AVS Forum banner

1 - 12 of 12 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi I’m thinking about setting up a Windows Home Server 2011 to backup the PC’s in my house. I’m also plan on building an HTPC or two to replace my Verizon FIOS DVR. I know WHS is going away, but that will take years. Anyway I have a few questions as I have never built these types of machines.


I have a 55” LED and serving the highest quality HD content to it via a Micro HTPC is my primary concern. Eventually I may build or buy some extenders to stream to as well.


1) I would also like to able to record 3 or more shows at once. Are either the HDHomerun Prime.or the Ceton quad tuner good solutions for this with my Verizon cablecard?


2) Do all of the recommended builds satisfy my HD and recoding needs: Intel Sandy Bridge i3, AMD Llano and Intel i3 Clarkdale? Do you recommend one over the other considering my needs?


3) With WHS 2011, can this only backup Win7 and future Win8 PC’s or XP to?


4) With WHS 2011 can I, using standard methods, nightly back up a PC with drives larger than 2TB, or with more than 2TB over several drives?


5) With WHS 2011 can I build an HTPC with only a 64GB SSD (no other HDs) and record directly to the WHS only as well as store other content and media I want there to serve to my HTPC’s? Or if doable is this solution not recommended?


6) Can a windows XP pc be an extender, or just win 7 or later?


7) Should I wait for Win 8 or go with Win 7 now and upgrade later?


8) Does the version of Win 7 matter much; home, ulimate etc?


9) Can you stream ripped Blu-rays via WMC such that subtitles can be played?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
Wow, no response, I guess I asked to many questions, or WHS can't be used to stream this way. If you can answer any of these questions, please reply.


Thanks
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
592 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by keeptech  /t/1419791/htpc-wmc-and-whs-build-and-configuration-questions#post_22209328


Hi I’m thinking about setting up a Windows Home Server 2011 to backup the PC’s in my house. I’m also plan on building an HTPC or two to replace my Verizon FIOS DVR. I know WHS is going away, but that will take years. Anyway I have a few questions as I have never built these types of machines.

I have a 55” LED and serving the highest quality HD content to it via a Micro HTPC is my primary concern. Eventually I may build or buy some extenders to stream to as well.

1) I would also like to able to record 3 or more shows at once. Are either the HDHomerun Prime.or the Ceton quad tuner good solutions for this with my Verizon cablecard?

2) Do all of the recommended builds satisfy my HD and recoding needs: Intel Sandy Bridge i3, AMD Llano and Intel i3 Clarkdale? Do you recommend one over the other considering my needs?

3) With WHS 2011, can this only backup Win7 and future Win8 PC’s or XP to?

4) With WHS 2011 can I, using standard methods, nightly back up a PC with drives larger than 2TB, or with more than 2TB over several drives?

5) With WHS 2011 can I build an HTPC with only a 64GB SSD (no other HDs) and record directly to the WHS only as well as store other content and media I want there to serve to my HTPC’s? Or if doable is this solution not recommended?

6) Can a windows XP pc be an extender, or just win 7 or later?

7) Should I wait for Win 8 or go with Win 7 now and upgrade later?

8) Does the version of Win 7 matter much; home, ulimate etc?

9) Can you stream ripped Blu-rays via WMC such that subtitles can be played?

1) Yes

2) All will work - choice is somewhat a matter of preference, "future-proofing", etc.

3) XP and 7 or fine, i dont think 8 has been confirmed but could be wrong

4) I dont believe you can backup a pc with drives larger than 2tb, possibly more than 2tb over several drives if the backups were broken up. I'm not sure why you would want to do this or why you would have 2tb on a pc though. If you are building a WHS generally you would move the majority of your data to that and your pcs would mainly have os/programs on the drives

5) I'm pretty sure this is doable, but that you can potentially run into issues with this approach. I personally use a local 2tb drive for my recordings and archive things to the server if necessary

6) No windows box can be an extender in the WMC language. Only certified streamer type devices can be extenders due to the fear that the content could be misused. Due to this the only real extender still on the market is xbox360 and hopefully soon the ceton echo. The xbox does not have very robust capabilities. A windows PC can act almost like an extender in a few different ways and depending on your needs you may not need an extender. The main areas where differences occur is with Live TV / guide sharing / and ability to watch protected content.

7) WMC will essentially be the same between the two so the choice would come down to other feature differences and personal preference.

8) Generally no, but things like remote desktop being built in (though there are free sw that can substitute) may influence your decision. Also ram limits i.e. i believe 16gb max in win7 home premium.

9) Sort of, theres ways to play back blu ray to WMC, but your best bet would be to get a 3rd party program that integrates into WMC such as TMT5 or powerdvd11(12?).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
142 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by keeptech  /t/1419791/htpc-wmc-and-whs-build-and-configuration-questions#post_22209328


1) I would also like to able to record 3 or more shows at once. Are either the HDHomerun Prime.or the Ceton quad tuner good solutions for this with my Verizon cablecard?

Yes.
Quote:
Originally Posted by keeptech  /t/1419791/htpc-wmc-and-whs-build-and-configuration-questions#post_22209328


2) Do all of the recommended builds satisfy my HD and recoding needs: Intel Sandy Bridge i3, AMD Llano and Intel i3 Clarkdale? Do you recommend one over the other considering my needs?

Yes, for i3 SB. I believe the other two as well but I don't have personal experience with them.
Quote:
Originally Posted by keeptech  /t/1419791/htpc-wmc-and-whs-build-and-configuration-questions#post_22209328


6) Can a windows XP pc be an extender, or just win 7 or later?

No and no.
Quote:
Originally Posted by keeptech  /t/1419791/htpc-wmc-and-whs-build-and-configuration-questions#post_22209328


7) Should I wait for Win 8 or go with Win 7 now and upgrade later?

Win7 is fine to use.
Quote:
Originally Posted by keeptech  /t/1419791/htpc-wmc-and-whs-build-and-configuration-questions#post_22209328


8) Does the version of Win 7 matter much; home, ulimate etc?

Premium, ultimate or pro are the versions to use. Premium does not have Remote Desktop capability but you can get it for "free" by googling around for the hack.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
312 Posts
Just a few things to be aware of:


1) WHS 2011 can backup a PC with more than 2TB storage, BUT you will need some sort of RAID/3rd party Drive Extender (e.g. DriveBender, Stablepool) to have >2TB available for the Client PC Backup Folder. WHS 2011 by default can only set up drive partitions that are 2TB in size.


2) WHS 2011 can only handle a maximum of 2TB in its built-in Server Backup function. If you want to backup more than this from the server, then you have to look for an alternative backup solution.


3) While WHS 2011 can handle Windows XP, Vista and 8 client PCs, it cannot backup/restore client PCs that use EFI/GPT technology. What do most modern motherboards use? EFI. What does Windows 7 and Windows 8 prefer to set up if it finds a (U)EFI motherboard? GPT discs. So newer hardware can't be handled by WHS 2011.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by keeptech  /t/1419791/htpc-wmc-and-whs-build-and-configuration-questions#post_22209328


5) With WHS 2011 can I build an HTPC with only a 64GB SSD (no other HDs) and record directly to the WHS only as well as store other content and media I want there to serve to my HTPC’s? Or if doable is this solution not recommended?

I would recommend against this. I attempted to do this by using either a Directory Junction and/or a registry hack (I can't remember - it was a while ago) to force WMC to write Recorded TV and the pause buffer to my WHS box over a gigabit network. It lead to MANY problems (loss of tuner functionality while watching Live TV being the main one). It was so bad that I was seriously considering dumping the idea of trying to use an HTPC as a DVR and going back Verizon's hardware. I changed it back to record locally and all my problems went away.


When the WHS Connector software is installed on a PC, it also installs a Media Center plugin that enables archiving Recorded TV to the WHS box's "Recorded TV" share. It is completely transparent and works in the background.


For my own solution, I use a small-ish (320GB) HDD in my HTPC, which is more than adequate for temporary storage until the file is moved over. Even when recording from all 4 tuners on my Ceton card.
Quote:
3) While WHS 2011 can handle Windows XP, Vista and 8 client PCs, it cannot backup/restore client PCs that use EFI/GPT technology. What do most modern motherboards use? EFI. What does Windows 7 and Windows 8 prefer to set up if it finds a (U)EFI motherboard? GPT discs. So newer hardware can't be handled by WHS 2011.

This isn't strictly true (though, it probably depends on your motherboard's manufacturer). The ASUS P8Z68-V PRO/GEN3 board I used in my last i5 build allows you to install an OS without using UEFI/GPT. Before I knew that WHS would not back up a machine with UEFI/GPT, I spent several days trying to figure out why my backups would stall out at 1%. Once I learned the cause, I wiped the drive and re-installed without UEFI. It's worked like a champ ever since.


Holy crap! It's my first post, ever, on AVSForum! Back to lurking...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
151 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by ShadoeOSU  /t/1419791/htpc-wmc-and-whs-build-and-configuration-questions#post_22212637


I would recommend against this. I attempted to do this by using either a Directory Junction and/or a registry hack (I can't remember - it was a while ago) to force WMC to write Recorded TV and the pause buffer to my WHS box over a gigabit network. It lead to MANY problems (loss of tuner functionality while watching Live TV being the main one). It was so bad that I was seriously considering dumping the idea of trying to use an HTPC as a DVR and going back Verizon's hardware. I changed it back to record locally and all my problems went away.
I've just barely dipped my toe into this, but it seems like a workable scenario is using an iSCSI target on the server. I've been testing this on my main HTPC for the past few days and so far it is flawless. I have a WHS 2011 server on an i3-2100T/Intel DH67BL. The HTPC is also i3-2100T/Intel DH67BL (ie. Intel NIC). Microsoft doesn't really want you to install the iSCSI target on WHS 2011 (I had to use Orca to edit the MSI to skip the check), but if you do, it seems to work.


Some more info here at these two links:
http://www.avsforum.com/t/1419521/iscsi-windows-home-server-2011-and-live-recorded-tv
http://www.missingremote.com/forums/iscsi-whs-2011-and-liverecorded-tv
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by DeanM  /t/1419791/htpc-wmc-and-whs-build-and-configuration-questions#post_22212690


I've just barely dipped my toe into this, but it seems like a workable scenario is using an iSCSI target on the server. I've been testing this on my main HTPC for the past few days and so far it is flawless. I have a WHS 2011 server on an i3-2100T/Intel DH67BL. The HTPC is also i3-2100T/Intel DH67BL (ie. Intel NIC). Microsoft doesn't really want you to install the iSCSI target on WHS 2011 (I had to use Orca to edit the MSI to skip the check), but if you do, it seems to work.

Some more info here at these two links:
http://www.avsforum.com/t/1419521/iscsi-windows-home-server-2011-and-live-recorded-tv
http://www.missingremote.com/forums/iscsi-whs-2011-and-liverecorded-tv

I tried setting up an iSCSI target when I was running WHS v1 but had no luck getting it to work. I haven't attempted it with WHS2011 since, by the time I upgraded, everything was already working the way I wanted it to.


I'm not familiar with the details of using iSCSI but, I would imagine the protocol includes some sort of write caching or error handling that might make it more reliable than writing straight to a network share.


Regardless, I'm more than happy with the way WHS and WMC work together so I'm not inclined to mess around with it too much (don't want to upset the current WAF level, after all
). I'd be interested in hearing how it works for you, though.


e: Incidentally, my issues with saving Recorded TV/pause buffer over the network were intermittent. There's wasn't anything, specific, I could do to cause problems but, given time, I was very likely to get a WMC error. It was rare to go an evening of moderate viewing without having a problem. Now, since I've changed the setting back to their defaults, I almost never have issues (and, by "almost never," I mean I can count the number of problems I've had with Live or Recorded TV on one hand).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
312 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by gcoupe  /t/1419791/htpc-wmc-and-whs-build-and-configuration-questions#post_22212289


Just a few things to be aware of:

3) While WHS 2011 can handle Windows XP, Vista and 8 client PCs, it cannot backup/restore client PCs that use EFI/GPT technology. What do most modern motherboards use? EFI. What does Windows 7 and Windows 8 prefer to set up if it finds a (U)EFI motherboard? GPT discs. So newer hardware can't be handled by WHS 2011.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShadoeOSU  /t/1419791/htpc-wmc-and-whs-build-and-configuration-questions#post_22212637


This isn't strictly true (though, it probably depends on your motherboard's manufacturer). The ASUS P8Z68-V PRO/GEN3 board I used in my last i5 build allows you to install an OS without using UEFI/GPT. Before I knew that WHS would not back up a machine with UEFI/GPT, I spent several days trying to figure out why my backups would stall out at 1%. Once I learned the cause, I wiped the drive and re-installed without UEFI. It's worked like a champ ever since.

Holy crap! It's my first post, ever, on AVSForum! Back to lurking...

That's true, if you're building your own PC you may be able to install without UEFI. However, I expect that most pre-built systems (e.g. laptops) these days will use UEFI/GPT by default. I'll be prepared to bet that the intel-based version of Microsoft's Surface does...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by gcoupe  /t/1419791/htpc-wmc-and-whs-build-and-configuration-questions#post_22214661


That's true, if you're building your own PC you may be able to install without UEFI. However, I expect that most pre-built systems (e.g. laptops) these days will use UEFI/GPT by default. I'll be prepared to bet that the intel-based version of Microsoft's Surface does...

You're right; I was looking at it strictly from the POV of someone who has built his own PCs for the last fifteen years. Sometimes I lose sight of the fact that I'm in the minority when it comes to that.


And you're probably 100% correct about the Surface, as well.


FWIW, during the week or so that I dealt with being unable to use WHS backup for my desktop because of UEFI, I was able to use the Windows backup utility on the client PC and back up over the network to a share on the WHS box. This worked OK but it also forced me to give up the advantages of using WHS as a backup solution in the first place. And that was the most compelling reason I had to disable UEFI and reinstall the OS.


Something I'm curious about is whether it would make a difference if the OS is installed in a .vhd instead of directly to the hard drive. I can't imagine that it would but it might make for an interesting experiment.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
312 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by ShadoeOSU  /t/1419791/htpc-wmc-and-whs-build-and-configuration-questions#post_22215047


FWIW, during the week or so that I dealt with being unable to use WHS backup for my desktop because of UEFI, I was able to use the Windows backup utility on the client PC and back up over the network to a share on the WHS box. This worked OK but it also forced me to give up the advantages of using WHS as a backup solution in the first place. And that was the most compelling reason I had to disable UEFI and reinstall the OS.

Something I'm curious about is whether it would make a difference if the OS is installed in a .vhd instead of directly to the hard drive. I can't imagine that it would but it might make for an interesting experiment.

The fact that you were able to use a network share to backup the PC to tells me that you weren't using Windows 7 Home Premium (which most folks have), because backup to a network share is not supported on that version. Microsoft has this habit of cutting ordinary consumers off at the knees. A trait that they are continuing, now that they are dropping WHS altogether. There are always ways around the shortcomings for the tech-savvy, of course, but that's not really the point.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by gcoupe  /t/1419791/htpc-wmc-and-whs-build-and-configuration-questions#post_22215133


The fact that you were able to use a network share to backup the PC to tells me that you weren't using Windows 7 Home Premium (which most folks have), because backup to a network share is not supported on that version. Microsoft has this habit of cutting ordinary consumers off at the knees. A trait that they are continuing, now that they are dropping WHS altogether. There are always ways around the shortcomings for the tech-savvy, of course, but that's not really the point.

You are correct. I use Professional on my main Desktop since I, originally, had a need to run Windows XP mode for work, in addition to wanting the ability to use RDP to connect to it.


I actually didn't know about that limitation to Premium. An iSCSI solution for those machines makes a lot more sense.
 
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
Top