General Advice About How To Best Use WHS? RRS feed

  • Question

  • With all the vast experience of WHS users in these forums, I'd like to ask for some advice.  Currently my network consists of 6 computers, 3 are laptops.  Computer A has Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005.  It has all of my lossless music files, pictures and videos.  Computer B has all of my lossy music files and my Outlook contacts and e-mails.  Computer C is used solely for my home business.  Computer D is a high end gaming computer.  I have some important document files duplicated on several machines.  I also do very sporadic external hard drive backups.  I also generally turn computers off at night, except for the MCE machine which runs 24/7.  I'd basically like advice on the best way to use WHS effectively to keep current backups of my machines and to use WHS as a media server if people like that function.  Here are some of my thoughts and questions:

    1.  Should I just have WHS make daily or weekly backups of all machines and have duplication turned off?  After all, I'd have an original on the client machine and a backup on WHS, correct?

    2.  Is it better to use WHS more as a media server and move all media to WHS and have duplication turned on?

    3.  If duplication is turned on, do you essentially have three copies of every file that is on a client machine, one on the client and two on WHS?

    4.  Do people generally completely backup each client machine, or just selected folders?

    5.  When is it best to do your WHS backups?  Do you leave all your computers on at night once a week for backups?  Or can backups happen while you're computing and not affect your experience?

    6.  If someone turns a computer off during a backup, do they receive a warning or does that cause a problem?

    7.  What's the best way to utilize periodic external hard drive backups?  Do I back up each client machine individually like I currently do, or can I just back up specific portions of WHS?

    8.  If it's simple to back up the WHS machine, can you install Acronis True Image Home on the WHS machine and make external hard drive disc images, or do suggest just copying whole uncompressed files to the external drive?

    9.  Any other advice on how to get the most of this new adventure?  :)


    Monday, March 29, 2010 7:30 PM

All replies

  • 1. Windows Home Server will only do daily backups

    1 & 2. Depends on which way you want to do it.  2 you put all your eggs in one basket, 1 is a bit of nightmare organsiational wise and finding where 'that' file is

    3.  Only if you copy a file from a client to the server - you could use the server just to store the one file and not on the client

    4. Windows Home Server will only backup partitions - you can exclude folders in the configuration - personally I backup the whole machines as when a drive goes down I want to restore a whole machine

    5. You can select at what time Windows Home Server will backup the clients - you set an end and start time and it decides when it would like to do the backup on each client.  Windows Home Server connector will configure your computer to wake up at a certain time if you let it so (question asked during connector install).  Backups will happen while the system is in use if you are in the backup windows - if it affects your experience depends on your hardware and what you are doing, on my slow PIII tablet PC I notice it, on my Core2Duo Laptop with SSD I don't.

    6. No the computer will shutdown and you will geta  warning in Windows Home Server that the last backup failed

    7. Depends how you store your files.  Windows Home Server will do daily backups, using an add-in you can take copies of these backups off site.  Also you can backup the folder shares on Windows Home Server periodically as you choose, either full or incremental backups are possible

    8. The idea behind Windows Home Server is that the OS is sacrificial - that is if anything goes wrong a server recover should get you back to where you were save lost computer backups (the idea behind that is that the client computer has not been lost)

    9. Bing and Read more :-) and read the posts in here,  download the trial and have a play with it


    Monday, March 29, 2010 8:43 PM
  • One note: disk imaging tools don't have a very good success rate on Windows Home Server. In general, imaging your system drive (say, if you want to try replace it without a server recovery) is unsupported and will not work without a fair bit of work, and trying to use an archived image is almost guaranteed to end in disaster.
    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Monday, March 29, 2010 9:29 PM