The Windows Home Server 2011 Connector Has Encountered An Unexpected Error On Windows 7 Ultimate X86

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Mike Garcen's picture
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The Windows Home Server 2011 Connector Has Encountered An Unexpected Error On Windows 7 Ultimate X86

Is everyone tired yet of my WHS2011 issues? I know i am!! But alas, we continue...

As you know, I just upgraded my HP EX495 to WHS2011 and I was able to connect my HTPC Win7 x64 to it, and my Mac OSX to it as well. However, my laptop I am typing on (which is the most important) is Win7 Ultimate x86 and for the life of me i can't get it to connect.

Here's what I've tried:

  1. I can ping and find the server just fine
  2. I have enabled Windows Media Center Services (both of them)
  3. I have disabled AV & Firewall
  4. Uninstalled .NET 4 framework and profile and tried again


No luck, every single time it goes through like it's installing, and then rolls back and then says the unexpected error.

I checked Event Viewer and this was the only thing I found:

Windows Installer installed the product. Product Name: Windows Home Server 2011 Connector. Product Version: 6.1.8800.16385. Product Language: 1033. Manufacturer: Microsoft Corporation. Installation success or error status: 1603.

Mike Garcen (shadymg) MissingRemote Editor-in-Chief Windows Entertainment and Connected Home MVP (formerly Media Center MVP) Twitter @mikegarcen MissingRemote on Facebook

Aaron Ledger's picture
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Is it possible you need to uninstall the old WHS connector before installing WHS 2011 version? Or is it not installed/uninstalled already?

Senior Editor | @swoon_

Aaron Ledger's picture
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I started looking over some documentation. Is your computer name over 15 characters or does it contain an underscore?

Senior Editor | @swoon_

skirge01's picture
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Joined: 21 Dec 2006

It may be different for WHS 2011, but this may give you a direction to start looking for more info.

Mike Garcen's picture
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so, yes i had already uninstalled both WHS connectors that were previously installed on the system.

The computer name is 10 characters, and I even tried a short description for it as well, no joy.

George, will read through that thread, thanks.

Mike Garcen (shadymg) MissingRemote Editor-in-Chief Windows Entertainment and Connected Home MVP (formerly Media Center MVP) Twitter @mikegarcen MissingRemote on Facebook

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I don't think the error has anything to do with WHS. Most likely the installer. I'd focus my search on that. I've seen this happen a dozen times with all sorts of installations. 

It could be the installer doesn't have rights to the folder because of some registry error, something marked a folder read only, a service not running, service won't start... 

You might check the event viewer also to see if it gave a more detailed error.

Mike Garcen's picture
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well, event viewer was how i got the error 1603 message. Unfortunately there's no other details as far as i could find. Pretty frustrating. That thread George linked didn't show much either.

*sigh*

Mike Garcen (shadymg) MissingRemote Editor-in-Chief Windows Entertainment and Connected Home MVP (formerly Media Center MVP) Twitter @mikegarcen MissingRemote on Facebook

Aaron Ledger's picture
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Did you look everywhere in the event viewer? Sometimes messages are scattered around. I think there's a spot for setup logs IIRC.

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skirge01's picture
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Mike Garcen wrote:

well, event viewer was how i got the error 1603 message. Unfortunately there's no other details as far as i could find. Pretty frustrating. That thread George linked didn't show much either.

*sigh*

You couldn't find anything related to this part?

"You must analyse the %Temp%\SCSMInstall0X.log (X - increased on each atempt to install) by yourself or provide additional information about error from this log file. "

I was hoping there would be a similar log file on your system.

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Not sure if this is relative but I always had issues with V1 reinstalling the connector unless I wiped out the whs entries from the registry. Quite often removing whs connector from programs and features took two attemps as well.

Mike Garcen's picture
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skirge01 wrote:

Mike Garcen wrote:

well, event viewer was how i got the error 1603 message. Unfortunately there's no other details as far as i could find. Pretty frustrating. That thread George linked didn't show much either.

*sigh*

You couldn't find anything related to this part?

"You must analyse the %Temp%\SCSMInstall0X.log (X - increased on each atempt to install) by yourself or provide additional information about error from this log file. "

I was hoping there would be a similar log file on your system.

That log file didn't exist for me :-/

Mike Garcen (shadymg) MissingRemote Editor-in-Chief Windows Entertainment and Connected Home MVP (formerly Media Center MVP) Twitter @mikegarcen MissingRemote on Facebook

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Ok, had this exact same error connecting a new Windows 8 machine to a WHS 2011 with update rollup 4. All normal stuff tried, download connector via IPv4 address e.g. http://192.168.1.10/connector so that it tries to connect via IP rather than name to eliminate name resolution faking (DNS errrors) on the router. Everything tried simply barfs immediately after entering home server password with 'unspecified error'.

So, looked closely at the server to see if I could figure out why. Turns out that I also was unable to remove an old machine from the server too using remote desktop onto server and firing up the dashboard, clicking computers and backups, picking an old defunct PC and trying to remove it. Got exactly the same useless 'unspecified error'. Much digging, registry monitoring googling, scouring the near useless WHS logs, found out the the Active Directory Certificate Service was err'ing at startup. Now this service is especially important during connection or removal because it supplies the unique ID for a new PC which also must be revoked for removal - same system, same problem. So looking at why the service fails showed me that the certificate services database was corrupt. This is a file that resides by default in c:\windows\system32\CertLog folder. The file called <servername>-CA.edb is a database that stores the certificate data for each machine and when corrupted due to e.g. unscheduled server shutdown (power cut, forced switch off or whatever) causes the certifcate service to fail. To see if you have this same problem, fire up a remote desktop session to your server and logon. Open the services snap-in (start, run, services.msc), and look at the first services 'active directory certificate services' then attempt to start it. It might start but then stop within a few seconds. If it's stopped, you won't be able to join new machines to the WHS and you'll get the unspecified error message.

How do we fix this? Well, it's not that difficult, MS provides the tools to fix it pre-installed on your WHS. All you need is the command prompt (right-click command prompt and 'run as administrator') and a database repair tool, esentutl. Fire up your command prompt, navigate to the CertLog folder (default is c:\windows\system32\certlog) and first check the database using 'esentutl /g <servername>-CA.edb' (replace <server name> with the name of your server - check the file using 'dir' to see it first). You might get a warning here along the lines of 'log files exist, you should apply these before repairing'. If you get that mesage, simply run 'esentutl /r edb'. Hopefully this will succeed and if it does, you can the delete the '.log' files. Once you have removed the log files, run 'esentutl /p <servername>-CA.edb' to defrag the database. All being well, you should now be able to start the certificate services. Now run the connector installer again and hopefully, no more error.

 

Enjoy!

 

Matt

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