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  • Question

  • Howdy folks

    I am building several WHS boxes and I expect to have to maintain them for others.

    There are some apps I have always installed on PCs and so far have made a couple of WHSs similarly. Let's name them, and their purpose, and please let me know if I am installing something either unnecessary or redundant!

    Atom Time - to once a day sync system time to NTP server
    Hard Drive Heart Beat - Monitor SMART status of hard drives and email me on error
    FreeRAM - Frees RAM automatically if goes below xMB
    DYNDNS updater - For URL access on a dynamic IP service

    I have also turned off drive indexing (My Computer>Right click a drive>Properties>uncheck index) for better performance.

    ALSO, is there a low resource (free?) anti-virus package folks are happy with on the WHS?

    If I missed a favorite utility that you always install on a PC (or WHS!) please let me know!

    Thanks much,
    Rich
    Sunday, May 24, 2009 9:16 PM

Answers

  • My own WHS box that has been running for about a year was losing time so I guess I need to learn how that time sync feature is enabled!

    It's part of the Date and Time function.  Open Control Panel, select Date and Time, then click the Internet Time tab.  There should be a check mark next to Automatically Synchronize with an Internet time server.  (You shouldn't have to set it up yourself, it should already be done OOTB.)

    I'll also need to learn how to use whatever website it is you cite that does the job of DYNDNS... Do you have a link for me?

    Perhaps I didn't explain that very well.  With WHS you automatically get a domain name (xxxxx.homeserver.com).  If you are using the Remote Access website (which uses that domain name) and your external IP address gets changed by your ISP, WHS will automatically update the appropriate DNS servers on the internet (with a little lag time of course).  As I recall, it checks/updates every 15 minutes, but I could be wrong on that timeframe.

    The disk Mgmnt add-in does not send out an email when there is a problem w/ the drives!

    Yes, that's true (that's why I said "most" instead of "all" :)  ).  However, I believe there is another add-in that does have that ability, that, when combined with Disk Management, might provide the same functionality.  However, I don't know the name of the add-in, nor do I know for a fact that it will definitely email you in regards to what Disk Management reports in the Console.

    Re: Releasing free RAM & turning off indexing...   The box I am now building is both very low power and has very little RAM so I was paranoid about it getting bogged down... The inability to search is a deal-breaker of course! That NEEDS to be on! :O


    How little is "very little RAM" and, more importantly, what is the server going to be used for (just the standard WHS functions or something more)?
    • Marked as answer by tech lab Monday, May 25, 2009 7:26 PM
    Monday, May 25, 2009 5:38 PM
    Moderator

All replies

  • Howdy folks

    I am building several WHS boxes and I expect to have to maintain them for others.

    There are some apps I have always installed on PCs and so far have made a couple of WHSs similarly. Let's name them, and their purpose, and please let me know if I am installing something either unnecessary or redundant!

    Atom Time - to once a day sync system time to NTP server
    Hard Drive Heart Beat - Monitor SMART status of hard drives and email me on error
    FreeRAM - Frees RAM automatically if goes below xMB
    DYNDNS updater - For URL access on a dynamic IP service

    All of that is unsupported on WHS (as is logging into the server desktop) and, IMO, most of them are unnecessary (MS OSes now sync time once a week, RAM is automatically released when an app is done with it, and it already includes a website which, if the external IP address changes, gets updated automatically.)  Even some of the SMART features (i.e. temperatures) can be monitored with an add-in called Disk Management.

    I have also turned off drive indexing (My Computer>Right click a drive>Properties>uncheck index) for better performance.

    If you hardware is even half way decent, there is no reason to do that (and again, disabling that is unsupported).  Besides, Desktop Search is needed if you want to search for files through the Remote Access website.

    ALSO, is there a low resource (free?) anti-virus package folks are happy with on the WHS?

    You should only install WHS-specific A/V apps on the server.  avast! and F-Secure both make WHS versions.  (McAfee also makes one, but to the best of my knowledge, that only comes with the HP MediaSmart Server and cannot be purchased separately.)

    If I missed a favorite utility that you always install on a PC (or WHS!) please let me know!

    Thanks much,
    Rich
    To be honest, judging by your questions, it appears that you may not be very familiar with WHS.  It doesn't work like other MS server OSes.  You might want to learn more about it before you start selling/supporting it to others.
    Monday, May 25, 2009 12:59 PM
    Moderator
  • MS OSes now sync time once a week,
    [WHS] already includes a website which, if the external IP address changes, gets updated automatically
    Even some of the SMART features (i.e. temperatures) can be monitored with an add-in called Disk Management .
    If you hardware is even half way decent, there is no reason to do that (and again, disabling that is unsupported).  Besides, Desktop Search is needed if you want to search for files through the Remote Access website.
    My own WHS box that has been running for about a year was losing time so I guess I need to learn how that time sync feature is enabled!
    I'll also need to learn how to use whatever website it is you cite that does the job of DYNDNS... Do you have a link for me?
    The disk Mgmnt add-in does not send out an email when there is a problem w/ the drives!
    Re: Releasing free RAM & turning off indexing...   The box I am now building is both very low power and has very little RAM so I was paranoid about it getting bogged down... The inability to search is a deal-breaker of course! That NEEDS to be on! :O


    Monday, May 25, 2009 5:05 PM
  • My own WHS box that has been running for about a year was losing time so I guess I need to learn how that time sync feature is enabled!

    It's part of the Date and Time function.  Open Control Panel, select Date and Time, then click the Internet Time tab.  There should be a check mark next to Automatically Synchronize with an Internet time server.  (You shouldn't have to set it up yourself, it should already be done OOTB.)

    I'll also need to learn how to use whatever website it is you cite that does the job of DYNDNS... Do you have a link for me?

    Perhaps I didn't explain that very well.  With WHS you automatically get a domain name (xxxxx.homeserver.com).  If you are using the Remote Access website (which uses that domain name) and your external IP address gets changed by your ISP, WHS will automatically update the appropriate DNS servers on the internet (with a little lag time of course).  As I recall, it checks/updates every 15 minutes, but I could be wrong on that timeframe.

    The disk Mgmnt add-in does not send out an email when there is a problem w/ the drives!

    Yes, that's true (that's why I said "most" instead of "all" :)  ).  However, I believe there is another add-in that does have that ability, that, when combined with Disk Management, might provide the same functionality.  However, I don't know the name of the add-in, nor do I know for a fact that it will definitely email you in regards to what Disk Management reports in the Console.

    Re: Releasing free RAM & turning off indexing...   The box I am now building is both very low power and has very little RAM so I was paranoid about it getting bogged down... The inability to search is a deal-breaker of course! That NEEDS to be on! :O


    How little is "very little RAM" and, more importantly, what is the server going to be used for (just the standard WHS functions or something more)?
    • Marked as answer by tech lab Monday, May 25, 2009 7:26 PM
    Monday, May 25, 2009 5:38 PM
    Moderator
  • My WHS box has been losing time.
    [See] the Date and Time function ... Internet Time tab.
    I'll also need to learn how to use whatever website it is you cite that does the job of DYNDNS... Do you have a link for me?
    With WHS you automatically get a domain name (xxxxx.homeserver.com).  If you are using the Remote Access website (which uses that domain name) and your external IP address gets changed by your ISP, WHS will automatically update the appropriate DNS servers on the internet (with a little lag time of course).
    The [new] box is both very low power and has very little RAM ... The inability to search is a deal-breaker of course! That NEEDS to be on!
    How little is "very little RAM" and, more importantly, what is the server going to be used for (just the standard WHS functions or something more)?
    OLD WHS box:  It must be years since I looked tat the Time/Date applet!  Anyway, the tick-mark was there, yet the computer lost time???  I have some investigating to do!

    OLD WHS box:  I already had a video server at port 80 so after juggling forwarded ports that now works w/o DYNDNS!

    NEW WHS box:  512M RAM  --  It seems peppy enough as a storage box but I doubt it'll be enough to stream media from!

    Thanks!
    Monday, May 25, 2009 7:26 PM
  • OLD WHS box:  It must be years since I looked tat the Time/Date applet!  Anyway, the tick-mark was there, yet the computer lost time???  I have some investigating to do!

    Check to see if the service called Windows Time is set to at least manual.

    OLD WHS box:  I already had a video server at port 80 so after juggling forwarded ports that now works w/o DYNDNS!

    NEW WHS box:  512M RAM  --  It seems peppy enough as a storage box but I doubt it'll be enough to stream media from!

    I would strongly advise against 512 MB.  The original HP MSS had only that much and, frankly, it was a bad design.  (That's also why the newer models were raised up to 2 GB.)  I would suggest at least 1 GB of RAM (personally, I would do 2 GB if it was me).

    Thanks!

    Monday, May 25, 2009 7:58 PM
    Moderator