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PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2013 8:19 am 
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Hello peeps, I just finished my DIY build and put WHS 2011 on it and already don't like it.
I know part of not liking it is, it is different then V1 and I really like V1 but the 32bit/2tb limit has to go at some point.
Can somebody that has Windows Server 2012 Essentials do a side by side review so I can decide if the price is worth it? I'm thinking if it is like V1, I would pay the price. (can't believe I said that)
Does it have a connector / does it backup all the pc's in the house / will it tell me when a drive is going bad / can I put serviio and smart on it / can I access it from outside the network?

Is Windows Server 2012 Essentials the next home server os? Or do I just install win7 pro and go back to my file server / a few apps days?
Windows Server 2012 Essentials is this the new home server?

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2013 10:28 am 
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Maybe you can clarify a little what you don't like about WHS 2011. I would think Server 2012 Essentials would be closer to WHS 2011 then v1 (you mentioned you didn't like WHS 2011 because it was different from v1).

As far as the next Home Server O/S, I think that is still up in the air. I don't think Server 2012 Essentials is meant to be a home server (in the sense that v1 and 2011 is). Seems like people are debating between W7, W8, Server Essentials 2012, etc... I am still running v1 but at some point I want to migrate over, and right now I am leaning towards Server 2012 plus some add in to handle duplication (Stablebit, drive bender, etc...)

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2013 3:30 pm 
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dbone1026 wrote:
I am still running v1 but at some point I want to migrate over, and right now I am leaning towards Server 2012 plus some add in to handle duplication (Stablebit, drive bender, etc...)

Unfortunatly Stablebit, DriveBender, FlexRaid,... do not support Shadow Copies. Shadow Copies are needed to use the Serverbackup-Functionality. If you want to backup data on drives that are managed with a drive extender software this will not work.

Storage Space are an alternative, but the handling is more complicated and error prone in terms of not behaving as expected.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2013 3:36 pm 
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myberg wrote:
dbone1026 wrote:
I am still running v1 but at some point I want to migrate over, and right now I am leaning towards Server 2012 plus some add in to handle duplication (Stablebit, drive bender, etc...)

Unfortunatly Stablebit, DriveBender, FlexRaid,... do not support Shadow Copies. Shadow Copies are needed to use the Serverbackup-Functionality. If you want to backup data on drives that are managed with a drive extender software this will not work.

Storage Space are an alternative, but the handling is more complicated and error prone in terms of not behaving as expected.


Not interested in backing up my server backups, so they would be outside of any plugin (honestly not the end of the world if I lose one of my server/pc packups). I simply want the DE functionality to handle my media for streaming and give me redundancy.

Storage Space I have heard horrible things about and have no intentions of using.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2013 3:42 pm 
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Gardian wrote:
1 Does it have a connector / 2 does it backup all the pc's in the house / 3 will it tell me when a drive is going bad / 4 can I put serviio and smart on it / 5 can I access it from outside the network?

1 Yes
2 Yes
3 Yes
4 Probably yes
5 Yes, but a certificate for https is not included
Gardian wrote:
Is Windows Server 2012 Essentials the next home server os? Or do I just install win7 pro and go back to my file server / a few apps days?
Windows Server 2012 Essentials is this the new home server?

No, it's not. It is not so easy to manage. But from my perspective it is still the best backup solution around and a good multipurpose server system.


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dbone1026
PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2013 8:18 pm 
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Thanks for the feedback, yes it's because it's different then v1, The dashboard pops up forcing login everytime ya boot up, then the way drives are handled, I added a 2tb drive and it looks like it will just be for server backups at this point, not sure how to fix that. I as well have drivebender but haven't used it yet, maybe that will help..
Thx for the yes's and no's I was afraid of that, but, I found the trial version (Windows Server 2012 Essentials) and key so i am going to install it on my DIY and find out how many drivers I can't get to work and kick the tires a bit.
Here goes another weekend. Why microsoft, do you hate us!!!!! :roll: :crazy: To think I will pay 400-500 and still not like it.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2013 9:14 pm 
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Well, I have been playing with WHS 2011 and drive bender for a couple of weeks now and Have been watching some youtubes of whs 2012 and I have determined that whs2011 was the vista to whs 2012.
So I am going to install win server 2012 and test it out.
I may just pay for it if it is solid... We'll see...

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2013 11:42 am 
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Good Luck with Windows Server 2012 Essentials. I believe it will attempt to set itself up with a Domain Structure which is similar but different than a Workgroup Structure which is what your use to even though you may not realize it. I believe there is a way to get it to use a Workgroup Structure but am not clear on how this is down because I have never played with it.

The reason I mention Domain vs Workgroup is because not all versions of Windows will allow you to join a domain which is typically reserved for the Pro, Business or Ultimate versions of Windows. All versions of Windows will work with a Workgroup and if you look at the type of network your clients are part of they will typically be part of a Workgroup named WORKGROUP unless you changed the name of the Workgroup. Both WHS v1 and WHS2011 use the name WORKGROUP.

Now Windows Server 2011 Essentials which is the business version of WHS2011 is setup to use a DOMAIN and I did a brief test run of that software but I do not believe I messed around with configuring it for a Workgroup.

So when your playing with Windows Server 2012 keep the Domain thing in mind when testing it out and look to see if you can convert it to use a Workgroup vs Domain which will require you to upgrade the OS on some of your clients which just adds additional cost something you may or may not desire to entertain.

Personally I am happy with WHS2011 after having to work around some of the quirks with the Shadows and Server Backups much of which I dealt with on Day one but because of the large drive compliment I missed a drive and it messed up my Server Backup of which I only wanted the OS to be backed up which I have mentioned before.

The only time I broke the Dashboard was when I uninstalled Stablebit Scanner which required me to reinstall it until the developers corrected the uninstall software. Other than that WHS2011 has been a stable platform for me.

I am in no way trying to prevent you from testing or using Windows Server 2012 Essentials just wanted to make you aware of the Domain part which I am not certain you are aware of.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2013 5:21 pm 
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Wow! I just installed whs 2012 essentials on my DIY X710 and I am impressed. Compared to the whs 2011 install, it went a lot smoother and grabbed drivers for everything that I had to fight into whs 2011. Very clean and working solid so for. I like it (BUT).
1) Then I found out it doesn't have the wireless connection stuff, I want this box to be N-Wireless connected so I can move it around, whs 2011 let me whs 2012 looks like it's going to be some work, I can see the wireless card, it has a driver, but the software to look for stations and connect is not their. Hoping I can find something to make it work.

2) When I tried to install the connector on my xp 32 bit netbook and a Vista 64 bit desktop, no joy, looks like win7 or 8 only.
I even tried to trick it by using the whs 2011 connector software (they look about the same, but no go.
Man, why does Microsoft do this? We are trying to do the right thing, setup a server, backup our stuff, use Microsoft products and xp is not good enough. I can't believe I am ready to plunk down the $400 bucks for this and I will have to spend to upgrade 3 xp netbooks and a 1 vista desktop.

The domain stuff turns out is not a huge problem, because win 7 starter / premium cannot join a domain anyway so it will let them slip by.

Thx Dbone, you answered my question and I just confirmed it, yes it is the next home server, IF, your ready to upgrade all your pc's to win 7 or 8.

I'm not sure I will submit, just yet. :twisted: I think I am still in the wait and see mode. Whs v1 is serving my family well, with my non pooled backups and 1 gig mpeg movie rips we are doing just fine with xp and vista. Right now [-(
So I guess it's time to flush 2012 and put 2011 back on. Till later Microsoft :rofl:

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2013 10:39 pm 
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That's right I forgot about the lack of support for XP but Vista I was not aware of. I still have notebooks running XP Pro because of the Rockwell Automation Software I use at work for working on our Robots but I have WHS v1 server at work to backup those clients. Heck I still have notebooks running 95 and 98 so that if I ever have to reload software into one of my older machines I still can. Its not so much I desire to own these older clients its a necessity.

While I do not backup my Win 8 clients to WHS v1 which I believe some are doing, I use WHS2011 for that. Thing is if you run one of these two versions of WHS then your client backup needs are taken care of and for that I am grateful.

I will get around to playing with Windows Server 2012 Essentials later this year to see if its a viable solution for me or not but I am in no immediate rush as the two versions of WHS I am currently running are handling my needs very well.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2013 9:26 am 
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I can't believe I'm saying this, but, "for my daughter/the next generation in the house" I will probably buy MS2012E, I will wait and try to get a better price and I will not set it up till all the pc's are converted to win7/8 down the road, but it looks awesome and it looks solid. I will buy it because it can handle over 2tb, over 4 gig memory and has storage spaces, so I guess I will help pay Microsoft's bills and hopefully they will keep making it better. It just acts a lot cleaner then 2011.

Right now, I am getting more used to WHS 2011 and when I stopped using their server/share backups and just did a drive to drive raw copy I think I can feel safe with it. It is still on my DIY testing for now.
But, WHSv1 x510 will still be the main machine as long as I can stay with the 4 internal bays.
I would have switched to 2012e right now if it would do xp, what a shame.
Hope this helps others.
:mss:

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2013 2:09 pm 
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You know you can always keep your current server to continue to backup the older clients and use the new server to backup your newer clients. You can run multiple servers on your home network. I have 3 servers running here an EX470, a DIY WHS v1 and a DIY WHS2011. I have in the past ran a total of 5 servers. I have a Win8 Pro Client running in the living room that runs Remote Potato and initially I was using it to test out Win8 just to play with it to get better acclimated to the new OS.

I am able to get Remote Access to my primary WHS v1 and WHS2011 servers but its getting more tricky as time passes. What use to take a few minutes to get working now takes up to 24 hours and I have only been able to achieve this with only 1 router so I am not certain what makes this router soooooo damn special.

Point is if you really like Windows Server 2012 Essentials then go for it. I know the price tag seems high but if your really comfortable with it then go for it. I do not believe the price will drop anytime soon and if there were a price drop it would not be anything significant.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2013 11:02 am 
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I'm glad you've found something that works well for you. I personally can't justify ~$400 for the software.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2013 8:57 pm 
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yakuza, I hear ya man! I thought the same thing when I first heard it, I thought "no way in hell" But then I tried whs 2011 and felt how un-finished in a lot of ways it is. Then I thought about the next generation in the house and how important the family data is, heck, I'm 53 with a pacemaker, I need to ready the network for my daughter.
Then when I loaded it up and saw how finished it is and thought how the house will be win7/win8 in the next few years. Lastly, I saw a price of 375 now and hoping it will go a bit lower and had second thoughts.
I won't buy it right now and I won't build it right now, but sometime the end of the year maybe.. It is way to high, but if it will last for 10 years, lots of memory and 3-4 tb drives it may be worth it in the long haul. I truly believe that Microsoft will patch/update storage spaces and it will become the next "pricy" home server. I doubt they will do anything more with whs 2011.
I guess I'm hooked on home servers and am willing to pay the cash for the fix :roll: Darnit

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2013 8:49 am 
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Gardian,

You have me curious so I am going to install a drive in my HP ProLiant which is an older unit to take WS2012E for a test drive just to see what you see. As I have previously indicated I have been running Highlander with WHS2011 now since July 7 2011 and its been solid with very few issues. The only issues I really encountered was a failed WD Black which WD promptly replaced, a misbehaving Supermicro MV8 and a failed LED on one of the backplanes which Norco promptly replaced. The only annoyances I encountered was with the Shadows defaulting to be on which filled up my OS Backup Drive which I already mentioned to you. Highlander now has 23 hard drives installed and I am looking at installing additional drives behind the fan board my available SATA Ports without additional cards is 8 but that's another project I hope to get to but I do have port multipliers I can use if I need to add additional drives.

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~ AMD Phenom II X4 995 3.2 GHz
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