Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums

Problem with File History

  1. #1

    Posts : 28
    Windows 8 Pro x64

    Problem with File History

    Some of you may recall that I have problems with Windows 7 File Recovery creating multiple system images although I had plenty of free space on my internal drive D:.

    Yesterday, however, I noticed that File History stopped making backups (also on D: on March 22. The Event Viewer displays the very clear message:
    "Unable to start a backup cycle for configuration C:\Users\<user name>\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\FileHistory\Configuration\Config"

    There is also a warning that says:
    "Directory was not backed up because it is a reparse point:
    C:\Users\Public\Documents\My Pictures
    If you want it to be protected, remove the reparse point."

    Not sure what a reparse point is, I suspected a photos folder on my E: drive that was added to my Pictures Library. So I first excluded the Pictures Library in Exclude from File History and after I found out that that didn't help I removed the linked folder from E: from the Library altogether. That didn't solve anything either.

    So I started to search the internet for a solution. In my search I noticed that many articles on File History talk about being able to make backup copies on an external drive or a network drive. For example:

    File History requires:

    • Windows 8 Client operating system
    • An external storage device with enough storage capacity to store a copy of all user libraries, such as a USB drive, Network Attached Storage device, or share on another PC in the home network.

    (emphasis mine, from: Protecting user files with File History - Building Windows 8 - Site Home - MSDN Blogs)

    They don't talk about an internal drive, like drive D: in my case. So I decided to choose external USB drive K: instead. That didn't help much...

    In one of the articles I read:
    "You can choose to turn on File History to back up your libraries, contacts, favorites, and desktop, but you can't use both features at the same time" (from Restore files backed up in previous versions of Windows)
    What's up with that? Can it be that some of those articles are based on preview versions of Win8 where things were different than the RTM version?

    Anyway, in the end I deleted the .edb and .xml files in C:\Users\<user name>\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\FileHistory\Configuration to set things up from scratch and sure enough:
    Click image for larger version

    My questions:

    1. Is it really not possible to use an internal drive for File History? If not, why do my internal drives D: and E: show up in the list to choose from in File History?
    2. Why on earth is it not possible to use both Windows 7 File Recovery (to make system images) and File History (to periodically save my documents and if necessary quickly find a previous version of same)? They serve two different purposes! Microsoft itself says: "Windows 8 File History is great for backing up personal files, but it is not meant for backing up system and application files."
    3. Normally users cannot access each others documents but with File History on a USB drive anyone can access everything?
    4. What is that reparse point and why did I still get that error even after excluding the Library?

    What a mess, I am really getting disappointed with Windows 8. Hope someone can help me out. TIA.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2

    I use internal D partition for file history set to automatically do it every ?so often?.
    I use the win7 file recovery, manually for images and backups of some few folders to E partition.. the let me choose options.

    If I remember right, File History will fail if you have added folders to the History pics/docs/etc default folders... to real folders that are within your user profile. You can add a new named history item folder and attach real user folders to it. I've made one named xFileHistory and put my specials in it.

    FileHistory I remb failed and to make it work had to make a shared folder on the drive full access to name 'EVERYONE' .. then after a restart file history sees the drive. Delete that folder.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3

    Posts : 28
    Windows 8 Pro x64

    @mikiep: thank you for your reaction and confirming it should work on internal HDs too.

    In the mean time I have spent some hours experimenting and I think I have it all working now, although differently from my initial set-up.

    Hopefully to help others in the future having similar problems:

    First I switched off the daily system image backup in Windows 7 Recovery and I also turned off File History. Then I deleted the .edb and .xml files in C:\Users\<user name>\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\FileHistory\Configuration

    After I included my photos folder in the Picture Library once more and switching on File History now using USB connected external HD K:, everything seemed to be working, despite the fact that the photo reparse point was included in the Library! No more errors in Event Viewer. So far so good.

    For the daily system image I created another solution, to avoid using Windows 7 Recovery.
    In Task Scheduler I created a new task 'WindowsImageBackup' to be run daily with highest privileges.
    The Action is
    cscript "C:\Program Files (x86)\Backup\WindowsImageBackup.vbs"
    In C:\Program Files (x86)\Backup I created the following WindowsImageBackup.vbs file *):
    datetoday = now
    strMonth  = Right("0" & Month(datetoday) ,2)
    strDay    = Right("0" & Day(datetoday)   ,2)
    datetoday = strDay & "-" & strMonth & "-" & YEAR(datetoday)
    Set objShell = CreateObject("")
    objShell.Run "%COMSPEC% /k C:\Progra~2\Backup\WindowsImageBackup.bat" & " " & datetoday
    As you can see, the WindowsImageBackup.vbs runs the WindowsImageBackup.bat that contains:
    wbadmin start backup -allcritical -backuptarget:d: -vsscopy -quiet
    rename WindowsImageBackup "WindowsImageBackup "%1
    In other words, after the daily system image backup, the folder is automatically renamed with today's date attached at the end. That solves my other problem of not being able to have multiple copies. (Thanks Shawn!).

    Everything seems to be working fine now, both File History and the daily system image backup. It took me a while to find the correct way to make an system image from the command line. If you bing/google "wbadmin start backup -allcritical -backuptarget:d: -vsscopy -quiet" (with quotes) you will only get German sites but it is working non the less.

    *) You may want to reorder the datetoday string if you want another date format than dd-mm-yyyy.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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