"Getting devices ready" Error

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Scope / Background

This error occurs when the screenshot is taken before the login screen is reached.

Overview

Virtualizations can take longer to boot on a Datto appliance than they do in the production environment. This is often because the virtualization has to run Sysprep on its Windows installation the first time it boots. Sysprep generalizes the Windows configuration for deployment onto new hardware.

An extended boot time can result in a screenshot capturing "Getting devices ready" instead of the Windows login screen. Datto appliances will mark this as a failed screenshot, because the Windows environment has not fully booted.

Procedure

Preventing these messages involves adjusting the Screenshot wait time, and / or adjusting the load timing for services that may cause a delay in machine startup.

Additional Wait Time for Screenshot Verification

Increase the Screenshot additional wait time:

  1. Go into the web interface for the Datto appliance.
  2. Click on the Protect tab.
  3. Find the system that has the error in the list of protected systems.
  4. Click on Configure Agent Settings for that system.
  5. Scroll down to the Screenshot Verification section, and increase the Additional wait time setting.

Adjusting Services Startup Type

This issue may occur when certain services cause a delay in machine startup.  This is most commonly seen with Microsoft Exchange services. 

To solve this issue, delay the start of one or more services by doing the following:

  • On the protected machine, go to services.msc
  • For each service that is known to delay login, right click and go to Properties.  Change the Startup Type from Automatic to Automatic (Delayed Start).
  • Take a backup of the protected system.
  • Force a Screenshot Verification to see if the problem persists.
This is a known Microsoft issue, and this blog post from the Microsoft Windows Small Business Server product team provides recommendations for Exchange services to delay.

Microsoft Exchange Services

Microsoft Exchange 2003
https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb124644(v=exchg.65).aspx

Microsoft Exchange 2007
https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa998342(v=exchg.80).aspx

Microsoft Exchange 2010
https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ee423542(v=exchg.141).aspx

Contact Microsoft for similar information about Exchange 2013 and Exchange 2016.


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