Backup for Files - Windows Home Server support and configuration

Written By Tami Sutcliffe (Super Administrator)

Updated at March 31st, 2021

Windows Home Server (WHS) is a special version of the Windows Server operating system designed to run on less expensive NAS storage devices, for use at home or in home offices. Performing online backups (or local backups) of files stored on a WHA is supported by the file-level backup product, but you must configure the backup to not use Microsoft VSS. The reason is that VSS has been heavily customized on WHS and is not able to properly take temporary snapshots of volumes on the WHS, due to the special storage layers and storage topology deployed by WHS.

Configuring Backups of Windows Home Server

  1. Install the RDP (remote desktop) plugin for WHS.
  2. Use remote desktop to connect to WHS.
  3. Download and install the backup manager, as you normally would.
  4. Configure the backup manager with your account credentials, list of folders to backup, backup schedule, and all other settings as normal/typical.
  5. In the backup manager, go to the Backup tab of the Options page. Change the "Volume Shadow Copy Mode" setting to "Off"

On WHS you will only be able to backup normal files stored on a network share on the WHS.  Other data stored on the WHS that is not exposed by the WHS as a normal file is not able to be backed up at this time.

Note: Not shutting off "Volume Shadow Copy Mode" will likely result in the following error(s):

ERROR: 30000: The device is not connected. [1167 (0x48F)] {eFS:ClieBackup:2630}

Windows Home Server and the BDR

Due to the special on-disk format that WHS uses to store data, the BDR or our bare-metal backup solution only partially works and is not officially supported. (Note that doing file-level backups of a WHS is fully supported, and is the recommended way to backup a WHS.) In testing our BDR with WHS, bare-metal backups of a Windows Home Server does work. Also, mounting a bare-metal backup image to restore individual files from that image also works. However, bare-metal restores in our testing do not work. In our tests, after an attempted bare-metal restore to a Windows Home Server, the WHS will not boot. Thus, if you use the BDR to do bare-metal backups of a WHS, you will only be able to mount the bare-metal backup images and restore files instead of the entire volume. We recommend instead that you use our file-level backup product to backup the data on your WHS.