Drive Bender Goes Beta-3, Beta Testing Pricing Option Revealed

by Damian on May 24, 2011 · 10 comments

in News

Drive Bender, one of the DE replacement Add-ins looking to occupy your Windows Home Server 2011 console, has just announced the release of Beta 3. In conjunction with the release Drive Bender also announced a special pricing option available to all those who are currently beta testing Drive Bender. If you are currently testing Drive Bender please leave your thoughts so far in the comments section. Since there are now several options available as a DE replacement it would be helpful to prospective users to understand what each Add In offers.

Details of the pricing option are as follows:

We also have some other exciting news we’d like to share… we have set down a “pre-release” offer for everyone involved in the beta program.

Announcing Drive Bender – Home Edition. Home Edition will be a single license that supports a single pool, containing any number of drives.

For our devoted and dedicated beta testers, we will be offering a “pre-release”, heavily discounted version of Drive Bender Home Edition for $20 USD. This pricing will be available to all current members, and those that register prior to the beta cut-off date (mid-June). The pre-release sale will start in June and finish two weeks after the final release.

The current change log for Drive Bender Beta 3:

Release v1.1.3.3 – beta (2011-05-18)
- Much improved file read performance.
- Windows based network shared (i.e. shares creating on folders contained within a drive letter mount point) as now restored correctly upon reboot.
- Drive letter mounted pools now show up and work correctly within the WHS “Server Folders and Hard Drives” tab.
- WHS server folders can now be created on a drive letter mounted pool.
- Drive letter mount points now support WHS client backups.
- Drive letter mounted pools now have full recycle bin support.
- Applying and removing duplication can now cascade to child folders.
- Improved file / folder renaming.
- Bug fix: Renaming a folder twice could cause the rename to fail if the name was previously used.
- Bug fix: Removing a duplicated folder was not working correctly in the WHS adding.
- Bug fix: Renaming a file could cause a duplication file to be created.
- Bug fix: Fixed recycle bin corruption bug.
- Bug fix: Adding a drive was causing an error in v1.1.3.2
- Many other bug fixes and enhancements.

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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


Brajesh May 24, 2011 at 6:41 am

Damian, I haven’t kept up with WHS 2011 related news much, except Microsoft released it w/o its own DE. I still have WHS v1 and haven’t decided if I should move to unRAID, Synology DS1511+ or WHS 2011. I’m leaning toward WHS 2011 only because of being accustomed to how easy it is to use WHS v1. Plus, being able to have add-ins/apps for Squeezebox, AirVideo, etc. makes WHS useful beyond simple media shares. So, with Drive Bender, will WHS 2011 work pretty much the same way as v1? … meaning simple data duplication? Have you decided to move to WHS 2011 or something else? Thanks, Brajesh

Damian May 24, 2011 at 6:56 am


Drive Bender (or some of the other alternatives such as StableBit, DataCore, etc…) are meant to replicate Drive Extender, which is what was removed from WHS v1 (storage pooling, data duplication, etc…). Like yourself, I want to stick with WHS because I use it for more then just streaming/data redundancy (add ins such as SageTV, AirVideo, Subsonic, etc…). My plan for the foreseeable future is to stick with WHS v1. My theory, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it. WHS v1 will have support for years to come my guess, and aside from not being able to use a drive greater the 2TB what else am I losing by sticking with WHS v1??? There is no way I would trust any of my data currently to Drive Bender or others, and it is going to take some time to gain any sort of confidence in, so the longer I wait the better to see how things shape up.

So the question I have for you, why do you feel like you need to look at an alternative solution right now (WHS 2011, Synology, etc…)? If it is because you are outgrowing your current WHS machine then it makes sense, but if your WHS machine is working fine and you don’t anticipate needing to build/purchase a new machine anytime soon then why not sit tight?

Brajesh May 24, 2011 at 7:15 am

Makes sense. For the most part, I’m fine with WHS v1 as well. I guess we’ll have to wait and see if those making add-ins (Squeezebox, AirVideo, SageTV, etc.) will continue to release updates. Hopefully, support continues for a while.

Another thing about WHS v1 I like, even at the cost of space due to data duplication, is the ability to read/access those drives separately on another computer.

Damian May 24, 2011 at 7:28 am

Agreed. We will also have to see if the add in developers will add support to WHS 2011. I haven’t looked in to yet to see which add ins have crossed over from v1 to 2011 (I know for sure My Movies has), but I wouldn’t be surprised if many developers sit on the fence to see how well WHS 2011 is adopted before diving in

Jim Metcalf May 24, 2011 at 8:08 am


Instead of messing with an ersatz DE solution, have you given thought to using iSCSI?

If I were _absolutely_ committed to an upgrade path from WHS v1 to WHS2011, I would gradually migrate to an iSCSI solution rather than running anything like Drive Blender. I would even consider making it virtual storage because I have a hubris problem. This would get you pooling and RAID and Dead Simple operation. Plus, iSCSI is rock solid on Windows 2008 R2 (the same kernel as WHS2011).

In yet-another-in-a-long-line-of attempts to cripple storage on WHS, MS did not include iSCSI on WHS 2011. A nice article on how to hack the MS initiator can be found here:

Jim Metcalf May 24, 2011 at 8:11 am

Oops, strike that last comment. That is for running WHS as a target and not and initiator.

Damian May 24, 2011 at 8:17 am

Hey Jim,

I haven’t looked into iSCSI, don’t know much about tbh. I am really trying to keep things as simple as possible and really want to avoid where possible turning his into a major. I honestly don’t know where my commitment lies when it comes time to migrate, or even if WHS 2011 will be the solution

Comp1962 May 25, 2011 at 6:18 pm

I can’t say I have put alot of effort playing with WHS 2011 but one thought I have is why not just have WHS 2011 back itself up to WHS v1 using drive mapping to the particular storage pool drives and then just let DE do its magic. Also a thought I had was instead of migrating my data from say WHS v1 to WHS 2011 why not just leave it on WHS v1 and let WHS 2011 have access to it.

I realize this is about Drive Bender and I certainly hope they get it fully functional and that people will find it useful. Ever since MS removed DE the thought of backing up data to my WHS v1 server from a WHS 2011 Server and also letting a WHS 2011 server simply access the data on the WHS v1 server seems like a reasonable thing that can be done but as of yet I have not had the time to play with that thought to see how viable it is.

Damian May 26, 2011 at 2:53 am

That is definitely a viable option and I have read about some people doing that. There are several disadvantages from my viewpoint of why I won’t take this approach:

1) I would now have two machines running which in my mind is not efficient (energy costs, hardware costs to build a new machine, etc…)

2) At the end of the day, you are still left with WHS 2011 that has no DE, so you lose the “One Big Pool” and now are forced to manage drives individually (an absolute mess for someone like myself who has a large library).

Comp1962 May 26, 2011 at 7:00 am

I see your point there Damian. For me I do run multiple servers now for various reasons. Since WHS v1 does have DE then any data stored on the WHS 2011 could be set to be backed up to the WHS v1 storage pool and then be duplicated or I should say triplicated or I could just access the data one the WHS v1 server until I feel confident that a viable DE solution is implimented in WHS 2011. I am not exactly certain at this point in time if I should move totally over the WHS 2011 and abandon WHS v1. So until that time comes I plan on playing with WHS 2011 to see what if anything it offers me. The only thing I know at this point is WHS v1 works and serves me well as it does you. I am at the point now debating if I should build a new WHS 2011 server or continue to run off the test server I built and repurpose the test server for other things. I just do not like being in this position of wanting to do something but not certain if it would be a good move. So for me to put the two servers together in the way I described makes good sense now but down the road the solution as you described would make perfect sense in having one server do everything.

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