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How to disable popups (business environment) RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hi,

    I've installed WHS in a small office to do client backups. Works fine for that.

    The biggest annoyance, though, are the popups that appear on user machines.

    For example, when I reboot a machine, WHS may see the anti-virus as out of date for a few seconds, so it instantly tells every user on the network that one of the machines is vulnerable! Right now! It's RED so do something!

    Of course the warning is bogus and WHS should wait a few seconds after a system boots before checking anti-virus. That's another issue.

    The main issue is that these popups appear at all. In a business environment, warnings need to be emailed to the system admin (me), not posted to the users. These bogus messages just train users to ignore virus warnings. But even if the warning was real, e.g. a missed backup, it should be contacting the admin, not the users. The users by now have learned to ignore WHS messages so I might never hear if a backup fails or disk space is low.

    How can I disable popups and set up email notification of issues?

    Mark Berry
    MCB Systems

    Wednesday, June 16, 2010 8:10 PM

Answers

  • Right click the systray icon, select (or, in this case, deselect) Display Network Health Notifications. There is no email notification built into Windows Home Server; it's a "home" product, for non-technical consumers, so don't look for business features, in this or the next version. (Patrick is incorrect; Vail doesn't have any "business friendly" features except those that are also "consumer friendly".)

    As for the reason for the pop-up, it's basically a timing issue. Windows Home Server relies on other services to correctly report the state of AV on client machines. If those other services say there's no AV protection (as they may briefly do during startup and shutdown), Windows Home Server dutifully trumpets that information to the world.


    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    • Proposed as answer by kariya21Moderator Thursday, June 17, 2010 5:02 AM
    • Marked as answer by mcbsys Wednesday, June 23, 2010 9:52 PM
    Wednesday, June 16, 2010 10:45 PM
    Moderator

All replies

  • On 6/16/2010 3:10 PM, mcbsys wrote:

    Hi,

    I've installed WHS in a small office to do client backups. Works fine for that.

    The biggest annoyance, though, are the popups that appear on user machines.

    For example, when I reboot a machine, WHS may see the anti-virus as out of date for a few seconds, so it instantly tells every user on the network that one of the machines is vulnerable! Right now! It's RED so do something!

    Of course the warning is bogus and WHS should wait a few seconds after a system boots before checking anti-virus. That's another issue.

    The main issue is that these popups appear at all. In a business environment, warnings need to be emailed to the system admin (me), not posted to the users. These bogus messages just train users to ignore virus warnings. But even if the warning was real, e.g. a missed backup, it should be contacting the admin, not the users. The users by now have learned to ignore WHS messages so I might never hear if a backup fails or disk space is low.

    How can I disable popups and set up email notification of issues?

    Mark Berry
    MCB Systems

    Hi Mark,

    WHS wasn't designed for a business environment, so you probably won't be
    able to accomplish what you're after.  Microsoft would have recommended
    that you purchase something like SBS2003 instead of WHS for your
    environment.  WHS is aimed at a home environment, where if one computer
    did have an issue, you would want it to be alerted to every computer (so
    someone could fix it).

    That being said, the next version of WHS (Vail-beta) is aimed at small
    businesses and home users.  So, it may have the features that you're
    looking for.  However, it's a 64-bit only system, so if you're current
    hardware isn't 64-bit, then you'll have to purchase new equipment.  And
    there is no anticipated upgrade path from v1 (the current version) to v2
    ("Vail").

    Hope this helps, and have a great day:)
    Patrick.


    Smile... Someone out there cares deeply for you.
    Have you updated your OS and Antivirus today?
    http://update.microsoft.com


    Smile.. Someone out there cares deeply for you.
    Wednesday, June 16, 2010 8:40 PM
  • Right click the systray icon, select (or, in this case, deselect) Display Network Health Notifications. There is no email notification built into Windows Home Server; it's a "home" product, for non-technical consumers, so don't look for business features, in this or the next version. (Patrick is incorrect; Vail doesn't have any "business friendly" features except those that are also "consumer friendly".)

    As for the reason for the pop-up, it's basically a timing issue. Windows Home Server relies on other services to correctly report the state of AV on client machines. If those other services say there's no AV protection (as they may briefly do during startup and shutdown), Windows Home Server dutifully trumpets that information to the world.


    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    • Proposed as answer by kariya21Moderator Thursday, June 17, 2010 5:02 AM
    • Marked as answer by mcbsys Wednesday, June 23, 2010 9:52 PM
    Wednesday, June 16, 2010 10:45 PM
    Moderator
  • On 6/16/2010 5:45 PM, Ken Warren [MVP] wrote:

    Right click the systray icon, select (or, in this case, *de*select) Display Network Health Notifications. There is no email notification built into Windows Home Server; it's a "home" product, for non-technical consumers, so don't look for business features, in this or the next version. (Patrick is incorrect; Vail doesn't have any "business friendly" features except those that are also "consumer friendly".)

    As for the reason for the pop-up, it's basically a timing issue. Windows Home Server relies on other services to correctly report the state of AV on client machines. If those other services say there's no AV protection (as they may briefly do during startup and shutdown), Windows Home Server dutifully trumpets that information to the world.

    I'm sorry for the slight misinformation. I was basing it on reports that
    the next version is supposed to be geared towards the SOHO users as
    well. So, I incorrectly assumed there would be some business features
    included.

    Have a great day:)
    Patrick.


    Smile... Someone out there cares deeply for you.
    Have you updated your OS and Antivirus today?
    http://update.microsoft.com


    Smile.. Someone out there cares deeply for you.
    Thursday, June 17, 2010 12:21 AM
  • Thanks for the tip on the "Display Network Health Notifications" option in the tray icon. I'd be fine if the tray icon was gone altogether.

    I guess you know that MS claims that the current WHS _is_ for SOHOs:

    "Don’t be fooled by the name. Windows Home Server was designed as a solution that is as functional in a small office setting as it is in your home."

    http://www.microsoft.com/windows/products/winfamily/windowshomeserver/soho/default.mspx

    It's discouraging that the the experienced folks on the ground disagree.

    The good news is that WHS backup writes events to the event log, so I can use event log monitoring tools to make sure the backups are running successfully.

    Mark Berry
    MCB Systems

     

    Saturday, June 19, 2010 2:51 AM
  • Also:

    Using Windows Home Server to Back Up Windows Small Business Client Computers
    http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ee378513(WS.10).aspx

     

    Saturday, June 19, 2010 2:53 AM
  • You can use it in a micro business, but it doesn't have any features aimed specifically at that market. Never mind the marketing literature. :)

    In a business environment you will primarily be using it for workstation backups; at something like $60 per seat for 10 workstations, it's one of the cheapest solutions out there, and it delivers more functionality and ease of use for the primary backup/restore requirement (bare metal restore after drive failure) than solutions costing several times as much. :) You can also use it for sharing files. You can install other things on it, but I honestly feel that for anything more than backups and simple file sharing you really want to step up to the Windows Server line of products.

    As for the tray icon, If you want it gone just remove it from the Startup folder on the start menu. Everything will work fine without it.


    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Saturday, June 19, 2010 4:44 AM
    Moderator
  • Thanks Ken.

    The site where I installed this has been running Server 2000 and 2003 Standard for maybe 8 years. WHS was simply an add-on for image-based backups (pity they don't include that feature in Server or SBS). For five workstations, I went for an HP LX195 for $200 so it's a bargain. It even does secondary backup of the server.

    I started to delete the startup program but then I saw it was labeled "Connector" so I was afraid it wouldn't connect without it. I didn't check yet but I guess that there's a service that handles the real connections?

    Mark Berry
    MCB Systems

    Saturday, June 19, 2010 4:28 PM
  • Without the system tray icon, it won't be possible for Windows Home Server to raise an error on a local PC, but you don't want that so it's not a big loss. Everything else will work.

    As for Windows Home Server image backups in SBS, I wouldn't hold my breath.


    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Sunday, June 20, 2010 1:20 AM
    Moderator
  • Okay thanks!


    Mark Berry
    MCB Systems

    Wednesday, June 23, 2010 9:53 PM