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PostPosted: Tue Jul 09, 2013 2:15 pm 
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Hello everyone, I've been an avid reader of the forums here and guides in the past regarding HTPC stuff and having corresponded with 'dbone' here in the past (from AVS forums), I thought to post here to get a little help.

I recently got WS2012E and have installed it on a SM server to use primarily use as the main media server. I currently have a smaller unRAID server in an Antec case, but I plan to give that to my brother to have his first server.

So far I just gotten WSE newly configured, for VPN and RWA. I also want to utilize the client backup feature for all my HTPC's and laptop in the house. Thing is, while many have moved on to Win8, I am sticking with Win 7 since it has served my needs pretty well. I know with WSE the client machines would have to join the domain, so has anyone been able to successfully use their Win7 client with WSE? I recently got the 'Using Windows Server 2012 Essentials Step by Step' which has been a great help in getting me started though the chapter where it involves joining the server uses the Windows 8 client. I was wondering about how well the Win7 client would work.

Also, are there more good books that help on using WSE? The 'Step by Step' book I got on the Kindle (for PC), though I am not an ebook person as I prefer a physical hard copy book that I can study along with better as I use the OS.

My end goal is that I want a server to house all my media and audio needs, and serve as the hub to backup all of my PC's. I bought another server solely for use as a video production server once I get back into doing video projects.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 09, 2013 7:05 pm 
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I am not using the domain thing and by no means know what I'm doing with 2012 yet, but I have been able to install the connector and backup my win7starter netbooks with winserver2012Essentials no problems.
I tried a Vista PC and an XP pc and they were no go.
I have watched a lot of YouTubes videos Search windows server 2012 essentials.
Sorry I can't be more help, but others with more server smarts will jump in.
I'm still trying not to be pissed off with this Metro UI, rallelfrazzle frickfrack. :-#

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 09, 2013 9:21 pm 
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I have my WS2012E server setup as a domain primarily because I wanted to use the VPN feature and once you get that working its totally awesome. Integrating a server configured for a domain with other network devices designed to run within a workgroup is at first a challenge to get everything working together. If you do not need or desire a domain then you can configure the server to run as a workgroup and for most home users this will work out very well but you will lose some features the domain has to offer.

One thing about a domain is that for a client to join it that it must be running a higher level of Windows to join it. I really can not comment on the lower versions of Windows because I never run those versions so for that I would have to defer to others.

If your familiar with Win8 it will help to some degree with getting use to WS2012E but you will need to play with it a bit to become familiar where certain things are like Computer Management. I think the one thing that will challenge most is figuring out how to handle your storage needs be it with Storage Spaces or another storage solution. What I dislike about WS2012E is that when you run into an issue and Microsoft provides a link to assist you and you click on it only to find there is no information available to help you but I got use to that with WHS2011.

As for using your server for media that's actually dbones territory as he has experience with many different media devices and recently he built a new server to run WS2012E so for that stuff I would defer to him as anything I need help with I can perform a site search and most likely he has written about it already.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 10, 2013 6:31 am 
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What I get from what Comp said is,
If your going to do the domain thing and use Win7 clients, those clients will have to be upgraded to a higher OS like win7pro or win7ultimate before you can get the full benefits of domain usage. Win7starter or win7 Home premium cannot join a domain.
Do you know Comp? On win8 does it have to be pro or have you tried the basic win8?
I think I am going to have to get win8 on something to get use to it, that Metro UI is killing me on Win2012E. Anyway, getting off topic.... Win7 pro or ultimate for domain usage. Check.

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[X510 /2 in box]
[X710 LIAN LI DIY W2016E] Stablebit Drivepool [EX-503 LIAN LI 5-bay USB3 External]
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 10, 2013 7:05 am 
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To be honest I upgraded my notebooks to Win8 Pro so I never bothered to check to see if I could back them up. I know from previous experience to join a domain you needed the higher versions of Windows. I have in the past worked in mixed environments Workgroup at home and Domain while at work. Since then I don't bother with the lower versions of Windows. Because of the VPN integration with WS2012E and seeing it work although it drove me nuts working well with one client and not another but I got that sorted out the Domain is the way to go for me.

However over the weekend I installed WHS2011 on a couple EX485's with different processors, one for me and another for a customer. Anyway its not important but I did have difficulty gaining access to the shares on my WS2012E server from the WHS2011 Server even though the WS2012E server could access the WHS2011 shares no problem. To correct that I actually setup a VPN connection on the WHS2011 server to the WS2012E server and was able to access the shares.

Oddly enough I did not have to do this for my WHSv1 server so I am uncertain why one works and the other did not but WS2012E just would not allow my WHS2011 access to the shares as it did with the WHSv1 server. Not even a logon prompt just a message telling me I could did not have access privileges and to contact the network administrator.

What I am getting at is there are ways to work around things but as far as the lower end versions of Windows being able to be backed up with WS2012E I would have to defer to others on that. Now the next time I throw a computer together I could install whatever version of Windows you would like and test that out for you. I have a unit on the floor now waiting to be repurposed. When I get to it I will fire off an email to you to let you know.

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Migrated from WHS2011 to WS2012E: HIGHLANDER

~ Norco 4220 Enclosure
~ Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD5
~ AMD Phenom II X4 995 3.2 GHz
~ 8 GB Corsair Vengeance DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800)
~ 3 Supermicro AOC-SASLP-MV8


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 10, 2013 11:43 am 
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Comp1962 wrote:
I have my WS2012E server setup as a domain primarily because I wanted to use the VPN feature and once you get that working its totally awesome. Integrating a server configured for a domain with other network devices designed to run within a workgroup is at first a challenge to get everything working together. If you do not need or desire a domain then you can configure the server to run as a workgroup and for most home users this will work out very well but you will lose some features the domain has to offer.

One thing about a domain is that for a client to join it that it must be running a higher level of Windows to join it. I really can not comment on the lower versions of Windows because I never run those versions so for that I would have to defer to others.

If your familiar with Win8 it will help to some degree with getting use to WS2012E but you will need to play with it a bit to become familiar where certain things are like Computer Management. I think the one thing that will challenge most is figuring out how to handle your storage needs be it with Storage Spaces or another storage solution. What I dislike about WS2012E is that when you run into an issue and Microsoft provides a link to assist you and you click on it only to find there is no information available to help you but I got use to that with WHS2011.

As for using your server for media that's actually dbones territory as he has experience with many different media devices and recently he built a new server to run WS2012E so for that stuff I would defer to him as anything I need help with I can perform a site search and most likely he has written about it already.


I have read many of your postings in other threads regarding WSE and found them very informative.

All of my other computers have Win7 Pro on them and my editing workstation I recently built also has Win7 Pro so I won't have a problem with them joining the domain. I have never used any of the 'Home' versions of the OS as they are more limited in use.

I was thinking of using Flexraid with WSE as I have read that SS is not that great and has alot of issues. I don't have any drives to fill my server as of yet, but that will change over time. I successfully joined my laptop to the server yesterday afternoon and when I got home from work early this morning found that the server was backing up my laptop (though I had to stop it since my laptop is connected wirelessly). That's one of the main features I like is to be able to make a backup of all my computers so should one bite the dust restoring it will be painless. Later I will install the connector to the rest of my HTPC's and my workstation.

Right now I am in the progress of overhauling my entire network. I built a rack for my two servers and will be adding a 16-port gig switch and UPS for sure. I will be reading on using the VPN since I do travel from time to time it will be really nice to access my PC's from the road somewhere. I know many are not fond of domains, but I have no problem with it.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 11, 2013 5:03 am 
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When RWA is setup WS2012E also sets up the VPN and when the clients are joined to the domain a VPN is added to the client. So when your connected to the internet all you need to do is connect to the VPN. Not much reading to do there or additional setup work but I do encourage you to test it out to make sure its working properly. I won't bore you with the journey I took because in part my own network created issues and some it was router related. If your just running one server then you should not run into issues but I do recommend you test it out before you travel to make certain things are working well for you.

The VPN feature in WS2012E has been a blessing for me and a solution for backing up my families computers which I am about to start doing soon. You can even install the client software on a client over the internet so the physical client does not have to be at your home to get installed as all you need to do is setup the user account and then the user can connect to your server and download the client software and installed it using their user account. Its just WICKED COOL and once you see it working your going to fall in love with it.

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Exploring the possibilities!

Migrated from WHS2011 to WS2012E: HIGHLANDER

~ Norco 4220 Enclosure
~ Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD5
~ AMD Phenom II X4 995 3.2 GHz
~ 8 GB Corsair Vengeance DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800)
~ 3 Supermicro AOC-SASLP-MV8


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 11, 2013 11:50 am 
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Comp1962 wrote:
When RWA is setup WS2012E also sets up the VPN and when the clients are joined to the domain a VPN is added to the client. So when your connected to the internet all you need to do is connect to the VPN. Not much reading to do there or additional setup work but I do encourage you to test it out to make sure its working properly. I won't bore you with the journey I took because in part my own network created issues and some it was router related. If your just running one server then you should not run into issues but I do recommend you test it out before you travel to make certain things are working well for you.

The VPN feature in WS2012E has been a blessing for me and a solution for backing up my families computers which I am about to start doing soon. You can even install the client software on a client over the internet so the physical client does not have to be at your home to get installed as all you need to do is setup the user account and then the user can connect to your server and download the client software and installed it using their user account. Its just WICKED COOL and once you see it working your going to fall in love with it.


Trust me you won't bore me, I learn alot based on what others have done and how, and may even help me if I run into those challenges. I did set up the VPN last night (or early this morning) and got it connected, but I need a way to test it outside my home network. Once the VPN is connected say, outside the network via internet do you just use a browser to interface with the server or can you use, say the LaunchPad or get into the Dashboard via the VPN? If so that will be VERY cool to do, plus its secure.

I've been debating on whether to use VPN vs RWA/RDP as this would be a nice way to interface with my HTPC's if needed while away from home or visiting family out of state.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 11, 2013 12:58 pm 
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Actually once the connection is made and your logged on through the Launchpad you will be connected to the server just like you were at home. You will be able to run a backup, get to the dashboard and have full access to the shares you have access to. It will be no different then you being at home.

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Exploring the possibilities!

Migrated from WHS2011 to WS2012E: HIGHLANDER

~ Norco 4220 Enclosure
~ Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD5
~ AMD Phenom II X4 995 3.2 GHz
~ 8 GB Corsair Vengeance DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800)
~ 3 Supermicro AOC-SASLP-MV8


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 11, 2013 3:32 pm 
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Okay great. I will take my laptop with me and go to a free wifi spot near work and test it out with the VPN. Only thing I am having trouble with now is accessing the laptop remotely with RDP. My brother and I yesterday were trying to test it out; he was able to log in to RWA and got through everything and after logging in, he said he gotten an error message that it couldn't connect to the laptop I guess saying that its not part of the network or something. I did verify that my laptop was 'Available' on the server to be connected to....wonder if there's something I have overlooked or need to check?


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 11, 2013 3:54 pm 
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Not sure but check the event logs to see if they might shed some light on the issue. I do not often use the server to connect to another client but have tested it out and it works fine for me but I am no real expert on this part because I have always used LogMeIn to accomplish that task but now since they are limiting you to 10 computers I need to shed some load so I started using the server to connect to the clients that are online in the home. It also allows me to show others just what having a server in the home can do.

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Exploring the possibilities!

Migrated from WHS2011 to WS2012E: HIGHLANDER

~ Norco 4220 Enclosure
~ Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD5
~ AMD Phenom II X4 995 3.2 GHz
~ 8 GB Corsair Vengeance DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800)
~ 3 Supermicro AOC-SASLP-MV8


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