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My new WHS 2011 build RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hi,

    I'm new to WHS so this is going to be my first build. I have been running Windows Media Center for quite some time but I want to improve on some things. Currently I don't run any backups of my PC or Media Center on which I have about 1.5TB of media and other personal files. These are split between my PC and MCE and sometimes a pain because I don't have access to all of my content if one of these is switched off. So I'm thinking of building a WHS box with enough storage to house all of my content to share around the house, this box will be constantly on. But before I spend the money on hardware I've got a few questions. I would be grateful if you could answer them.

    Software

    1) Does WHS support shadow copies like W7?

    2) Can I backup more than 2TB of data if I select files individualy or does it back it up as VHD thus the hard limit?

    3) I have ripped blu-ray movies, can WHS stream them to Xbox 360? or do I need to convert them to WMV (I know I can stream to MCE using file share &  Total Media Theater)

    4) How well does the remote streaming feature work over the internet for videos and music? I tried a similar feature with MCE using a 3rd party product but it had its own problems.

    5) I have a Windows Phone 7 (love it!) has anyone tried the connector yet? How good is it?

    6) I've got an Android tablet, are there add-ins to stream video and music to Android?

    Hardware

    I was going to use my old hardware at first but it may not be feasible. Its an ATX board and while the CPU is (AMD x2 3200) capable it will be too bulky and not energy efficient to run 24/7. I don't have the room to hide it away so need something which will look cool and as small as possible. So I'm planing to build a new box using the following components.

    Intel Core i3 2100 Sandy bridge 3.1Ghz

    Gigabyte GA-H67N-USB3-B3 mini ITX

    2 x 2TB Western Digital WD20EARS Caviar Green, SATA 3Gb/s

    Chenbro ES34169 - Compact size chassis w/4-Hotswap 3.5"

    2 x 2GB DDR 3 1333 ram

    1) Can I use Windows 7 x64 drivers with WHS 2011? or do I need to look for specific WHS/Win2008R2 drivers?

    2) Is the CPU good enough for transcoding HD movies on the fly?

    3) A bit concerned about the 120W PSU that comes with the case, I think I can get away with it but may have a problem when I expand to 4 hdd. What do you think?

     

    Anymore helpful tips, suggestions, do's and don'ts ?

     

    Thanks in advance

     

     


    • Edited by PM76 Sunday, July 24, 2011 8:17 AM
    Saturday, July 23, 2011 8:29 PM

Answers

  • Software

    1) Does WHS support shadow copies like W7?

    2) Can I backup more than 2TB of data if I select files individualy or does it back it up as VHD thus the hard limit?

    3) I have ripped blu-ray movies, can WHS stream them to Xbox 360? or do I need to convert them to WMV (I know I can stream to MCE using file share &  Total Media Theater)

    4) How well does the remote streaming feature over the internet of videos, music work? I tried a similar feature with MCE using a 3rd party product but it had its own problems.

    5) I have a Windows Phone 7 (love it!) has anyone tried the connector yet? How good is it?

    6) I've got an Android tablet, are there add-ins to stream video and music to Android?

    Hardware

    I was going to use my old hardware at first but after dusting it off it may not be feasible. Its an ATX board and the CPU is (AMD x2 3200) capable it will be too bulky and not energy efficient to run 24/7.  So I'm looking to use the following

    Intel Core i3 2100 Sandy bridge 3.1Ghz

    Gigabyte GA-H67N-USB3-B3 mini ITX

    2 x 2TB Western Digital WD20EARS Caviar Green, SATA 3Gb/s

    Chenbro ES34169 - Compact size chassis w/4-Hotswap 3.5"

    2 x 2GB DDR 3 1333 ram

    1) Can I use Windows 7 x64 drivers with WHS 2011? or do I need to look for specific WHS/Win2008R2 drivers?

    2) Is the CPU good enough for transcoding HD movies on the fly when streaming via remote access?

    3) A bit concerned about the 120W PSU that comes with the case, I think I can get away with it but may have a problem when I expand to 4 hdd. What do you think?

    Nothing like asking all your questions in one go! Here are some answera:

    Software

    1. Yes
    2. Not using the tools provided by WHS - 2TB is the limit.
    3. Don't know anything about games consoles - I use .m4v to stream directly to my TV
    4. Generally limited by your upstream bandwidth.
    5. Try a search on these forums but people seem to like it
    6. No idea

    Hardware

    1. If there are server 2008 R2 drivers use them. Failing that, W7 and then Vista 64-bit drivers are the next beat options
    2. You need a W7 Experience Index CPU of at least 6.0 to transcode HD
    3. WD20EARS < 5W. Adding an extra 10W should not be an issue - it it is, then 120W was inadequate in the first place. Given your i3 is a 65W design, you will be pushing the 120W PSU.

    Phil P.S. If you find my comment helpful or if it answers your question, please mark it as such.
    • Proposed as answer by Ken WarrenModerator Monday, July 25, 2011 2:08 AM
    • Marked as answer by PM76 Tuesday, July 26, 2011 4:22 PM
    Saturday, July 23, 2011 9:27 PM

All replies

  • Software

    1) Does WHS support shadow copies like W7?

    2) Can I backup more than 2TB of data if I select files individualy or does it back it up as VHD thus the hard limit?

    3) I have ripped blu-ray movies, can WHS stream them to Xbox 360? or do I need to convert them to WMV (I know I can stream to MCE using file share &  Total Media Theater)

    4) How well does the remote streaming feature over the internet of videos, music work? I tried a similar feature with MCE using a 3rd party product but it had its own problems.

    5) I have a Windows Phone 7 (love it!) has anyone tried the connector yet? How good is it?

    6) I've got an Android tablet, are there add-ins to stream video and music to Android?

    Hardware

    I was going to use my old hardware at first but after dusting it off it may not be feasible. Its an ATX board and the CPU is (AMD x2 3200) capable it will be too bulky and not energy efficient to run 24/7.  So I'm looking to use the following

    Intel Core i3 2100 Sandy bridge 3.1Ghz

    Gigabyte GA-H67N-USB3-B3 mini ITX

    2 x 2TB Western Digital WD20EARS Caviar Green, SATA 3Gb/s

    Chenbro ES34169 - Compact size chassis w/4-Hotswap 3.5"

    2 x 2GB DDR 3 1333 ram

    1) Can I use Windows 7 x64 drivers with WHS 2011? or do I need to look for specific WHS/Win2008R2 drivers?

    2) Is the CPU good enough for transcoding HD movies on the fly when streaming via remote access?

    3) A bit concerned about the 120W PSU that comes with the case, I think I can get away with it but may have a problem when I expand to 4 hdd. What do you think?

    Nothing like asking all your questions in one go! Here are some answera:

    Software

    1. Yes
    2. Not using the tools provided by WHS - 2TB is the limit.
    3. Don't know anything about games consoles - I use .m4v to stream directly to my TV
    4. Generally limited by your upstream bandwidth.
    5. Try a search on these forums but people seem to like it
    6. No idea

    Hardware

    1. If there are server 2008 R2 drivers use them. Failing that, W7 and then Vista 64-bit drivers are the next beat options
    2. You need a W7 Experience Index CPU of at least 6.0 to transcode HD
    3. WD20EARS < 5W. Adding an extra 10W should not be an issue - it it is, then 120W was inadequate in the first place. Given your i3 is a 65W design, you will be pushing the 120W PSU.

    Phil P.S. If you find my comment helpful or if it answers your question, please mark it as such.
    • Proposed as answer by Ken WarrenModerator Monday, July 25, 2011 2:08 AM
    • Marked as answer by PM76 Tuesday, July 26, 2011 4:22 PM
    Saturday, July 23, 2011 9:27 PM
  • Thanks Phil,

    I went for the Core i3 2100T in the end as its lower power draw 35w.

    • Marked as answer by PM76 Tuesday, July 26, 2011 4:22 PM
    • Unmarked as answer by PM76 Tuesday, July 26, 2011 4:22 PM
    Tuesday, July 26, 2011 4:22 PM
  • Do you have the machine up and running? What are you getting in the way of a WEI (Processor) out of the 2100T?

    I've ordered my bargain WHS11 copy but am still at a loss what to do with it. Blow away my WHSv1 box and all of its settings and backups and so on or build a new box? If I build a new box, the 2100T is the CPU of choice, if I can get a WEI (Processor) of 6.0 or greater out of it. So, in addition to a WEI (Processor) score, any data on your 2100T configuration and experience is very welcome!

    Wednesday, July 27, 2011 12:15 AM
  • Good luck. I used a stock Dell T110II server. Will be interesting to see if WHS 2011 installs on old hardware. On the streaming I have successfully installed and use subsonic, but that is just for music. The internal Server media server oftware seems to work fine for music, but have not tested video. Again, good luck.
    Wednesday, July 27, 2011 3:41 AM
  • Will be interesting to see if WHS 2011 installs on old hardware.


    WHS11 booted just fine on my '07 vintage Gigabyte GA-MA69GM-S2H/BE-2350 WHSv1 machine. It saw all the AHCI disks without further intervention. That's a whole lot more than WHSv1 can say. So I'm guessing that the only impediment to upgrading my WHSv1 machine to WHS11 is all the in place shares data, client backups (2 years worth), configuration, and settings that I'd have to blow away.

    PM76, I'm still wondering about the WEI (Processor) test results on your new i3-2100T system, if you pop back into the thread and have a moment to test and report, I'd appreciate it.

    Thursday, July 28, 2011 11:45 AM
  • I completed my build yesterday and must say I'm very pleased with the kit. Unfortunately Winsat cannot be run on WHS 2011 so I don't know what the WEI score is for the CPU. I had a look here but the Core i3 2100T is not listed but the higher clocked Core i3 2100 has a score of 5.8. This is Vista score though and the highest you can get is 5.9, but in Windows 7 the limit has been raised so the both don't correlate. Interestingly I came accross this webblog by Tranquil PC who are partners with MS for WHS servers. It states here "For the technical minded – to stream video (lowest quality demand CPU with a score of 3, and to stream highest quality the CPU should score 6. Atom CPU scores around 3 and the i3-2100T scores around 6 ".

    I was originaly going for the Core i3 2100 but since I'll be running the server 24/7 and the mini ITX case only has a 120W PSU I needed something with a small power foot print. The 2100T at nearly half the power requirement was a no brainer. Alternatively if your motherboard allows you can buy the Core i3 2100 and under-clock it for the power saving but I doubt if it would make a big difference. I have yet to do any streaming so can't comment on real world performance. I hope to try it out tomorrow so will report back with my experiance.



    Friday, July 29, 2011 12:14 AM
  • Windows 7 Windows Experience Index (Processor):

    For the best user experience, choose a video streaming resolution quality that is appropriate for your home server processor. The server will automatically adjust the bit rate to one of these settings:

    • Low  if the processor score is less than 3.6.
    • Medium  if the processor score is greater than 3.6 and less than 4.2.
    • High  if the processor score is greater than 4.2 and less than 6.0.
    • Best  if the processor score is greater than 6.0.

    Phil P.S. If you find my comment helpful or if it answers your question, please mark it as such.
    Friday, July 29, 2011 12:26 AM
  • The box I'd build today could run either the 2100T or the 2100. I also suspect that in the normal state of a WHS machine--idle--the difference in power consumption would not be anywhere near the 30W in spec sheet TDP. But there is still a difference and there is still a design principle here.

    If I pull the trigger on the 2100T, I'll probably install Win7 first just to know. Too bad WHS won't let you get this answer.

    Glad to hear you are happy with your build so far. Keep us posted.

    Friday, July 29, 2011 1:43 AM
  • I copied some sample music and video to my home server today. The music is in WMA format and was able to stream it to my media center and through the remote web access. I was also able to stream it through the WP7 app which worked beautifuly.

    The video is in WMV-HD with 5.1 surround sound. WHS streamed the video without breaking a sweat to both my media center and xbox 360. Next, I tried the remote web access to stream the video to my laptop. The CPU usage here was between 40-45% as it was transcoding on the fly on the 'Best' quality setting. I havn't tried other formats yet but will have a go later. I couldn't stream video to my Wp7 though but it looks like others are having the same problem, hopefuly there will be a solution soon.

     

    Friday, July 29, 2011 8:06 PM
  • About 1/4 of the way down http://www.missingremote.com/review/intel-core-i3-2100t-and-bh67cf-mini-itx-motherboard, the 2100T is reported as cranking out a WEI (Processor) of 6.9.

    My trigger finger may be itcing.

    What MiniITX board did you use? I'm aiming at an intel DQ67EPB3.

    Saturday, July 30, 2011 3:31 AM
  • I used the Gigabyte GA-H67N-USB3-B3 mini ITX. I was looking for something nice & cheap which supports RAID 10 and 4 data drives. The early versions of this MB had issues but they have been fixed with the latest bios update F5 which came preloaded with the MB. I bought it for about £83 and has been solid so far. Your Intel MB sounds good, has all the features I would be looking for too. The core i3 2100T seems a really nice cpu for mini itx form factor and watt for watt delivers brilliant performance. If you are concerned about power draw its great for the job otherwise the standard core i3 gives you that extra juice.
    Saturday, July 30, 2011 9:25 PM
  • I can confirm WEI (processor) of 6.9 for a 2100T under Win7 x64.

    Installed on a MomentusXT 500GB on the SATA 3.0 channel, mobo Intel DQ67EPB3 (updated to current BIOS), 2x 4GB Mushkin silverline DDR3 PC10600, Intel drivers installed from supplied disk:

    (Processor) 6.9
    (Memory) 7.4
    (Graphics) 5.2
    (Gaming graphics) 5.8
    (Disk) 5.9

    Machine also has 2x Hitachi DeathStar 3TB 5200 RPM drives and a Sony Optiarc DVD burner. Power supply is an FSP300-60GHS(85) replacing the stock supply that came with the CFI A2059 case. The highest VA I saw while it was running the WEI test was 60. It is idling in the 40 range. Memtest+ is running at 42. That's at a PF of 0.96. This should make a rocking WHS box once I get it all working.

    Running Memtest+ overnight. Will begin wrestling with WHS11 in the morning.


    Friday, August 5, 2011 5:51 AM
  • I can confirm WEI (processor) of 6.9 for a 2100T under Win7 x64.

    Installed on a MomentusXT 500GB on the SATA 3.0 channel, mobo Intel DQ67EPB3 (updated to current BIOS), 2x 4GB Mushkin silverline DDR3 PC10600, Intel drivers installed from supplied disk:

    (Processor) 6.9
    (Memory) 7.4
    (Graphics) 5.2
    (Gaming graphics) 5.8
    (Disk) 5.9

    Machine also has 2x Hitachi DeathStar 3TB 5200 RPM drives and a Sony Optiarc DVD burner. Power supply is an FSP300-60GHS(85) replacing the stock supply that came with the CFI A2059 case. The highest VA I saw while it was running the WEI test was 60. It is idling in the 40 range. Memtest+ is running at 42. That's at a PF of 0.96. This should make a rocking WHS box once I get it all working.

    Running Memtest+ overnight. Will begin wrestling with WHS11 in the morning.



    Sounds awesome, let us know how you get on. I must say the Core i3 2100T is smashing processor for such a small power footprint. All the best with your build.
    Friday, August 5, 2011 11:08 PM
  • As I get past the (inevitable?) problems, things continue to look pretty good foir this build. Getting the thing to boot in RAID BIOS with WHS installed on DISK2 and with DISK1/2 present took about four of five hours of fiddling. Seems it really didn't want to boot in RAID mode until I put a GPT on DISK0/1. Once I coned into that and coned into needing to install the Intel RST code, even with the stock driver from WS2008R2 present, and setup the RAID volumes from inside WHS--rather than from the BIOS--all seems well on the platform front. The MomentusXT boots the machine lightning fast. I setup the 3TB drives with one 1.8TB RAID1 volume (for data protection for the user shares and the photos) and one 1.8TB RAID0 volume (for performance for client backups). I miss DEM tremendously. Operational power consumptions seems to be sitting in the low 30 VA range--and that was with a client backup going on. Very happy on that front.

    I have four of the five clients "happy" with WHS11; took an awful lot of rebooting (and some reg hacking on one of them) to get the connector installed on the first four. The fifth one is taking longer since it's three months or more backlevel on patches and I'm trying to get it current,then backed up on the v1 machine, and only then start the process of getting it over to the 2011 machine.

    RA reports it doesn't like my router's UPnP and can't set it up. v1 never had a problem with the same router. Probably need to reboot the router as the first step when I get back to that.

    There are still quite a number of things I haven't completed.

    I've only migrated the first two share folders from the v1 to the 2011 box. Elected to put Public in a different location (Documents) since Public is no longer a standard share; this will break some scripts and so on. User folders are without \Users\... and this will also break lots of stuff (e.g., links in .XLS and Access imports and so on) that will need fixed. (Thus I delay taking them on till I get other stuff up.) I also elected to start by renaming the v1 box so I could reuse the old name on hte 2011 box. This also broke a lot of stuff that still want to reference the v1 box until those shares get moved. I knew this was coming and elected to sufferit as a "least bad alternative". Possible candidate for a WHS1 to 2011 migration Best Practice: as I copy shared folders from the V1 to the 2011 box, I've been setting them to Read Only on the v1 box. This will keep users (me) and un-fixed links and stuff from writing new data to the legacy locations.

    There are numerous other "unsupported" things I need to address as well. E.g., SMTP relay is running on the v1 box since some stuff on the net wants to email but won't deal with SMTP authentication and/or alternate port numbering. This was easy and completely uneventful to setup on the v1 box. Anybody tried it on 2011? Another e.g., MySql/PHP/web serving for my simple local test site.

    Sunday, August 7, 2011 7:54 PM