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    Mods: Please move this if it's in the wrong location.

    First, from what I've read, WHS looks like a great product, especially when coupled with something like HP's MediaSmart Server. However, I have a couple questions about how WHS functions before taking the dive.

    I have three laptops and one desktop for various work and personal purposes. I have a lot of documents (not images nor music files) stored around everywhere. I would like to centralize them. Will WHS allow me to move my files to a share and then access them (open, edit, save, etc.) from the share? Or do I have to move them to my laptop before I can actually use them?

    When it comes to images, can I upload images from a camera to my WHS, or do they have to be dumped to my PC first, and then let WHS back them up? Again, can I edit images using something like Photoshop/Picassa, etc. directly from the server?

    If these questions are answered elsewhere, kindly point me that direction. I did attempt to search, but didn't see any similar posts.

    Thanks!
    Friday, October 24, 2008 11:36 PM

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  • ms960 said:

    Mods: Please move this if it's in the wrong location.

    First, from what I've read, WHS looks like a great product, especially when coupled with something like HP's MediaSmart Server. However, I have a couple questions about how WHS functions before taking the dive.

    I have three laptops and one desktop for various work and personal purposes. I have a lot of documents (not images nor music files) stored around everywhere. I would like to centralize them. Will WHS allow me to move my files to a share and then access them (open, edit, save, etc.) from the share?
     
    Yes.  However, please note not all file types are supported through a network (i.e. pst files).

    ms960 said:

    Or do I have to move them to my laptop before I can actually use them?

    No.

    ms960 said:

    When it comes to images, can I upload images from a camera to my WHS, or do they have to be dumped to my PC first, and then let WHS back them up?
     

    Either way will work.

    ms960 said:

    Again, can I edit images using something like Photoshop/Picassa, etc. directly from the server?

    Yep.

    ms960 said:

    If these questions are answered elsewhere, kindly point me that direction. I did attempt to search, but didn't see any similar posts.

    Thanks!



    Saturday, October 25, 2008 2:21 AM
    Moderator
  • WHS will act just like any other computer with a shared folder but with benefit of folder duplication and presumably some internal tuning to optmise operation as a file server.  It does not have the granular level of permissions which you would probably never use anyway.
    Saturday, October 25, 2008 5:43 AM
  • Hi, Thanks for the replies and answers to my questions.  I guess I read some conflicting information about WHS elsewhere, hence my desire to get my questions clarified.  Do shares on WHS show up as mapped drives (e.g., e:\public, f:\music, etc.)?  If not, how does one access the shares and folders on a WHS box?

    Thanks again!
    • Edited by ms960 Saturday, October 25, 2008 12:55 PM Typo
    Saturday, October 25, 2008 12:53 PM
  • ms960 said:

    Hi, Thanks for the replies and answers to my questions.  I guess I read some conflicting information about WHS elsewhere, hence my desire to get my questions clarified.  Do shares on WHS show up as mapped drives (e.g., e:\public, f:\music, etc.)?

    Not by default, but you can create mapped drives to each share if you like.

    ms960 said:

    If not, how does one access the shares and folders on a WHS box?

    The same way you access any other share in a local network.  Just type \\server (or whatever you called your server name during installation).

    ms960 said:

    Thanks again!



    Saturday, October 25, 2008 1:00 PM
    Moderator
  • Hi,

    Also note that once your server is set up and you have the Connector software installed on your Client(s), they will have a link created on each of their desktops, named Shared Folders, which is directly to the folders created on your server.

    Colin

    If anyone answers your query successfully, please mark it as 'Helpful', to guide other users.
    Saturday, October 25, 2008 1:09 PM
    Moderator
  • Colin Hodgson said:

    Hi,

    Also note that once your server is set up and you have the Connector software installed on your Client(s), they will have a link created on each of their desktops, named Shared Folders, which is directly to the folders created on your server.

    Colin


    If anyone answers your query successfully, please mark it as 'Helpful', to guide other users.




    Oh yeah, that too. :)
    Saturday, October 25, 2008 1:20 PM
    Moderator
  • Again, thanks all!  Would something like HP's MediaSmart Server make sense over a home built solution?
    Saturday, October 25, 2008 1:51 PM
  • ms960 said:

    Again, thanks all!  Would something like HP's MediaSmart Server make sense over a home built solution?

    Depends. Do you actually like building computers and solving the sorts of problems that go along with that, like driver issues, hardware failures, etc? Or would you rather it "just work"?


    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Saturday, October 25, 2008 2:11 PM
    Moderator
  • ms960 said:

    Again, thanks all!  Would something like HP's MediaSmart Server make sense over a home built solution?


    One problem some users have with the HP MSS is the RAM is too low (it only comes with 512 MB, the minimum set by MS).  If you have ever used any MS OS with only the bare minimum amount of RAM, you know how that goes. :)  And, up until about 2 weeks ago, adding RAM to the MSS voided your warranty (HP finally changed that, however, if you damage your system while adding RAM, they will not cover the damage you caused).  Not to mention upgrading the RAM on the MSS isn't as simple as popping off the side panel and slapping a stick in it.

    On the plus side, the MSS is a really small footprint and it does come with some nice add-ins.  And, if you need support for it, HP does provide support for it (with OEM, you are your own support).

    It really comes down to personal preference and, IMO, hardware knowledge.  If you've built a computer before, you shouldn't have any problems with this.  However, if building computers is not your thing, I would suggest going with the MSS.  (FYI, I built my own and am happy as a clam with it. :)  )
    Saturday, October 25, 2008 2:15 PM
    Moderator
  • kariya21 said:

    ms960 said:

    Again, thanks all!  Would something like HP's MediaSmart Server make sense over a home built solution?


    One problem some users have with the HP MSS is the RAM is too low (it only comes with 512 MB, the minimum set by MS).  If you have ever used any MS OS with only the bare minimum amount of RAM, you know how that goes. :)  And, up until about 2 weeks ago, adding RAM to the MSS voided your warranty (HP finally changed that, however, if you damage your system while adding RAM, they will not cover the damage you caused).  Not to mention upgrading the RAM on the MSS isn't as simple as popping off the side panel and slapping a stick in it.

    On the plus side, the MSS is a really small footprint and it does come with some nice add-ins.  And, if you need support for it, HP does provide support for it (with OEM, you are your own support).

    It really comes down to personal preference and, IMO, hardware knowledge.  If you've built a computer before, you shouldn't have any problems with this.  However, if building computers is not your thing, I would suggest going with the MSS.  (FYI, I built my own and am happy as a clam with it. :)  )

    Well, all the desktops I've had in the past 5+ years are ones I've built, so that is not scary for me.  However, with kids and whatnot now, time is a big consideration, so I really just want something that "works."

    Maybe I should have asked this question earlier, but if I'm just looking for a space to store and backup my files, would a NAS device be a cheaper and smarter solution?  I know some of the pros and cons of each, but haven't found conclusive reasons for one vs. the other (NAS vs. WHS).

    Saturday, October 25, 2008 2:42 PM
  • Hi,

    It really just depends on what you want from the system, both now and in the future.
    The WHS site can provide some of the answers, but if now and in the future, you only want to store a few files, then maybe a NAS would be good enough. However, if you ever think you might need to say, restore one of your computers because of a disk failure, then something like WHS will be a godsend.
    For example, we have two kids away at school, and even their laptops get backed up to our server each night, (if they remember to plug it in!), and WHS offered the opportunity recently, to use the latest backup to set up a replacement drive and post it to one of them, when their drive crashed.
    It also provides external access for family/friends to upload/download etc.

    Colin






    If anyone answers your query successfully, please mark it as 'Helpful', to guide other users.
    Saturday, October 25, 2008 5:04 PM
    Moderator
  • Colin Hodgson said:

    Hi,

    It really just depends on what you want from the system, both now and in the future.
    The WHS site can provide some of the answers, but if now and in the future, you only want to store a few files, then maybe a NAS would be good enough. However, if you ever think you might need to say, restore one of your computers because of a disk failure, then something like WHS will be a godsend.
    For example, we have two kids away at school, and even their laptops get backed up to our server each night, (if they remember to plug it in!), and WHS offered the opportunity recently, to use the latest backup to set up a replacement drive and post it to one of them, when their drive crashed.
    It also provides external access for family/friends to upload/download etc.

    Colin






    If anyone answers your query successfully, please mark it as 'Helpful', to guide other users.

    I guess I'm really looking for two things:  1) a reliable network location to dump all the files I have scattered across 3-4 machines, and a device that can reliably back that information up without me having to babysit or worry about it. 

    I have 7+ years of kids pictures, so that collection in itself is large and growing, plus a lot of music, and then the previously mentioned documents and files. 

    I'm not too worried about creating a restore point for a system if it goes down, so that would be considered a bonus.  And the web access would seem like a double bonus, if it works like the documentation says it does.

    So, having said all that, WHS might be the way to go for me?

    Saturday, October 25, 2008 6:15 PM
  • ms960 said:

    I guess I'm really looking for two things:  1) a reliable network location to dump all the files I have scattered across 3-4 machines, and a device that can reliably back that information up without me having to babysit or worry about it.

    WHS doesn't automatically backup data stored on the network shares.  It does provide redundancy with Folder Duplication, but that is not a backup solution.  You can backup data from the shares to an external drive using the new backup tool included with Power Pack 1, but it doesn't run automatically.  You have to manually kick off a backup whenever you want it to run.  (Or you can use a tool like RoboCopy to automate the process.)

    ms960 said:

    I have 7+ years of kids pictures, so that collection in itself is large and growing, plus a lot of music, and then the previously mentioned documents and files. 

    I'm not too worried about creating a restore point for a system if it goes down, so that would be considered a bonus.  And the web access would seem like a double bonus, if it works like the documentation says it does.

    So, having said all that, WHS might be the way to go for me?

    Personally, I love the product.  But if you aren't sure whether you want to purchase WHS, the best suggestion would be to order a free 120-day trial of it from here and give it a spin for yourself. :)
    Saturday, October 25, 2008 6:32 PM
    Moderator
  • kariya21 said:


    WHS doesn't automatically backup data stored on the network shares.  It does provide redundancy with Folder Duplication, but that is not a backup solution.  You can backup data from the shares to an external drive using the new backup tool included with Power Pack 1, but it doesn't run automatically.  You have to manually kick off a backup whenever you want it to run.  (Or you can use a tool like RoboCopy to automate the process.)

    Hmmm, that's interesting.  The marketing hype I've read about it talks about it being an automated backup solution.  I guess the fine print says it will replicate shares (isn't a copy the same as a backup, per se), but the WHS contents itself isn't backed up?  That's a separate process requiring additional storage space and medium? 
    • Edited by ms960 Saturday, October 25, 2008 7:19 PM
    Saturday, October 25, 2008 7:19 PM
  • Hi,

    Your 'cross-reading'; the automated Backups are backups of all your Client computers, and these take place every night, or whenever you set the window for. The Shared Folders - actually on the server - all have an option to be automatically duplicated, (if your server has more than one hard drive), which means there will be two copies of each file and WHS can automatically keep these files in step and can also manage to re-create that file if one of the disks in the server fails. However, as will any basic system, that means if for example, you delete a file by mistake, WHS will delete the duplicate as well.

    The recovery of a Client isn't like a restore point, it is a complete bare metal restore of a system back to the state it was in when the last backup was taken.
    With the aid of Add-Ins, or inbuilt tools, there is the options of having yet another copy of your Shared Folders copied manually to say an external disk for off-site storage. Also, you can do the same with the Automated backups of your Clients, or even have these backups duplicated on the server.

    Colin





    If anyone answers your query successfully, please mark it as 'Helpful', to guide other users.
    Saturday, October 25, 2008 7:28 PM
    Moderator
  • ms960 said:

    Hmmm, that's interesting.  The marketing hype I've read about it talks about it being an automated backup solution.

    Let me clarify:  It does automatically backup your client PCs.  However, that is not the same as backing up data stored in the network shares (which is not automatic).

    ms960 said:

    I guess the fine print says it will replicate shares (isn't a copy the same as a backup, per se), but the WHS contents itself isn't backed up?

    No.  Folder Duplication is no more a backup solution than a RAID array.  Both provide redundancy.  Neither provide backup.

    ms960 said:

    That's a separate process requiring additional storage space and medium?


    Correct.  Think of it this way:  if your house catches on fire, taking out the server with it, it won't do you much good if you had the data stored on 2 different drives inside the server.  They will both be toast. :)
    Saturday, October 25, 2008 7:31 PM
    Moderator
  • Okay, I think I got it.  I appreciate your patience with my questions.  Going to give it some thought and not sure what direction I'm going to go now.

    Thanks!
    Mark
    Saturday, October 25, 2008 8:38 PM