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PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2011 12:26 am 
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I've given up on WHS as delivered for my EX495. I spent way too much time trying to get the damn thing to run as HP claimed it could with my Macs at home ( a Mac Pro 4,1 and a MacBook Pro 3,1, both of which also are used for Win7 via bootcamp). So rather than sell the EX495 and take a huge loss, I decided to give it another try using WHS 2011. I'll update this post occasionally over the next week or so with my progress and thoughts.

As mentioned I have an EX495. I upgraded the RAM to try and increase it's responsiveness right away. That made a slight difference. I added a quad core chip (Q9550s) and that help some too. I eventually added a 120 GB SSD as the system disk and that helped a lot. However, it was still slow. File transfers took much much longer than going Mac to Mac. It usually took over 10 seconds to load the RDC and another 10 or so to load the control panel. The update of the connector software that was b120 broke the ability of both Macs to connect to the server and for TimeMachine to run.

So, I recently bought WHS 2011 from Amazon and am in the process of getting it set up. I had knee surgery Friday so I had time to start playing over the weekend when I wasn't too fuzzy headed. Here's where I am:

I followed the instructions at http://sbs.seandaniel.com/2011/04/how-to-install-windows-home-server-2011.html to create the bootable USB drive and do the install without a keyboard or monitor. Once the USB was configured, I simply copied the DVD files to it (no iso creation or anything but a simple copy). I created and added the cfg.ini file to the root directory.

1st try failed. I wanted to use a 2 TB caviar black that was already formatted as an NTFS disk. I was too lazy to try and delete all partitions on it and erase it as the instructions said. No one to blame for the wasted time but myself. I knew it failed because 40 minutes after starting I still didn't see the IP address come up on the router. I powered down and tried again...

2nd try worked fine. I completely erased the partition information from the SSD (and removed the 'true' line from the cfg.ini file from the failed 1st attempt). After about 10 minutes I saw the IP address come up on the router.

I could not connect immediately using RDC 2.1 from OSX 10.6.7 or via Win7. I found I could connect when I used the MSTSC /v servername command from Win7 as specified in the instructions.

Next steps all come from the WHS 2011 Unleashed book.

I set the IP address to a fixed address. This took a while as I had to reboot the server 2x before it actually showed up at the specified address (and plenty of fiddling with my 2 routers and TimeCapsule). I'll probably try and leave the IP address dynamic next time to save the hassle.

Tonight I've gone through adding a few users and shared files. I'm using three 2 TB caviar blacks as storage space. I've learned how to name and format them (thanks to some help from this board) and I've set one to serve as my backup disk.

I've added the connector software the my Mac Pro and to Win7 on the MBP. Had to remember to remove all the old HP stuff to get it to work (forgot to uninstall on Win7 and that took a while to track down).

I've a long way to go to get it all running but so far I'm happy. It's much, much faster than 2003. The RDC connection loads and opens in less than a second and the dashboard loads and opens in about 3 seconds. What a nice change from the previous version. The configuration and general interface is very similar to Win7 (which I'm learning anyway).

In the next couple days I plan to finish installing the connector software so both computers have both the Mac and Win7 connectors installed. I've verified the WIn7 backup executed properly tonight, I'm not looking at TimeMachine or Mac backup yet. I will try and load my first Add-in and try and load the eSATA driver software to get my 5 bay PM box up and running too.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 16, 2011 10:46 am 
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I am contemplating the same thing, so I am interested in hearing how it goes for you and advice you have if you were to do the upgrade again. Thanks for posting this.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 16, 2011 7:19 pm 
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Interesting quest. Curious to see how it plays out. I've been dumping my windows machines, and am down to 2 macbooks, one with Win 7 boot camp and parallels on it, and the WHS. Disappointed in Mac performance as well, I ended up giving up on the back ups and bought a Time Capsule for simple backups that just work.

I loved the backups the WHS did for my Windows machine. But, if I had it to do all over again, I think I would get a different NAS, like Synology or ReadyNAS, or get a Mac Mini and use firewire externals or something...

Don't feel like buying WHS 2011. If this dies, meh, I'll figure something out.

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4.5 TB HP EX490 upgraded with e5200 Core 2 duo = EX495. 2010 15" i5 MacBook Pro, 2011 13" i5 MacBook Pro, home built Win 7 Prof box.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 24, 2011 4:02 pm 
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Now have TimeMachine backups up and running (to my PM eSATA box hanging of the WHS). I followed the directions here:http://www.multimedia-pcs.com/version-3-use-time-machine-with-windows-home-server/ (lot's of others that provide equivalent can be found via a google search). It was trivial. Set the Mac to look at 'unsupported' volumes, create the sparsebundle on the Mac and then move it to the disk on the WHS. Go to TM and select the disk and you are done.

Data transfers and backups appear much faster in 2011 than 2003. I get transfer rates of a couple GB per minute over my gigabit ethernet network.

The homegroup works well with Win7 via bootcamp and everything works as expected on the windows side (I had problems with WHS 2003 that are fixed in WHS 2011).

I'm working on the AppleScipt to mount the server at login on the Mac and then getting DataBackup up and running for my non-system disks (backing up to the WHS). I'll also start looking at getting the media services up and running - another thing that never worked well in WHS 2003.

I remain much happier with 2011 than 2003.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2011 9:21 pm 
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so if I understand correctly, you need to run the quad core in 64 bit to run Vail. If you hadn't already invested in the MSS upgrades, would you have been better off building your own server hardware to run 2011?


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2011 9:59 pm 
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old blue wrote:
so if I understand correctly, you need to run the quad core in 64 bit to run Vail. If you hadn't already invested in the MSS upgrades, would you have been better off building your own server hardware to run 2011?

You need at least 2 GB of RAM and a 64-bit (x64, not IA64) processor to install WHS 2011 (formerly known as Vail). You can have a single-core CPU, which is precisely the case for my EX487. I installed WHS 2011 on the EX487 with the stock Celeron 440, a very under-powered CPU, and 2 GB of RAM. I've since replaced that with an E3400 and kicked the RAM up to 4 GB--and gained a significant performance boost on both accounts.

The HP MSS EX4xx series of servers will run WHS 2011 just fine. The EX47x line will need a RAM upgrade; they come with 512 MB standard and that won't run WHS 2011. Obviously if you want the best bang for the buck out of the EX4xx servers, you'll want to drop in the a dual core CPU or a quad core if you really need the horsepower. For many, the 2 GB RAM will do just fine, but it's not a bad idea to kick it up to 4 GB.

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HP EX490, 4GB, E5300, 15TB - Server 2012 - Sharing and Streaming
HP EX487, 4GB, E5300, 13TB - Server 2012 Essentials - Backups


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