What's New in Windows Home Server Power Pack 1! RRS feed

  • General discussion

  • Hey everybody, as you all know, the public release of Windows Home Server Power Pack 1 Release Candidate 4 is nearing. I’d like to highlight what’s new in Power Pack 1. Please check out the list below, and review the release documentation for test scenarios to help test what’s new in Power Pack 1.


    • The data corruption issue described Knowledge Base article #946676 has been addressed.
    • Long file paths (more than 240 characters) are now supported on Windows Home Server shared folders.     A bug that resulted in the Windows Home Server Console constantly reporting “Balancing Storage” has been fixed. Balancing Storage includes migration of files to secondary data volumes. Prior to Power Pack 1, this happened whenever there was file activity in the Windows Home Server shared folders directory. In this update both migration as well as rebalancing files across volumes for better space utilization occurs.

    Further, the Windows Home Server Console will no longer display “Balancing Storage” and will only displays the last time Server Storage was balanced.

    • Overall performance improvements

    1.        With this update, the Drive Extender Migrator uses non-cached memory when moving files across secondary volumes. This should improve the performance of migration passes, and speed hard drive removal.

    2.       File copy performance to and from the Windows Home Server shared folders has been improved.

    • Home Server proactively checks the health of all files stored in the shared folders during a migration pass. If any issues are discovered, a yellow health notification will be sent containing a detailed conflict reason for each file
    • Hard drive removal has been enhanced to list the files which home server was not able to move off the hard drive being removed. The reason for the failure is also noted in a details page which appears at the end of the hard drive removal wizard.
    • With Power Pack 1 Windows Home Server proactively searches for orphan shadows on home server hard drive, and places them the following location - D:\folders\{1618D36B-F4E7-4360-B070-A32070519DC9}\
    • A new and improved storage size algorithm has been implemented for listing Server Storage usage

    Client Connector:

    ·         The Windows Home Server Connector can now be installed on home computers running Windows Vista x64 operating systems.

    ·         Better guidance is provided when the home computer clock and home server clock differ significantly during Connector installation.

    ·         Functionality is added to detect that the version of the Windows Home Server Connector software matches the version of the Windows Home Server software. If there is a mismatch, users will be prompted to manually update the Windows Home Server Connector software on their home computers. This release enables automatic updating of the Windows Home Server Connector software in the future.

    ·         The Windows Home Server Connector tray icon should no longer cause a flickering issue when auto-hide task bar is enabled.

    ·         If the Windows Home Server Connector Software is installed using the new Power Pack 1 Connector CD, then the home computer will automatically have the very latest version of the Windows Home Server Connector software that is compatible with the home server.



    ·         A new feature is added to enable the user to backup and restore user-specified shared folders to external hard drives: Windows Home Server Data Backup. 

    ·         While adding a hard drive to the Windows Home Server, the user is now presented with an option to use the hard drive for backing up the home server.  Once this option is selected, the home server will appear in the Computers & Backup tab - where a user can decide what information they want to store on this external hard drive.

    ·         Functionality is provided to allow restoring shared folders from an external hard drive that was used for Windows Home Server Data Backup.

    ·         If the backup database on the home server has an inconsistency error, the user can now use the backup database repair wizard to correct this error.  The repair wizard can be launched either through the Backup page in Settings, or by clicking on the backup database inconsistency error notification.

    ·         A new option has been added to the Windows Home Server Connector tray icon that allows the user to enable or disable the home computer from waking up for backup if it is in sleep or hibernation mode.

    ·         Users can now run Backup Cleanup while the single file restore dialog is open.

    ·         Changed the name of the excluded folder from “Media center temporary files” to “Recorded TV”.

    ·         Windows Vista SP1 was incorrectly reported as “Windows Server Longhorn Ultimate Edition” in the Computers & Backup tab.  This has been addressed in the public beta.

    ·         Home computers running any versions of Windows XP Media Center Edition (2004, 2005) will be displayed as “Windows XP Media Center Edition” in the Computers & Backup tab.

    ·         The Home Computer Restore CD automatically downloads and runs the latest version of the computer restore software from the home server when a user chooses to restore a home computer.

    ·         The previous two versions of the Home Computer Restore CD have been replaced by a new version (Dual Boot) to support a wider range of home computers.  The Power Pack 1 Home Computer Restore CD gives the user two options - one option is recommended for use on home computers with less than 512Mb of memory and the other option is recommended for use on home computers with 512Mb of memory.

    ·         The home computer backup process was made more resilient to networks that have intermittent connection problems.


    Remote Access:

    ·         When adding/editing a user in the Home Server Console, in addition to enabling remote access for that user, there is now a drop down list box that allows the home server administrator to specify whether the user will have access to the computers tab, the shared folders tab, or both tabs in remote access.

    ·         The Routers and Domain name configuration details dialogs in the Remote Access Settings page have been reworked to include more descriptive status, and contextual help links for failed tests.

    ·         A new ‘Views’ drop-down list is added for the Shared Folders tab in remote access which allows the files in a shared folder to be displayed either as a list of files (‘Details’ view) or as thumbnails (‘Icons’ view).  In ‘Icons’ view, the majority of the picture files will be represented as thumbnails, and the rest of the non-picture files and folders will be displayed as large icons. 

    ·         File upload functionality has been improved for users of Internet Explorer 6 and 7

    ·         Ability for large file uploads to complete before the remote session times out has been implemented.

    ·         When you download multiple files, the users are now given the option to package the files in a self extracting executable (.exe) file in addition to being able to store them in a ZIP file.   Self extracting executable files should be used for downloading files with filenames that use non-ASCII characters (e.g. Japanese, Chinese, Korean, etc.).


    Media Sharing:

    ·         Windows Media Player playlists pointing to media files stored on a home server should now play correctly via Windows Media Connect when these playlists are copied over to a home server and shared out via media sharing.


    Other Enhancements:

    ·         Processor power management is enabled by default in Windows Home Server using the “Server Balanced Process Power and Performance” power scheme as the default setting.

    ·         The Windows Home Server Console has been made more resilient to poorly written Home Server Add-Ins and has been designed to eventually load even if one or more installed Add-Ins is not functioning correctly.

    ·         The Windows Home Server setup process will no longer report an issue with Windows Desktop Search service during the initial installation of a home server from the Windows Home Server Installation DVD.

    ·         The Windows Home Server logo should now be correctly displayed during the initial setup of a new home server.




    Thursday, June 5, 2008 5:36 PM

All replies

  • Very nice!! This is certainly a major improvement! I sincerely hope all the improvements perform as designed


    IMHO this only leaves two major issues that need attention:


    1. Fix shadow copy functionality, as this provides an easy recovery option from all kinds of problems, including inadvertent deletion, but also quick and easy recovery of corrupted files (including a corrupted client database)

    2. Provide a decent way to backup the client backup database, or even better also include a full system backup.
    Monday, June 9, 2008 12:52 AM
  • Thanks.

    Media Sharing, probably deserved more upgrades (higher version of Media Connect).

    Sunday, June 22, 2008 9:39 AM
  • Well, it's now July 9th.  Is this new software available yet?  I have a new Microsoft Vista Home Premium 64 bit system (an HP laptop.)  When I tried to install the connector, it warned me that it wouldn't work with VIsta-64.  I sure hope this is now available but don't see any links for download.


    Thursday, July 10, 2008 1:41 AM
  • Patience Rod ... we do betas so the larger community can help us find wierd issues with strange hardware configurations.  We are getting close ... very very close


    Thursday, July 10, 2008 4:21 AM
  • !00% agree, if my 360 can play it my home server should be able to serve it.

    Sunday, July 20, 2008 12:50 PM
  • Soo very Very close.. Smile

    Sunday, July 20, 2008 6:18 PM
  • How close are you regarding releasing pp1?

    Could you maybe give us a "beginning of..." type of answer? Maybe even a date?

    I just so badly want to get the connector on my mainbox which is vista64 ultimate...
    Monday, July 21, 2008 8:10 AM