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PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2012 11:55 am 
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Do you think this is a good replacement for WHS? Looks to be a more manual process getting it configured. but could be a more solid platform in the end right?


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2012 12:35 pm 
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@T-Bone I agree with you. More solid, less intuitive. But Dashboard looks, nevertheless, quite like WHS2011. If StorageSpace is planned carefully before installing, it could go quite well; it's when you want to change things that it gets a little confusing, until you understand the new paradigm.

I'm actually working on the domain issue (my personal computer is also used for work, my employer pays me for its use. And it is in the company's domain). If I want to connect it to my ws2012e server at home and make back-ups, I have to create a double-boot (win7 / win8); the win7 is on the company's domain and win8 on my home's. I have now to test if the backup through win8 will make an entire image of my computer.
    Edit: the 2 partitions / 2 domains method worked. I have now a backup of my whole computer (2 partitions) and can access each one through the server.

For those who want to make an unattended install, there is a good walk through and the autounattend.xml file here.

I'll update the first message of this thread.
VJ

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 04, 2012 12:36 pm 
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Anything new or exciting happening with WHS Essentials?


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 04, 2012 2:15 pm 
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Ya! Besides some routine experiments I want to perform (like restore; Web RDP), There is an exciting app that is coming, read the Tech team brief description.

Quote:
In addition, in the next few weeks we are going to release some additional software that works with our RC release:

Windows 8 companion app. Customers will be able to access Windows Server 2012 Essentials through a number of different client apps: ...and the brand new Windows 8 companion app. We are especially excited about the Windows 8 app because it not only makes it easy to access files and folders on the server, but also supports offline access.


I'll certainly give it a try when it gets out. Since my test environment is made up of 2 computers with Win 8 and the MSS with WS2012 Release Candidate Essentials.

For the moment, it took me around a week to unbrick my MSS (an accident not related to WS2012Essentials). Now that everything is back to normal, I was able to install the Release Candidate of Server 2012 Essentials.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 07, 2012 12:57 pm 
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Success - now running Windows 8 Pro in my EX495. All drivers were found via Windows Update- including the eSata driver. The only issue I have now is updating the Sata driver to use the Intel ones instead (which is required for the Lights Management software, and Raid). I'll keep everyone posted. However right now the Intel Windows 8 RST drivers wont install- something about missing requirements :-(

Update..
Storage spaces sees my 3 extra disks and lets me create a parity (raid) set. So now I just need to figure out how to get the updates Intel RST drivers installed, so I can get my lights working.

Also for the fun of it I just reinstalled with Server 2012 Essentials RC. Not sure which one I will stick with yet, as Windows 8 offers the MediaCenter addon. However Windows 2012 has a Windows Phone connector, Anywhere Access, remote system backup, etc. Decisions, Decisions.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2012 11:23 am 
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I've installed WS2012 Release Candidate Essentials a couple of weeks ago; reason why I changed the title of the thread to remove the reductive word "beta".

Two things I want to report here. With the beta release, I couldn't see any file on the server from my PS3 . Now, with RC it was corrected and I could Watch a test video (Hugo). With my ProLiant N40L (WHS2011) the film had lots of framedrops through Wi-Fi and I could not enjoy it well. My EX470 has a better CPU, and I experience no framedrops through the same Wi-Fi installation.

The second thing is worth mentioning. With Server 2012 comes a VPN service. Easy to install, just click the VPN option when you install the RemoteWebAccess. But you have to install the connector on your computer through the web domain, instead of the network. The benefits are that the Launchpad is operational when you're outside your home. This is very important for me, since I travel a lot. The difference with the web remote is that the Dashboard is fully functional outside home as if you where at home, meaning you have access to files AND to your backups. I took this picture at the office, my system is in French, but again, it's easy to get the idea from it.


Attachments:
WS2012E-VPN.gif
WS2012E-VPN.gif [ 216.04 KiB | Viewed 9633 times ]

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 16, 2012 8:21 am 
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Another thing I found quite interesting lately is the possibility of backing up the server in a SS. In WHSv1 there were no server backup utility built-in except for Alex's add-in. Such a utility appeared in WHS2011 where you can perform a server backup: system and shares over a free disk. The problem is that if you have a big load of data you can only save them up to the largest disk you have in the system, actually not more than 2TB.

With ws2012e I discovered on TechNet that you could backup the server to a dedicated Storage Space, which means you are not limited by disks' size. I tried it and it works. Another reason that complexifies my eventual decision to go with ws2012 or stay with whs2011.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 17, 2012 9:05 am 
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Thanks for the continued updates, VJ...methinks there are quite a few of us hanging on EVERY word of your experiences with 2012 and the MSS! Only a matter of time until I make the jump from v1.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2012 2:51 pm 
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OK thanks!

Some experiments I did with WS2012E(RC).
1. Successful restore of a test computer (win8)
2. Installation of some Add-ins
    - Lights-out for server 2012(beta) - success!
    - Health Report - success!
    - Home Server Smart 2012 - installed! but reports storage spaces as physical disks? (I've put a note to msawyer91 forum; knowing that HSS2012 was intended for WHS2011, not WS2012E (with SS)
    - Advance Admin Console - failed! (didn't even installed)
See first attachment

For those who wish to have a clearer view of the layers for SS I've attach a picture of StorageSpaces manager and the list of the layers in PowerShell.
    Layer 1 - physical disks
    Layer 2 - StoragePool
    Layer 3 - Virtual disks (PowerShell expression for Storage spaces)
Since this is an experiment, I didn't use the whole 6TB Pool for my 3 Spaces (don't have that much data for testind). One can increase its spaces when necessary. Others are doing just the contrary, they may have spaces larger than the pool; if needed, the system will inform them to add disk.

Hope this helps


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Add-ins-WS2012E.gif
Add-ins-WS2012E.gif [ 36.42 KiB | Viewed 9545 times ]
Storage-WS2012E.gif
Storage-WS2012E.gif [ 206.67 KiB | Viewed 9545 times ]

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2012 6:12 pm 
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Unattend innstall with .xml file will not work. I have followed all instruktions but the installation stops each time after preparing/configuring the disk. No install files copyed/installed. Have no VGA-cable yet. Any idea how to proceed? Struggeled with these for many days now...


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2012 7:30 am 
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@Carlip There is another way to install it unattended. Since the installation is very similar to WHS2011 (Vail), some have started the installation on another machine up to a certain point, than put the partially installed drive back in their server to complete installation through RDP. You'll have to make a search for this "install vail" or something similar.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2012 9:25 am 
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Found this link of an alternate method for installing partly WSH2011 on a desktop computer. Since I haven't tried it myself, I just point to the reference. Read the fourth message.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2012 2:09 am 
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VieuxJules wrote:
I encountered several problems with my first installation trials. The process would stop after asking for "type of installation" and show an "install drivers" window. My searches failed to find a solution, so I decided to install WSH2011 to check if it would present such an error, and voilà, I was stuck with "error 31" [...]


Hi VJ,

Thanks for the post!

I will be installing The Windows 2012 Essentials RTM on my EX470 tonight! YAY! Quick question, though. What is the solution for this error 31? All I need to do is press F12 during boot and choose to boot from the USB-CDROM, or is there something more to it?

Also, since there are no drivers for the lights management for the E470 platform, I was wondering how did you circumvented the problem? Did you just unplugged the LED, or you just live with it blinking? :)

Also do you have any recommendations for changing BIOS settings at this point, or should I leave it as it is?

Cheers,
P.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2012 9:56 am 
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@pmdci
1. Solution to error 31 is exactly to choose USB-CDROM as install drive through F12
2. It blinks, I just don't look at it. Well when it blinks, at least it indicates it is working; I did brick my machine once, then it was solid blue. Therefore this light is still a little bit useful :D
3. I didn't touch the BIOS, left it as is. (but several years ago I did fuss with the BIOS a little bit) I would still install it as is.
Glad you'll install this, and wish you success and pleasure. Only thing I would add is play a little bit with it (notably with Storage Spaces) before putting too much valuable data on :) . If your actual machine is full of data and don't have much spare disks, at least read about it before deciding on your personal SS setup.
vj

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2012 4:14 pm 
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VieuxJules wrote:
@pmdci
1. Solution to error 31 is exactly to choose USB-CDROM as install drive through F12
2. It blinks, I just don't look at it. Well when it blinks, at least it indicates it is working; I did brick my machine once, then it was solid blue. Therefore this light is still a little bit useful :D
3. I didn't touch the BIOS, left it as is. (but several years ago I did fuss with the BIOS a little bit) I would still install it as is.
Glad you'll install this, and wish you success and pleasure. Only thing I would add is play a little bit with it (notably with Storage Spaces) before putting too much valuable data on :) . If your actual machine is full of data and don't have much spare disks, at least read about it before deciding on your personal SS setup.
vj


VJ,

I am looking at WS 2012 ugly squared CGA-like Windows logo as we speak (Getting devices ready 85%!)

Here are my pointers about the install:

1. Must use a VGA cable.
My cable is far from great (blurry screen) but it does the job (first time I ever used a multimeter, by the way, was when I built this cable yesterday -- so, so proud :D )

2. Use the Windows 7 USB Boot creator

3. MUST erase the primary HD of the EX470
A way to do it is to boot from the USB thumb without having a HDD connected. As soon as the loading set-up file screen appear, insert the drive. You will be able to go as far as deleting all the partitions in the drive, but you will not be able to continue setup (because the drive wasn't identified during the BIOS boot). But at least yo erased the drive so you can reboot the server and continue with the install.

4. USB drive MUST be in the bottom port at the back of the EX470 (other port will NOT work).

I hear what you say about the storage on this device. I got myself a NAS device (Synology DS413, 2x 3GB disks in Synology's Hybrid Raid). So I will be using Windows 2012 mostly for development and other sort of stuff (i.e.: SQL, SharePoint, etc). I might need to upgrade the memory to 4GB at least, though (currently I have 2GB).

Windows 2012 just booted! It is now saying "Please wait while the installation continues". Great success! :ms:


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