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When trying to run the File History tool in Windows 8 it runs for about 2 seconds then stops. No files are backed up to the selected drive.

In the event viewer the only error that appears is:

Unable to scan user libraries for changes and perform backup of modified files 
for configuration

I've tried deleting both the configuration files and the FileHistory directory on the target drive. Setting up File History again results in the same error.

Is there a better way to track down what is causing the failure? Or somehow get the File History tool to create a more verbose log file that shows what is causing the problem?

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1 Answer 1

Here is what I did. I am not sure that all these steps are necessary, but I just wanted to be sure.


Control panel -> File history -> Advanced Settings -> Open file history event logs and fix/delete all the files that are messing up file history. For me there were a bunch in this folder:

AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\WER\ReportArchive\AppCrash_explorer.exe xxxxx

And I deleted them. They didn't look important.

2 . I wrote a quick python script to find any files with non-ascii characters in their names. I manually renamed all of these. This may be why file history fails on some music folders!

import os,string
import sys

validChars='0123456789abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyzABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ. #^=!()&,_\'-+@%[]{$};`~'

for currdir,folders,filenames in os.walk(r'C:\Users\<username>'):

    //Max filename len on ntfs is 255, but file history adds "F:\FileHistory\<username>\<computer name>\Data" to the front the files and a timestamp to the end so the file really needs to be less than 200 to be safe
    if len(currdir)>200:
        print 200,currdir

    if filter(lambda x: x in validChars, currdir[2:].replace('\\',''))!=currdir[2:].replace('\\',''):
        print 'chars',currdir,

    for filename in filenames:
        if filter(lambda x: x in validChars, filename)!=filename:
            print 'char2',os.path.join(currdir,filename)

EDIT: Don't delete Autodesk Inventor files, it will break autodesk. o_o


File history -> select drive -> (choose your drive) -> (choose your latest backup) -> file history gives some warning about your latest backups not being on this drive. I Clicked OK.

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