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Windows 7: Maximum PC:How to Build a Kick-Ass Windows Home Server

15 Oct 2009   #1

Maximum PC:How to Build a Kick-Ass Windows Home Server

In case you missed it, Maximum PC recently released one of the most comprehensive how-to article on building your own Windows Home Server that we have ever seen. The article is generating a lot of buzz, and you can check it out online here or head down to your local bookstore and peruse the 10-page, full-color spreads. The article walks through all the key features of Windows Home Server – including automatic backups, file sharing, remote access, media streaming throughout the home, and hard drive expandability. And according to Maximum PC: “More than just a stripped-down version of Windows Server 2003, WHS has numerous features that make it ideal for small home networks.” This is a fact we have been proudly touting for some time. You can check out more information on Windows Home Server for SOHO on our Web page, which features information for small businesses, including case studies and video interviews with some of our customers.

The second part of Maximum PC’s review walks you step-by-step – including handy photos to illustrate the process – on how to build your own server. If you don’t want to do it yourself, check out the reviews at the end of the HP MediaSmart LX195 and the Acer EasyStore H340 – great products from our partners. You can also read about some of the cool add-ins developed by our Windows Home Server community that extend the functionality of your Windows Home Server, including Advanced Admin Consol, Disk Management, Web Folders 4 Windows Home Server, Photosync, and My Movies, just to name a few. There have been so add-ins built for Windows Home Server by our passionate community of technical enthusiasts that we’ve almost lost count! I believe we’re at more than 100 add-ins and counting. Find out more about add-ins here – they will help simplify your family's digital lifestyle and enhance the functionality of your Windows Home Server.

You don’t have to build your own Windows Home Server to enjoy Maximum PC’s article. It’s chock full of all the great features, benefits, and tips for getting the most out of your Windows Home Server. You don’t want to miss this one! 

- Dave Berkowitz, Senior Product Manager, Core Infrastructure Marketing, Microsoft


My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Oct 2009   #2

Installing your new Windows Home Server

It can be frustrating to get a shiny new technology gadget and then realize that it will be another couple of days until you can actually start using it due to confusion and long installation times. Happily, this is not the case with Windows Home Server – it is quite the opposite. Windows Home Server has an uncomplicated, self-explanatory installation process that will have you up and running with minimum time and effort.

According to a Cnet review, an advantage of Windows Home Server is the, “straightforward hardware and software setup.” The Windows Home Server team and our hardware partners have continued to make improvements to the installation and setup of the home server. Many consumers, including blogger Steve Smith, make it clear that there is no need for you to be computer savvy to set up and install Windows Home Server as it only takes 3 simple steps:

  1. Plug it in
  2. Turn it on
  3. Install the software on your computer
The software will take you through a quick set-up wizard, and then the installation is complete! You can even follow along with a series of screen shots of the Windows Home Server installation process, or read a "How To" to make sure that you are on the right track.

*Screen shot of the Windows Home Server Connector during installation

You can see for yourself how impressed Windows Home Server owner, Steve Smith, was with his HP MediaSmart. His first reaction to his new Home Server after un-boxing it was, “Wow, this thing is small!”

*HP MediaSmart’s size compared to a Blackberry Pearl phone

In Steve's blog, he then goes on to describe how fast the installation was and ends by showing a final screen shot of the Windows Home Server console, only 40 minutes after opening the box! If you prefer videos, Ian Dixon walks through an HP MediaSmart Server installation here.

For those who are not intimidated by computer installations and would consider building their own home server, Norman Chan has produced a terrific article in October’s Maximum PC on this topic. This step-by-step guide will you take you through the process of building your own home server. Click here to check out the online version.

If you still on the fence about building your own home server or installing a preconfigured system, you can now feel confident that others have already successfully gone down the path.

To learn more about Windows Home Server, please visit our Web page at:


My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Oct 2009   #3

Windows 7 Ultimate x64, Mint 9

I can vouch for this. It was the easiest server I have ever tried to set up, and the only one I was successful with! (<- ouch, yeah I know)

My System SpecsSystem Spec

15 Oct 2009   #4

Windows 10 Pro x64

Does everything i need for my Home network and even i was able to install it without ANY problems.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Oct 2009   #5

W8 Pro, W7 Ultimate, XP Pro x64, Vista x64, Ubuntu

I really like Windows Home Server. Power Pack 3 (beta) integrates into Windows 7's libraries and the free web hosting from Microsoft allows me to access and stream my media from anywhere and it's almost foolproof.

To replace the WHS running on my old Dell Dimension I just built a new low power WHS based on an Atom 330/Ion platform.... 38 watts running. Love it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Oct 2009   #6

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

I would love to build one based on the N330 atom dual core but it will have to wait. Current configuration:

AMD 3800+
2gb ram
2 180gb raptor drives (1 primary OS)
3 500gb Seagate barracuda drives
LG dvd burner
Nvidia 8600gt video card

Has been running off and on for 3 years this December (bought when first released) and have never experienced any problems even prior to PP1. Saved my ass 4 times so far....1 HDD drive failure on Laptop, 1 time shot myself in the foot tweaking and over clocking, 2 times used to reconfigure dual boot OS partitions (best way to manipulate, move, resize, reorder, or reformat partitions in my opinion).
Simple to use and extremely customizable for any purpose. If I had a small business (Less than 10 pc's) I would use this product instead of SBS.

I am looking forward to the next iteration of this outstanding product and highly recommend it to anyone looking for a server appliance or just automated backup and restore (although it is so much more).

My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Maximum PC:How to Build a Kick-Ass Windows Home Server

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