Windows Home Server 2011 & “the server appears to be offline” when trying to connect to the LaunchPad

Within the past few days–maybe after a recent Windows Update–one of my laptops started to fail to successfully connect to the WHS 2011 server I’ve got in my home. The error was “the server appears to be offline” and asked if I’d instead want to connect off-line. (Yeah, no thanks.)

A bit of hunting on the Internet later – no one had a clear path to success. Most reported continual failures when trying to start the LaunchPad or start a backup manually.

I had success by doing the following:

  1. Start > View Local Services (you can type “services” for a quick match)
  2. Find Windows Server Health Service and start it if it isn’t already started.
  3. Find Windows Server Client Computer Backup Provider Service and start it if it isn’t already started.




Neither of these were running on my laptop even though they both were set to Automatic startup. As soon as I started them manually, the LaunchPad immediately began working, and manual backup became available again.

There were no errors in the Windows Event Viewer explaining why they may have failed to start. As I don’t reboot my laptop frequently, this fix will remain in place for a while (and I’ll need to remember to check these in the future potentially).

Hope this helps someone else.