How to troubleshoot the “Backup service is not running” error message in Windows Home Server

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INTRODUCTION

This step-by-step article describes how to troubleshoot the “Backup service is not running” error message or backup database inconsistency errors that you receive in Windows Home Server. You receive these errors when the home server network health status button is red and when the network health status is Critical. This article discusses potential causes of this behavior.

MORE INFORMATION

Your home server network health status is Critical when you receive a “Backup service is not running” error message or a “Backup Service Error – A possible database consistency problem has been detected in the backup database” error message. You may receive these error messages for any of the following reasons:
  • Windows Home Server has detected that a hard disk is missing.
  • A hard disk was not removed successfully.
  • Windows Home Server has detected problems on the hard disk. For example, there is a disk error on the hard disk.

Before you troubleshoot this problem

Before you start to troubleshoot this problem, make sure that Windows Home Server has the latest updates. To install the latest updates, follow these steps:
  1. Log on to the Windows Home Server Console from a home computer.
  2. Click Settings.
  3. In the Windows Update area, click the Update Now button.

Troubleshooting methods

Use the following methods in the order in which they are listed to troubleshoot this issue.

Method 1: Restart your home server

To restart your home server, follow these steps:
  1. Log on to the Windows Home Server Console from any home computer.
  2. Click Settings, and then click Shut Down.
  3. Click Restart to restart your home server.
  4. Check whether the issue is resolved.

Method 2: Reconnect any disconnected hard disks to your home server

  1. Reconnect any disconnected hard disks to your home server. Reconnect external hard disks, such as a USB hard disk, to your home server. Before you reconnect internal hard disks, read the system manufacturer’s instructions. These instructions will specify whether to shut down or to unplug the computer before you reconnect an internal hard disk.
  2. Make sure that any external hard disks are turned on.
  3. Log on to the Windows Home Server Console from any home computer.
  4. Click Settings, and then click Shut Down.
  5. Click Restart to restart your home server.
  6. Verify that the issue is resolved.

Method 3: Remove hard disks by using the Remove a Hard Drive Wizard

Note If you recently removed a hard disk and if you did not use the Remove a Hard Drive Wizard, use this method to try to resolve the issue.
  1. Log on to Windows Home Server Console from any home computer.
  2. Click the Server Storage tab.
  3. Right-click the hard disk that you want to remove, and then click Remove.
  4. Follow the Remove a Hard Drive Wizard to safely remove the hard disk. The wizard indicates whether there is sufficient remaining space to preserve all the existing files.
  5. Physically disconnect or remove the hard disk after you complete all the steps in the wizard.
  6. Log on to the Windows Home Server Console from any of your home computers.
  7. Click Settings, and then click Shut Down.
  8. Click Restart to restart your home server.
  9. Check whether the issue is resolved.

Method 4: Repair hard disks that are identified as "Unhealthy"

To check whether your home server hard disks are working correctly, follow these steps:
  1. Log on to the Windows Home Server Console from any home computer.
  2. Click the Server Storage tab.
  3. Review the status of each hard disk. If the status of any of your hard disks is Unhealthy, follow these steps to repair that hard disk:
    1. Right-click the hard disk that has a status of Unhealthy, and then click Repair.
    2. Follow instructions in the Repair a Hard Drive Wizard to repair the hard disk.
    3. Restart your home server.

Method 5: Repair the backup database

You should repair the backup database only as the last option. When you do this, all the home computer backups are deleted. These backups include any customized backup configurations, such as excluded hard disks or folders. Repair the backup database only after you complete the previous troubleshooting methods. If you have a database inconsistency error, follow these steps to repair the backup database:
  1. Log on to the Windows Home Server Console from any home computer.
  2. Click Settings, click Backup, and then click Repair in the Backup Cleanup area.
  3. After the repair is complete, click Cleanup Now.
  4. Restart your home server.
  5. Log on to the Windows Home Server Console from any home computer.
  6. Click the Computers & Backup tab.
  7. Right-click each of your home computers in the list, and then click Configure Backup to reconfigure the backup.

Common causes of these error messages

A missing hard disk is the most common cause of these error messages. This category includes any hard disk on your home server that has been disconnected or turned off. This category also includes any hard disk that has failed and was not removed correctly by using the Remove a Hard Drive Wizard. The Windows Home Server backup service depends on a set of backup database files. These database files are usually distributed across multiple physical hard disks on your home server. If any of the hard disks are missing, the backup service is almost certain to generate errors. If a hard disk has been disconnected or turned off, the backup service can usually restart after the hard disk is reconnected and turned on.

The second most common cause of these errors occurs when you remove a hard disk from your home server, and you do not use the Remove a Hard Drive Wizard. To remove a hard disk from your home server, use the Remove a Hard Drive Wizard if you want to make sure that all the files will be migrated successfully to another hard disk on your home server. If the hard disk is permanently damaged or is otherwise no longer available to connect to your home server, you should still use the Remove a Hard Drive Wizard to remove the hard disk from your home server. In this case, some backup data files may still be lost, and you may have to repair the backup database.

A faulty hard disk also causes the backup service to stop or to create a database inconsistency error.

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Article ID: 946339 - Last Review: May 14, 2009 - Revision: 3.0
APPLIES TO
  • Windows Home Server
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