Microsoft Announces Release Candidate for Windows Home Server 2011

by Alex Kuretz on February 3, 2011 · 5 comments

in News

After more than two months of near silence, Microsoft have today announced the availability of the Release Candidate of Windows Home Server Vail. Along with the Release Candidate status we are also finally given a name for the product: Windows Home Server 2011.

Here is the full announcement from Microsoft, stayed tuned for a more in depth look at the release and my take on the announcement.

Today we are pleased to announce the availability of the Release Candidate for Microsoft Windows Home Server 2011 (formerly Windows Home Server Code Name “Vail”). Affordable and easy-to-use, Microsoft Windows Home Server 2011 (WHS) is the ideal solution to help families keep their important digital files and PC’s automatically backed up, organized, and accessible.

The Release Candidate (RC) signifies our last mile efforts for releasing this product to our customers, and prepares our network of software and hardware partners for its release.

This WHS RC is the first public release to include changes in the storage features, so let’s look at some of the changes you can expect. All existing technologies such as server and client backup, health monitoring, remote web access, streaming media, and simplified dashboard management are still included.

A new Move Folder Wizard makes it easy for you to move data from one drive to another. As Hard Drives are added to the Home Server, your health alerts will notify you that a new Hard Drive is available. From here, you can automatically format and configure the new drive for additional storage.

Once configured, you can easily use the Move Folder Wizard to move your data to the new drive as needed.

To see this in action, please watch our Windows Home Server Move Folder Wizard Learning Bite.

Data protection also includes daily Server and PC backup, Previous Versions via Shadow copy which lets you return prior versions of existing files (without needing to restore from backup), and a protection feature for pre-defined folders (such as Recorded TV, Videos, Photos) in case these are accidently deleted.

Thank you for helping us test this product, and please provide any feedback through WHS Connect, or our official Windows Home Server Support forums.

Article by

I'm Alex Kuretz, and I'm the founder of I was the Lead Test and Integration Engineer at HP for the MediaSmart Server until April 2008 when I moved on to other opportunities outside HP. I've kept active in the Windows Home Server community, creating several add-ins and helping users make the most of their Home Servers.


Comp1962 February 3, 2011 at 5:28 pm

I already know I will be running WHS v1 for quite sometime. I am currently debating if I want to spend the time to give this another try but at this point in time I just do not see what WHS 2011 RC will have to offer me that I can not currently do with my current server. Maybe I am missing something here and will just have to install it and see what if anything it has to offer. I do know I will read what others have to say about it and will try to keep an open mind about it.

hvail February 11, 2011 at 6:10 am

I am willing to give this a try and install on my Media Smart Server EX 470. I saw the installation instructions via USB but I was wondering if Microsoft is going to create an “install routine” for all of us Media Smart Server owners when the final product is released?

Alex Kuretz February 11, 2011 at 10:15 am

No, I’m positive that neither HP nor Microsoft will provide any kind of support or special install routine for upgrading from WHS to WHS 2011.

Matthew February 12, 2011 at 12:36 am

It’s a shame since only HP, running WHS, was the only real product that supported both the Mac and Windows systems in a way that complemented the digital home. Yes there are many NFS devices available, and Apple has a server that will support a windows client, but only the HP Media Smart Server does (did) it all. I was new to HP’s product and was ready to purchase a 495 system when the news broke about HP’s dropping support. Now I am left waiting to see what happens. :(

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