one of my Win 10 clients (a desktop) tomorrow.


As an alternative, I could copy the .reg files down locally, and execute (double-click on them) one at a time, to import the keys, right?  It would be a little more work (importing five keys one at a time, instead of letting the ps1 file do it).  I've got a little experience running PS scripts (like to set a Web proxy using a scheduled task that runs at logon), but lots more experience importing and exporting reg keys.


Thanks for finding this, and for posting it here.  I've had issues in the past with feature upgrades "breaking" the connector, but I'd always been able to fix it by re-running the connector install.  This is the first time I've seen it not work.


Thanks again!

Edited by WHS_Refugee
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I just had another thought - is it possible that some other update broke this?  I have two Windows 7 Pro clients (for Windows Media Center), and their backups stopped working at the same time the Windows 10 backups stopped working.  I wonder if it'd be worth trying to import the registry keys to those?

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