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 Post subject: News on Windows Home Server
PostPosted: Wed Oct 08, 2008 5:46 am 
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News on Windows HOme Server

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Last edited by MikeC on Wed Oct 08, 2008 8:47 am, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 08, 2008 6:40 am 
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nice, I'm definately looking forward to this article :D


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 08, 2008 7:30 am 
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Should be yet another great article.

Looking forward to it :D

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 08, 2008 7:38 am 
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Also, "home" not "media."

EDIT: The title of the blog post still says "Media." :oops:

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Last edited by zoatebix on Wed Oct 08, 2008 8:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 08, 2008 7:51 am 
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WHS is pretty darned cool! It does thrash the HDs mercilessly IME, so the server is a good choice for remote placement.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 08, 2008 10:16 am 
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I too am very much looking forward to this.

Can I make a small request though? Gettings HDDs to spin down and stay spun down in Windows has always been an issue. Vista is supposed to be better (hopefully I will be able to test that soon) but it would be very interesting to know how good WHS is at it.

Aside from noise reduction, it also helps keep power consumption down and so is ideal for a machine that is supposed to be on all the time. Some info on how well power management for HDDs works would be very useful.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 08, 2008 12:22 pm 
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WHS has some nice features, but ultimatly comes up short for me unfortantly, it has no raid5-support, and I won't trust it for a while after the problem with file-corruption, wich is the worst a fileserver can do. The pooling-system is nice though.

AtW


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 08, 2008 1:16 pm 
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I'm actually just about to attempt to accomplish this very thing. I've got a blog going over at Missing Remote. No pictures yet, but I spent a ton of time doing research here at SPCR and elsewhere before purchasing anything. I've got very high hopes for the resulting server. While the primary focus is for storing media, it'll also be doing nightly backups and be used as the primary storage location for all important data.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 08, 2008 1:29 pm 
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looking forward to this!!

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 08, 2008 4:08 pm 
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I don't see what RAID support would add to WHS. It's disk management is one of it's niftier features. Given that the network would be the main bottleneck, there would be no real performance gain. It will store files redundantly (2 copies on 2 separate drives) if you so choose to spend the disk space.
I think they got the corruption bug solved, along with x64 support with PP1. I'm coming up on the end of my 120 day trial version, and haven't had a single corrupt file. The auto backup is the real attraction for me, especially once I had to use it!

ATWindsor wrote:
WHS has some nice features, but ultimatly comes up short for me unfortantly, it has no raid5-support, and I won't trust it for a while after the problem with file-corruption, wich is the worst a fileserver can do. The pooling-system is nice though.

AtW


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 08, 2008 7:48 pm 
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JoeWPgh wrote:
I don't see what RAID support would add to WHS.
As you point out, using RAID on the storage pool isn't necessary. However, WHS doesn't officially support any kind of redundancy on the system drive, which is a major weak point for reliability & uptime. In addition, a system-drive failure can cause data loss, because WHS stages all copies on the system drive before allocation into the storage pool.

Having said all this, I built a WHS system that runs RAID1 for the system drive, and it works. Before taking the server live, I tested system-drive failure by pulling power from 1 drive. The system never burped and was able to rebuild as desired.


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 Post subject: What mobo to use for WHS
PostPosted: Thu Oct 09, 2008 8:12 am 
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I have been running WHS since it was in beta about 1.5 years ago. I am using an old Dell machine that I had but I want to move to some better hardware.

Anyone have any advice on what mobo to use for WHS? The main spec that I want is 8 SATA ports, Gigabit LAN and (nice but not required) some type of onboard graphics as I do like to hang a monitor on my WHS. It seems that most of the mobos that have 8 SATA ports are fairly high end and have lots of bells and whistles that aren't needed in a WHS system.

I was also thinking on an Antec 300 case unless someone has other suggestions. I will be recycling some of the hard drives currently in my system - several 500GB SATA drives and a 750GB as well.

FYI - I may also use this box as a SageTV media server so I will likely need more horsepower than a typical WHS and I will also want a large drive for RecordedTV that is not part of the storage pool - hence the need for lots of SATA ports.

It's strange that you can run Sage Media Center on WHS but not Windows Media Center!

edit- I forgot to add that silence isn't required for this PC as it will be in a room in my basement that is hidden away.


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 Post subject: Re: What mobo to use for WHS
PostPosted: Thu Oct 09, 2008 8:47 am 
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wayner wrote:
Anyone have any advice on what mobo to use for WHS? The main spec that I want is 8 SATA ports, Gigabit LAN and (nice but not required) some type of onboard graphics as I do like to hang a monitor on my WHS. It seems that most of the mobos that have 8 SATA ports are fairly high end and have lots of bells and whistles that aren't needed in a WHS system.


Add-in PCI/PCIE SATA controllers are pretty cheap (£35 for a 4-port PCI SATA controller). Pair that with a mobo with 4 or 6 ports and you've got what you need.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 09, 2008 8:53 am 
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740g/780g chipsets have on-board Radeon graphics and six SATA ports. 8 is a bit of a stretch, but you can get a PCI SATA card for £5.

AM2 CPUs are cheap and low power too.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 09, 2008 10:41 am 
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740g's have 6 SATA's, gigabit LAN, and are dirt cheap. The Egg has a Gigabyte flavor for $55 US. I put one in a P182 mini and am quite happy with the hardware.

I'm a little annoyed with the software right now though. All of my computers have been nagging me (several times a day) that my trial version will expire soon, so I bought an OEM copy. I'd hoped I'd only have to enter the registration key and be done with it. No such luck. It requires a reinstall of the OS. So I did a little Googling and learned that if I chose to reinstall the OS (as opposed to a new install) it would keep all my data. I also learned that it could take as long as a day!

I braced myself and fed the disk to the machine, only to learn that a new install was my only option. All of my drives were there, and the reported free space jibed with the space I should have had. By all Googling accounts, if all your drives are reported, WHS should have reinstall as an option. Not so in my case.

So in order to move from the Trial Copy to the OEM, I have to copy all of my shared folders to another machine, abandon my backups, reinstall the OS, then copy the shared folders back over - as opposed to simply entering the registration key. How idiotic can it get?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 09, 2008 10:51 am 
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JoeWPgh wrote:
So in order to move from the Trial Copy to the OEM, I have to copy all of my shared folders to another machine, abandon my backups, reinstall the OS, then copy the shared folders back over - as opposed to simply entering the registration key. How idiotic can it get?

That does sound ridiculous. I'm in contact with someone at MS about this; will let you know if there is any other alternative.... but don't hold your breath pls.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 09, 2008 11:07 am 
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Thanks Mike. As ridiculous as it is (I'm in the process of transferring the shared folders as I typo), it gets worse. WHS has just notified me that the Trial Copy has expired and will shut down in one hour. Before I wandered into this 'upgrade', I had 28 days!!!! We'll see if the message was an error, or if it will shut down the transfer within the hour.
MikeC wrote:
JoeWPgh wrote:
So in order to move from the Trial Copy to the OEM, I have to copy all of my shared folders to another machine, abandon my backups, reinstall the OS, then copy the shared folders back over - as opposed to simply entering the registration key. How idiotic can it get?

That does sound ridiculous. I'm in contact with someone at MS about this; will let you know if there is any other alternative.... but don't hold your breath pls.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 09, 2008 11:50 am 
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Windows is quite a pain when it comes to licensing. Basically there is a difference between Retail and OEM copies, and they are not interchangeable. You can't "cross-grade" from one to the other either, it has to be a fresh install.

Similarly on XP you can't go from Home to Pro and vice versa without a fresh install. There is no technical reason why, it's just the licensing. Vista is the same - OEM cannot go to Retail or vice versa, and you cannot install OEM from a Retail disc etc.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 09, 2008 12:37 pm 
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I think we all understand that. But the point of the Trial Copy was to persuade people to buy the thing. I'm not even sure they've released a non-OEM, commercial copy.
The only difference between OEM and retail is support. On a 120 free trial, I wasn't looking for, or expecting support from MS. I did think I could expect a reasonably easy path to a license.

As an update to my last post, WHS did and did not shut down
in an hour. It did, and would not take my password for 4 tries. On the 5th it did and the data transfer resumed. It's now back to giving me 28 days to deal with the license.
I really liked this software until I tried to license it. Now I'm afraid I'll be sorry I ever tried it.

MoJo wrote:
Windows is quite a pain when it comes to licensing. Basically there is a difference between Retail and OEM copies, and they are not interchangeable. You can't "cross-grade" from one to the other either, it has to be a fresh install.

Similarly on XP you can't go from Home to Pro and vice versa without a fresh install. There is no technical reason why, it's just the licensing. Vista is the same - OEM cannot go to Retail or vice versa, and you cannot install OEM from a Retail disc etc.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 09, 2008 12:45 pm 
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JoeWPgh wrote:
I don't see what RAID support would add to WHS. It's disk management is one of it's niftier features. Given that the network would be the main bottleneck, there would be no real performance gain. It will store files redundantly (2 copies on 2 separate drives) if you so choose to spend the disk space.
I think they got the corruption bug solved, along with x64 support with PP1. I'm coming up on the end of my 120 day trial version, and haven't had a single corrupt file. The auto backup is the real attraction for me, especially once I had to use it!

ATWindsor wrote:
WHS has some nice features, but ultimatly comes up short for me unfortantly, it has no raid5-support, and I won't trust it for a while after the problem with file-corruption, wich is the worst a fileserver can do. The pooling-system is nice though.

AtW


It would potentially add speed (with teaming LAN-ports, slower HDs, or 10 gbit LAn, wich will come sooner or later), but more importantly, I can get redundancy without wasting half the disk space, thus giving me 50% more space if i want redundancy on all data.

AtW


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 09, 2008 2:27 pm 
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MikeC wrote:
JoeWPgh wrote:
So in order to move from the Trial Copy to the OEM, I have to copy all of my shared folders to another machine, abandon my backups, reinstall the OS, then copy the shared folders back over - as opposed to simply entering the registration key. How idiotic can it get?

That does sound ridiculous. I'm in contact with someone at MS about this; will let you know if there is any other alternative.... but don't hold your breath pls.


Anyone for a free Linux-based system? UserOS Home Server is on the cover DVD of Australian PC User magazine (OCT 08) and is a Ubuntu 8.04 based product, combining STORAGE and ENTERTAINMENT functions URL here

The suite is intended to overcome the shortfalls in WHS. Since the Ubuntu community HS is still being worked upon, the techs at PC USER quote "stripped Ubunto 8.04 back to bare bones then loaded it with server & media focussed featutes. Most the setup is done via GUI or web browser". unquote

Their site does not have download ability and it is highly likely that their magazine distribution does not extend to Canada / USA.

I am not connected with the mag, but would be willing to airmail a copy of the magazine & DVD to SPCR for initial examination. Perhaps PC USER magazine would give SPCR some permissions regarding content / software on behalf of members (just wondering).

Have a think. Let me know if interested.

Regards,

RK


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 09, 2008 3:13 pm 
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looking forward to it. MikeC, you do the best reviews of any tech site in my opinion, even for non-silentpc related stuff... e.g. the Squeezebox review awhile back.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 09, 2008 4:12 pm 
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robokopp wrote:
Anyone for a free Linux-based system? UserOS Home Server is on the cover DVD of Australian PC User magazine (OCT 08) and is a Ubuntu 8.04 based product, combining STORAGE and ENTERTAINMENT functions URL here

The suite is intended to overcome the shortfalls in WHS. Since the Ubuntu community HS is still being worked upon, the techs at PC USER quote "stripped Ubunto 8.04 back to bare bones then loaded it with server & media focussed featutes. Most the setup is done via GUI or web browser". unquote

Their site does not have download ability and it is highly likely that their magazine distribution does not extend to Canada / USA.

I am not connected with the mag, but would be willing to airmail a copy of the magazine & DVD to SPCR for initial examination. Perhaps PC USER magazine would give SPCR some permissions regarding content / software on behalf of members (just wondering).

Have a think. Let me know if interested.

Regards,

RK

Why not? Email me, we might even be able to do a FTP transfer using SPCR server. OR if you just want to drop a copy in the mail....
http://www.silentpcreview.com/masthead

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 09, 2008 4:50 pm 
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MoJo wrote:
Windows is quite a pain when it comes to licensing. Basically there is a difference between Retail and OEM copies, and they are not interchangeable. You can't "cross-grade" from one to the other either, it has to be a fresh install.

Similarly on XP you can't go from Home to Pro and vice versa without a fresh install. There is no technical reason why, it's just the licensing. Vista is the same - OEM cannot go to Retail or vice versa, and you cannot install OEM from a Retail disc etc.


This is why i swore off buying Windows ever again.

Its too bad this actually looks promising...oh well Mr. bill!

My routine when my mobo went bad and I had to swap my drive to backup mobo while I rma'ed it went like this...

1/ install image on new mobo and be forced to call windows for activation since XP was activated on different mobo.

2/ write down activation code.

3/ drive 30 mins to cellular telephone range.

4/ Cal MS and enter 0000 numbers so I can get a real person, as entering numbers when windows was previously activated doesn't work.

5/ write down new activation numbers.

6/ bitch out windows CS.

7/ drive 30 mins back to PC.

8/ Hope PC is still on and that the new activation code works or go back to step 2/

9/ when mobo replacement comes back , repeat.

No wonder people use pirated software. It's actually customer friendly.

As soon as windows will let me own my copy of the OS , i'll jump on board.

The hoops you need to jump through just to use a trial version have told me its more of the same as far as windows' view of their customers.

:/


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 09, 2008 6:55 pm 
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JoeWPgh wrote:
So in order to move from the Trial Copy to the OEM, I have to copy all of my shared folders to another machine, abandon my backups, reinstall the OS, then copy the shared folders back over...
I would not attempt the following without a backup, but...

Shut down the server. Disconnect the storage-pool drives. Install OEM WHS onto the system drive (a different drive would be even better!). Once it's running, reconnect storage drives, and WHS should offer to reindex them. And that step will take all day.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 10, 2008 1:18 am 
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That's pretty much where I'm at today. I got the shares copied to a different machine, and will abandon the backups if all is lost. Since trying to reinstall the 'upgrade' the thing shuts down every few hours, saying that the trial has expired. Then when I reboot it it tells me I have 28 days until it shuts down again.

Thanks
HammerSandwich wrote:
I would not attempt the following without a backup, but...

Shut down the server. Disconnect the storage-pool drives. Install OEM WHS onto the system drive (a different drive would be even better!). Once it's running, reconnect storage drives, and WHS should offer to reindex them. And that step will take all day.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 10, 2008 3:56 am 
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I've been using WHS with my purchase of the HP MediaSmart since February 2008. With the exception of the very serious data corruption bug that has since been fixed, I've been happy with this device.

It is very quiet (subjective) and if you use WD green drives for the other 3 slots, you have system that uses very little power. Really.

For the price, I don't think you can build a similarly configured WHS in a package that also includes warranty. You can even now upgrade the memory to 2GB without voiding your warranty and some have even upgraded the CPU (although I haven't done this).

You can add additional external storage via its single esata port with a multiplexed (sp) esata enclosure (max 4 supported) or via the 3 additional USB 2.0 ports.

I could go on and on but I couldn't be happier myself.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 10, 2008 4:57 am 
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MikeC wrote:
JoeWPgh wrote:
So in order to move from the Trial Copy to the OEM, I have to copy all of my shared folders to another machine, abandon my backups, reinstall the OS, then copy the shared folders back over - as opposed to simply entering the registration key. How idiotic can it get?

That does sound ridiculous. I'm in contact with someone at MS about this; will let you know if there is any other alternative.... but don't hold your breath pls.


I contacted them as well concerning this.

No way to register the demo they told me.

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 Post subject: Using MSI Wind as WHS
PostPosted: Fri Oct 10, 2008 6:29 am 
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I'm interested in a reviewer's take on using the MSI Wind PC with the Intel 1.6 GHz Atom processor. Newegg sells the machines for $150 plus $13.50 shipping, and it can handle 2 SATA devices. I figure you can drop a 1 TB WD Green Hard Drive in it along with a DVD drive, setup WHS, then remove the DVD Drive and drop in another hard drive.

I don't see myself using my Home Server to serve movies or anything...mainly just automated backups.

I know the 1.6 Atom may not be the most powerful thing out there, but do you need much more power than it would provide? I'd love some input!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 10, 2008 7:16 am 
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If an Atom solution was used, it could be built on the single core or single vs dual core Intel Mini-ITX mobo's that Mike has already reviewed.

The results from this would be comparable to any Atom based system.

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