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Windows Home Server direct connect without router? RRS feed

  • Question

  • Can a WHS Machine be connected to a PC without the use of a router?
    Wednesday, August 19, 2009 5:27 PM

All replies

  • Use a switch + dhcp, or a crossover cable + dhcp.
    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Wednesday, August 19, 2009 6:45 PM
    Moderator
  • I can get the idea of using a switch and crossover (ethernet) cable, but the whole concept of DHCP is foreign to me.  
    Thursday, August 20, 2009 1:51 AM
  • DHCP = Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol. It's a way of setting client TCP/IP parameters. As long as there's no DHCP server (your router, typically, performs this function for your home network) on the "lan", both your client and your server will use APIPA (Automatic Private IP Addressing) and will wind up on the same subnet, so they'll see each other.
    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Thursday, August 20, 2009 5:47 PM
    Moderator
  • Ah, is this the same thing as ICS?   Or is it more complicated than that?   I tried connecting my modem's ethernet cable directly into my PC and then connected my server's ethernet cable into another ethernet port on my PC...but that didn't work.   Are there settings that must be changed?  If so, where?  On the PC or Server? 
    Monday, August 24, 2009 4:32 PM
  • NO. Internet Connection Sharing is not supported on Windows Home Server. You should use a router to connect to the Internet, then connect both your server and your home computer(s) to the router or to a switch connected to the router. I thought you were asking about the case where you want to connect your server and a home computer directly with no other network available.
    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Monday, August 24, 2009 10:10 PM
    Moderator
  • The Reason I'm asking about this is I have everything connected to a router now.   The speed of the router is only 10/100, it's not a gigabit router.   The reason we had to go with this router was to connect our Dish Network DVR to the internet wirelessly.  Their specifications required this 'particular brand' router.   The problem I'm having is the transfer speeds between my computer and WHS server is PAINFULLY slow.   Transfers snail along, via the router, at speeds of 3-5 meg a sec.   I know this can be speeded up.  

    I've read about using routers attached to routers and/or using a switch, but I don't know all the lingo they talk about by setting DHCP on one router, changing IP addresses on the routers and all that stuff.   And adding a switch seems easier, but what connects to the internet modem first, the switch or the router, and then what computer/server attaches to the switch/router.    I have NO other computers attached via any network in the house, and never needed a router to begin with, so all this seems so pointless.  

    So, basically, would my transfer speeds be increases by getting a gigabit router or switch added to my system, or not?  And if so, how do I go about using the original router ( for the DVR)  and the quicker connection for the server/computer.    
    Wednesday, August 26, 2009 3:48 PM
  • Get an unmanaged gigabit switch. All the major manufacturers have 8 port units for not much money, and they all work about equally well. (I happen to like Netgear and Dlink switches, but that's my personal satisfaction with their products, not really a specific brand recommendation per se.) Connect the switch to your router, then connect all your other devices to the switch.

    This configuration will improve performance for any device that connects to your switch, so probably everything except your DVR will see a benefit.

    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Wednesday, August 26, 2009 5:01 PM
    Moderator
  • I figured a switch would help, but I'm still confused.   I'm assuming you connect the modem to the switch, then connect the computers to the switch, and then add the router to the switch, right?  

    If I connect the modem directly to the router (as currently set up), adding a switch off the router doesn't make any sense!  The router would still be restricting the gigabit functionality I need between the computers, no? 

    Wednesday, August 26, 2009 7:39 PM
  • It should look like this:
    Modem→router→switch→all wired devices

    It's possible, but unlikely, that your router is slower than your internet connection. In that case, it's throttling your bandwidth and your ISP thanks you for your consideration. :) But as long as all your wired devices are connected to the switch rather than the router, they should be running at whatever speed the switch supports. Your router will still potentially throttle communications between wired and wireless devices, but probably it won't matter.

    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Wednesday, August 26, 2009 9:06 PM
    Moderator
  • Honestly, all I'm looking for is quicker data transport speeds between my computers and my server.    If any of them need to use the internet, I assume it will access the modem, via the router, without messing with the transporting of data between computers.   Is this correct?  

    The more I've read about switches and their function, it seems as though it lets computers talk between each other independently of what's going on with any other switched connection.  So, if the computers and router are all connected via the switch, then each can use whatever resource it needs independently of each other.  Or am I completely losing it?  LOL!
    Thursday, August 27, 2009 1:59 AM
  • Honestly, all I'm looking for is quicker data transport speeds between my computers and my server.    If any of them need to use the internet, I assume it will access the modem, via the router, without messing with the transporting of data between computers.   Is this correct? 

    Yes.  Or if you have a switch, it would go to the switch, then to the router, then to the modem, then out to the internet.

    The more I've read about switches and their function, it seems as though it lets computers talk between each other independently of what's going on with any other switched connection.  So, if the computers and router are all connected via the switch, then each can use whatever resource it needs independently of each other.  Or am I completely losing it?  LOL!
    Ken already laid out the diagram for you.  Just hook it up as he described and you'll be good.

    However, there is one other thing to consider:  your NICs.  You can only transfer data as fast as the slowest piece of equipment in the network path.  In other words, if you have a Gb NIC in your server, a Gb switch, but only a 100Mb NIC in your client, your copy speed will max out a 100Mb (about 12.5 MB) per second between those 2 devices.  So, in order to speed up your transfers, you need to make sure all of your network equipment is Gb, not just the switch.  (Note that, as long as you have both server and client plugged directly into the switch, you don't need to worry about the speed of the router because the network traffic never truly reaches the router, it only goes as far as the switch.)
    Thursday, August 27, 2009 4:54 AM
    Moderator
  • Thanks, yes I realize the limitations of NICs.   Both of my computers have Gb NICs, the bottleneck has been the router, which is only 100 Mb speed.   So, I'm set to go and I completely understand this now.  

    I surely appreciate everybody's advice!!!   I'm set to buy my switch as we speak.  

    Thursday, August 27, 2009 3:25 PM
  • Well, I got a Gb switch today, and installed it.   Verified that both the client and server had Gb NICs, everything still works, but file transfers still snail along at 2-3 Mg a second and no discernable gain in speed.   Then if the client computer tries to access files on the server, the application using the files just sits there and spins until enough data is sent, and if I'm streaming vids or music, the A/V will sit and clock out, waiting for info to stream to the client.   It's as bad as trying to stream a video over the internet using a 54 kb phone modem.  Don't even get me started on moving files back and forth from the server to the client or vs/versa!     S   L   O   W....

    What's the purpose of a server if you can't store your music, A/V media if you can barely access it?! 
    Thursday, August 27, 2009 10:02 PM
  • Can you verify that your connection between the server and the client computer is actually running at gigabit speeds? Windows will throttle back if it detects a flaky connection.
    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Friday, August 28, 2009 7:22 PM
    Moderator
  • I'm not sure what the problem is.   I have a $70 switch, and both of client and server are saying the speed is 1.0 Gig.  I'm using Cat 5 UTP cables from both the server and client into the switch.   Right now, I'm thinking that all WHS is, is a glorified back-up agent.  If' I'd have known that I would have never invested in the technology (software and hardware-wise).    And if someone tells me that a pentium 4 3.2 GHz, 4 Gig, 5 year old machine can't be a my server because it's "Too Slow", then I'll scream.   Windows 7 RC ran flawlessly on that machine, registering a 6.9 on it's "experience" rating.   So it is NOT the machine!  

    Saturday, August 29, 2009 1:39 AM
  • What operating systems are your clients running?  I have found that network performance between XP and Vista, and between XP and 2003 is far worse than between Vista and 2003.  Backups from my Vista client routinely run in excess of 90 Mbps.  Backups from my XP client seem to run at random speeds.  Sometimes right up at 90+, sometimes 20 Mbps, and every speed inbetween.  I would also check your NIC drivers.  Make sure you are running the most recent drivers supplied by the NIC vendor.

    Tuesday, September 1, 2009 8:27 PM
  • I'm currently running WHS and Vista Ultimate.   All of the drivers are up to date, I did check that...the only think I can think of is the cables are flawed somehow.   I don't know.   It's a mystery.   Would Cat 6 cables "really" make that much difference over Cat 5 UTP?   I don't think so.  Could the motherboard on my old machine (the one running WHS) be old and not able to handle any more?   I doubt it.   Like I said, I had previously run Win 7 RC  on that machine and it flew along.    
    Tuesday, September 1, 2009 9:42 PM
  • Cat5 is specd for 100 Mbit.  You would need Cat5e or Cat6 to run Gigbit. 

    Back to the original question, you can certainly use a crossover cable and connect the two machines directly as a test, but obviously it's going to limit the functionality of both devices in the long run.

    I had a situation a while ago where a michine with a gigabit NIC would only perform at 100 Mbit speeds.  Removed and reinstalled the card and the driver seral times, no change.  When Gigabit NICs dropped in price I finally gave up and bought a new card, popped it in and was back running at Gigabit speed in 5 minutes.  I'm not saying your NIC is definitely bad, but with hardware getting cheaper and cheaper sometimes it's not worth the time and effort to troubleshoot these unusual problems, when spending a few bucks will solve it for sure.
    Wednesday, September 2, 2009 11:27 AM
  • Well, I got new Cat 6A shielded cables for all my ethernet connectioins, got a new Netgear GA311 NIC for my server updated drivers, have a Linksys gigabit router SD2005 and set both the server and client computer to Auto Negotiate speed.   It's showing a 1 Gig transmit speed on both machines (client and host)..................NO CHANGE in speed.   Short of getting a completely new computer for my server, I'm speechless and astounded at how bad WHS is.
    Saturday, September 5, 2009 5:44 PM
  • Well, I got new Cat 6A shielded cables for all my ethernet connectioins, got a new Netgear GA311 NIC for my server updated drivers, have a Linksys gigabit router SD2005 and set both the server and client computer to Auto Negotiate speed.   It's showing a 1 Gig transmit speed on both machines (client and host)..................NO CHANGE in speed.   Short of getting a completely new computer for my server, I'm speechless and astounded at how bad WHS is.

    There is nothing wrong with the OS.  Otherwise, everyone would have that problem, this forum would be flooded with complaints, and WHS woudn't be available any more.  Is the NIC driver on your server for Windows Server 2003?
    Saturday, September 5, 2009 7:06 PM
    Moderator
  • There is no driver for Server 2003...is there actually a driver for my Netgear GA311 or for my Marvell Yukon 88E8056 Gigabit Ethernet controller on my 1 month old PC?  If there is, I can't find it.  
    Saturday, September 5, 2009 7:35 PM
  • There is no driver for Server 2003...is there actually a driver for my Netgear GA311 or for my Marvell Yukon 88E8056 Gigabit Ethernet controller on my 1 month old PC?  If there is, I can't find it.  
    You don't need a driver for your router.  As for your NIC, you might want to check the manufacturer's website.

    This actually is one of those times when having a second client would come in handy (to determine if the problem is the client or the server).  I know you said previously you have no other computers in your household.  Do you have a friend or co-worker with a laptop that you could try in your LAN temporarily and see if you have the same slowness between that laptop and your server?
    Saturday, September 5, 2009 7:51 PM
    Moderator
  • Well, that won't be happening, I don't have a laptop and I have taken the router out of the whole equation.   I decided to put everything into the switch box I have and everything runs fine w/o it.  Since I don't have a laptop (or know of anyone who does) there really was no need to have a 'wireless' connection in the house.    But I'm still at a loss.   it's  wierd though, that when I send stuff to the server, it really speeds along, but as soon as I try to stream or move any thing from the server to my client PC that is when it really slows down.  

    I'd try to do a test by just connecting the server to the client directly via ethernet, but I don't know how to set all the settings and don't have a crossover cable or whatever you need to do it. 
    Sunday, September 6, 2009 3:52 PM
  • Well, that won't be happening, I don't have a laptop and I have taken the router out of the whole equation.   I decided to put everything into the switch box I have and everything runs fine w/o it.  Since I don't have a laptop (or know of anyone who does) there really was no need to have a 'wireless' connection in the house.    But I'm still at a loss.   it's  wierd though, that when I send stuff to the server, it really speeds along, but as soon as I try to stream or move any thing from the server to my client PC that is when it really slows down.  

    I'd try to do a test by just connecting the server to the client directly via ethernet, but I don't know how to set all the settings and don't have a crossover cable or whatever you need to do it. 

    Depending on your hardware, you might be able to connect the 2 devices directly with a regular ethernet cable.  You can try it and see what happens.  (Worst case scenario is it doesn't work.)  If your computers don't see each other using a regular cable, then you will need a crossover cable.  As for the settings, you shouldn't have to do anything.  Both computers should be assigned an IP address of 169.254.x.x (which is called Automatic Private IP Addressing, or APIPA for short).
    Sunday, September 6, 2009 4:13 PM
    Moderator
  • ...
    I'd try to do a test by just connecting the server to the client directly via ethernet, but I don't know how to set all the settings and don't have a crossover cable or whatever you need to do it. 
    Configure your server and the other PC you want to test with to use DHCP. Then disconnect them from your network, and connect them with a network cable. Probably it won't even need to be a crossover cable.

    This works because Windows uses Automatic Private IP Addressing if DHCP is specified but no server is found. APIPA is guaranteed to put two computers on the same subnet.

    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Sunday, September 6, 2009 6:47 PM
    Moderator
  • I got the server and the client hooked together with one RJ45 Cat6a cable...Since the server was already using DHCP there was nothing to change.   The TCIP/IP setting for the client set itself to DHCP once it figured out that it was just a local network.    Well, the good news is that this works and I can access once computer from the other...the bad news is the transfer speed is still snailing along at speeds of anywhere from 4 - 20 MG/sec.  My conclusion is that my server is just a piece of junk that can't pump up the speed that I want.  It anybody has any other ideas, let me know.    
    Monday, September 7, 2009 7:20 PM
  • Have you checked the actual read/write speed on the server?

    I had a similar problem with my server thats on a scsi raid. i added a large ide drive to it wich the motherboard didnt like so it forced it into pio mode making the whole server dirt slow.

    when i removed the slow drive from the storage pool and used it as a server backup drive instead speed was up again.

    I am getting between 90 and 100 Mbit speed on my 100mbit line so there is possible to get great speeds...




    try benchmarking the harddrives on your server, and maby try copying some files to or from a usb drive/disk to check if the server is acctually capable of delivering the speed.....


    just an idea so you dont give up yet :P

    and another thing, the speed youre getting is it 4-20 Mbit/s or MB/s ?



    Fredrik
    Monday, September 7, 2009 9:40 PM
  • Ken,

    If you are still out there. I need to connect directly to my WHS, but I do not think a crossover cable will work since I would need to configure the WHS before connecting the wires. I specified the specif IP on the WHS and screwed it up. ever since I am not able to connect to my WHS. All I need to do is get on it and change it back and I would be fine, but it has been a challenge to connect to it. I was thinking of a USB KVM, any other ideas?
    Tuesday, December 15, 2009 4:49 PM
  • JD, just out of curiousity, what kind of hard drives are installed in your WHS? The bottleneck could be the drives, not the network.
    Wednesday, December 16, 2009 4:35 PM
  • I'm using WD Caviar Black 500 Gig hard drives.   I use a Lnksys switch and no router.   Since ditching the router and changing to  RJ45 Cat6a cables I get decent through-put.   Still, I think that WHS is just a glorified backup agent.   Backups can be managed as successfully with Win 7 or Vista.
    Thursday, December 17, 2009 4:03 AM
  • I too was wondering it also. thanks  lizz

    me

    Tuesday, May 8, 2012 2:32 AM
  • Wow, did I miss something in between December 16, 2009 and now?


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    BullDawg
    In God We Trust
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    <ELIZABETHS79> wrote in message news:19a18c3a-d7fa-4d85-b82a-36c04d1f2930@communitybridge.codeplex.com...
    :I too was wondering it also. thanks lizz
    :
    : -- : me
    :


    BullDawg
    Tuesday, May 8, 2012 9:27 AM