Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums

Windows 8 file history backups stop prematurely

  1. #1

    Posts : 3
    Windows 8

    Windows 8 file history backups stop prematurely

    I am facing a problem enabling the file history feature of my Windows 8 Pro installation. After noticing there was no activity to my backup drive, I decided to check what time the latest backup was executed; this turned out to be 3 weeks ago. I formatted the drive and decided to try set it up again. Ever since I have been unable to make it work.

    The backups are prematurely stopped. It takes about 10 minutes to copy 50MB of files and some empty folders to the external hard drive, after which it stops as if it were completed. Forcing it run again makes no difference, and no files are copied.

    My system is a two month old fresh install. I have disabled my anti-virus software and installed all the latest updates for Windows and most software. I have moved my user folders to another drive through the properties menu. I access them through my libraries, when I select I want to restore files I see them, and some small files are actually backed up to the drive I selected. Therefore I do not think this is why the problem is occurring.

    I have already tried slowly formatting the drive and checking it for errors and bad sectors and plugging the drive in different ports. After that proved unsuccessful, I scouted the internet and found a couple of other suggestions. First of all I followed this guide:
    What if something goes wrong in File History?

    After that proved unsuccessful I followed some advices on the other threads on this forum: I restarted the Windows Search service and manually forced it to recompile its index, reset the File History settings by deleting its folder in the Application Data directory, ran the System File Checker, and just to be sure rebooted my computer and reformatted the external drive all to no avail.

    My error logs are full of failures due to trying this many times, but the one below is the most recent one, corresponding to the latest try.

    - <Event xmlns="">
    - <System>
    <Provider Name="Microsoft-Windows-FileHistory-Core" Guid="{B447B4DB-7780-11E0-ADA3-18A90531A85A}" />
    <TimeCreated SystemTime="2013-07-13T10:43:31.513771700Z" />
    <Correlation />
    <Execution ProcessID="1248" ThreadID="7384" />
    <Security UserID="S-1-5-18" />
    - <EventData>
    <Data Name="Hr">2147746817</Data>
    <Data Name="ConfigFilePath">C:\Users\Koen\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\FileHistory\Configuration\Config </Data>

    I have been diagnosing and trying to fix the problem for the last two days, and I am getting both desperate about it not working, and paranoid for a sudden data loss.

    I hope any of you have an insight to how I can help this problem. I appreciate you taking the time to read this rather long post, and I would be grateful for any suggestions. My apologies for any spelling mistakes as English is not my first language.

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2

    Posts : 480
    Windows 8 Pro x64

    Hi Koen,

    This doesn't sound like a trivial problem, but the first troubleshooting steps would be standard.

    1. SFC /SCANNOW Command - Run in Windows 8 (option 2). If it's unable to fix any files, see a note right above option 2 and attach the log from option 3.

    2. Use the clean boot technique to eliminate third party factors.

    3. Try using different USB ports and another external drive, if you have one.

    If the problem is still there:

    1. In the clean boot state, reproduce the problem with Process Monitor on and upload the log somewhere.

    2. Attach the file history configs from C:\Users\Koen\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\FileHistory\Configuration\

    3. Provide the text description of the error as given in the event log.

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3

    Posts : 3
    Windows 8

    Hi Vadikan,

    Thank you for answering so quickly! The knowledge you have about diagnosing Windows is amazing. Whenever there is a problem with my work laptop, the IT desk – with about 5 employees – never has another solution then rebooting everything. After doing so five times, they decide to switch equipment.

    The System File Checker in the first step did not find any problems. Just to be sure I also executed the “Dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /ScanHealth” command and rebooted my system. Once more the scan did not discover any problems.

    Afterwards I did a clean boot as you described, and used another external hard drive. This did not work neither, so I changed it back to my backup disk with the newly acquired knowledge that my external HDD isn’t the problem. I have uploaded the log of Process Monitor to the following link:!14oSDTxC!T-kbvA...FPCn91FVNvpxBs. The log generated by Windows itself is here:!RsB0hQQC!KqNlHF...G9xJ1-1ulyJOeo. The text descriptions are attached as a screenshot below.

    Click image for larger version
    Click image for larger versionClick image for larger version
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4

    Posts : 480
    Windows 8 Pro x64

    Hi Koen,

    It's too early to praise my troubleshooting skills based on this thread, 'cause I haven't figured anything out yet As a side note, you may be surprised how often a revitalizing reboot helps. Also, switching the equipment is the most cost efficient way for IT support

    Note that:
    1. You haven't provided the file history configs (point 2 above), but it's irrelevant for now.
    2. I'd prefer a text description of the error message rather than an image, especially since it's not in English.

    Back to your problem, I don't see any file history (FH) activity involving actual movement of files. All it does is reading config files, so we'll have to take a slightly different approach...

    Stage 0 - Keep the system in clean boot mode
    I still see Comodo lurking around, meaning you haven't disabled it. Please uninstall it for troubleshooting purposes. Windows Defender will kick in, so you'll be protected while playing with FH.

    Stage 1 - Reset FH completely

    1. Turn off FH in the Control Panel.
    2. Turn off File History service in services.msc
    3. Delete the folder F:\FileHistory (I gather F is the letter of your external hard drive) and unplug the external drive.
    4. Rename the folder C:\Users\Koen\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\FileHistory to FileHistory-Old

    Step 3 deletes FH config from the external drive, and step 4 should force Windows to re-create FH configs in the local store.

    Stage 2 - Prepare for troubleshooting folder locations

    We need to eliminate a possible issue of moved personal folders from the equation.
    1. Create a folder TestFH in the root of %userprofile%
    2. Drop a few documents in there.
    3. Add this folder to the Documents library.

    Stage 3 - Activate FH and monitor it
    1. Plug in the external drive
    2. Turn on FH service in services.msc
    3. Start monitoring with ProcessMonitor
    4. Turn on FH in Control Panel.
    5. Let FH do its work.

    The last step implies you shouldn't be interacting with the system for a while. If you want to see if FH is doing anything, you can set a filter in Process Monitor (path - contains - filehistory) and watch activity in procmon. BTW, this is how I concluded it hasn't moved a single file.

    When FH is done or produced an error, upload the procmon log again and don't forget the config files along with the event viewer error text.

    Last edited by Vadikan; 16 Jul 2013 at 02:10. Reason: stage 0
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5

    Posts : 3
    Windows 8

    You are absolutely right about the reboots. Lately there have been all sorts of weird issues with the computers at work, but a reboot often fixes them. It gets annoying after 10 reboots a day though. Furthermore switching equipment sadly does not mean replacing it, but rather trading with colleagues – who end up with exactly the same problems. Still though, I love my job, and I would not know what else the IT department could possibly do, especially with the vague descriptions us non IT specialists deliver.

    But back to the topic at hand, I am so sorry that I both forgot to upload the file history config files, and failed to notice that the description was not in English. Roughly translated the file history entry in the Windows error log is as follows: “Cannot scan the user libraries for changes and cannot back-up the changed files for configuration C:\Users\Koen\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\FileHistory\Configuration\Config”.

    I have uninstalled Comodo and Avast too, as I have not been able to disable its services neither. Hopefully there will be no more services nestling themselves in my system.

    I did the steps you described, and saved the event log to the following url:!9lADnSya!VW9Kdk...Deh9r_RJlYwfTU. I also included the config files. This time file history did copy some files, including the files in the test library and some files from my ordinary library.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6

    Posts : 480
    Windows 8 Pro x64

    Hi Koen,

    I hate reboots, and only perform them when absolutely have to. I would hate a job with 10 reboots a day. Thanks for having patience to go through all this. Although it's not as painful as 10 reboots :) You can get your security software back, since it's not an issue.

    It looks like the problem starts after hitting the following folder:
    C:\Users\Public\Documents\CyberLink\DigitalHome\CyberLink PowerDVD 13 Media Server Service\1392455381
    Because after hitting it, FH keeps accessing only config and catalog (edb) files and eventually writes the error to the event log.

    It's hard to tell what exactly causing the problem, but perhaps FH faces the file path limitation of 260 characters. You can check my assumption with PowerShell by pasting the commands below to the console.
    cd "C:\Users\Public\Documents\CyberLink\DigitalHome\CyberLink PowerDVD 13 Media Server Service\1392455381"
    Get-ChildItem -r * |? {$_.GetType().Name -match "File" } |? {$_.fullname.length -ge 260} |%{$_.fullname}
    If it throws you an error about file name length, you've got files that exceed the limit.

    Upd. Tested my assumption on path limitation, but in such a case the event log contains a different message mentioning MAX_PATH.

    At any rate, try removing the Public folder from the Documents library and see if the problem goes away. If not, we'll have to keep the folder excluded and look into the log again for further investigation.

    Last edited by Vadikan; 22 Jul 2013 at 13:13. Reason: tested MAX_PATH
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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