Encountering "Element not found" on File History Cleanup

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  1. Posts : 21
    1803
       #1

    Encountering "Element not found" on File History Cleanup


    Hello all,

    Setting up File History here, and I am encountering an error that I wanted to post here and see if there's anyone that can assist.

    I am running Windows 10 2004 and setting up a clean install of File History -- meaning no folders except for one with a file in it -- I get an error when attempting to run "Clean up versions" more than once:

    "Could not clean up File History data -- Element not found."

    (Note that the first time I click "Clean up versions" it results in a "We didn't find any versions of your files that were that old")

    FWIW I encountered this issue with a full install/synchronization of my files, but even when I reduce the configuration to a simple folder with a file in it this error still occurs.

    Is this a known issue? If I put more data/files in the folder and/or edit data that is in there, I still get this error. It makes me wonder if the catalog is already corrupt. Again this is from a clean install, already having wiped the FileHistory folder in AppData.

    Any suggestions/insight here would be appreciated!

    - - - Updated - - -

    Alright, I have reproduced this on another 2004 machine on which File History was never activated. On this image I have screen capture installed, for your convenience:

    Encountering "Element not found" on File History Cleanup-a25s14k-1-.png

    In this case, I didn't get a "We didn't find any versions..." message, and it went straight to the error:

    Encountering "Element not found" on File History Cleanup-1anwbbo-1-.png

    Is this a known/unknown bug in 2004, perhaps?

    - - - Updated - - -

    Wow I am surprised that no one has replied to this. Can someone with 2004 installed confirm that this does not happen to them? Thank you for any assistance you can provide to appeasing my sanity.
    Last edited by MikeEEE; 23 Jun 2020 at 00:47. Reason: Images didn't take, for some reason
      My Computer


  2. Posts : 2,770
    Windows 11 Pro, 21H2
       #2

    Sorry, I cannot confirm that this does not happen to me because it does happen to me

    Looks like a legit problem.

    May I suggest another backup solution such as Macrium Reflect?
      My Computers


  3. Posts : 2,770
    Windows 11 Pro, 21H2
       #3

    Here is a possible alternative...

    Open a command prompt and run

    FhManagew.exe -cleanup 90 (90 would indicate to delete backups older than 90 days old)
    or
    FhManagew.exe -cleanup 90 -quiet

    If you specify "0" that would mean to delete all but the most recent backup.

    I have not tried this myself, but I figure it's worth a shot.
      My Computers


  4. Posts : 21
    1803
    Thread Starter
       #4

    Woohoo! thank you @hsehestedt for taking the time to confirm. As a matter of fact, I did try using the CMD to run those commands but it results in the same error.

    - - - Updated - - -

    FWIW I have reported this here to Feedback Hub:

    Feedback Hub - Windows Insider
      My Computer


  5. Posts : 24,588
    10 Home x64 (21H2) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       #5

    MikeEEE said:
    I am running Windows 10 2004 and setting up a clean install of File History -- meaning no folders except for one with a file in it -- I get an error when attempting to run "Clean up versions" more than once:
    "Could not clean up File History data -- Element not found."
    (Note that the first time I click "Clean up versions" it results in a "We didn't find any versions of your files that were that old")...
    I have two machines that were updated from 1909 to 2004. One has had File History set up and running for years, starting in version 1607. Previously a Feature Update had stopped File History working, I had to stop using then reconnect the history drive before it would work again. I was impressed by the 2004 update, File History just continued working without a hiccup.

    On that machine however many times I clean up versions it always says 'We didn't find any versions of your files that were that old'.


    However, the other machine that updated to 2004 had never used File History before. When I set that up to use File History then try to clean up I get the same 'Element not found' message that you see.
      My Computers


  6. Posts : 21
    1803
    Thread Starter
       #6

    Thank you for your input, @Bree! I was wondering if there might be something related to installing/starting File History with a previous version of Windows. In fact, I have a 3rd machine that is also using File History and is running on 2004, but I am afraid to try to reproduce it in fear that it might be invalidating/corrupting the instance somehow.

    FWIW 2004 and Windows, in general, has been running really well for me outside of this.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Good news: It appears that the following works:

    1. Disconnect the File History drive ("Stop using drive") from Backup Setttings -> More options.
    2. Repair as discussed here: Repair Install Windows 10 with an In-place Upgrade
    3. Reconnect File History on repaired drive.



    Using the above fixed the problem for me and I am able to use File History Cleaup functions again.

    Bad news is that I have ANOTHER problem due to the repair, as discussed here:
    After Repair: Can Shutdown/Boot but Not Restart/Boot

    Thank you for any continued assistance/thoughts/prayers you can lend. :)
      My Computer


  7. Posts : 329
    Windows 10
       #7

    I am having this the last few DEV builds if that is what caused it.

    Totally deleting the large files and resetting File History by deleting config folders does not fix it.



    Encountering "Element not found" on File History Cleanup-screenshot-2021-03-17-050250.png
    Last edited by jh30uk; 17 Mar 2021 at 12:09.
      My Computer


  8. Posts : 21
    1803
    Thread Starter
       #8

    Yeah, still very much an issue, unfortunately. Disconnecting drive and performing an in-place repair is the only remedy it would seem. Conversation is also occurring here around this grief for more context/complaints:
    https://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/...b-f71812981ca2
      My Computer


  9. Posts : 329
    Windows 10
       #9

    An in place upgrade opting to keep settings/files each Dev build basically is a repair install but it does not fix this.

    Since is in on MS site being marked in Green as answer/solution means next to nothing buy I will try what it says.

    My Ext HDD is ESATA so I will remove it next Dev update after doing same as above again and then starting fresh with File History after update.

    - - - Updated - - -

    EDIT: Did as I said above installed todays new DEV and it made no difference, the ESATA drive was unplugged from rear of PC before, during after update (with reboots both times)
      My Computer


  10. Posts : 21
    1803
    Thread Starter
       #10

    Sorry to hear that @jh30uk. It's as if they are progressively destroying this "product" (if it can be called that these days, as it barely functions) to see who complains. Looks like you're up to bat now. :P
      My Computer


 

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