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PostPosted: Thu Jun 22, 2023 2:15 am 
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I first encountered the frustration of a failed WHS Connector installation with a new Windows 11 computer. I had virtualized my OEM WHS V1 a few years ago and was able to create a work-around for backing up the Windows 11 computer by scheduled copying of the desired files to a surrogate Windows 7 VM that could be backed up. This worked fine for me until a fault developed in the virtual disk for WHS and I needed to rebuild the VM. Fortunately, I was able to use WHS BDBB to save the current backup context before killing the VM. After creating a new WHS VM from a saved base WHS VM, I restored the backups using WHS BDBB. Unfortunately, upon completion I realized that the connections to my Windows 10 computers were not included in the WHS BDBB content and were lost as my base VM did not have any associated client computers. I then encountered the frustration of not being able to install WHS Connector on the Windows 10 computers that had previously worked. My reliance on WHS backup led me to research what caused the installation failures and to find work-around procedures.

Early versions of Windows 10 could be added to Windows Home Server V1 (WHS) without difficulty. In recent years Microsoft deprecated several secure communication protocols used by older operating systems like WHS. Windows 10 computers that were already associated with WHS continued to operate successfully, but those same computers could no longer be (re-)added to WHS due to forced updates from Microsoft. The exact problem is that during installation the Discovery program attempts to get a secure connection to WHS and no compatible protocol exists. The required client certificate isn't issued, client transport isn't set up in the client and WHS registries, and the already running WHSConnector service can't communicate with WHS as a registered client. The result is the dreaded error message and an incomplete installation. Carefully stopping the installation will preserve the installed software required for communication to the WHS via the Console, but no client activity like backup is possible.

I worked out a way to use the client certificate and transport registry settings from a donor vintage machine / VM to add Windows 10 and 11 clients to WHS V1. I have created some documentation but feel that it needs beta testing before putting it out for general use.

Perhaps an administrator or moderator could facilitate setting up direct communication with some volunteer beta testers and we can get the documentation ready for general release.

-zvincent


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 25, 2023 12:58 pm 
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I created step-by-step documentation of the process outlined below, but I do not want to release it until others have verified it works for them. PM me if you want to help with verifying the process and documentation and I will send you the documentation. Until that documentation is publicly available, I thought an outline of the steps might be of general interest.

Outline of the process to make a Windows 10 or 11 Machine be a client of WHS V1 using a vintage Windows operating system Donor:

On a Donor computer or VM with a vintage Windows operating system (I used Windows 7), install WHS Connector. Exit the WHS Tray Application and in Task Manager stop the WHSConnector service. Use Regedit to export Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows Home Server\Transport. Use MMC to export the WHS client certificate from Certificates (Local Computer)\WHSKeys\Certficates. Uninstall WHS Connector as the Donor can’t be used with WHS in the future – the client certificate contains a thumbprint of the Donor and another certificate generated on the Donor would then clash with the one being transferred to Machine. (It may be possible to change the Windows registration key and then reuse the Donor, but I didn’t test that.)

Use Notepad to edit the exported Transport settings {MachineName, MachineDescription, MacAddress, OperatingSystemName} to match the Machine. This is probably not necessary, but I used Regedit on WHS to edit the Transport settings {MachineName, MachineDescription, MacAddress, OperatingSystemName, IPAddress} for the just-registered client to match up with Machine as well.

On the Windows 10 or 11 Machine, start the WHS Connector Install. Once you see the “This operation cannot be completed at this time” error screen, do not respond to that dialog. Instead, use Task Manager to kill the Discovery process and then the Installer process. Still in Task Manager temporarily stop the WHSConnector service. Minimize Task Manager. Merge the edited Registry settings. Use MMC to import the client WHS certificate into Certificates (Local Computer)\WHSKeys\Certficates. Back in Task Manager restart the WHSConnector service, which uses both the certificate and the registry settings during its initialization. In the Windows Home Server software directory start WHSTrayApp. Machine should now be a client of WHS.

-zvincent


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 25, 2023 5:27 pm 
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I would be happy to try on Windows 11 and report.

Olivier


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 26, 2023 6:55 pm 
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ZVincent wrote:

1) In recent years Microsoft deprecated several secure communication protocols used by older operating systems like WHS. Windows 10 computers that were already associated with WHS continued to operate successfully, but those same computers could no longer be (re-)added to WHS due to forced updates from Microsoft.

2) I worked out a way to use the client certificate and transport registry settings from a donor vintage machine / VM to add Windows 10 and 11 clients to WHS V1. I have created some documentation but feel that it needs beta testing before putting it out for general use. -zvincent


Sounds intriguing

1) are you referring to SMB1?

I could probably give it a shot with a w/10 client.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 13, 2023 7:09 pm 
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13 August 2023

Thanks to i98tardi and especially to lioninstreet for assistance in reviewing the documentation.

Please let me know if you have any suggestions for improvements.

- ZVincent


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How to Add Windows 10 or 11 Computers to WHS V1 Rev 0.9.pdf [1.18 MiB]
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 26, 2023 7:10 am 
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ZVincent Thank u for the document but I am having connection failure from the W11 client to WHS V1. The WHSTrayapp is not highlighted and states a connection issue. I think the latest W11 has deprecated some SSL/protocol ie security libraries. My donor was a W10 1511. If I restore the WHS V1 registry values back to orginal donor values and re-install the migrated certificates on the donor (these are donor certs used on the W11 client). The donor works and the WHSTrayapp connects perfectly. I am sure I am not missing anything since I can migrate to the W11 client, and then back to the donor easily.

Any suggestions?


#1 WHS event log
Event Type: Error
Event Source: Schannel
Event Category: None
Event ID: 36874
Date: 8/25/2023
Time: 9:18:13 AM
User: N/A
Computer: SERVER
Description:
An SSL connection request was received from a remote client application,
but none of the cipher suites supported by the client
application are supported by the server.
The SSL connection request has failed.

#2 W11 event log
Windows Home Server protocol mismatch.
This computer uses protocol version 6.0.3436.0,
but partner computer SERVER uses protocol
version 6.0.2423.0. A connection cannot be established.

donor client vs W11 client build info :

System Name DESKTOP-V251VTR
OS Name Microsoft Windows 10 Pro (W10 1511 Ver 21H2)
Version 10.0.19044 Build 10586

System Name ASROCK-Z690-PG-
OS Name Microsoft Windows 11 Pro (W11 XXXX Ver 22H2)
Version 10.0.22621 Build 22621


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 27, 2023 6:34 pm 
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Can u run this PowerShell script? It will write to c:/temp/hash.CVS. It will be md5sum of the contents of directory Windows Home Server. Please send the md5sums and I will compare it. Thanks
Patrick.

Run in PoweShell; need a c:\Temp directory

Get-FileHash -Algorithm MD5 -Path (Get-ChildItem "C:\Program Files\Windows Home Server\*.*" -Recurse) | export-csv -Path C:\Temp\hash.csv -NoTypeInformation


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 27, 2023 6:44 pm 
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Can u run this PowerShell script? It will write to c:/temp/hash.CVS. It will be md5sum of the contents of directory Windows Home Server.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 27, 2023 6:51 pm 
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My md5sum for Windows Home Server directory
My WHS console resources.

Windows Home Server Console: 6.0.2423.0
Windows Home Server Backup & Restore: 6.0.2423.0
Windows Home Server Drive Extender: 6.0.2423.0
Windows Home Server Remote Access: 6.0.3436.0
Windows Home Server Storage Manager: 6.0.3039.0


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hash.pdf [82.52 KiB]
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 28, 2023 5:30 pm 
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For W11 clients u need to add deleted cipher suite.
As of Aug 28, 2023, W11 Pro updated works with WHSv1 with roll up 2.


viewtopic.php?f=5&t=15244&start=15

within PowerShell
Enable-TlsCipherSuite -Name TLS_RSA_WITH_3DES_EDE_CBC_SHA
Enable-TlsCipherSuite -Name TLS_DHE_DSS_WITH_3DES_EDE_CBC_SHA


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Screenshot 2023-08-28 191645.jpeg
Screenshot 2023-08-28 191645.jpeg [ 229.91 KiB | Viewed 55143 times ]
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 29, 2023 3:26 am 
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ZVincent will update the document to reflect the change.
Great job ZVincent! Thank u.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 31, 2023 6:28 pm 
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All:

Many thanks to Patrick for helping me discern the two roles that cipher suites play in the interaction of Windows 10/11 and WHS v1!

Attached is the updated set of instructions, which tries to explain the roles cipher suites play in installation and operation of WHS v1 and Windows 10 and 11 clients.

-ZVincent


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How to Add Windows 10 or 11 Computers to WHS V1 Rev 0.91.pdf [1.19 MiB]
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 02, 2023 6:08 am 
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I am most interested. I am somewhat computer literate, but not an IT person. I have one W7 machine upgraded to W10 that works with my MSS. My W10 laptop no longer works. I have two other clients with W10 and neither of them will work, either. It also have a "vintage" W7 machine that I can use following your guide.

WOW, I just downloaded your PDF. Great work. It looks well documented with plenty of images. Thank you for this!


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 02, 2023 5:15 pm 
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I won't be participating in this. I've spent too much time dinking around with my MSS. It works on my main PC. I can backup all of my other devices to my main PC and the MSS will back that up. Best of luck to everyone


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 09, 2023 5:27 am 
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I actually had the "This operation can't be completed now" error on my Windows 7 install, not sure why, perhaps caused by some update. I was able to connect it by copying over the registry keys and certificates from a clean Windows 7 install :)


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