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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-25-2009, 02:59 PM Thread Starter
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Windows Home Server

I ordered a trial version of this software to check it out, there were a few things I liked when I read about it, such as the backup system and file sharing, printer sharing etc. I was going to install SBS 2003 here at the house but that is a little overkill for a home setup.

I installed this home server on an old pc that is running the following specs.

Pent D 3.20GHZ
2GB Ram
2-500GB Sata Drives

The first think I noticed is that it has it's own version of data protection, it looks at your configuration on install and sets up the total amount of the drives as your usable space. You can add a drive to this at any time and it will just re-configure the system to the correct settings as well. It's not RAID, but some other version that duplicates the data between drives without needing duplicate space. (Maybe someone else will explain it better lol)

After getting it setup, you then go to each pc and install the remote setup file, this configures each pc to connect to the server and also configures a backup for each one as well.

One reason for me using tversity was to be able to convert and stream any type of video file to my directv recievers. It seems there is no conversion with this streaming that is built in, but you can run tversity on this home server as well. (my next step.

You can also setup remote access to this server from anywhere, I have configured that as well and tested and for simple file sharing it works great. There is an option to also use rpd (remote desktop) with this server, although you will need to have Vista Ultimate, Vista Business, or XP Pro in order to connect to any pc in the network remotely.

It's running one of the backup's now and I will report back how they are working and such. I think I read it will only update changed files each night and not the complete system. You can configure each pc to exclude any files, drives or folders as well if needed.

There are a lot of advanced features you can add on or install to this as well, it's based on sbs 2003/server 2003. There are some add in's and also some other tweaks you can do as well. The simple install is pretty easy though, so don't be afraid of it.

This software package was designed to be an embedded version on HP and a few other smart media home servers although right now you can buy the software for 94.00 from newegg and a few others and just install it on an old pc.

You can also run a torrent program and a few other needed things as well, like a fax server, print server, and more.





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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-25-2009, 07:45 PM
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Cool bro...thanks for the review. I'll be curious to hear more updates as you use it. I'm wondering if this would be overkill for me since I basically just want to be able to access my media remotely, but some of these other features sound pretty decent. You've got me curious about this, I'm going to have to read more.


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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-25-2009, 07:59 PM Thread Starter
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I backed up my main oc and it took a few hours... lol but it was about 300gb as well. Now when trying to access the backup it's stalling out on me... not sure what's up yet.

The remote access works great, if you want to test it I will create an account for you to log in and play with it.

Just shoot me a pm.



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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-25-2009, 08:49 PM
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so is this like an upgrade to Media Server?



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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-25-2009, 08:56 PM Thread Starter
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Hmmmm not really, it's a stand alone server for the home... for doing automated backups of each pc on it's own, sharing files, printers, media, folders, etc, and also includes remote access and control through this server as well to any pc connected to the network. (as long as it has RDP hosting abilities, vista business and unlimate or xp pro only)



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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-26-2009, 09:19 AM
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WHS's file system is an interesting take. You can add in as many hard drives as you want, and they will all appear as one big drive.
For important folders, you tell it to save them on at least 2 drives.
Backups are nice too, if you have 3 WinXP machines at home, say each with a 40GB hard drive, the backup won't be 3x40GB. It's smart enough to know 50% of the files on each computer are identical (windows files), so it only keeps one copy of them, and notes that it goes to all 3 machines. Smart backup.

R1, I'd suggest downloading Winguide and trying it out. I haven't use tversity yet but I'll give it a try. I'm not sure if tversity does anything special to goto your directv boxes or not.


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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-26-2009, 05:50 PM
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The remote access was flawless! Rhett set me up a test account just to take a look at some pics...it was as easy as looking at them on my own PC. That was awesome. I'm still thinking the setup would be over my head, but access to the media from my end couldnt have been simpler! Thanks bud...If I ever get brave enough to take this on, it looks like this is the way to go to be able to reach my media anywhere.


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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-26-2009, 06:43 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GreenEnvy View Post
WHS's file system is an interesting take. You can add in as many hard drives as you want, and they will all appear as one big drive.
For important folders, you tell it to save them on at least 2 drives.
Backups are nice too, if you have 3 WinXP machines at home, say each with a 40GB hard drive, the backup won't be 3x40GB. It's smart enough to know 50% of the files on each computer are identical (windows files), so it only keeps one copy of them, and notes that it goes to all 3 machines. Smart backup.

R1, I'd suggest downloading Winguide and trying it out. I haven't use tversity yet but I'll give it a try. I'm not sure if tversity does anything special to goto your directv boxes or not.
Thanks for the info, yes tversity will encode things on the fly, for example home server and also media center will not play flash, avi, and some others on the TV, they have to be in a format that is supported by the HD directv box. Tversity for example will convert everything on an as needed basis, so if I'm accessing it from my iphone it converts everything to iphone compatible format, if I'm accessing from my Directv box then it also converts things as needed. For this reason alone I'm thinking of sticking with tversity as me converting files and videos is a pain and time consuming. The remote access on tversity is as nice if not nicer then home server though, so that part is a toss up.

The backup is the main reason I wanted to test this and as you mentioned the drive configuration is sweet, I think they are onto something here with this setup, I love that part of it.

I will try out that add in, but so far the ones I like are all pay version... so I haven't added anything yet.



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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-26-2009, 06:44 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eveR1ast View Post
The remote access was flawless! Rhett set me up a test account just to take a look at some pics...it was as easy as looking at them on my own PC. That was awesome. I'm still thinking the setup would be over my head, but access to the media from my end couldnt have been simpler! Thanks bud...If I ever get brave enough to take this on, it looks like this is the way to go to be able to reach my media anywhere.
your welcome bro, I just sent you the link for tversity to test out too... let me know when your done.



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