Windows 10 and Server Essentials Redux

A while back I blogged about some of the issues of having Windows 10 computers using Windows Server Essentials as their backup target. Recently I installed the first major update for Windows 10, and this caused me more issues, which I figured I should document.

I’ve installed the major update on two machines now. One was an upgrade install of Win10 on top of Win7 and the other was a fresh install of Win10. In both cases, after the update has finished, the Windows Home Server connector software had disappeared from my Win10 PCs. That doesn’t affect their basic operation – you can still connect to shares or RDP on the WSE machine. But it means no backups will be taken, and the WSE Connector icon disappears from your taskbar.

Running the WSE connector installation again didn’t work. It suffered the same “it takes ages, then fails” problem that I mentioned in my original blog post. So it seems like the Windows update has removed both the registry setting I made which fixes that hang and the connector software itself. I note that the upgrade also wiped out my settings for some device drivers that needed some hacking to work on Win10 – old Dell laptop touchpad drivers being a prime example. So it appears that whatever process is going on to install this upgrade is somewhat more aggressive than “normal” patches.

My suspicion is that whatever has change in the way the Windows Upgrade installs work now means that this will happen again when the next major release of Win10 occurs. So for future reference, to get your WSE backups working again:

  1. Make the registry change detailed in my original post, using an elevated command prompt:
    reg add "HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows Server\ClientDeployment" /v SkipDomainJoin /t REG_DWORD /d 1
    
  2. Run the WSE Connector install again.
    In my original post, I noted that the version shipped with WSE itself didn't work on Win10. This seems to have been resolved since then, so you can now just browse to http(s)://your.server.name/connect to get the installer, rather than having to search for it amongst Microsoft’s downloads.
  3. Ignore the “This computer name is already in use” error – we are just re-attaching the same computer.
  4. Provide your WSE Domain Admin credentials to complete the connection.

And you should be able to run a backup again…

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