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Installing and Using WHS - A First Impression

Posted by hucker , 04 December 2009 · 210 views

After a fair bit of review and study I built myself a windows home server machine from an old rack mount server with 4 hot swappable SATA drive bays.

I've had this thing running for a couple of weeks now and I couldn't be happier, I have all of the backups working for 5 machines in the house.  I even have a mac backing up using time machine.   Backups happen nightly and they just work.

The shared folders work very nicely (as they should!) and the drive duplication is a simple check box and it is done.

Installing the connector software on each client machine was easy.  I used the web interface by going the http://my_whs_machine:55000 and things installed just fine.

I am running 2 NICs in the server and that is working fine though it isn't supported (did have some strangeness when I plugged things in differently)

It is running headless and the simple admin console lets you do everything you need with a few clicks.

MY Squeeze boxes are streaming off of it and my source safe version control runs fine from the new server.

The other day I added a second drive (total 2.5TB).  Just plugged it in, clicked the add button on the server storage tab and 15 minutes or so later my storage was updated.  Checked some boxes to make duplicated shares work.

The only thing that doesn't work is that my old Audiotron MP3 players are not able to log on.  I've spent hours on this to no avail.  Frustrating to no end but almost certainly a problem with the 8 year old Audiotron technology.

Had I a chance to do it over I probably would go out and buy one of those $300 acer machines as this server draws a bit more power than it needs to. The 1U rack server looks pretty cool though...

That is a pretty long list of things that just seemed to work.   Though I'm pretty savvy when it comes to configuring networks and PC's this was a breeze. Truly a point and click process.  

I probably shouldn't say this too loudly here but between WHS and Win7 I'm pretty impressed with Microsoft.  It seems like they really listened to what users want on this go around.




I have been reading everyone's experience w/ WHS and am anxious to build my own WHS. I have my parts list on Newegg and I am curious as to what Mobo and CPU you have that makes you wish you went with the Acer? I want my WHS to be a power saver (I have 2 PCs running and both are power hogs) but also be powerful enough to run CQC, SageTV, and SQL without a hitch.

Eric
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Copycat. :D
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I only wish I for a newer MOBO to reduce power consumption. My server draws around 100watts. I'm sure that would be reduce significantly with one of the atom based mother boards. For me that is $100 per year which isn't *that* bad. A secondary concern is that there is only room for 1 expansion card and I have a tuner card slated for that.

I'm sure an atom based machine could run CQC and sql (assuming you don't have very large databases).

The streaming of TV/video is something I don't know much about. Movies in the worst case takes 8gigs/hour or 2.2 MB/sec, with gigabit ether and switches it seems like it doesn't take much hardware to support that throughput. I'd ask the question on the forums of what people are using for Sage AND how many streams they are running. One thing I'd check on for systems like Acer is to see if a tuner card will fit.


This thread might be useful for showing which tuner cards work on WHS:
http://forum.wegotse...tv-tuner-cards/

beezle: You copied me :D
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So WHS had its first issue today. For some reason I could no longer log into the server remotely. Kept getting an error asking me to check cables and power ... darn...

After a bit of research it turns out that it actually seems to be something with a change Comcast made with DNS. The connector software tries to resolve my servers name and it goes out on the net and Comcast now says it finds something (an ad page that is displayed on failed DNS lookups). Anyway this was causing the failure.

The fix is simple, add a line to the hosts file that hard codes the server name to it's static IP. Thank goodness for Google!
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