July 28, 2011

Resolving My Problems Installing and Using the Windows Home Server 2011 Connector

Filed under: Windows Home Server — Joe Casella @ 10:53 pm

Are you having problems installing the WHS 2011 Connector or connecting to your server with Launchpad?  If so, you may want to check the status of your NetTcpPortSharing service.  I’ve found that issues with this service can cause both problems.

My Windows XP PC, with the Connector installed, was having intermittent problems connecting to a WHS 2011 machine through the Launchpad. Sometimes, when I tried to connect,  I’d receive the error: “The server appears to be offline. Do you want to sign in to offline mode.” There didn’t seem to be a problem with the server because it was accepting RDP and Dashboard connections.

I uninstalled the connector and tried to reinstall it, but each time the installer would fail with an “unknown error” and roll back. There was nothing in the PC’s application error log, so I checked the WHS installation log and found the following error:

Could not ensure NetTcpPortSharing service is Running: System.ServiceProcess.TimeoutException: The timeout provided has expired and the ‘NetTcpPortSharing’ service has not reached any of the desired states. Desired states are ‘Running’, ‘Paused’, ‘Stopped’, and the current state is ‘StartPending’).

(The log isn’t in an obvious place. It’s in C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Microsoft\Windows Home Server\logs)

With the service in a StartPending state, I couldn’t manually restart or stop it. Rebooting didn’t help—the service would still suspend in a StartPending state. Eventually, the PC wouldn’t even maintain a wireless network connection. I don’t know what caused this problem but after a lot of troubleshooting, I think it resulted from problems with installing the .Net Framework 4.0.  I eventually gave up and did a clean install of Windows and the .NET Framework. After that, the WHS 2011 Connector installed without any problems.

The NetTcpPortSharing service is set to start up automatically on that PC but I’ve found that I still receive an occasional “server appears to be offline” error.  Each time, starting or restarting the service resolves the problem.



  1. I’m trying to connect a Windows 7 Home Premium PC to a new Windows Home Server 2011. I Keep getting the above error. I’ve checked the NetTcpPortSharing service on both the PC and the Server and they both show up as “Started” Still can’t get Connector to install. Any other suggestions?

    Comment by Lynn Lindaman — September 19, 2011 @ 7:39 pm | Reply

  2. I have the EXACT same problem on an XP machine. I REALLY dont want to do another full reinstall…. I’m going to try just the .NET framework to see if that will do it… THANKS for your post… at least I know I’m moving in the right direction!

    Comment by mike — November 29, 2011 @ 3:41 pm | Reply

    • Glad you found this useful. I wound up doing the fresh install of XP because I had probems with the.Net framework installer–it was looking for files that didn’t exist in the temp directory and I couldn’t get any workarounds to work. If you can uninstall the framework, you may be able to get things to work for you.

      Comment by Anonymous — November 30, 2011 @ 9:31 pm | Reply

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