We are a small office running Windows Server Essentials 2012R2, and server dashboard stopped working. It's not showing users or devices connected to the server.

Server backup also stopped working.

This happened before and we resolved it by deleting the server backup catalog as suggested in the post here. Other options didn't work.

Since then we started using folder redirection to reduce the number of computers we use, so server backup is more important then before. As I understand from this, catalog is stored on the server itself and backup drive, so using:

wbadmin delete catalog

should only delete the catalog located on the server and we should be able to reattach the drive and recover the catalog from it?

To test this I've tried using

wbadmin restore catalog -backupTarget:f

before actually deleting it, but this ends with the following error

ERROR - The specified backup location could not be found or is not a
supported backup storage location.

Microsoft documentation is not really clear should I use mount point as backup location, or should I use the full path, so I tried using F:\WindowsImageBackup\server-name and F:\WindowsImageBackup\ with parameter -machine:server-name, but I get the same error every time.

Losing this backup is not really critical, but I would like to resolve this in a less destructive manner than before.

So can I delete the catalog (thus fixing the management service and backup problems), and restore it from the backup drive or do I have to say goodbye to may backup, again?

  • Semi-related not a answer: Have you considered dumping windows backup? It can be a pretty terrible when dealing with exactly this kind of problem. If all your doing is basic backup consider using Veeam Endpoint Backup. Does Baremetal and File-level recovery. (its free and just released by veeam its great). veeam.com/endpoint-backup-free.html
    – Sarge
    Apr 30, 2015 at 17:24
  • I didn't really think about it but I definitely have to find an alternative. It's an issue dating back to 2013 and this is the second time it happend in our first year using it so yeah, it's basically out the door if there is no non-destructive workaround. May 1, 2015 at 8:14
  • For what it's worth, my two cents is that you ditch Windows Backup and go with something different. Macrium has a free edition of Reflect, and free trial for the server editions. Catalog or not, you can always mount its backups just by double-clicking on the backup file. I am not affiliated with Macrium in any way--just used it a lot for SOHO customers at a previous job. May 2, 2015 at 1:50

2 Answers 2


After a long research and long talk to Microsoft support I ended up deleting the backup catalog. As before Management Service started with no problems and my attempts to restore the catalog failed so I wiped the backup disks clean and started over.

Now, being the paranoid guy that I am, I checked if my client backups still work, and yes they are all there. However there is a big hairy BUT in there, namely when I tried to restore any file, restore wizard just crashed on every single computer I tried it on. Digging a little deeper I found out that it's related to KB3023562 update and sure enough after uninstalling that it is working again, but not on all clients.

I get pissed at this point as I really enjoy unreliable server operating system installed on a certified hardware.

If you are having this problem there is no non-destructive solution today (May 26. 2015.), almost two years after it first showed up. There are few solutions to try before you delete the catalog, but they may or may not work. Oh, and please if you do manage to restore it, let me know.

If this happened to you once, it will happen again, so get yourself a secondary backup solution.

I'll be testing a few suggested in the comments to my original question and post back my findings.


This may help. The correct syntax is: 

wbadmin restore catalog -backupTarget:f:

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