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Troubleshoot File History in Windows Server Essentials

Published: November 1, 2013

Updated: March 26, 2014

Applies To: Windows Server 2012 Essentials, Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials

This topic applies to a server running Windows Server 2012 Essentials or Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials, or to a server running Windows Server 2012 R2 Standard or Windows Server 2012 R2 Datacenter with the Windows Server Essentials Experience role installed.

The following issues might occur while managing File History backups for a user or a computer that has been added to a server running Windows Server Essentials.

The File History data may not get deleted automatically if:

  • When deleting a user account, you choose to not delete the user account’s File History data, and opt to delete the data manually.

  • When you try to delete the File History data, the File History data is in use by other process.

To resolve this issue, you must manually delete the File History using the following procedure:

  1. Log on to the server as an administrator.

  2. Run File Explorer as an administrator.

  3. Navigate to the File History Backups folder. The default location is C:\ServerFolders\File History Backups.

  4. Delete the shared folder that stores the File History backup:

    • To delete file history for a user, delete the File History backup child folder that has the user’s name.

    • To delete file history for a computer, delete the File History backup child folder that has the computer name. For example, if a user retired <MyComputer01> after she began working on her new laptop, <MyComputer02>, you would delete C:\ServerFolders\File History Backups\<MyAccount>\<MyComputer01> after you verify with the user that she has transferred all files and folders to her new laptop and has no need for the file history in the future.

If you add a new user whose user name is identical to the user name of a user that has been deleted from Windows Server Essentials, the File History configuration for the new user might fail because of a naming conflict when Windows Server Essentials attempts to create a folder to store the new user's file history. To resolve this issue, you can rename the File History folder for the deleted user.

  1. Log on to the server as an administrator.

  2. On the Windows Server Essentials Dashboard, click Storage.

  3. On the Server Folders tab, note the location of the File History Backups folder. The default location is %SystemDrive%\ServerFolders\File History Backups\.

  1. Log on to the server as an administrator.

  2. Run File Explorer as an administrator.

  3. Navigate to the File History Backups folder. The default location is C:\ServerFolders\File History Backups.

    The File History Backups folder has a subfolder for each user account that has been added to Windows Server Essentials. For example, the file history for the user John Smith would be stored in the subfolder File History Backups\JohnSmith.

  4. Rename the subfolder for the user that you deleted, for example, <UserName>_Deleted. If you no longer need the user's file history, you can delete the folder.

  5. You can now add the new user. For instructions, see “Add a user account” in Manage User Accounts in Windows Server Essentials.

In some cases the network administrator might choose to remove a user or computer from the server, but to keep the File History backup for future use. When you no longer need the file history, remove the File History Backups folder for the user or the computer from shared folders on the server. To do this, see To manually delete File History backups for a user or a computer.

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