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Considering move to WHS 2011 - Drive and application support questions RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hi, had a look around, but didn't find the answers to my questions. So, I'd like to ask a few questions about WHS 2011, which I'm thinking of installing.

    I have a Windows XP SP3 computer with 12TB (6 x 2TB drives), It's running an E6550 CPU with 4GB RAM. It runs Coldfusion MX 2004 with update 2, Firebird DB server, OpenDNS Updater, IIS and ActiveWall. For protection it also runs MalwareBytes. The drives are partitioned in various ways to accomodate 10 different shares + individual user folders for each person in the family, and a shared "public" folder. Connected to this server are 5 x Win 7 Ult x64 machines, a Win 7 Ult x64 laptop, a PS3, Wii, 2 PVRs and a couple of network aware TVs. This all connects via DLINK DIR655 router and various D-Link gigabit switches.

    I installed a trial version of WHS 2011 on a test machine and found that when it formats drives, it does so as one partition and leaves 19mb unallocated on each drive. The one partition might be a problem. The 19mb whilst a waste is not a show stopper.

    (1). If I install WHS on my XP machine, first formatting the C: drive so I can do a clean install, will it recognise all the existing drives and leave them intact. No re-formatting? I have used 9 of the 12TB and I don't have enough disk space to copy off the data, install WHS, and copy it back.

    (2). I've also been looking around to get a handle on what WHS really does. The ability to back up clients centrally is something I've been needing for a long time. I'd also like to have a central point to download MS Updates and then push those out to the clients. The push would only happen when I've reviewed the updates, not authomatically as soon as they are downloaded. IS this a feature of WHS? If not, is there an add-in to do this? Please don't suggest ManagEngine Central - it has some major design flaws.

    (3). At this point in time, we watch movies from the server using a computer connected to the TV. To do this we simply open the media file on that PC. I notice that WHS includes media streaming. I understand conceptually what live and on demand streaming are - from the Internet, but is streaming really going to add any value to my network as it is structured now?

    (4). By now you can see that I dont really have a grasp of what WHS really is. So when I install the connector on each PC, am I going to be mapping drives as I do now? At the moment I've run out of drive letters on the clients, and whilst libraries on Win 7 do help - they only help from within applications. I dont use the navigation pane outside applications and never will.

    (5). Will it run my website with ColdFusion and IIS? Firebird is used for a couple application on most machines. I write all my own CF stuff, but the Firebird apps are third party.

    (6). I added an external hard drive for backups. WHS formatted this drive but it does not show up on "computer". I would like to be able to view the contents from client PCs. Is this possible?

    Sorry this post is so long..

    Thanks
    Tanya


    • Moved by Ken Warren Friday, June 17, 2011 3:27 AM WHS 2011 question (From:Windows Home Server Software)
    Friday, June 17, 2011 2:13 AM

Answers

    1. Windows Home Server 2011 should format only one drive when installed on a computer with multiple drives. You can always disconnect all but the drive you want to install on. Once installed, you can share any folder on any connected drive.
    2. You're asking for Windows Software Update Services (WSUS). It's not supported on Windows Home Server 2011. It might be possible to install and configure it, but I recommend you continue to download and install updates to each computer individually.
    3. Windows Home Server 2011 includes DLNA compliant media streaming. Whether that's useful in your network we really can't answer, I'm afraid. Do your network devices support DLNA streaming?
    4. Windows Home Server 2011 doesn't add any new file sharing features to Windows, just a new location from which to access files. If you want to map drives, you can. If you want to access server shares via UNC paths, you can. Same for homegroups/libraries.
    5. This isn't supported. You can probably install and configure it, however. If you make a serious enough mistake, and break IIS, you may have to reinstall the OS to recover. Even if you can recover without doing so, it may be easier/faster to do so anyway.
    6. Your external backup drive is for backing up the server. The only way to see what's actually on the drive is from the server, or by connecting the drive to another computer running a compatible version of Windows (i.e. Windows Server 2008 R2) and opening the drive up in the backup/restore utility. Even then, you won't be able to access the contents of the drive, just see what files are in what backups on it.

    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    • Proposed as answer by Ken Warren Friday, June 17, 2011 3:27 AM
    • Marked as answer by TanyaM0205 Friday, June 17, 2011 6:24 AM
    • Unmarked as answer by TanyaM0205 Friday, June 17, 2011 6:24 AM
    • Marked as answer by TanyaM0205 Friday, June 17, 2011 6:24 AM
    Friday, June 17, 2011 3:27 AM

All replies

    1. Windows Home Server 2011 should format only one drive when installed on a computer with multiple drives. You can always disconnect all but the drive you want to install on. Once installed, you can share any folder on any connected drive.
    2. You're asking for Windows Software Update Services (WSUS). It's not supported on Windows Home Server 2011. It might be possible to install and configure it, but I recommend you continue to download and install updates to each computer individually.
    3. Windows Home Server 2011 includes DLNA compliant media streaming. Whether that's useful in your network we really can't answer, I'm afraid. Do your network devices support DLNA streaming?
    4. Windows Home Server 2011 doesn't add any new file sharing features to Windows, just a new location from which to access files. If you want to map drives, you can. If you want to access server shares via UNC paths, you can. Same for homegroups/libraries.
    5. This isn't supported. You can probably install and configure it, however. If you make a serious enough mistake, and break IIS, you may have to reinstall the OS to recover. Even if you can recover without doing so, it may be easier/faster to do so anyway.
    6. Your external backup drive is for backing up the server. The only way to see what's actually on the drive is from the server, or by connecting the drive to another computer running a compatible version of Windows (i.e. Windows Server 2008 R2) and opening the drive up in the backup/restore utility. Even then, you won't be able to access the contents of the drive, just see what files are in what backups on it.

    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    • Proposed as answer by Ken Warren Friday, June 17, 2011 3:27 AM
    • Marked as answer by TanyaM0205 Friday, June 17, 2011 6:24 AM
    • Unmarked as answer by TanyaM0205 Friday, June 17, 2011 6:24 AM
    • Marked as answer by TanyaM0205 Friday, June 17, 2011 6:24 AM
    Friday, June 17, 2011 3:27 AM
  • Looked through a few links myself nad maybe I am missing something but what happened to the "Public" folder. I used to use it for pictures and then used the (NAME).homerserver.com\craigslist\car.jpg

    WHS 2011 didnt create a public folder and not sure if this capability is gone or ????

    This feature was more important to me than drive extender.

    Maybe this is just a path naming issues but not sure as the WHS 2011 forums are pretty empty so far. Doesnt seem to be that popular an upgrade.

     

    Kirk from Appleton

    Monday, August 22, 2011 7:47 PM
  • Yes it has gone, but you can create it manually in the Dashboard - problem solved.
    Phil P.S. If you find my comment helpful or if it answers your question, please mark it as such.
    • Proposed as answer by Phil Harrison Monday, August 22, 2011 7:56 PM
    Monday, August 22, 2011 7:55 PM
  • Thanks but missing a small piece of the puzzle. How do you actually make it act like the public folder from V1? I all ready created the folder 'public" but how do you make it open like I mentioned in my first post.

     

    \\myserver.homeserver.com\craigslist\apple.jpg

    I could use this is my html code to find pictures stored on my server and then use these for items I was/am selling.

    THat is where I run in a road block. Easy to create folders. I think it was called WHIIST or something like that was also usefull for creating simple web pages for photos but I understand that author is not happy about 2011 and is not going to create his add-in for 11,

    Tuesday, August 23, 2011 12:08 PM
  • As far as I am aware, you can not have a folder that is open to the World via Remote Access. To access a folder you need to be logged into your WHS2011 Server. I am fairly sure that was true of WHS1 also. WHIIST got around that security restriction by creating a website on your server to serve up photos etc., which is what you are trying to do.
    Phil P.S. If you find my comment helpful or if it answers your question, please mark it as such.
    Tuesday, August 23, 2011 12:33 PM