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Summary of 120d evaluation --> OEM procedures (and experiences) RRS feed

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  • Thought I'd summarize my experience - and the procedures needed - upgrading from the WHS 120 day Evaluation program to the full licensed version.

    First, for others out there that aren't used to the lingo, don't let the "OEM" label confuse you.  It seems related to the fact WHS is server software which puts in a different licensing category than plain old XP or Vista.  So when you get a disk set with a black and white bland paper cover that looks like it's a bootleg copy from a third world rather than a typical glossy MS package (ironically, like WHS evaluation copy came in!) don't worry, it's the right thing.  When you open the disk set you'll find 4 disks...WHS install, restore, connector, and one called preinstallation.  I think most can ignore the latter.  You'll only need the WHS install disk for the upgrade. 

    Second, probably related to above, you can't just click in some screen on the WHS evaluation copy and enter in your new license code - you need to reinstall WHS.  A pain, to be sure.  But overall not too bad, and most importantly your existing data files and backups ARE fully preserved (for those that have had problems or don't agree, let's let this slide for the moment...there are many posts on this topic if you are worried.  Dislaimer is if you are worried, back up what's important to you).   Only the partition that has the WHS operating system files (~20mB  partition on WHS root drive) is affected.  Yes, you will lose WHS customization, and you'll need to redo a few things...see below.

    Steps to upgrade (reinstall).
    1. Make sure all your server HDDs are functioning and online.
    2. Find that monitor, mouse and keyboard you used to install WHS the first time..connect them.
    3. Stick the new WHS install disk in the CD/DVD drive.
    4. Reboot - make sure it boots from the DVD drive.
    5. WHS will ask some questions, the defaults all seemed right to me.  The most important one, however, is to ensure you select REINSTALL, not NEW/CLEAN INSTALL.  Don't know how critical it is, but I suggest you give the server name the same as you had for your evalation copy.  Find someone with good eyes to read the ~ 4pt font tht the license code is typed in...hint 8 and B look a lot a like!
    6.  Go watch TV, surf the net, play with your kids or sig other - it takes over an hour to reformat/reinstall. 
    7. Here's where I had a glitch that I'm told is unusual, so I won't go into detail other than to tell you to run WHS Console and look for the User Account tab across the top.  If it's there, great, go on to next step.  If not, follow this thread - solves the problem: http://forums.microsoft.com/WindowsHomeServer/ShowPost.aspx?PostID=3198980&SiteID=50
    8.  In Console, add your Users back exactly as you had them before. 
    9.  In Console, go through all the settings and set them the way you had them in the evaluation copy...for example, enable remote access if you want that capability (I'd think most do)
    10. In Console, reinstall any Add-ins.  This does NOT require you to go download them again (although you might take this opportunity to ensure you have the latest versions http://www.wegotserved.co.uk/windows-home-server-add-ins/). 
         Rather, in Console select Settings; Add-ins; click on the "Available" tab and install those you want.
    11. If you want WHS on your home office network, I'd say you should do that now.  Get to the Desktop in WHS (here's is a nice utility for things like that http://www.danno.ca/blog/WHS+Program+Launcher+12.aspx); click Start; then right click on My Computer and select Properties; under the Computer Name tab, click the Change button; select the Workgroup radio button; and type in the name of your home office network (default is MSHOME unless you changed it, as I did). 
    12. Confirm you can connect to/from your client machines.  I'm confused whether or not my situation was unusual or not, as in the forums I didn't see anything about this (so thought it would just work).  But it didn't work automatically for any of my client machines (WHS icon in system tray was gray, not green...not connected).  If that's the case for you it's easy to get working - you DON'T need to reinstall Connector on each client.  Rather on each client machine go to the Program files--Windows Home Server folder and run the program called DISCOVERY.EXE.  After running this the WHS icon in the system tray should be green and fully functional. 
    13. Confirm you can get to Console and, if so enabled, full remote access log-in from client and remote (via internet xxx.homeserver.com) machines.
    14. Disconnect the monitor, keyboard and mouse and shove it back to where ever you found it.  Actually this is important since when these devices are connected, WHS boots to the ctrl-alt-del logon screen...not a good thing when your electricity blips or an autoupdate requires a reboot.  When you have these all removed ('Headless' I hear is the term) a reboot will restart your server without a manual logon step.

    I think that's about it for me - if anyone see errors or wants to add things reply back and I'll edit as appropriate. 


    Randy

    Friday, April 18, 2008 9:39 PM

Answers

  • A few notes/corrections:

     

     Nordak wrote:
    Thought I'd summarize my experience - and the procedures needed - upgrading from the WHS 120 day Evaluation program to the full licensed version.

    First, for others out there that aren't used to the lingo, don't let the "OEM" label confuse you.  It seems related to the fact WHS is server software which puts in a different licensing category than plain old XP or Vista.

     

    No, OEM stands for Original Equipment Manufacturer (in other words, system builders).  Which means there is no free support with the product (if you are capable of installing it, MS assumes you are also capable of troubleshooting problems with it).  (Of course, if you need support from MS for WHS, they will gladly take $79 out of your wallet to help you out. Wink  )

     

     Nordak wrote:
    So when you get a disk set with a black and white bland paper cover that looks like it's a bootleg copy from a third world rather than a typical glossy MS package (ironically, like WHS evaluation copy came in!) don't worry, it's the right thing.

     

    That's common for OEM products (retail products have the nice looking boxes).

     

     Nordak wrote:
    When you open the disk set you'll find 4 disks...WHS install, restore, connector, and one called preinstallation.  I think most can ignore the latter.  You'll only need the WHS install disk for the upgrade. 

    Second, probably related to above, you can't just click in some screen on the WHS evaluation copy and enter in your new license code - you need to reinstall WHS.  A pain, to be sure.  But overall not too bad, and most importantly your existing data files and backups ARE fully preserved (for those that have had problems or don't agree, let's let this slide for the moment...there are many posts on this topic if you are worried.  Dislaimer is if you are worried, back up what's important to you).   Only the partition that has the WHS operating system files (~20mB  partition on WHS root drive) is affected.  Yes, you will lose WHS customization, and you'll need to redo a few things...see below.

    Steps to upgrade (reinstall).
    1. Make sure all your server HDDs are functioning and online.
    2. Find that monitor, mouse and keyboard you used to install WHS the first time..connect them.
    3. Stick the new WHS install disk in the CD/DVD drive.
    4. Reboot - make sure it boots from the DVD drive.
    5. WHS will ask some questions, the defaults all seemed right to me.  The most important one, however, is to ensure you select REINSTALL, not NEW/CLEAN INSTALL.  Don't know how critical it is, but I suggest you give the server name the same as you had for your evalation copy.

     

    If you give it the same name as before, you may end up with a message saying something like "that computer name already exists on the network".  If that happens, just unplug the network cable.

     

     Nordak wrote:
    Find someone with good eyes to read the ~ 4pt font tht the license code is typed in...hint 8 and B look a lot a like!
    6.  Go watch TV, surf the net, play with your kids or sig other - it takes over an hour to reformat/reinstall. 
    7. Here's where I had a glitch that I'm told is unusual, so I won't go into detail other than to tell you to run WHS Console and look for the User Account tab across the top.  If it's there, great, go on to next step.  If not, follow this thread - solves the problem: http://forums.microsoft.com/WindowsHomeServer/ShowPost.aspx?PostID=3198980&SiteID=50
    8.  In Console, add your Users back exactly as you had them before. 
    9.  In Console, go through all the settings and set them the way you had them in the evaluation copy...for example, enable remote access if you want that capability (I'd think most do)
    10. In Console, reinstall any Add-ins.  This does NOT require you to go download them again (although you might take this opportunity to ensure you have the latest versions http://www.wegotserved.co.uk/windows-home-server-add-ins/). 
         Rather, in Console select Settings; Add-ins; click on the "Available" tab and install those you want.
    11. If you want WHS on your home office network, I'd say you should do that now.  Get to the Desktop in WHS (here's is a nice utility for things like that http://www.danno.ca/blog/WHS+Program+Launcher+12.aspx);


    Or just use Remote Desktop Connection to logon to the server desktop.

     

     Nordak wrote:
    click Start; then right click on My Computer and select Properties; under the Computer Name tab, click the Change button; select the Workgroup radio button; and type in the name of your home office network (default is MSHOME unless you changed it, as I did).

     

    It's not necessary to change the workgroup name of WHS.

     

     Nordak wrote:
    12. Confirm you can connect to/from your client machines.  I'm confused whether or not my situation was unusual or not, as in the forums I didn't see anything about this (so thought it would just work).  But it didn't work automatically for any of my client machines (WHS icon in system tray was gray, not green...not connected).

     

    That's normal.

     

     Nordak wrote:
    If that's the case for you it's easy to get working - you DON'T need to reinstall Connector on each client.  Rather on each client machine go to the Program files--Windows Home Server folder and run the program called DISCOVERY.EXE.  After running this the WHS icon in the system tray should be green and fully functional. 
    13. Confirm you can get to Console and, if so enabled, full remote access log-in from client and remote (via internet xxx.homeserver.com) machines.
    14. Disconnect the monitor, keyboard and mouse and shove it back to where ever you found it.  Actually this is important since when these devices are connected, WHS boots to the ctrl-alt-del logon screen

     

    No, its not important to disconnect anything.  It boots to the exact same logon screen whether the equipment is connected or not (just, without a monitor, you won't see it Wink  ).

     

     Nordak wrote:
    ...not a good thing when your electricity blips or an autoupdate requires a reboot.  When you have these all removed ('Headless' I hear is the term) a reboot will restart your server without a manual logon step.

     

    Servers are designed to run headless (since nearly all access is share related, the rest can be done through RDC).  Normal server operations never require anyone to logon at the console.

     

     Nordak wrote:
    I think that's about it for me - if anyone see errors or wants to add things reply back and I'll edit as appropriate. 


    Randy

    Friday, April 18, 2008 11:09 PM
    Moderator