Windows 2012 Server Essentials ConnectComputer Troubleshooting

Windows 2012 Server Essentials ConnectComputer Troubleshooting

Windows 2012 Server Essentials Connectcomputer troubleshooting

Errata:  Root cause has been found, install the July update rollup for Windows 8

When joining a computer to Windows 2012 Server Essentials, there is a manditory /connectcomputer software deployment process that you must use to join a computer to  Essentials server.  While you can manually join, and even skip the domain join, this connect will install the software needed for the client backup..

The Software includes  a client, .NET 4.5, a framework deployment and the needed items to get the workstations to backup to the server.
•    Client Backup
•    Health Monitoring
•    The Launchpad
•    The Dashboard management link

First - you must realize that only Windows 7 and Windows 8 are supported.  XP, Vista and RT are not. 

If RDP is supported on the workstation (Windows 7 Professional, Ultimate and Enterprise, Windows 8 Pro and Enterprise) Remote Desktop will be enabled in order to support access to the workstation via Remote Web Access.  The Connector Software establishes a certificate based trust relationship with the server during the domain join process.  This is done by requesting a client certificate from the server.  This trust relationship is used for authentication for communication between client and server.  The connector software will also join the domain and provide the option of migrating the local profile to the domain profile.

All components are mandatory, aside from the profile migration which is the only optional component.

You can use deployment via the web site or via connector software you have saved to disc.  Then ComputerConnector.exe finds the user in the network using the UPnP server discovery beacon.  If it can't find the server it will prompt you to enter the right server if several are found. 

Common trouble shooting:

The log files for the connectcomputer process is located in a hidden file on the C drive.  To see this file on Window 7 or Windows 8 machine, click on Computer, then on the C drive.  Now click on organize and then Folder and Search Options.  Now click on the View tab.  In the Hidden files and folders section, click on "Show hidden files, folders and drives" and click okay.  You will now be able to see the hidden folder ProgramData. 

Then Click on Microsoft, then on Windows Server, then on Logs.  Review the ClientDeploy.log and the Computerconnector.log file.
Some errors you might see are:

1.  A computer with the same name is already connected to the network.  (rename the PC before joining to the new domain).
2.  The user running the set up wizard is not a member of the local administrators group. (You must have local admin rights).
3.  File System is not NTFS.  (Ensure you are NTFS)
4.  You need 200 MB free space on your hard drive.  (You probably need way more than this to have a decent running computer)
5.  Another installation is already in progress.  (This can also be triggered by a pending files issue in the registry.  Click on start, run, regedit and review the registry key at HKey Local Machine\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\SessionManager\PendingFileRenameOperations.  If there are files listed there, export the reg key and then delete it.  Reboot and try again.)
6.  You already installed the connector software before and forgot to remove it.  (Uninstall the old connector software).
7.  Computer is already connected to a domain (unjoin it from the old domain before joining the new one).
8.  Due to a time skew between the server and the workstations, it won't let you establish a trust relationship.  Ensure that both the workstation and the server are sync'd up for time.  Double check the time zone.  Also open up the Certificate Authority on the server and review that the certs are being deployed to the workstations properly.
9.  Don't have the proper service pack on the operating system.  (Must have Sp3 for XP, SP2 for Vista for example.)
10. An issue where the netbios name and the domain name do not match and it stops the client connector wizard.  For the solution for this see this wiki post.
11.  If you hit the issue "invalidownerofmachine" try using a domain admin account to run the connect computer wizard as noted here.

Additional "been there, done that advice" can be gleaned from several posts online.

     Review the default services and should you have issues, compare a working machine with a non working one and enable disabled services (such as remote registry for example).

The Connector has encountered an unexpected error

     If you receive an error that says "The Connector has encountered an unexpected error"  please also check if the NetTCPPortSharing service is in starting status but not successfully started. That may caused by several reasons including

1.LocalService account does not have proper access rights to the root of the C: drive
2.LocalService account does not have proper access rights to the C:\Windows\Microsoft.NET\Framework\V4.0.30319\SMSvcHost.exe.Config file
3. "The disk on which the C: Volume exists is a Dynamic disk"

You may be able to resolve this issue by perform the following steps:

1.Give LocalService account Read permission to C:\Windows\Microsoft.NET\Framework\V4.0.30319\SMSvcHost.exe.Config
2.OR Give LocalService Read and List Folder Contents permission to the root of C:

You may see this if you have used a repartitioning program to expand your c drive and it required you to change your C drive to a dynamic disk.

Please also see the client troubleshooting guide at

And review Robert Pearman's great resource located at Even though it refers to 2011, all of the log file information is the same.

The client install fails on a Windows 8 machines. 

As noted in a forum post, Windows 8 machines upgraded with the propack were missing the Remote desktop user role and would fail on installing the connector.  Ensure you install the July update rollup for Windows 8 on those machines:

Windows RT, Windows 8, and Windows Server 2012 update rollup: July 2013:

Included in that update is 2850661

      (            )   

Multiple user groups including Remote Desktop Users are missing after you upgrade to Windows 8 Pro using the Pro Pack

BEFORE trying to connect any Win8 propack upgraded box ensure that you have the July Windows 8 update installed.

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