Drive Bender Beta 2 Update, Tentative Release Schedule

by Damian on April 13, 2011 · 8 comments

in News

An update for Drive Bender Beta 2, the add in for several Operating Systems including Windows Home Server 2011 which brings back the Drive Extender feature removed from WHS 2011, has just been released. I have not had a lot of time to spend with Drive Bender to really give good feedback, although from the limited time I have spent with it I really do appreciate how easily Windows Home Server v1 implemented Drive Extender. Here are the release notes as well as some general notes, including a tentative release schedule.

Release v1.1.2.8 – beta (2011-04-12)
- Bug fix: The health monitor no longer checks outside of a pool mount path.
- Bug fix: Drive removal can now remove drives even when flagged with an error.
- Added pool rebuild / repair feature. This will repopulate a pool with duplicated files from a missing missing or failed drive. This will also remove the bad drive from the pool.
- Improved handling of file security and file attributes.
- Bug fix: A pool restart could cause Drive Bender to deadlock, this issue has been resolved.
- Bug fix: A Drive Bender WHS addin crashing issue has been fixed.
- Bug fix: Removing a mount point no longer corrupts references to other mount points.
- Drive Bender Manager interface improvements.
- Drive Bender WHS addin interface improvements.
- Bug fix: Drive Bender Manager node selection now enabling correct options.
- Added partial support for WHS shared folders to the WHS addin (see
- Improved start up performance.
- Many other bug fixes and enhancements.

On the news front, we have heard from many users with regards to Drive Bender’s ability (or lack there of) to create network shares that can be managed and used like a native WHS shared folder. Because of the feedback, we have added partial WHS shared folder support to this release, please see for details. It needs to noted that this is not how the finally release will work, it simply here to provide WHS users with better integration during the beta period.

Tentative Release Schedule:

Beta 1 – 2011/02/21

  • Initial release of core service and drives.
  • Drive Bender Manager.
  • Create pool functionality.
  • Create network and drive letter mount points.

Beta 2 – 2011/03/21

  • Drive Bender WHS addin.
  • Add drive to pool functionality.
  • Remove drive from pool functionality.
  • Merge drive into pool functionality.
  • Folder level duplication.

Beta 3 – Mid May 2011

  • WHS shared folder support.
  • WHS media streaming support.
  • WHS remote access support.
  • WHS addin – share and pool management integrated into the storage tab of dashboard.
  • Full file / folder security support (including WHS management).
  • Full action list support.
  • Refresh of walk through documentation.

RC1 – Late May 2011

  • Read / write performance enhancements.
  • WHS health addin support.
  • User definable data balancing (i.e. the business rules used to determine where data resides within the pool).
  • Improved client / server interaction (this is mostly to do with task feedback in the existing client applications (such as the Manager and WHS addin).
  • German language support. **
  • Enhanced documentation.

RC2 – Early June, 2011

  • Changes / updates as required.

Release – Late June 2011

  • Down the pub…

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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


Dave April 13, 2011 at 2:53 pm

Can’t say it enough… There is a lot of great information here at, but for me, this is my top priority! :) MS has decided to give us all a black eye on the latest WHS, but Drive Bender can be our saving grace.

Huge thanks to the guys putting the software together, and huge thanks to Damian and the rest of the beta testers. Desperate for great news… no pressure though. *laugh*

Damian April 13, 2011 at 3:12 pm

Hey Dave,

There is definitely a lot of interest to put these DE replacement add ins through their cycles. Probably the most challenging thing for me when testing is WHS v1 there was simply nothing to do. You pop in a drive, click add to pool, enable duplication on a shared folder, and that is it. With these Add-ins it is not that straight forward and you need to read through documentation to set up. I am not saying it is difficult, but it just comes across as such a big event because v1 made it so simple!!!

Comp1962 April 13, 2011 at 3:15 pm

This looks very promising and I pray it becomes a viable DE replacement for WHS 2011. I have been toying with a range of thoughts on how I could go about getting redundancy in WHS 2011 to backup data as simple as possible with the absense of DE. While I do have a test unit running I have not really had the time to put it through a full test as I would like.

I will have to keep an eye open on this and for the most part because of time constraints I will have to be an observant bystander until my time free’s up but as soon as that happens I will be willing to give Drive Bender a test run on my test unit.

J April 15, 2011 at 5:22 am

I presume this is a one to one backup like WHS? I was a WHS V1 user who was very happy until the demigrator announcement. After which I sought alternative storage options….I’m in the process of having an unraid server (22 drives) built for me. The efficiency of unraid make it much better than WHS for large storage collections. The downside is that the learning curve is steep. I guess the point is that even with the announcement of these new third party applications my eyes have been open and MS has permanently lost me as a customer….I wonder how many others have been lost as well? Alternatively I wonder how many people will come back to WHS with a viable demigrator replacement?

Damian April 15, 2011 at 6:15 am

Correct, this add in is meant to essentially replace Drive Extender. Right now WHS 2011 has very little appeal to me with DE being removed. My hope is to run WHS v1 for the foreseeable future (I am thinking at least another couple of years) which should give me enough time to let the home server picture get a little clearer. Your comments about unRAID or other solutions are exactly why I have no interest in using anything except WHS v1 right now, as I am not really looking for a project at home.

PatrickGreene April 16, 2011 at 5:42 pm

Same here. I will very slowly move away from V1 as I have time unless a no-brainer solution comes out.

J April 16, 2011 at 8:42 pm

My motivation for moving to unraid is because it is more efficient and better for large storage solutions than WHS. Unraid is not as user friendly as WHS, but I think once I finally learn the system the long term benefit will worth the effort. Even with a perfect demigrator replacement I’m still not going back to WHS for the reasons I mentioned.

Jon Smejkal April 18, 2011 at 3:44 pm

I keep checking the Windows Home Server 2011 news every week or so. I too will stay on WHS V1 until a no-brain’r / proven drive extender solution 3rd party alternative is available for WHS 2011. Hopefully Drive Bender or one of the other ones I read about satisfies are needs. I’d rather not beta test anything so I’ll wait to read the released review with real world opinions how well it works.

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