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Hands-On with Windows Server 2012 Essentials

ArsTechnica gives us a hands-on with Windows Server 2012 Essentials.


The comprehensive 3 page post takes a look at the Dashboard, and takes us through the process of adding clients. Email options are also taken a look at as well as Anywhere Access. Its a big read, which you can find here.

Hands-On with Windows Server 2012 Essentials is a post from: MS Windows Home Server - Your Personal Guide to Microsoft Windows Home Server!

Stream Music over the Internet using Hamachi

If you would like to share and/or stream your music from Windows Home Server over the Internet then the Tranquil PC Weblog may have the answer for you.


Using the VPN software LogMeIn Hamachi² is a free simple solution and this post explains how to set it up and configure it.


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The MSWHS.com Essential Server Add-In Packs

With the release of the latest version of Personal Online Storage Server (POSH), we have teamed up with the publisher (Electrongoo) to offer you some exclusives, over the holiday period here at MSWHS.com.

Electrongoo are offering two exclusive essential add-in pack's. One supporting Server 2012 Essentials, WHS2011, SBS 2011 Essentials, and Storage Server 2008 R2 (the SBS Essential add-in pack) and the other supporting v1 of Windows Home Server (WHS V1 Essential add-in pack) which will save you plenty of money, compared with buying them individually.

product_isomounterwhs product_snoopdedupewhs product_integritycheckerwhs

The packs with comprise:

  • Iso Mounter - mount and expose iso image files as a folder from your server
  • Snoop de dupe - reclaim storage space on your server; easily locate, delete, and hard-link duplicate files on your server
  • Integrity Checker - validate file data stored on your server; automatically generate cryptographic SHA-1 hash on all files stored on your server

boxshot_amprem_whs product_timetravelerwhs

And either

  • Archive Manager Premium - archive, backup, and save unlimited versions of files to local storage devices and UNC paths; supports compression, encryption, and automatic archive pruning in the SBS Essential add-in pack.
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The World's Fastest HP MicroServer

The worlds fastest Small Business Server lives in the trunk of a supercharged 2008 SRT8 Dodge Challenger.

The Worlds Fastest HP MicroServer

A HP ProLiant MicroServer runs SBS 2011 which is mounted on a SSD to mitigate vibration from the car:

"Using the netbook back at the pits, we logged into the HP MicroServer via RDP and ran System Information for Windows (SIW) to keep an eye on the internal temperature of the CPU and SSD drive with the trunk closed. Since it was such cool day, all the temps stayed nice and chilly in the server. In fact, the only moving parts in the entire trunk were one cooling fan in the server and another one in the UPS. The rig doesn't build up much heat anyway."

If you would like to read more about the world's fastest server, you can find the info here.

The World's Fastest HP MicroServer is a post from:

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MediaSmart Server LED Management for WHS2011

A developer by the name of Lewis has made a driver that makes the lights work correctly on the HP MediaSmart Server if you have upgraded it to WHS 2011.

After upgrading these to WHS 2011, and without this driver the HDD lights would stay off and the system light would blink all the time. This driver replicates the LED management as it was with the original HP software.

HO MediaSmert Server LEDs

Compatible Hardware:

  • EX48x tests are positive
  • EX49x tests look promising
  • X510 should also look promising if it is really the same hardware as EX49x
  • Acer H340 should have a test version this weekend and it looks promising
  • H341 is possibly compatible with the H340 (like EX49x to EX48x) so it might also be a candidate

Finally the developer needs the following registry info from an Acer H341 and HP X510 owner, so please help out if you can:


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Using Advanced Format Hard Drives With WHS

If you would like to know how to use the new advanced format hard drives with Windows Home Server then we know where there is a guide just for you.


MediaSmartServer.net has a guest article written by their forum member ‚??TechVet‚?? aka James who demonstrates, with the proper setup how to get advanced format drives working with Home Server. From deactivating the IntelliPark feature on Western Digital hard drives by using a utility called wdidle3.exe to syncing the drives sector alignment using one of three available tools. It‚??s a great guide which you can find here.

Using Advanced Format Hard Drives With WHS is a post from: MS Windows Home Server - Your Personal Guide to MicroSoft Windows Home Server!

Your SSD will Last How Long?

With our report of Blackblaze publishing their data detailing hard drive failure rates. It has come to our attention (courtesy of our friend James Tenniswood), an article detailing the longevity of SSD's.

Samsung Solid State Drive

The article from Hardware Info tested the life span of a Samsung SSD 840 250GB TLC SSD, and after months of testing the good news is even if you push an SSD to the max by downloading lots of movies everyday averaging 30 GiB per day, the SSD will last you 24 years!

So with an average lifespan of 75 years for the memory chips, consumers have absolutely nothing to worry about, as in 24 years we will all be using higher capacity drives than we are currently using, even if "Hard Drive" is not the term we use then.

Your SSD will Last How Long? is a post from: MS Windows Home Server - Your Personal Guide to Microsoft Windows Home Server!

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Deploying and Managing your Small Business with WS2012 R2 Essentials

TechNet have a virtual lab on deploying and managing your small business with Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials:

In the first part of this 2-part lab, you will deploy and configure a server with the Windows Server Essentials Experience role. There are two paths for this lab - deploying and configuring through the Server Manager UX, or deploying and configuring via Windows PowerShell. 

In the second part, you will learn how the Windows Server Essentials Dashboard provides an easy way to manage users, groups, and devices in the network. In this part of the lab, you will explore the dashboard to learn about some of the management capabilities that are offered by the Dashboard that make it ideal for organizations that may not have experienced full-time IT administrative staff to manage day-to-day network operations.

Deploying and Managing your small business with Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials

The lab is estimated to take 90 minutes to complete and can be found here, alongside the 21 page manual.

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The Acer Aspire In Pictures

The full specs and some great pics of the Acer Aspire easyStore Home Server are available from website TiDo.

Acer Aspire Dimensions

View them here.


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Setup CloudBerry Backup with Windows Azure

The Cloudberry Lab is back with an article on how to use CloudBerry Backup with Windows Azure.

CloudBeery Backup with Windows Azure Setup

The tutorial starts with the Windows Azure sign up process including creating the storage account and managing your access keys. Finishing with configuring CloudBerry Backup for your Windows Azure account.

You can find the tutorial here.

Setup CloudBerry Backup with Windows Azure is a post from: MS Windows Home Server - Your Personal Guide to Microsoft Windows Home Server!

Manually Installing an SSL Certificate on SBS 2011 Essentials

If you would like to manually install your own SSL certificate into SBS 2011 Essentials then we have some help available for you.

The wizard in Essentials pushes you to purchase your SSL Certificate from either Enom or GoDaddy and sadly you do not get the option to chose a manual installation. But website title required have made a little PowerShell script which will help get your trusted SSL installed and your RWA site will function correctly too.

Manually Installing an SSL Certificate on SBS 2011 Essentials

You can read the tutorial and get the script from here.

Manually Installing an SSL Certificate on SBS 2011 Essentials is a post from: MS Windows Home Server - Your Personal Guide to Microsoft Windows Home Server!

HP EX470 and EX475 Software Update Package

MediaSmartServer.net is reporting that an update package for the HP MediaSmart Server EX470 and EX475 is available for download.


Labeled as HPMSS-1.3-R1, the update has a built date of Jan 12 2009 and provides the following enhancements:

  • Improves the image processing performance in HP Photo Webshare.
  • The correct error messages are now displayed when using using SSL and TZO certificates.
  • The unnecessary temperature sensor displays have been removed.

More information is available from here.


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Take Control of CrashPlan Backups

"Take Control of CrashPlan Backups" is an ebook by Joe Kissell in collaboration with CrashPlan maker Code 42 Software.

Take Control of CrashPlan Backups ebook

The 138 page ebook is available to purchasers in PDF, EPUB and Mobipocket formats to keep PC, MAC, iPad and Kindle users happy and at only $10 it wont break the bank either.

Backup expert Joe Kissell helps you devise an effective backup strategy for CrashPlan's unique capabilities, shows you how to back up to multiple destinations and restore files, explains less-common tasks (such as switching to a new computer and seeding a hard drive locally before moving it to a friend's house for offsite backup), and walks you through fine-tuning CrashPlan's settings to meet your needs.

All three consumer and small-business versions of CrashPlan-the free CrashPlan and the subscription-focused CrashPlan+ and CrashPlan PRO-are discussed, with relevant differences called out. (The book does not cover CrashPlan PROe, the enterprise version.)

For small businesses subscribing to CrashPlan PRO, Joe documents how to manage users and computers via the Web-based interface, and for anyone backing up to CrashPlan Central or CrashPlan PRO Cloud, he describes how to use the CrashPlan Mobile app (for iOS, Android, and Windows Phone 7) to access backed-up files. Lastly, Joe provides troubleshooting tips in case things go wrong, and offers advice for backup needs outside CrashPlan's purview (like bootable duplicates).

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Video: Installing a HDD in the HP ProLiant Gen8 MicroServer

John Stutsman explains to us in this 6 minute video how to install a hard disk in a Gen8 MicroServer that was taken from a HP N40L MicroServer.

Video: Installing a HDD in the HP ProLiant Gen8 MicroServer is a post from: MS Windows Home Server - Your Personal Guide to Microsoft Windows Home Server!

Add-In: StableBit Scanner v2.4.0.2900 / 2901 BETA

StableBit Scanner Icon

The beta release of StableBit Scanner has had an update and now adds support to automatically check the health of your file systems.

Here is the full change log for version / 2901 BETA:

  • SMART Failures were not being reported in the Dashboard. (WSS only)
  • Drive letter assignment is now refreshed properly.
  • Added support to automatically check the health of your file systems.
    - File system scanning is streamlined into the existing scanning process and is automatically performed after a surface scan.
    - chkdsk is used, but with some additional features.
            - Ability to scan using Background I/O, which also lowers the paging priority (since chkdsk tends to use a lot of RAM).
            - Ability to suspend a scan if a drive overheats.
            - Support for temperature equalization.
            - Scan progress is reported in percent.
    - File system health is reported when you expand a disk and in the
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Add-In: StableBit DrivePool v2.0.0.355 BETA

StableBit DrivePool for WS2012 Essentials users has had an update.


Version has the following change log (and it's a big one!):

  • Disk performance was stripping out the first directory component.
  • Rewrote the find common path prefix algorithm to take the '\' characters into account.
  • [D] Added preliminary EFS support (CoveFs_EfsEnabled in .config).
      - Right now, background duplication and re-balancing are not supported for EFS encrypted files.
  • Added a folder size pie chart to the per-folder duplication window. This pie chart is computed automatically whenever you select a folder in the folder duplication window. It breaks down file data vs. duplication data and gives you the exact numbers as they are stored on the disks. You can use this as a visual confirmation that your data is duplicated properly.
      - The pie chart is not available when other more important tasks are running (such as background duplication).
  • Child task groups were being un-paused prematurely at times.
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Add-In: StableBit Scanner v2.5.0.2968 BETA

The beta release of StableBit Scanner for WHS2011, WS2012 Essentials and WS2012 R2 Essentials has been updated.

StableBit Scanner - Notifications

Version BETA has the following change log:

  • Added "Notification Templates" directory under the service Program Files directory
  • Added an option to automatically propagate a site name to all copies of the StableBit Scanner running on the LAN, which don't already have a site name specified.
  • Added an option to specify a site name for all notifications (e.g. Home, Office, etc...). If specified, site names will show up in the notification text.
  • Rewrote the notifications UI as a separate dialog window.
      - Input is now validated for Email addresses and SMS phone numbers.
      - Added test buttons and test dialogs for each notification provider.
      - You can now easily enter multiple email addresses and SMS numbers.
      - Twitter authorization is handled from the Twitter notification tab.
      - For speech notifications you can now select the voice (Windows 8) and rate of speech.
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Add-In: Personal Online Storage Host v2.60

Electrongoo today released a new version of their Personal Online Storage Host add-in. The software which enables you to use your Windows Server 2012 Essentials or Windows Home Server 2011 to host your own private and personal online backup and file sync service.


The Personal Online Storage Host (POSH) is a software package which allows you to host your own personal and private online storage. You can backup, archive, or synchronize files from any internet connected PC to your host server. You host the software on a Windows-based server or PC using your own storage. POSH is an excellent data protection and file synchronization solution for home users, home businesses, micro businesses, and businesses with remote workers who wish to save money and host their own remote data storage.  A free version of the Archive Manager software client and Personal File Sync software client are available to install on PC's you wish to backup and synchronize.

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DVBLink TVSource 3.2.2 Available

There is one way of having tuner cards in your Windows Home server box, and that is using the DVBLink software TVSource.

DVBLogic Logo

For those of you who already have it installed it is time to update as version 3.2.2 is now available.

v3.2.2 is a cumulative update that includes the following (previously released as patches) fixes:

  • fix for "Unable to show this channel…" message after background EPG scan (usually happens overnight)
  • fix for not working multiple (USB) tuners of the same type
  • fix for TT3650CI – bdaapiOpenCI has returned error 14
  • fix for "This product does not require registration" message even if the product is not registered yet

Also v3.2.2 includes:

  • updated transponder files
  • support for TBS 5921, 5980, 5922, 6922, 8922, 6925, 6984 and 69856 tuners

How to install: Run DVBLinkSetup.exe from Setup folder. It will both install new version or update existing version to a new one. The versions of all binary files (exe and dll) should be

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Removing the CPU Heat Sink on the HP Gen8 MicroServer

John Stutsman has been busy making another short video on removing the CPU heat sink on  the HP ProLiant Gen8 MicroServer.

John did this to upgrade the Celeron G1610T CPU to the Xeon E3-1265LV2:

Removing the CPU Heat Sink on the HP Gen8 MicroServer is a post from: MS Windows Home Server - Your Personal Guide to Microsoft Windows Home Server!

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