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Windows 7: Connecting all My PCs to WHS2011 instead of XP

16 Jun 2011   #1
TanyaC

Linux Mint 17 Cinnamon | Win 7 Ult x64
 
 
Connecting all My PCs to WHS2011 instead of XP

Hi Currently,

All my PCs and devices map drives to an XP machine with 12TB or storage. It's getting a bit dated and I have been looking at WHS 2011.

I will be testing to see if it will run the applications that XP does (Coldfusion, Firebird, OpenDNS updater etc). If they are OK I might be leaning towards actually moving towards WHS.

I have 6 x 2TB drives installed. I notice that every time WHS formats a drive it leaves 19mb free at the end. That's annoying but not a show stopper.

I would like to format the C: drive only then install WHS clean, leaving all of the other drives intact. Will that work? I dont have about 9TB free anywhere else to back up all that stuff, so a "suck it and see" approach might be rather disastrous.

I've also been looking around for some "lights-out" type software (Not manageengine central - it doesn't work, and has some major design flaws). Something that would download updates, and let me review them before approving them to be pushed out to the clients. I've been seaching to see if WHS supports that natively, but I guess either I can't find anything or it's not a feature of WHS...

thanks
Tanya


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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17 Jun 2011   #2
TanyaC

Linux Mint 17 Cinnamon | Win 7 Ult x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Tanyam View Post
Hi Currently,

All my PCs and devices map drives to an XP machine with 12TB or storage. It's getting a bit dated and I have been looking at WHS 2011.

Tanya
nvm. I've posted some questions on the WHS forum and it's clear to me now that WHS offers nothing worthwhile over the 10 year old XP. Except maybe a newer look. meh! And maybe the ability to access more than 3.25GB RAM... Which actually I could use... Ahhh well.

thanks anyway
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Jun 2011   #3
TanyaC

Linux Mint 17 Cinnamon | Win 7 Ult x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Tanyam View Post
nvm. I've posted some questions on the WHS forum and it's clear to me now that WHS offers nothing worthwhile over the 10 year old XP. Except maybe a newer look. meh! And maybe the ability to access more than 3.25GB RAM... Which actually I could use... Ahhh well.

thanks anyway
Is the answer the same for SBS 2011 Essentials? Can't run server applications like Firebird, Coldfusion, IIS and so on?

If I want to access more memory could I upgrade the XP machine to Windows 7 Ultimate x64, and run the server applications on it like I do XP?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

18 Jun 2011   #4
James Colbert

 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Tanyam View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Tanyam View Post
nvm. I've posted some questions on the WHS forum and it's clear to me now that WHS offers nothing worthwhile over the 10 year old XP. Except maybe a newer look. meh! And maybe the ability to access more than 3.25GB RAM... Which actually I could use... Ahhh well.

thanks anyway
Is the answer the same for SBS 2011 Essentials? Can't run server applications like Firebird, Coldfusion, IIS and so on?

If I want to access more memory could I upgrade the XP machine to Windows 7 Ultimate x64, and run the server applications on it like I do XP?
Hi Tanyam.

I subscribed to this thread in the hopes that there would be some 'educational' responses, as I've been meaning to investigate WHS and it's viability for my purposes, but it seems that no one has responded.

Any thoughts I have on this are speculative, given my lack of experience with server applications.

That said, Win7 x64 would certainly give you access to more ram and technology than XP (not to mention security), but I would think that a program such as the afore-mentioned WHS or similar would provide much better results, as that is their purpose.

WHS was a raved about app that those who used it seemed to love. There are loud complaints regarding the most recent iteration surrounding MS's decision to remove the "drive pooling" feature. Many have migrated away from its use for that reason, but even given that 'limitation', I would think that WHS would serve your purposes far better than XP.

Were it me, I would first image the server (Acronis TI, free macrium Reflect) as is, then download and install the evaluation copy of WHS to determine it's usefulness for my needs, regardless of whatever criticisms you may have heard. If it doesn't fit the bill, restore the server image and look for other solutions, repeating the process.

This method will ensure that you can try out new software, but return to business as usual as necessary.

Here are some links that you may find helpful:

The 1st page of this link describes how to build a WHS machine, but the subsequent page goes into some deatil about WHS:

Maximum PC | How-To Build a Windows Home Server with Muscle (but no Drive Extender)


Windows Home Server vs Windows Home Server 2011 - Is It Worth Upgrading?


A google search for whs forums that may provide a more balanced view of the software. Not everybody can hate it, right?

whs 2011 reviews - Google Search


And finally, a google search for WHS forums, from which you might gain more insight.

edit: and yet one more link :

http://www.maximumpc.com/search/apac...0Home%20Server

If you do try it out (and/or other server software), please post back to let us know what your thoughts are.


Thanks,
James
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Jun 2011   #5
kegobeer

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

WHS v1 does offer more than XP, if you are looking at doing more than just sharing files. And even if that's what you are doing, then v1 offers more than XP. The biggest plus of v1 is the drive extender. You dump drives of different sizes into the WHS machine and it adds them to the pool and automatically moves files around, so all you see is one large drive and individual folders for sharing. I have nearly 3TB of BD movies on my WHS, and I never have to worry about figuring out which drive has free space, and I don't have to point my Dune player to anywhere other than my Videos shared directory. MyMovies for WHS automatically copies my movies to the correct directory, completely automated, and I don't have to do anything at all.

My important files (and pictures) are duplicated, so if I lose a drive, none of my important items are lost. I just remove the bad drive, put in a replacement, and my originals (or copies, depending on which ones were lost) are copied to the new drive.

WHS is basically SBS 2003, and anytime you want to have programs be compatible, you have to make sure they can run on a server as a service.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Jun 2011   #6
TanyaC

Linux Mint 17 Cinnamon | Win 7 Ult x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by kegobeer View Post
WHS v1 does offer more than XP, if you are looking at doing more than just sharing files. And even if that's what you are doing, then v1 offers more than XP. The biggest plus of v1 is the drive extender....

WHS is basically SBS 2003, and anytime you want to have programs be compatible, you have to make sure they can run on a server as a service.
Thanks for that. The discussions I've found on the net suggest that WHS is a drive killer and there are data corruption bugs. The removal of DE doesn't help one's opinion of the product either.

I have a technet subscription and I installed a trial copy. This is what I found..

WHS 2011 would not accept a drive with existing partitions. It kept wanting to format it. And it left 19mb unallocated on every drive. OK, that's only 120mb on my system total.

It certainly did not run CF 7 MX, or any LOB application that I tried for that matter.

Firebird kept hanging when I tried to install it.

I don't need DLNA streaming. Just opening the media file from another PC to play it is fine for me.

I had a couple of problems with the connector on one PC. All PCs run Win 7 Ult x64, and I couldn't identify the specific cause on this one machine.

I can only access the backupo drive from the WHS server, or dashboard on a machine that logs in as administrator.

I downloaded a trial of ColdFusion 9 and found that did not run either. I also need IIS7.5 which I could not find on WHS...

So all up, it looks like I'm just going to run another Windows 7 machine.

I also had a look at SBS 2011 Essentials, and the issues were essentially the same.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Jun 2011   #7
kegobeer

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

I have WHS v1, and I'm never going to upgrade to v2. The removal of DE was just plain stupid. I've never had any problems with data corruption and it's never harmed any of my drives. My 1TB drives (5 in all, plus a 640mb drive for the system) have been running non-stop for several years. All of my connectors work as advertised, even when I had two machines running 7 Ultimate x64. I'd give v1 a whirl, if you want to have backups and not worry about building a RAID (to duplicate what DE does), and if you have a bunch of mis-matched drive sizes (not usable by RAID), or keep track of which drives are getting full.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Jun 2011   #8
James Colbert

 
 

I have the OEM version (build date 09/22/09) that I believe is v1 (does that date correspond?). I've not even broken the seal on it. Always meant to install it, but now plan to after my office renovations are finished. But is using separate HDs (not in RAID or not extended) such a problem?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Jun 2011   #9
kegobeer

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by James Colbert View Post
I have the OEM version (build date 09/22/09) that I believe is v1 (does that date correspond?). I've not even broken the seal on it. Always meant to install it, but now plan to after my office renovations are finished. But is using separate HDs (not in RAID or not extended) such a problem?
No, it's not a problem. If you are keeping an eye on the drives and moving files around to balance things out, that's perfectly fine. For me, I've found it's easier to use DE since I'm copying my movies to my WHS, constantly uploading pictures, and my family is also uploading things to the WHS; it means I have to worry less about them filling up a drive or accidentally deleting something important (since each family member has his/her own personal space).
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Connecting all My PCs to WHS2011 instead of XP




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