Funeral Service For Windows Home Server on 7/5/12 - Page 2 - AVS Forum
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post #31 of 44 Old 07-06-2012, 10:38 AM
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Originally Posted by DeanM View Post

+1...
I treat my server much like my dedicated media center computers. Dedicated. You want the thing to be stable, and you don't want random people running random stuff on it. Even if I transition to Win8 or something else for my server, it would remain headless (no keyboard, mouse, or monitor) and stuffed away from reach. Right now, my server lives in my garage, up high on a shelf where it runs 24x7.

Mine is in the garage as well. Headless. Only available via remote access from my laptop.


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post #32 of 44 Old 07-06-2012, 10:47 AM
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Originally Posted by StardogChampion View Post

I don't think I'd want my family to have direct access to the PC that has all the family media. At least as a separate PC (as a server) they can't install anything, accidentally erase anything or mess with it in any way. It's something to consider.

Yeah, I am with you on that concern. I make OS drive image copies occasionally, and used one a while back, after my youngest son messed up something on the HTPC. But I do have all my media files from the HTPC, copied on a hard drive in my video editing PC, which no one is allowed to touch unless we are editing video together or working on a project. Not the ideal backup scheme - but seems reasonably safe from losing everything. Kind of gets back to the current situation as mentioned, where I need to leverage my PCs for more than just dedicated HTPC or server duties.

An ideal solution someday might be several PCs/HTPC and a server, with various automated backups and states of being locked down. Given the hardware options I have now, with my sons (10 and 12) learning about computers, I am willing to sacrifice some security to let them play around with the HTPC. At this point they actually know more about running these virtual game servers and related stuff than I do. I just admonish them not to mess anything up too badly!
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post #33 of 44 Old 07-06-2012, 10:58 AM
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Originally Posted by terryj47 View Post

I have been using WHS for backing up three client PCs for a couple of years. First V1, then 2011. While it does a great job of backing up data. I have not successfully done a bare metal restore. Twice I've had to reinstall the OS and applications then get the data from the WHS backup folders. I'm also skeptical it can restore itself. Mine is small. A 500GB system drive, two 1 TB data drives and one 2 TB USB WHS backup drive. And my drives are NOT GPT. Not sure why I can't restore. It "pretends" to restore a client but has both bombed and completed but system won't boot. The only real problem is goveling to M$ to allow the client OS to be installed again because a drive died. I have tried this a couple of times as a test as well as twice for a failure and drive upgrade. So there is room for improvement.

My experience with WHS 2011 is just the opposite. I've attempted 2 bare metal reinstalls and both of them were flawless. One with an SSD and one without. I've had many backup solutions over the years and used Acronis, Shadow Protect, Ghost, and Macrium reflect. While all are good products, restoring from a network drive or share was always hit or miss, usually miss. Best bet was to copy the backup to a USB drive and then reinstall from that.

WHS 2011 even has a dedicated folder for the required drivers so no more trying to find the right drivers to use for the reinstall, just copy that folder onto the bootable USB key it creates, and off you go - brilliant. I'm a huge fan of it's complete reinstall capabilities.
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post #34 of 44 Old 07-06-2012, 11:07 AM
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I'm sad to see it go. Media storage can be done in a number of ways, but it did two things quite well adn easily for me:

1) backup all my pc's
2) remote access to my shares.


I've used the bare metal restore on 2 of my 3 PC's and it worked flawlessly (once I loaded the Realtek Ethernet drivers at least).

I had a crash on WHSv1 that was nasty, but after a few tries I was able to do the 'repair install' and save all my shares. I'm right now moving to WHS2011 (plus flexraid for the storage pooling and redundancy) mainly for the ability to back up the WHS OS drive.

Doubt I'll ever make my way to Windows Server Essentials 2012. At $425 that's not an option.

The EFI/GPT thing is concerning, but hopefully either MSFT will fix it in an update or someone will build a work around. Either way though, its not a big deal as none of my PC's are going to have big hard drives in them anyway. I am planning on getting a Surface though, so if it uses EFI/GPT that's going to be a problem.
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post #35 of 44 Old 07-06-2012, 02:04 PM
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Originally Posted by JackDiesel14 View Post

With a WHS 2011 server isn't the importance of backing up your OS on another computer significantly decreased? Back when your OS drive also contained all your movies and music it was important but now if I lose my OS drive I only loose a few programs and settings profiles all of which can be easily replaced.
Now WHS not being able to share files would be an issue but I bet that gets resolved. I hope Microsoft doesn't waste a system with such vast potential.
For me it would be nice for two reasons: 1) It takes me a whole weekend to d a clean install. Windows. Office, CAD software, utilities, etc. AND the @#$@#$% updates! Then of course M$ will only let you intall windows 3 times. Then you have to ask for another activation code. And NOW they want a $59 credit card charge to even ask for it. I just went through this for a MoBo upgrade. I just be another copy. I have purchased two notebooks with 7 installed., a 3-seat family upgrade pack from Vista, 3 W7 32-bit Home Premium OEM copies, and 1 W7 64-bit Home Premium. And they want $59 to reactivate. To me you should be able to reinstall it as many times as you like as long as one seat is running on only one machine. Drives die or need to be "enlarged", same with MoBos.
But that's just me.
If there was a viable Linux Media Center alternative, I would have only two Windows machines. For compatibility with my work machines.
Sorry for the rant. But I'm ticked. WHS is a good thing. I know they would kill it when it became available for $49. And I see the death march lining up for Media Center...
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post #36 of 44 Old 07-06-2012, 03:05 PM
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Originally Posted by terryj47 View Post

For me it would be nice for two reasons: 1) It takes me a whole weekend to d a clean install. Windows. Office, CAD software, utilities, etc. AND the @#$@#$% updates! Then of course M$ will only let you intall windows 3 times. Then you have to ask for another activation code. And NOW they want a $59 credit card charge to even ask for it. I just went through this for a MoBo upgrade. I just be another copy. I have purchased two notebooks with 7 installed., a 3-seat family upgrade pack from Vista, 3 W7 32-bit Home Premium OEM copies, and 1 W7 64-bit Home Premium. And they want $59 to reactivate. To me you should be able to reinstall it as many times as you like as long as one seat is running on only one machine. Drives die or need to be "enlarged", same with MoBos.

Wow that is bad news. I also have the 3 license Windows 7 Home Premium Family Pack. I used two of the licenses on two PCs. The third license I tried on an old notebook PC that ended up not able to run many apps due to poor graphics hardware, so I removed Win 7 and installed it on another HTPC. When it came time to register the third license again on that HTPC, I had to call Microsoft and their automated system gave me a key. But now I am concerned if this process has changed, because with SSD prices so low, at some point I would like to swap them as OS drives into two of my PCs. I wonder when I try to re-install Win 7, will I run into this $59 issue you mentioned?
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post #37 of 44 Old 07-06-2012, 03:43 PM
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Guys. Take a step back. There is no reason to quit using WHS2011.

Are you going to quit using Windows 7 now that Windows 8 has been announced and M$ likely won't develop it anymore? Does that make it a bad option all of a sudden? Of course not.

I haven't seen anything that is swaying me from using WHS2011. If anything I hope the price drops so I can get it for almost nothing.


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post #38 of 44 Old 07-06-2012, 04:01 PM
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Originally Posted by indio22 View Post

Wow that is bad news. I also have the 3 license Windows 7 Home Premium Family Pack. I used two of the licenses on two PCs. The third license I tried on an old notebook PC that ended up not able to run many apps due to poor graphics hardware, so I removed Win 7 and installed it on another HTPC. When it came time to register the third license again on that HTPC, I had to call Microsoft and their automated system gave me a key. But now I am concerned if this process has changed, because with SSD prices so low, at some point I would like to swap them as OS drives into two of my PCs. I wonder when I try to re-install Win 7, will I run into this $59 issue you mentioned?
I think I tried the automated system this last time and it would NOT reactivate it. I had to call. So I just popped for another OEM version. They responded to a post on the "experts" forum and said that a new mobo was not eligible for reactivation even though it was just an upgrade. And the four desktop/htpc W7 systems in our house all have retired Vista licenses! Getting more pi$$ed...
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post #39 of 44 Old 07-06-2012, 04:07 PM
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Originally Posted by assassin View Post

Guys. Take a step back. There is no reason to quit using WHS2011.
Are you going to quit using Windows 7 now that Windows 8 has been announced and M$ likely won't develop it anymore? Does that make it a bad option all of a sudden? Of course not.
I haven't seen anything that is swaying me from using WHS2011. If anything I hope the price drops so I can get it for almost nothing.
The voice of reason. I will stick with WHS2011 for quite a while. I know people HAVE been able to restore. Just not me. And I do have all the network drivers etc. available. Assassin, I take your advice with the utmost appreciation. You have been very helpful to me since taking the HTPC plunge.
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post #40 of 44 Old 07-06-2012, 07:09 PM
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Originally Posted by terryj47 View Post

I think I tried the automated system this last time and it would NOT reactivate it. I had to call. So I just popped for another OEM version. They responded to a post on the "experts" forum and said that a new mobo was not eligible for reactivation even though it was just an upgrade. And the four desktop/htpc W7 systems in our house all have retired Vista licenses! Getting more pi$$ed...

Yeah, I have browsed those MS "expert" sites, looking for info on Windows install rules and regulations. Some of the guys there are really hung up on following authority, at least their perception of authority. They would jump off a bridge, if as a condition of their OS purchase, the EULA stated the purchaser agreed to jump off a bridge, lol. Guess I will cross that "bridge" when I come to it.
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post #41 of 44 Old 07-07-2012, 12:00 AM
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Originally Posted by assassin View Post

Guys. Take a step back. There is no reason to quit using WHS2011.
Are you going to quit using Windows 7 now that Windows 8 has been announced and M$ likely won't develop it anymore? Does that make it a bad option all of a sudden? Of course not.
I haven't seen anything that is swaying me from using WHS2011. If anything I hope the price drops so I can get it for almost nothing.

The ticking time bomb is the fact that WHS 2011 cannot backup/restore client PCs that use EFI/GPT technology. Since that technology is becoming mainstream, that means that the next PC I buy/build cannot be handled by WHS 2011, and it will only get worse over time as other machines get replaced. Since a major part of WHS 2011's value proposition to me is the rather elegant client PC backup function, then that value proposition is getting eroded over time.

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post #42 of 44 Old 07-07-2012, 12:23 AM
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'Funeral,' 'ticking time bomb,' overexaggerate much? For general HTPC purposes backup/restore is a nice feature but not a necessity. Other than laptops and lightweight HTPC's most PC's that have a lot of heavy duty programs on them that are a pain to restore, likely have 2 or more hard drives in them and if they don't then they really should. Which makes backing up your OS easy.

And how often do you guys have your OS crash? I just had mine crash on me today but that's because I was installing a graphics card, and because I'm using old HDMI cables for the time being I lost signal and mistakenly did a hard restart when the driver was installing. During normal everyday operations I haven't had a computer crash on me in 4 or 5 years.
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post #43 of 44 Old 07-07-2012, 05:30 AM
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Originally Posted by JackDiesel14 View Post

'Funeral,' 'ticking time bomb,' overexaggerate much? For general HTPC purposes backup/restore is a nice feature but not a necessity. Other than laptops and lightweight HTPC's most PC's that have a lot of heavy duty programs on them that are a pain to restore, likely have 2 or more hard drives in them and if they don't then they really should. Which makes backing up your OS easy.
And how often do you guys have your OS crash? I just had mine crash on me today but that's because I was installing a graphics card, and because I'm using old HDMI cables for the time being I lost signal and mistakenly did a hard restart when the driver was installing. During normal everyday operations I haven't had a computer crash on me in 4 or 5 years.
More often than 4-5 years but not very many times. 7 IS solid. My new Dell dual Zeon quad core at work with SSD is giving me some problems but not my home PCs.
My last misadventure (at home) was because I was evaluating back up solftware. After an image backup, I shut down and disconnected the OS drive. Completely. I then put in a spare drive and did the restore with a bootable CD for the appropriate backup method. None of them were booted after restore. And after I gave up, I shut down and reconnected the OS drive (a WD 1TB black drive). It wouldn't boot either. It did not even show up as a bootable drive! I booted from a linux "live" CD and everything was still on the old OS drive. I tried every repair method at my disposal. Could not get it to boot. Finally installed (but did not activeate) 7 on a spare drive. "Bad" WD drive showed up fine. All data was there. Copied my "data" folders to a USB drive. Reinstalled 7 and all my apps on the "bad" WD 1TB drive then copied my data back. Been fine ever since. That was several months ago. Frankly, I think my MoBo BIOS is "too smart" and "did something" to the drive after the backup experiment. So WHS2011 IS backing up all of my data on thee clients nightly but right now a failure or upgrade would require a clean install. The methods I tested were WHS2011, W7 native backup/restore, EaseUS (backup and partition), and Acronis. All back up. None can restore properly (for me). Could be I'm doing something wrong but I have done this in the past on other machines.
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post #44 of 44 Old 07-07-2012, 05:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JackDiesel14 View Post

'Funeral,' 'ticking time bomb,' overexaggerate much? For general HTPC purposes backup/restore is a nice feature but not a necessity. Other than laptops and lightweight HTPC's most PC's that have a lot of heavy duty programs on them that are a pain to restore, likely have 2 or more hard drives in them and if they don't then they really should. Which makes backing up your OS easy.
And how often do you guys have your OS crash? I just had mine crash on me today but that's because I was installing a graphics card, and because I'm using old HDMI cables for the time being I lost signal and mistakenly did a hard restart when the driver was installing. During normal everyday operations I haven't had a computer crash on me in 4 or 5 years.
It's not just computer crashes that data backups are useful for. WHS 2011 has saved my bacon a number of times. One instance was when a bug in the newest release of Windows Live Photo Gallery silently destroyed metadata in thousands of my photos. I was able to simply restore the photos to the state they were in before WLPG wreaked its havoc.

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