Known Issues with the Backup/Restore Power Tool

Brian Harry

The Backup/Restore Power Tool we shipped in the most recent Power Tools release was an ambitious project.  It’s one of the larger and more involved Power Tools we’ve ever shipped.  We knew that despite the fact that we did a fair amount of testing and MVP pre-viewing, it would inevitably ship with some undiscovered issues.  It’s been out there long enough and enough people have tried it that I think we are getting to critical mass in terms of identifying the issues that people are likely to hit.  Below I’ve documented the issues that have been discovered and any work-arounds available.  We plan on addressing all of these issues in the next version of the Power Tools – shipping in the January timeframe.

#1: The backup plan wizard cannot find Reporting Services databases when the report server is using an FQDN


  1. From the wizard, on the External Databases page, uncheck Include Reporting databases
  2. Configure the backup plan without RS databases and close the wizard.
  3. Open this file “SYSTEM DRIVE:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Team Foundation\Server Configuration\ConfigPT.xml” and add the Reporting node below as follows right after the </TfsWarehouse> closing node that’s already in the file.


    <Database Name=”ReportServer”>SQL_INSTANCE_NAME</Database>

    <Database Name=”ReportServerTempDb”>SQL_INSTANCE_NAME</Database>


Then modify what you’ve pasted in as follows: SQL_INSTANCE_NAME should be replaced with the instance name for the Reporting Services database server.  If it is the default instance (which is the default for an RS install), you can just put in the server name of the SQL Server that holds the RS databases.  If you have modified SQL to use a named instance then replace SQL_INSTANCE_NAME with servername\instancename for the Reporting Services database instance. “ReportServer” and “ReportServerTempDb” should be replaced with the correct reporting database names – these are the SQL defaults but if you changed them in SQL, you will need to change them here.  

#2: The configuration fails with the message “Value does not fall within the expected range”.

The problem is that the wizard cannot set the interval for the transactional backups schedule in the wizard’s advanced option using Windows Scheduled Tasks v1.  We’ve seen this issue on Windows Server 2003 – 2008 and 2008 R2 work fine. Workaround: Create a nightly full backup using the wizard and then schedule the transactional and differential backups manually through windows scheduled tasks. The commands you need your scheduled tasks to run are TFSConfigPT.exe TfsTransactionalBackup and TFSConfigPT.exe TfsDifferentialBackup  

#3: Backup retention duration can’t be set to less than 30 days

Workaround: Open this file “SYSTEM DRIVE:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Team Foundation\Server Configuration\ ConfigPT.xml”  and modify the node RetentionDays  

#4: Cannot cancel the backup task from the console once it starts

No workaround.  

#5: You receive the error “Invalid value specified for AFTER parameter.” when restoring the transactional backups

Workaround: Set the dateformat in sql to year/months/days format by executing this command: set dateformat ymd This issue is addressed in this kb article  

#6: The wizard does not backup the report server encryption key and it does not backup TFS analysis services.

Workaround: Backup the RS encryption key manually – you only need to do it once.  It doesn’t change.  The TFS documentation on backing up and restoring explains how to do this:  

#7: Backups timeout after 10 minutes

The backup of any given database will timeout after 10 minutes (obviously we didn’t test this on very big databases :().  This is probably the most serious issue in this list.  There is no work around because 10 minutes is the default SQL connection timeout and our code doesn’t override it.  You can be sure we’ll fix this for the next release (maybe 24 hours would be safer :)). Workaround: No workaround. As I say, we plan to address all of these in the next few months but hopefully these work-arounds will help you in the event you hit one of these issues.



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