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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
C:\Users\win8User\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\FileHistory\Configuration\Config

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.

1.

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

3.

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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