How would you change Windows Home Server?

by Damian on September 8, 2009 · 52 comments

in Windows Home Server

Windows_Home_Server_logoA few days ago Alex posed the question “How would you change the HP MediaSmart Server?”. As important as hardware is, you need the perfect compliment of software to really get the most out of your system. So naturally this brings up the next question, how would you change Windows Home Server? The next version of WHS currently codename “Vail” is expected to be released some time in 2010 and will based on the Windows 7 Server codebase. Some things that I am looking for:

  • Full integration of Windows Media Center. This is by far at the top of my list.
  • Possibly a more efficient way of handling duplicated data (currently each duplicated file requires 2x space)
  • Vail is rumored to be an x64 system, if this is true how will transition from WHS x32 be handled?

So let us know, what do you hope for the next version of WHS? While on the topic, you can also head over to the Windows Home Server Team Blog and participate in their 2nd annual usage & satisfaction survey.

Article by

Hi, my name is Damian, and I'm tech gadget addict! Although I always had some interest in technology, it wasn't until I got my EX470 and more importantly found, that my interest became an addiction. My goal, aside from world domination and to see the Mets/Broncos win another championship, is to set up the perfect digital home where all my media is available at the click of a button. When I am not writing for you can find me over at my blog at or follow me on twitter


Cavediver September 8, 2009 at 6:19 pm

An easy way to create animage backup of and the ability to restore the system drive on a diy machine with all drivers, settings and addins. Make demigrator/drive balancer not run or take a back seat when the system is streaming media.

Alex Kuretz September 9, 2009 at 9:23 am

I think the Remote Access configuration and verification process needs some improvements. Helping users get that figured out is one of the top support items we see here in the forums, and often their remote access is working fine, the tool just reports that it can’t verify and so the user doesn’t know.

Wade Philley September 9, 2009 at 7:58 pm

It would be great if the server could be an iscsi target.

It would also be great if we could put our own open source operating system instead of depending on Microsoft Home Server.

Guido September 9, 2009 at 11:06 pm

There are some horrible flaws that need to be fixed.

1. Mac connectivity is brutal

2. USB or eSATA connectivity to temporary drives is bizarrely lacking. How do you load or move terabytes of data to or from it?

3. The OS user interface is so limited and idiot proof as to make it very nearly useless other than for the few limited tasks that they promote it for.

Alex Kuretz September 9, 2009 at 11:16 pm

Guido, can you elaborate on points 1 and 3? I agree with you on point 2 for sure, there should be an easy way to offload content from attached drives to support the scenario where users want to copy their data off their old drives to their new home server.

Damian September 10, 2009 at 2:12 am

Hi Wade,

Not sure I follow your comments, your solution for changes to WHS would be to use an open source O/S instead (so not use WHS at all)?

Texas-Hansen September 10, 2009 at 6:07 am

Agree with many of the great improvements suggested in both Damian’s article and in the comments by others. Other things that would be nice to see added in the new version of WHS:

- Continue on the path of PP3 where WHS and the client OS are merged together more so it creates more of a seamless experience/useability.

- Rather than leaving it to add ins that expand the capability and information available on the console, build those capabilities right into WHS so that it’s even more seemless, i.e. disk management, advance admin console, etc.

- This idea probably wouldn’t get much use but it’s a thought: Just like Windows 7, include the virtual machine ability that is integrated into Windows 7 so that, if necessary, you could run Windows Server 2003 virtually so that any older Windows Server 2003 software would be useful.

Chris Noland September 10, 2009 at 11:43 am

I have to say..

1. RAID support
2. GPT (for the above)
3. easier way to host your own domain and get certificates
4. Exchange add in – not sure about the rest of the group but I am getting tired of POP and IMAP and want the features of exchange and paying a host it kind of pricey
5. remote backup of computers (this maybe solved if crash plan comes out with a WHS application)

Texas-Hansen September 14, 2009 at 9:42 am

Another thought on the next WHS version is that it needs to be able to run on current WHS hardware configurations. I imagine that MS learned that lesson from Vista, and if the next version is based upon Windows 7/Windows Server 2008 R2, then my guess is that WHS 2010 will run well on the hardward that is currently out there but also make use of newer, more advance hardware like dual core processors, etc.

Damian September 14, 2009 at 12:15 pm

I agree Tex, the possible transition from an x32 system to an x64 system worries me. In Vista if you want to go from x32 to x64 you need to do a clean install (aside from having to find correct drivers, etc…)

Jon September 18, 2009 at 8:18 pm

The next version absolutely MUST integrate the server shares with the backup process. It is absolutely ridiculous that MS offers a server product, who’s primary feature is automatic backup, yet the data that you put on the shares is not automatically backed up! I really want to buy a mediasmart server, but I can’t justify it until my server has automatic backup just like my desktops…Please don’t give me platitudes about folder duplication and manual backup of shares – it’s not the same thing! WHS should automatically back up it’s own shares (to different hard drives, obviously)!!

Alex Kuretz September 20, 2009 at 8:23 pm

Hi Jon,

I’m not sure I understand your point, you make reference to the right terminology of “folder duplication” and the “manual backup of shares” feature included in Windows Home Server, both of which accomplish what you are asking for. Duplication ensures that WHS stores a copy of the file on a different hard drive, thus ensuring your data is backed up and safe from drive failure. The Share Backup feature allows you to make yet another backup to a drive that you can store offsite.

Can you please describe the scenario you want WHS to do that it does not currently do?

Jason September 21, 2009 at 3:13 pm

The thing I feel is most lacking in the current WHS software is the flexibility to create a custom recovery disk. We shouldn’t have to resort to using X-Files versions of WHS recovery to get up to date drivers to recover our machines!!

Come on MS, give us a tool to generate our own recovery disks for a machine based on controller and ethernet drivers that the given system is running, other backup/recovery vendors have been doing this for years.

Nothing is more frustrating than going to recover a system with WHS only to find out that the boot disk doesn’t recognize the drive controller, Ethernet adapter, etc.

Alex, I agree that Jon’s post is confusing but I believe what he is saying is that the WHS should be able to be configured to back up both the backup db as well as the shares to an external physical disc automatically.

Brian September 22, 2009 at 7:56 am

I’d love to see the ability to run software raid across same size drives, but included as if they are single drives in the standard pool.

I believe there is a driver delivery program coming that can deliver your drivers from the home server, but I haven’t seen it yet.

There are very few things I find bad about the home server, I think it’s great – mind you, I’ve installed SageTV for the TV recording and streaming, a separate defrag program and it’s all on a beefy quad core (which would be great on a 64 bit OS!) Add-ons make it cool. :)

Jeff October 3, 2009 at 10:51 am

I’ll start this off by saying I am not currently a WHS user, but I plan to be around the middle of next year. I currently use two Buffalo Terastations (one original Terastation and a Terastation Pro II) Both are large, loud, power hungry, and extremely slow at moving data. They are used for my family to share files. One thing I like about WHS is the standard NTFS file system. If a system file gets corrupted, you can pop the drive in an external enclosure and get your data files back, you can’t do that with a RAID Terastation, and we lost data because of it. I also like the integration with the windows clients accessing WHS. Some things I would be looking for:
1. Easy to copy to/from external USB drives without adding them to the drive pool.
2. Power Savings. Sleep after xx minutes and Wake-On-Lan. Wake up when accessed.
3. Turn off non-system drives when not in use. (I’m ok with a 5 second wait for data)
4. Configure sleep from (xx:xx – xx:xx) with wake on lan option.
5. Compatibility with the newly released MS AV Microsoft Security Essentials.
6. Share CD/DVD drive over network. Netbooks don’t have optical drives, and some new thin laptops don’t either. If I put a CD/DVD in the WHS, but able to use it like an attached drive on clients without the optical drive.

Alex Kuretz October 4, 2009 at 12:17 am

Hi Jeff, thanks for your comments. Those are some good requests, and you can meet most of them through the various OEM solutions plus some Add-Ins. I found your virtual CD/DVD drive idea very interesting! In the scenario you describe I tend to create an ISO and mount it virtually with DaemonTools.

Cavediver October 4, 2009 at 7:03 am

Virtual Clone Drive; free from Slysoft is another option for mounting ISO images.

Jim October 8, 2009 at 10:34 pm

How about some security for my data? Storing all of the data from all of my computers on one server unencrypted is not something I can do.

Ken October 18, 2009 at 10:17 am

Besides the backing up of shares (yes it’s helpful to have duplicates, but if a file gets corrupted, you have a duplicate, not a safely stored backup), I would like to see a complete entertainment center.

I’ve just started looking at the server as possibly a way to earn some extra money in retirement, and the information out there is pretty confusing as to what it will/will not do on the media side.

Long story short, I need two devices to play media through an entertainment center. Why not allow the server to do just that.

Today’s pc’s are coming out with hdmi on the video either onboard or on a card. The server would just sit along side the ol television and audio center and would do just what a media pc and server now do. Less over all expense. Less overall confusion on the user’s part.

This would be a great selling point for MS, HP and others.

Just a thought.

John Loeffler October 19, 2009 at 10:23 pm

In addition to the (previously posted) suggestion about full Media Center integration, at the top of my list is a migration tool for files, backups and setting on the server. Not unlike most MediaSmart server owners, I will soon be on my 3rd generation server, and I don’t need to tell you that moving the data is a pain in the buttocks, not to mention configuring everything all over again.

Alex Kuretz October 20, 2009 at 12:11 am

I’m curious how you would expect or like to see a migration tool behave in this case? Can you give some more details?

John Loeffler October 20, 2009 at 10:58 am

Hi Alex, and thank you for your reply.

What I would like to see in a migration tool would be simple and straightforward… some dialogue boxes asking if I want to move user folders/files, music folders/files, photo folders/files, do I want to retain existing sharing and priveleges properties, do I want to duplicate remote access settings, which computer backup files do I wish to move, and so on. Basically, the tool would allow the user to replicate settings and data (on the old server), to the new server. After specifying what to move/replicate to the new server, the user would click “continue”, and then the tool would perform the specified operations without further user interation. When complete, the new server would be a mirror image of the old one, to the extent specified by the user selections, and with respect to any limitations imposed by new software, OS, etc.

B Holt November 17, 2009 at 8:24 pm

Besided 64 bit how about dual channel or triple channel memory configs… AD integration that will work with the WHS accounts. this isn’t WHS as it is more HP but a better MediaStreamer application. an iTunes 9 with Home Sharing addin so those of us that use iTunes to organize and edit meta data it will look the same. Twonky and Firefly are lacking in the indexing.

Eric December 5, 2009 at 4:36 pm

I’m currently building my first DIY NAS for centralized AV media storage. To support this, I’d like to see WHS 2010 support RAID 4 at a minimum (essentially JBOD + parity disc for the JBOD). For home AV media storage, I like RAID 4 better than 5 because with the former, if two drives fail prior to rebuild, you only loose the data on those drives (and only one drive with data if one of the failures is the parity drive). With RAID 5, if two drives fail you loose the entire array. This distinction matters with 20+ drives and many hours spent copying media to them. Further, RAID 4 is a lot more efficient than WHS’ current folder duplication system. Indeed, many users are currently using Flexraid in conjunction with WHS to provide RAID 4 support.

One other thing I’d like to see (if not already supported by WHS today) is something akin to a “ping” for hardrive enclosures. Meaning, one could select a drive within WHS’ mgmt utility and ping it which would cause a NAS’ corresponding drive enclosure light to blink so a user can identify it within a large NAS. A useful application of this would be tight SMART-WHS integration so that if imminent drive failure is detected, WHS pings the culprit drive enclosure’s light so the user easily knows which drive to replace (an option to email of said failure would also be nice). I apologize in advance if the current WHS already supports this. I’ve never used it so I don’t know.

Brian December 5, 2009 at 4:48 pm

Eric: I would argue that a RAID6 would be better again. (2 drives with parity). Or just RAID5 with a hot spare. Hardware is needed for the ‘pinging’ and consumer SATA drives don’t usually have the lights. You can use the Disk Manager to tell you what drive is dead though, well worth installing.

Eric December 5, 2009 at 5:23 pm

Brian: I agree that RAID6 would provide excellent parity protection as well. My only question about it versus RAID4 is what kind of processing power would be required if executed in software (which is what I had in mind for whatever version of RAID the next WHS uses)? My understanding from Flexraid users is that RAID4 is pretty benign on CPU utilization. One other advantage of RAID4 versus 6 that comes to mind (though admittedly, I don’t know how often this would come up in practice) is that if one had move a data drive from one PC to another, the RAID4 drive should work without incident assuming the same file system is used. IMS, the same would not be true for the RAID6 drive.

How about this: Have the next WHS support RAID4, 5, and 6, and let the user decide which version to use?

As for the hardrive lights, both my current low cost Buffalo Terrastation and pending Norco 4220-based NAS have drive activity lights. Are you saying these lights couldn’t be manipulated via the next WHS for the “ping” function without special hardware and/or drives?

Rich Zumpone December 6, 2009 at 8:16 am

I still feel the WHS misses the larger, non technical, home user market. Once you get past back-ups and file sharing (we have 7 machines connected to the server) I want software to help with family planning and coordination. It’s great that Facebook lets me connection to 350MM users – there are 5 in my house with whom it is impossible to coordinate planning.

I tried to install phpBB (Drashna’s solution) last spring – got MySQL and PHP 5.2.6 installed – never got phpBB to work properly. While reasonably competent, this was far more complicated for me, the novice.

I am a fan of Joomla and if a MySQL, PHP and Joomla platform were built in to the next version of WHS imagine all the third party apps you could tap into. If anyone has installed Joomla on WHS I’d like to find out how you did it.

Thanks, Rich

Brian December 6, 2009 at 3:51 pm

Rich: Install WAMP. You’ll need to move the ports around, but it’s pretty easy.

Jeff December 6, 2009 at 8:31 pm

I agree with Rich, I would love to see some sort of family planning integration. Something like a home version of exchange with the ability to remind me about my kids apointments and such. Like mobileme from apple but good.

Alex Kuretz December 10, 2009 at 2:18 pm

@Rich – Check out the Add-Ins section, we’ve got one-click installs of PHP and MySql that can get you started, and Cougar may package other software (such as Joomla) if there’s enough demand.

@Rich and @Jeff – It’s not clear to me how you want this to work. Is it a web page that you go visit regularly to enter and check calendar info? Would it be the default home page in your browser so you see it every time you start up IE or Firefox? Do you expect it to email you reminders, or send you alerts via the WHS health notifications?

I guess my question is, does this family planning product have any WHS specific features or do you just want a good solution that you can run in your home instead of as a service in the cloud?

Rich Zumpone December 10, 2009 at 2:43 pm

We are currently using Google’s Calendar. The functioning, email reminders, etc. are exactly what I’d want.

One improvement I’d like is to be able to add an event-type per person. Currently each user sets up a calendar per email address. All events appear per email address. A feature that would allow you to view specific event types (family events, sports schediules, dinner meals, work related, etc) is what I’m suggesting.

Per the advice to install WAMP: I already have PHP5 and MySql installed – I did find a link on another site that has a couple folks who claim to have successfully installed Joomla. May look further into it this weekend.

Alex Kuretz December 10, 2009 at 2:45 pm

I guess I don’t understand how the Home Server comes into play, you’re saying you’d rather have this stored on your Home Server instead of using Google Calendar? What exactly is the value proposition of that?

Rich Zumpone December 10, 2009 at 3:15 pm

For one it would be truly private. I trust Google but if I didn’t have to use their service I wouldn’t. But I think the advanced applications that can be generated/integrated into calendar presentation could be very interesting. Joomla has many third party apps – Community Builder – that have many of these features built in. If I’m sucessful installing Joomla I might have what I need,

Jeff December 10, 2009 at 8:28 pm

You may also try Drupal. With PHP and MySQL installed it goes right in and there is great support and loads of templates.

As far as what I would like to see in a planning app. My wife and I currently use Outlook on one machine, the issue I have with this is when she is using that machine I’m unable to see or update. I’ve tried both of the Outlook for WHS apps and I do not like using the console view. It would be great if it was accessed from the .homeserver website and had a calendar similar to outlooks. I also have an iPhone (I really don’t like to admit it but I really like the phone) and being able to just use the website to add or view events and such would be great.

Charles December 24, 2009 at 1:41 pm

Here my 2cents on vail.
Hp missed with the LX vs the EX series, instead of going smaller they should have offered larger with the same power savings in mind.

A 64bit OS.
more than 4 internal bays 8-12.
A motherbaord that sports more than one external esata.
at least one PCI-E better if it had two or three. (Video, Tuners, etc..)
USB v3.0

I for one would like to see an HDMI port, with good audio and a slim Blu-ray drive.
And mediaCenter intigrated right on the server.
So my server could do double duty as a server and MediaCenter client so I would not need two systems on at all times.

And failing an upscale model HP should just let us install the HP flavor of WHS on their x64 server class systems like the DL/ML series.
I would dare to say us Video nuts are buying more storage than even small business, so they should send some of that premium hardware our way but make sure to replace the fans to quieter one’s like their new DL360G6 very nice and quiet.

Damian December 25, 2009 at 7:52 am

Hey Charles,

I think x64 will be happening with Vail. More then one eSATA would be nice but I guess if USB 3.0 will be available a combination of both would be perfect.

I really hope that WMC is integrated with Vail, but would be very hesitant to use my server as a client. Using as a client you now how to worry about codecs, other people using, etc…. which for me leaves too much of a chance that something goes wrong with the O/S. With WMC integrated my hope would be to use Vail + WMC as a centralized setup, with various SFF HTPCs throughout the house for playback (I currently have 2 HTPCs that I use for my main playback).

Scott January 19, 2010 at 9:35 am

Windows Home Server needs to go beyond offering better support for Windows Media Center. In my opinion, it needs to BE a Windows Media Center. Not the type of Media Center that actually plays video or music, but rather a Media Center that does nothing more than serve other Media Center PC’s (that do play videos, music, etc.) and especially Media Center Extenders (namely the XBox 360).

Here’s a perfect example why: All of my media (music, photos, etc.) is on a Home Server. I have 2 XBox’s in different locations of the house. If I want, I can connect directly to the Home Server from an XBox and browse my content using the native XBox media interface. However, THIS INTERFACE IS TERRIBLE. Anyone who’s used it to browse through a list of 500 albums knows what I’m talking about. The Media Center Extender interface is much better. I can see album art and easily browse through a massive library of files by using the alpha-numeric keypad of my Media Center remote. Unfortunately, to use the Media Center interface I have to power-up my personal PC running Windows 7 since the Home Server won’t work directly with the Windows Media Extender interface of the XBox. All the PC is doing in this situation is serving up the Media Center Interface to the XBox…and that seems silly to me. The Home Server should be able to do this on it’s own.

Jon January 19, 2010 at 12:01 pm

Scott, your reply is RIGHT ON. This is needed, so that we only need 1 box not 2. This would be especially nice since the server needs to be on 24/7 anyways. However, it does not make any sense for WHS to do this unless it can AUTOMATICALLY back up it’s shared folders. WHS is being marketed as a backup solution, yet it does not even provide automatic backup of the files it is serving out. So, this means that I need to have 2 copies of all my media – one copy on a PC so it gets backed up by the server, and another copy on the shared folders of the server. Either that, or I have to do a manual backup of the shared folders every time I add a song to my library. Seems bass-ackwards for something being sold as a solution for serving files and backing up.

Alex Kuretz January 19, 2010 at 12:12 pm

Jon, the Folder Duplication feature is meant to be the mechanism for having redundant copies of the data in the Server’s shared folders. I understand that Backup and Duplication are not the same thing, but even an automatic backup wouldn’t protect you from a fire or flood. I guess it’s not clear to me which issue you are not able to resolve.

Jon January 19, 2010 at 12:34 pm

You are right – Backup and Duplication is not the same thing. I didn’t buy WHS for it’s duplication, I bought it for backup. I’m not sure why the issue of fire or flood comes up whenever this issue arises. NOBODY BUYS WHS IN CASE OF FIRE OR FLOOD. That’s not the problem it was designed to solve. I just want my shares to be BACKED UP nightly in case, for example, I accidentally delete a file or if a file gets damaged during a save, or if I make an important change to a data file and I want to restore a previous version. If duplication were the answer, then we could just duplicate the files on our PC and we wouldn’t need WHS at all. Would anybody use WHS if all it did was provide DUPLICATION of the files on your PC instead of nightly, incremental backup? Probably not. Backup is important for ALL files – just because the shared files physically reside on a different hard drive in the same box as the backups doesn’t lessen the need to back these files up. I can’t possibly be the only one who feels this way. This is a serious design flaw in WHS and I’m surprised at how little attention it gets.

Scott January 19, 2010 at 1:13 pm

Since this is a ‘blue sky’ kind of discussion, I think Jon makes a good point. It would be very cool if Windows Home Server had some backup oriented features to address common things like file corruption or accidental deletion. After all, WHS’s primary purpose is to store data that most owners consider critical (irreplaceable documents, photos, etc.). Maybe it doesn’t necessarily have to be an off-server backup though. Perhaps if WHS learned a lesson or two from Microsoft Visual Sourcesafe a creative solution would present itself? For example, it could keep a cached history of important files that the owner can rollback or recover if necessary.

Just to add, I actually do think that WHS needs to address disasters of all kinds; including hardware failure, and natural disasters. In fact, I think it’s the best way to sell WHS to the masses since the vast majority of people don’t understand concepts like backing up digital photos. Think of all the…umm…technically challenged people out there that have thousands of irreplaceable pictures of their children/grandchildren sitting in ‘My Documents/My Pictures’ (assuming they figured out how to get the pictures off the camera in the first place of course). They are one hard drive crash or hurricane away from losing it all forever.

Obviously, WHS can’t protect against natural disasters from a hardware standpoint. However, it can provide seamless integration with online backup services (like Carbonite, etc.). It can also provide the ability to backup ‘critical’ files periodically to an external or removable hard drive. This hard drive can be kept safely in a fire/flood safe within the home…only coming out when the server tells the owner that it’s time to make another backup.

Alex Kuretz January 19, 2010 at 1:22 pm

Thanks, I better understand the reasoning behind your feature request now.

I brought up the issue of fire or flood as that has been the most common reason I’ve heard of from people that perform frequent backups of their shared folders. I also believe that many people don’t recognize that the incremental PC backup feature can be used for some basic revision control functionality, they instead depend on it for recovery of their PC should a catastrophic failure occur. So yes, I do believe people buy WHS for it’s backup and storage capabilities.

Backup means different things to different people – where I’m satisfied with a duplicated copy of my files to protect against drive failures and sometimes use the Shared Folder Backup feature for files I want an additional copy saved offsite, it sounds like you’re wanting a full revision history of every file stored on the server. There’s been a relatively small but vocal group of users that are very disappointed in the lack of VSS in WHS, which if enabled would go a long ways to meeting your needs, I believe.

Hopefully the next version of WHS has a way to meet your needs, and do be sure to log a bug or vote on an existing bug at the Microsoft Connect site to be sure MS gets your feedback.

Alex Kuretz January 19, 2010 at 1:27 pm

Scott, WHS already provides the ability to address disasters of all kinds via it’s Add-In architecture. There are numerous online backup Add-Ins, as well as Time Traveler Add-In that provides some file revision capabilities for WHS. I’m not convinced that MS implementing all these features and providing them as services to all customers is the right answer. There are other companies whose business it is to excel at offering these additional features that don’t apply to all users.

Personally, I’d like to see WHS handle versions as Jon is asking as well as automating the Shared Folder backups (or reminding the user as you mention).

Jon January 19, 2010 at 1:33 pm

I still don’t understand why everyone thinks it’s OK to treat server shares less delicately than PC files. In my mind, those files are probably the most important documents of all, since they are being shared to all of the PCs and media devices in the house.

Online backup is a good idea. Suppose you have a friend or extended family member who also has a high speed internet connection and WHS at their house. What if your WHS could back itself up remotely to their WHS? Obviously, you’d want encryption so your friend can’t access your data without a password, but it would be an alternative to paying for a service, and you would both have a level of protection against natural disaster. Unless, of course, you choose a neighbor. ;-)

B Holt February 6, 2010 at 9:54 pm

Well I have been playing around with Vail, and to start they built it on 2008 R2 which means 64 bit only. Huge step in the right direction, now to see if they implement raid solutions and such. I am anxious to see HP jump and state when they will be releasing an update. I also hope Microsoft and HP allow it to be a domain member. It is pretty solid right now can’t wait to see a finished product.

Jason February 8, 2010 at 11:40 pm

Hmm … I thought the product was called Windows Home Server because it was a “server”, not a DVR :P

If I could add anything to WHS, it would be a seamless upgrade to a full-blown version of Windows Server while maintaining some of the tools provided by WHS. Sometimes I get the urge to install SQL Server to do some development at home, but (thanks to the Atom processor) I quickly come to my senses.

cybirr February 25, 2010 at 8:50 pm

I’d like to be able to use my current HP ex470 with this new WHS. Meaning new mediasmart software like the just released v3 upgrade and a new bios. Probably unreasonable so budgeting for a new box is the plan.

Jona February 27, 2010 at 3:08 pm

I have only just got into WHS and from what I have seen so far it is a very useful tool.

Putting aside the ‘Backup vs Duplication’ for now (for me it isn’t a huge issue due to not having any important data). I want to see much better media integration.

What I really want to be able to do is use it as a hub for what would almost be a multi room audio system, whereby I can have a continuous stream of all my music being broadcast, a playlist if you like, of all my music, playing on random.

These streams could be seen as a playlist file in media player/centre.

Then on my other machines around the house I want to be able to ‘pick up’ this stream, just listen in, so that I can have the same music playing in sync around the house, with the ability to skip/pause etc and it does it on all the machines as it is done at source.

Going further you could have multiple streams (different playlists) so you can have different types of music in different rooms but these playlists would always be in sync so that if you go from one room to another you can ‘tune in’ and hear what you were listening to in the previous room.

Going even further, integration with WinMob 7 as a remote for controlling this would be even better, an app that has your rooms or ‘zones’ so that you can control volume levels and what is playing.

Obviously I would still want to be able to just choose the odd file(s) to play as a one off so in this instance you would just do as you do now.

Brian May 23, 2010 at 12:00 pm

I’m with Jon on the back-up of shares vs. duplication. For my first year with WHS (even with drive swaps and rebuilds), I had file conflict/corruption issues. I lost stuff because of that (it looks like both in duplication are lost when this happens).

No matter how long the server runs without file conflicts now, I do not really trust it. I want an incremental backup of my shared media folders, one that I can leave attached all the time or remove for offsite, bringing it back once every couple weeks for an incremental back-up.

Alex Kuretz May 23, 2010 at 2:03 pm

Incremental backups of your shared folders has existed in Windows Home Server since Power Pack 1, is there some additional functionality that you’re wanting?

eric jose June 13, 2010 at 11:07 pm

Can we load windows 2008 r2 (64bit only) standard on whs490? Or should I wait for vail?

Alex Kuretz June 14, 2010 at 11:52 am

It’s possible to load other operating systems, there’s some good discussions in the forums that a search will turn up.

Comments are closed, visit the forums to continue the discussion.

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