I am running Windows Server Essentials 2012 at home (not updated to R2 yet due to hassle of no in place upgrade – I know always rebuild from clean, but just time and hassle). With a few exceptions it has just worked and delivered what I needed. However the other day I started getting warnings about an important service failing to start. Turned out the the “Windows Server Devices Provider” was failing to start for some reason. A knock on effect was that the Windows Server 2012 Essentials Dashboard would start take some time trying to work out details about the devices attached to the server environment and then crash.
Did lots of Google searches but could find nothing. Finally decided I would try a Bing search in case it threw up something. As if by magic the first result returned using exactly the same query was to the following article which helped me solve the problem.(http://social.microsoft.com/Forums/zh-CN/2dc66e9b-0fa0-4429-b2d0-322f60ab0511/windows-server-devices-provider-service-not-working?forum=whs2011)
In summary the “C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows Server\Data\DevicesInfo.xml” had somehow become corrupted. The way to solve the problem was to:
- Navigate to C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows Server\Data (you may need to change the default view options within Windows Explorer to “Show hidden files…” and unhide “…protected operating system files” – initially I could not see the ProgramData folder)
- Locate DevicesInfo.xml and rename to DevicesInfo.xml_old and the .xml.bak to .xml.bak_old
- Now restart/start the “Windows Server Devices Provider” service in “services.msc”
Happy days all now working