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WBEngine won't start on my WHS 2011


Scurrah
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So, I'm finding that if my backup media is ever disconnected, WHS2011 freaks out and doesn't recover well. I have a backup set up to go to an external 2GB USB drive. Backups have been working flawlessly. I accidentally disconnected the USB drive (not during a backup or anything crazy like that). I reconnected the drive and soon the server told me that one or more services are not running. They are Windows Server Addins Infrastructure Service, Windows Server Identity Management Service, and Windows Server Server Backup Service. I can manually start the first two. But as soon as I attempt to start the Windows Server Server Backup Service, all three die right away.

 

I've done the standard chkdsk /f/r stuff and no errors show up on that disconnected drive.

I found this KB (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/981851) titled "The backup operation fails and the Wbengine.exe service stops in Windows Server 2008 R2 or in Windows 7 if one of the volumes in the operation does not exists any longer ". Certainly sounds like my issue. But this is an old patch and seems to refer to older versions of the WBEngine.exe (6.1.7600.20674) than the ones currently in WHS2011 (6.1.7601.17514). I almost think I need to clean out the current backup config and re-build it. But you can't get to it (I've tried going through both the WHS dashboard or from the WBAdmin powershell commands) unless the WBEngine.exe is running.

 

Anyone have any ideas on how to fix this???

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I just haven't been getting any suggestions or ideas at all. I've posted on Microsoft's forums and nothing there either. Not sure what to do.

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This sounds more like a corrupt Registry Entry. Do you have a backup of the OS you can revert to? Otherwise.......

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I think I solved it! It must have been a corrupted catalog. From the powershell, I issued a wbadmin delete catalog.

 

From there it seems a little odd yet. More work to be done. I tried restoring the backup catalog (ie. I went to my disk manager in the Microsoft Management Console and temporarily gave the the backup disk a drive letter (like z:). Then from the powershell prompt againt, I did webadmin restore catalog - backupTarget:z:) But that doesn't seem to be working. When I go and try to set up a backup, it says it completed and that the next one is scheduled to go at 11:00. But then in the dashboard it still says that it isn't set up yet. I'm going to do a reboot to see if it just isn't updating the dashboard correctly. But this is progress!!!

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You can setup tasks via the normal way and also thru the dashboard. WHS will generate an error until you complete that same task from within the dashboard.

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Just as a bit of closure, I ended up just deleting the catalog through wbadmin commands in the power shell (ie webadmin delete catalog). That is what ultimately fixed the issue. I was able to get in and reconfigure backups now that the ebengine.exe service was functioning correctly. If i tried to restore the catalog via wbadmin (wbadmin restore catalog -backupTarget:z:, it would restore nicely and I could see all of my availbale backups (ie wbadmin get versions). However, when I tried to then add the existing external drive, with existing backups to be used as the destination to WHS dashboard, I could never actually restore any of the files from a backup.

 

So, I decided to just dump my existing backups on this drive and start clean. Unless you go delete all the logs in the event viewer, the dashboard will still show remnants of old backups that don't exist anymore. So, you have you go delete all of those event logs (ie Event Viewer/Applications and Services Logs/Microsoft/Backup/Operational). Once you delete those, then the dashboard logs will be cleaned up.

 

So... In the end, everything is working great. Backups are running and everything is cleaned up. I wish I could have found a way to keep my existing backups. No biggie, but it just mean another 7 hours of a full backup instead of a 2 minute incremental. Seems like Microsoft would have a cleaner way to recover from a disconnected hard drive. Not something a newbie would have figured out. Again, making WHS a little more complicated for being a true "home" server. Don't get me wrong. As a server guy, I like having having the power of a real server for home use with a home price.

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Have to say though, it's a little disquieting to see several different posts indicating that their backup catalog is corrupt. Given the importance of backup, I would have hoped MS would put particular emphasis on making it robust.

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