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    Returning the Surface Pro 3

    By Dave, in Surface Geeks,

    The Surface Pro 3 was announced on May 20th, released to the world on June 20th, and I'm writing this on July 20th.  The significance of the date coincides with Microsoft's 30 day return policy.  I just boxed up the third generation Pro device and took it back to the Microsoft Store.  Somewhat unwillingly but necessary in my case.



    Let me explain.



    I purchased the Surface Pro 2 in February of 2014.  I had the dock and used it as a "desktop replacement."  That's an important term in my case so keep that in mind.  I then took my desktop Core i7 behemoth PC and converted it into a Server 2012 R2 Server running Server Essentials.  That replaced a Windows Home Server 2011 box running on a Core i3.  That Core i3 is now my secondary desktop machine.  What I'm trying to say is that I was completely committed to the Surface Pro 2 as a "desktop replacement."





    Fast forward to May 20th or shortly thereafter when the Surface Pro 3 review unit shows up.  I configured it much like I would any other Windows 8 PC and got busy with it.  I used it mostly on the kitchen table, bar area, Pool, living room, etc.  It made it's way around the house and I used it almost extensively.  What I didn't do was pull the SP2 out of the way and use the SP3 in it's place as a, yes you guessed it, a "desktop replacement."  I had it sitting beside it charging.  I would use it during a podcast and then drag it around the house.  In the evening I would return to my Surface Pro 2 and charge up the SP3.  I was convinced that the Surface Pro 3 was the right device to replace my trusty Pro 2.





    My Surface Pro 2 has compiled many a podcast, tons of video, and performed more Google+ Hangouts than I can count.  During my review period the Surface Pro 3 did none of that.  None, zero, zilch.  I reviewed it as a tablet and a laptop replacement.  In that sense it passed.  I recommended it.





    A week prior to release day reviewers start mentioning different issues .  Wifi issues and power issues.  On June 19th Microsoft issues a firmware fix just in time for new Surface buyers to install once they set up their new tablet.  This fixed the power issue that myself and many others had.





    Here is the crazy thing.  The way I was using the review unit was completely 180 degrees out of phase of all the problems that were popping up for the tablet.  When there were power issues I was only on the charger.  When the wifi connection issues popped up I had already dedicated the SP3 as a "desktop replacement" so it was on Ethernet.  I also didn't see any transfer speed issues.  Naturally, i was hooked up to CAT5.





    I yanked the SP3 out of the desk situation and started using it downstairs. Boom, wifi issues. It was hard not to notice them.  Speed issues, and oh the connection issues.  Maddening connection issues.  If I closed the SP3 up and came back to it an hour or so later it wouldn't connect to wireless properly.  The dreaded "limited connection" notification.  I would have to reboot the device.





    We are now well into July and Microsoft issues a firmware update to every Surface device they have put out to date.  This includes the Surface Pro 3 and promised to fix the power issues and address wifi speed issues.  It did, sorta.  Power issues disappeared but wifi issues were still abound.  Microsoft issued a small statement saying they would address the wifi issues next week with another firmware update.  I found this to be a little odd and somewhat concerning for the product but at least my power issue was gone and the wifi seemed better.





    On July 16 Microsoft released the wifi fix they referred to in the previous update.

    Now, instead of having to reboot the device to fix the limited connection i merely had to cycle wifi off and back on.  Then I could connect back to the wireless access point and get full connectivity.  Better, but not so much.





    There were so many updates and issues it's hard for me to keep it all straight.  I think I got it all in there but honestly, these issues are not why I returned the Surface Pro 3.  Even though these issues should not be happening I do believe Microsoft will finally hit the right combination of drivers and updates to put an end to these problems.





    UPDATE: On July 21st a blog called The Windows Club posted a fix for all this wifi nonsense.  A pretty easy fix too.  What we don't know yet is what will this do to the SP3 battery life.  If it's minimal and this truly is the fix why wouldn't something have come out quicker?  Why would the forums be lit up with troubleshooting and complaints? Why didn't the Surface Team let their MVP's know of the fix so it could be published?  Something stinks here.





    The Real Reason





    I have a completely different set of issues with the Surface Pro 3 that is the major reason for me returning it.  It was podcast night and I fired up a Google+ Hangout and everything was going smooth.  I was talking with my cohost for a few minutes prior to going live.  Just as I always did on the Surface Pro 2.  I noticed the fan noise from the SP3 but I didn't think much about it because Hangouts on the SP2 always kicked the fans into overdrive.  Chrome and Hangouts are just horrible on resources but it's what I use. I won't justify it and I know some will point to that as the issue. So be it.





    My cohost told me my video was starting to get choppy.  A few seconds later he can't hear me and my connection drops.  Compounding the issue, my ISP has routing issues starting at that very moment so it was easy to blame the ISP.





    The next week the entire scenario repeats itself except the internet service was rock solid.  I   switched to a different PC and got the podcast recorded and published.  It was an audio mess  but it got done.  I started researching the issue at this point and found two things.  The Power Options can't be changed much and the Surface Pro 3 has a different thermal ceiling than the Pro 2 does. I found a way to modify the power options by enabling Hyper-V so you can get a performance battery plan but that didn't do anything to change the way Surface Pro 3 manages heat.  The thermal ceiling on this device is a temperature at which it starts reducing the CPU multiplier thereby reducing the CPU speed.  At this point I started monitoring temperatures and the CPU with a few small software programs.





    You can get short bursts of CPU but when it gets hot it will start reducing speed in order to help the fan cool the CPU down.  No matter how much you need or request you are not going to get it.  Prolonged high CPU stress does not mix well with Surface Pro 3.  Hangout video in HD, mixing audio, crunching video, etc.  All the things that I do and did do on the Pro 2 without issue. Waiting for the Core i7 won't help either.  I assume it will ramp up in temperature even faster.





    The next podcast week I used Google+ Hangouts although I switched from Chrome to IE in order to pull it off.  There were moments of video issue but it hung in there.  Fans blaring and multiplier bouncing up and down like crazy.  It was sluggish to work with and was begging for a reboot to freshen it up.





    As good as the Surface Pro 3 is at replacing a laptop it simply doesn't replace a desktop.  Not for me it doesn't. I started weighing my options and had a sleepless weekend toiling about it.  I sold the Surface Pro 2 in order to get the 3 so that's not an option.  My desktop PC is now a server and I really don't need a $1500 laptop at the moment.  That's a lot of cash to spill and still have to come up with a solution to do heavy lifting.





    My only option was to return it and wait for Microsoft to address the issues.  The CPU and temperature issue may never be improved for my situation though.  It is what it is.  It's a fantastically thin device with a freaking core Intel processor in it.  Soon to have an i7 in it.  It's an amazing device and I enjoyed it very much.  However, it may never be an option for me.  I am not willing to hang onto that much of an investment in hopes of it improving enough for me.  Maybe I got a bad one or it was just slightly worse than others.  I don't know.  I do know there is a lot of chatter out there about this very issue.





    July 20th, exactly 30 days after purchase I returned it in order to get my $1500 and change back.  The staff never asked me what was wrong.  They never took a chance to gather information about the return.  They never opened the box.  One guy looked at me and muttered, "didn't work for you eh?"  A phrase that I am guessing he has said to many a "Surface returner."  I was surprised, as I had my story ready.  They handed me the receipt and I played XBox One with my son.  I actually had a good time.





    I still recommend Surface Pro 3.





    I feel like I owe my readers and listeners an apology as I have been recommending Surface Pro 3 from day one.  I still recommend it although not as a "desktop replacement."  I should have caught this however.  My apologies.   There will also be the "don't use Google" crowd.  As much as Chrome is a resource hog I still use it for a few things.





    I knew I had to tell you as there was no point in hiding it.  I'm brutally honest when it comes to this stuff.  I use what I want to use and I use what works for me.  Regardless of what brand or company it comes from.  I will probably catch hell for this but I have to tell you.  It's the right thing to do.





    I do hope that it can be improved.  When I finally made the decision and started copying files over to my server, slowly copying files via wifi  mind you,  the fan kicked on and I watched the multiplier reduce the CPU speed.  I knew I had made the right decision at that point.





    David McCabe

    Surface - MVP



    Dave
    It's all cloud all the time!  Jim Collison has his cloud list out and I sit back and enjoy the show! Well, I can't sit back too much.  I'm talking @otixo and Surface Pro 3.  Much better audio this week.  See you in the forums!
     
    This podcast is a member of The Geeks Network.  Check out other great podcasts and forums there.
     
    The Home Automation Forums URL has changed to:  http:homeautomationforums.com
     
    If you want to support this podcast please shop via our affiliate links.
     
    iOS App Store
     
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    Links and Notes for this episode

    Soap! - You have to check out this router/doitall box!

    Media Streaming with Synology

    Synology DS415Play

    Copy.com - With this link you get an extra 5GB. 20 in all.

    Otixo
    Mover.io does this as well.

    https://mover.io/pricing/

    Jim's Cloud Guide

    Dave
    The Surface Geeks are back after a long break. We analyze some Surface Pro 3 issues, talk about the Mini rumors, and go over some Windows Phone Options. Ok, maybe we talk a lot about Windows Phone.  A lot!   There was a lot of discussion about Windows Phone this week and we will break it down.

    This podcast is a member of the geeks network. Check out thegeeksnetwork.com for other great podcasts.

    Twitter: Darren Cohen, David McCabe, John Wiskowski
     

    If you want to support this podcast please shop via affiliate links.

    Newegg.com
    Amazon.com

    SurfaceGeeks.net is hosted by KnownHost.com
    Would you like to help this show out and spread the word?
    Rate it in iTunes and join the forums!  That’s it!

    [iTunes] Subscribe to the Audio Podcast in iTunes
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    Meetup 2014  Threshold and the Start Button
     
    Surface Updates
     
    http://www.zdnet.com/microsoft-rolls-out-july-firmware-updates-for-all-surface-tablet-models-7000031356/
     
    Surface Mini is Coming!
     
    Surface Pro 3 Wireless Issues
     
    Windows 8 Auto Update
     
    Surface branding and Lumia
     
    Remote App for RT
     
    Windows Phone Market Share 

    Dave
    Kevin Schoonover joins and shows off his Lenovo TS140 and Dell T20 servers. Jim and I get to ask tons of questions about the hardware and Kevin and I also discuss a SmartThings home automation topic of monitoring for flooding.
     
    This podcast is a member of The Geeks Network.  Check out other great podcasts and forums there.
     
    The Home Automation Forums URL has changed to:  http:homeautomationforums.com
     
    If you want to support this podcast please shop via our affiliate links.
     
    iOS App Store
     
    Newegg.com
     
    Amazon.com
     
    Dell.com and Dell Outlet
     
    KeepVault for Windows Home Server
     
    HomeServerShow.com is hosted by KnownHost.com
     
    Follow the Podcast on Twitter!

    Watch and Subscribe on YouTube

    [iTunes] Subscribe to the Podcast in iTunes(MP3).
    [Zune] Subscribe to the Podcast in the Zune Marketplace.
    [RSS] Add the Podcast feed to your RSS aggregator.

    Links and Notes for this episode

    DrivePop 1TB Lifetime Backup for $39.99

    Amazon Prime

    SmartThings

    Dell T20

    Lenovo TS140

    View these servers on the YouTube episode
    .

    Dave
    I know, it's a controversial question, but it needs to be asked!  Should you purchase a Surface Pro 3 right now or wait for the i7, or possibly a new Intel chipset iteration?  We discuss the Intel Broadwell delay and how it might change the Surface release cycle.  Tick Tock.  We finalize the Surface Pro 3 discussion since John and Darren have had a chance to look at one.  I'm also sporting a brand new Nokia Lumia Icon and I'll discuss the transition from Android back to Windows Phone.

    This podcast is a member of the geeks network. Check out thegeeksnetwork.com for other great podcasts.

    The HAForums URL has changed to http://homeautomationforums.com
     

    Twitter: Darren Cohen, David McCabe, John Wiskowski
    If you want to support this podcast please shop via affiliate links.

    Newegg.com
    Amazon.com

    SurfaceGeeks.net is hosted by KnownHost.com
    Would you like to help this show out and spread the word?
    Rate it in iTunes and join the forums!  That’s it!

    [iTunes] Subscribe to the Audio Podcast in iTunes
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    [YouTube] View this episode on YouTube

    Meetup 2014 

    Surface Pro 3 Windows Button Update
     
    ASUS Chi w/ Broadwell
     
    Intel delays Broadwell
     
     
     


    Dave
    It's a Meetup 2014 Overview with Jim Collison, John Stutsman, and Kevin Schoonover.  Also some news, SSD and Hard Drive pricing continues to plummet.
     
    This podcast is a member of The Geeks Network.  Check out other great podcasts and forums there.
     
    The Home Automation Forums URL has changed to:  http:homeautomationforums.com
     
    If you want to support this podcast please shop via our affiliate links.
     
    iOS App Store
     
    Newegg.com
     
    Amazon.com
     
    Dell.com and Dell Outlet
     
    KeepVault for Windows Home Server
     
    HomeServerShow.com is hosted by KnownHost.com
     
    Follow the Podcast on Twitter!

    Watch and Subscribe on YouTube

    [iTunes] Subscribe to the Podcast in iTunes(MP3).
    [Zune] Subscribe to the Podcast in the Zune Marketplace.
    [RSS] Add the Podcast feed to your RSS aggregator.

    Links and Notes for this episode

    Gigabyte MicroServer?  The 2U Beast.
    Ed Bott on Surface Geeks talking Surface Pro 3.

    QNAP News
    Seagate 4TB $139.99 over weekend on newegg

    New Crucial MX100 low cost SSD:
    http://www.crucial.com/usa/en/storage-ssd-mx100

    NewEgg Lenovo TS140 XEON $419:

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIA1J21H00657&cm_mmc=SNC-Twitter-_-HotDeals-_-NA-_-NA

    Dave

    Surface Pro 3 with Ed Bott

    By Dave, in Surface Geeks,

    Tonight I'm talking with Ed Bott. We have both been using the Surface Pro 3 and will compare notes and answer your questions.  There are not a lot of show notes just some fun conversation about Microsoft, Tablets, Office, and the Surface Pro 3.  Enjoy and see you in the forums!
     
    Ed Bott can be found on Twitter and on his site at ZDNet.
     
    This podcast is a member of the geeks network. Check out thegeeksnetwork.com for other great podcasts.

    Twitter: Darren Cohen, David McCabe, John Wiskowski
    If you want to support this podcast please shop via our affiliate links.

    Newegg.com
    Amazon.com

    SurfaceGeeks.net is hosted by KnownHost.com
    Would you like to help this show out and spread the word?
    Rate it in iTunes and join the forums!  That’s it!

    [iTunes] Subscribe to the Audio Podcast in iTunes
    [RSS] Subscribe to the Blog via RSS
    [RSS Podcast] Add the Podcast feed to your RSS aggregator
    [Twitter] Follow this blog and podcast on Twitter
    [YouTube] View this episode on YouTube



    Dave
    It's hard for a non-artist type like myself to understand the differences between Surface Pro 2 and Surface Pro 3.  I've invited @surfaceproart  Rick Rodriguez to help me out with a few questions and what I'm calling the Surface Pro 3 myths.
     
    Myth 1 Thickness
     
    Myth 2 256 vs 1024 levels of pressure
     
    Myth 3 Button on the right is bad for right hand artists
     
    Myth 4 The fan can be heard.

    This podcast is a member of the geeks network. Check out thegeeksnetwork.com for other great podcasts.
     

    Twitter: Darren Cohen, David McCabe, John Wiskowski
    If you want to support this podcast please shop via our affiliate links.

    Newegg.com
    Amazon.com

    SurfaceGeeks.net is hosted by KnownHost.com
    Would you like to help this show out and spread the word?
    Rate it in iTunes and join the forums!  That’s it!

    [iTunes] Subscribe to the Audio Podcast in iTunes
    [RSS] Subscribe to the Blog via RSS
    [RSS Podcast] Add the Podcast feed to your RSS aggregator
    [Twitter] Follow this blog and podcast on Twitter
    [YouTube] View this episode on YouTube

    More Surface on the way!
    Bundle the cover please!
    MultiBoot on Surface
    Surface Team AMA
    CPU's on Surface Pro 3 Surface Pro 2 for sale!
     
    Manga
     
    Sketchable
     
    Sketch Time 
     
    SketchBook Pro

    Dave
    It's done. I've pulled the plug on Windows Home Server 2011 and I'll talk about the migration a little bit.  Drashna and Jim are here to help me along and we have a small bit of news.
     
    This podcast is a member of The Geeks Network.  Check out other great podcasts and forums there.
     
    Thanks to Christopher Courtney and Jim Collison.
     
    Check out the new Home Automation forum at http://homeautomationforums.com
     
    If you want to support this podcast please shop via our affiliate links.
     
    iOS App Store
     
    Newegg.com
     
    Amazon.com
     
    Dell.com and Dell Outlet
     
    KeepVault for Windows Home Server
     
    HomeServerShow.com is hosted by KnownHost.com
     
    Follow the Podcast on Twitter!

    Watch and Subscribe on YouTube

    [iTunes] Subscribe to the Podcast in iTunes(MP3).
    [Zune] Subscribe to the Podcast in the Zune Marketplace.
    [RSS] Add the Podcast feed to your RSS aggregator.

    Links and Notes for this episode
    New Synology DS414Slim
     
    iCloud - How to install iCloud on Server 2012
     
     
     
    CrashPlan
     
    Copy.com - Get your 15GB Free Here
     
    MyMovies
     
    Server Backup Failing due to backing up Drive Pool.  Remove stable bit drive pool as a backup source and it’s fine.

    Dave
    The Surface Pro 3 was unveiled today in NYC and it's spectacular at first glance.  John and I go over every little detail that was touched on as well as some new information that was left out.  You will only hear that on Surface Geeks by the way!  What was said, what was left out?  We cover it all and have fun doing it! Enjoy and see you in the forums.

    This podcast is a member of the geeks network. Check out thegeeksnetwork.com for other great podcasts.
     

    Twitter: Darren Cohen, David McCabe, John Wiskowski
    If you want to support this podcast please shop via our affiliate links.

    Newegg.com
    Amazon.com

    SurfaceGeeks.net is hosted by KnownHost.com
    Would you like to help this show out and spread the word?
    Rate it in iTunes and join the forums!  That’s it!

    [iTunes] Subscribe to the Audio Podcast in iTunes
    [RSS] Subscribe to the Blog via RSS
    [RSS Podcast] Add the Podcast feed to your RSS aggregator
    [Twitter] Follow this blog and podcast on Twitter
    [YouTube] View this episode on YouTube

    Surface Pro 3 Announced
    No Mini
    Surface Pro 3 in the Forums
    Where are the Broadwell processors? 


    Are you going to pre-order a SP3? Use the Surface Geeks link to shop at the Microsoft Store!


    Dave
    I'm going down the path of transferring from Windows Home Server to Server Essentials 2012 R2 Update.  I've got Drashna and Diehard to bounce some ideas off of.  I'll tell you the options I faced when choosing the base OS considering I want to run Hyper-V and some VM's for certain duties.  We take an hour and a half of your time to discuss it all.  I'll set a date for Meetup 2014 and share an interesting lesson.
     
    This podcast is a member of The Geeks Network.  Check out other great podcasts and forums there.
     
    Thanks to Christopher Courtney and John Zajdler.
     
    Check out the new Home Automation forum at http://homeautomationforums.com.
     
    If you want to support this podcast please shop via our affiliate links.
     
    iOS App Store
     
    Newegg.com
     
    Amazon.com
     
    Dell.com and Dell Outlet
     
    KeepVault for Windows Home Server
     
    HomeServerShow.com is hosted by KnownHost.com
     
    Follow the Podcast on Twitter!

    Watch and Subscribe on YouTube

    [iTunes] Subscribe to the Podcast in iTunes(MP3).
    [Zune] Subscribe to the Podcast in the Zune Marketplace.
    [RSS] Add the Podcast feed to your RSS aggregator.

    Links and Notes for this episode
    DVRMS ToolBox Create a Recordings Scratch Drive
     
    RecordedTVHD
     
    Media Browser Server
     
    Media Browser 3 Does Live TV
     
    Migrate your WHS v1 data over to WHS 2011 with DrivePool
     
    Migrating from V1 to Drivepool: http://wiki.covecube.com/StableBit_DrivePool_Q5463715
     
    Hyper-V 2012 Backup Best Practices
     
    Client Hyper-V (Windows 8 Pro): http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh857623.aspx
     
    Windows ADK for “WDS/network restore”
     
    “How to” setup WDS/Network Restore
     
    And hey, it even shows off HyperV on how to restore this way!
     
    850 Gig Limitation for Azure Backups
     
     

    Joe_Miner
    By: John Stutsman
     

     
    Figure 1 – Preparing my Gen8 MicroServer for Installation of Server 2012 R2
     
     
     
    Recently, I loaded MicroSoft Windows Server 2012 R2 (“Server 2012 R2” or “S2012R2”) onto my HP ProLiant Gen8 MicroServer using the HP Smart Array B120i RAID Controller and P222/512 FBWC RAID Controller to manage my OS and Data drives.
     
    I attached to ports 1 & 2 of the HP Smart Array B120i RAID Controller (“B120i”) two (2) Samsung 840 Pro 256GB SSDs in RAID0 partitioned into two (2) logical drives: 1 as my OS drive and the 2nd as a test data drive (seen on the top in the ODD space in Figure 1). Attached to ports 3 & 4 of the B120i were two (2) Western Digital WD10JFCX’s in RAID1 as a test data drive – both drives mounted on
    . Attached to the HP Smart Array P222/512 FBWC RAID Controller (“P222”) were four more Western Digital WD1500HLHX’s as Data drives mounted in the main four drive bay in the front of the MicroServer. 
    I used Western Digital WD1500HLHX as Data drives simply because I didn’t have any large capacity drives available to do my test’s with. The 5th generation WD1500HLHX have enabled me to load the P222 and test different configurations.
     
     
     

     
    Figure 2 -- Installed Firmware Version information via iLO4
     
     
     

     
    Figure 3 -- As shown in iLO4 I have upgrade my CPU to a Xeon E3-1265L V2
     
     
     

     
    Figure 4 -- My OS drive (Disk 0 in Figure 10) was configured with a ~120GB Logical Drive carved out of 2 Samsung 840 Pro 256GB SSD's (seen Figure 1) in RAID0 on the B120i RAID Controller
     
     
     
    I installed Server 2012 R2 using HP’s Intelligent Provisioning 1.6 after creating a 120GB Logical Drive 01 in the B120i that would be my OS Drive (see Figure 4). Later, I created additional Logical Drives on the B120i and P222 (see Figures 5, 6, 7 & 10).
     
     
     
    Video 1 -- Installing Server 2012 R2 on My Gen8 MicroServer Using IP 1.6:
     

     
     
     
     
     

     
    Figure 5 – I carved out a 2nd Logical drive (Disk 1 in Figure 10) out of the ~356GB remaining on the 2 Samsung 840 Pro 256GB SSD's (in Figure 1) in RAID0 on the B120i RAID Controller
     
     
     

     
    Figure 6 – For my Logical Drive 03 on the B120i I put two 2.5” WD10JFCX’s in a RAID1 (Disk 2 in Figure 10)
     
     
     

     
    Figure 7 – For my Logical Drive 01 off of the P222/512 FBWC RAID Controller I put 4 2.5” WD1500HLHX’s in RAID5 (Disk 3 in Figure 10)
     
     
     
    Figures 8 & 9 demonstrate my successful installation of Server 2012 R2 with HP’s Intelligent Provisioning 1.6.
     
     
     

     
    Figure 8 – As shown: Windows Server 2012 R2 successfully installed by HP’s Intelligent Provisioning 1.6
     
     
     

     
    Figure 9 – Another confirmation of Windows Server 2012 R2 successfully installed by HP’s Intelligent Provisioning 1.6
     
     
     

     
    Figure 10 – A view of the partitions (Drives) in the Gen8 with Computer Management, Disk 4 is a 3TB external USB 3.0 disk drive to be used for Server Backup. The size of the Drive C Volume has been reduced from the original size of slightly under 120GB to 117.11GB shown for Disk 0 in order for Server Backup to work correctly (see Figure 11).
     
     
     
    In December 2013 I had issues installing Server 2012 R2 with an earlier version of Intelligent Provisioning and rather than do a manual installation I tried, successfully, installing Server 2012 with Intelligent Provisioning, or so I thought. At the time I was experiencing errors with Server Backup until I learned in the Technet Forums that by shrinking the C drive with Windows’ Disk Management it corrected a mismatch between what Intelligent Provisioning said the OS drive size was and what Server Backup was seeing.
     
    After I finished the installation of Server 2012 R2 with Intelligent Provisioning 1.6 I set up Server Backup and got the same type of failures (see Figure 11) I was seeing in December 2013 with Server 2012 installed with the earlier version of Intelligent Provisioning. After shrinking the C drive with Windows Disk Management by about 2.5GB (see Figure 10) I found that Server Backup worked as shown in the successful entry in Figure 11 (and it has continued to work since then).
     
    HP’s Intelligent Provisioning is a great tool that speeds up the installation of an OS by automating the updating of firmware and installation of all drivers but based on my experience with Server 2012 and now Server 2012 R2 – it appears that in order to get Server Backup to work successfully it is necessary to shrink the OS (i.e. C Drive) drive in Windows’ Disk Management. I have seen no other issues with Server 2012 R2 installed with Intelligent Provisioning.
     
    In the future I plan to test to see if an Intelligent Provisioning install produces the same Server Backup issue with Server 2012 R2 Essentials. If it does this may be problematic for home users if they are not planning for the need to “shrink” the C drive slightly after their Intelligent Provisioning install of Server 2012 R2 Essentials in order for Server Backup to work properly.
     
     
     

     
    Figure 11 – Initially Server Backup failed but after reducing the volume of the OS drive I began seeing successful server backups.
     
     
     
    One of the things I wanted to check out on this setup was the performance of two (2) Samsung 840 Pro’s as my OS drive – or in this case a Logical Drive made out of a 120GB portion of the two (2) Samsung 840 Pro’s in RAID0. As figure 12 illustrates the performance was excellent and it is noticeable to me compared to using a single SSD as an OS drive. The responsiveness was wonderful, in my opinion. I certainly want to do some more testing with this concept. As always, Your Mileage May Vary (“YMMV”).
     
     
     

     
    Figure 12 – Performance of the OS drive (Drive C) was excellent. (Disk 0 in Figure 10)
     
     
     
     
     

     
    Figure 13 -- Performance of the Data Drive F. (Disk 1 in Figure 10)
     
     
     
     
     

     
    Figure 14 -- Performance of the Data Drive E. (Disk 2 in Figure 10)
     
     
     
     
     

     
    Figure 15 -- Performance of the Data Drive G. (Disk 3 in Figure 10) I believe because of the enabled cache on the P222 the ATTO readings were meaningless so they were not included in the Figure. Data Drive G was made up of 4 WD1500HLHX 150GB Drives in RAID5 on the P222/512 FBWC giving me a logical drive of 450GB.
     
     
     
     
     

     
    Figure 16 -- Seagate 3TB USB3 External Drive performance with HDTune -- used for Server Backup (Disk 4 in Figure 10)
     
     
     
     
     

     
    Figure 17 -- Temperature Results after several days operation at Idle conditions. This is with the Fan Mods described and shown in the HSS Thread P222 Temperature in Gen8
     
     
     
     
     
    The As-Built for my Gen8 (as pictured in Figure 1 and Figure 18):
     
    Machine


    HP ProLiant Gen8 MicroServer Xeon E3-1265LV2

    OS: MicroSoft Windows Server 2012 R2
    OS Drive: HP Smart Array B120i RAID Controller – Logical Drive 01 made with 120GB partition of RAID0 of two (2) physical drives Samsung 840 Pro 256GB SSD
    Test Data Drive: HP Smart Array B120i RAID Controller – Logical Drive 02 made with balance of remaining partition (approx. 392GB) of RAID0 of two (2) physical drives Samsung 840 Pro 256GB SSD
    Test Data Drive: HP Smart Array B120i RAID Controller – Logical Drive 03 made with Full 1TB partition of RAID1 of two (2) physical Western Digital drives WD10JFCX
    Schoondoggy Drive Mount
    Test Data Drive: HP Smart Array P222/512 FBWC RAID Controller – Logical Drive 01 made with 450GB partition of RAID5 of four (4) physical Western Digital drives VelociRaptor WD1500HLHX
    Fan Mods described and shown in the HSS Thread P222 Temperature in Gen8
    Samsung slim external USB DVD RW drive (used to install S2012R2)
     
     

     
    Figure 18 -- During install with External DVD Drive attached
     
     
     
    Please join us in the HSS Gen8 Forums with any question and/or comments on the above and other threads.
     
     
     
    NOTE: These are the details of my installation of S2012R2 onto my Gen8 MicroServer that I have talked about in many previous write-ups and discussions in the Forums and on the Blog of HomeServerShow.
     
     
     
    References:
     
    ProLiant MicroServer Gen8 Links
     
    Gen8 Blog posts
     
    MicroServer Blog posts
     
    Installing WHS2011 on the HP ProLiant Gen8 MicroServer using the B120i and P222
     
    Installing WHS-2011 on the HP ProLiant Gen8 MicroServer with AHCI Enabled
     
    HP ProLiant Gen8 MicroServer Configuration
     
    SGDM-SDM Pre-Production Review: HP ProLiant Gen8 MicroServer
     

     


    Dave
    Another security reminder, this time from a NAS vendor! We'll take a look at hard drive sizes, a new 4 bay NAS, Tablo TV on the go, and figure out what flavor of server I should install next. Enjoy!
     
    Find Jim on Twitter, @JCollison
     
    This podcast is a member of The Geeks Network.  Check out other great podcasts and forums there.
     
    Check out the new Home Automation forum at http://homeautomationforums.com.
     
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    Links and Notes for this episode
    Thecus NAS’s full compatibility list at Thecus.com:
     
    http://www.thecus.com/sp_comlist.php

    For more information on Thecus, go to:
    http://www.thecus.com

    For more information on Seagate, go to:

    http://www.seagate.com/
    http://www.synology.com/en-us/products/overview/DS414j
     
    New MSRP of $389.99

    4TB Drive Price Watch

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822178307&Tpk=N82E16822178307

    More info on the Synology DSM Update

    http://forum.synology.com/enu/viewtopic.php?f=108&t=84383
    http://www.synology.com/en-global/support/security_hotfix_dsm_5_0_4458_update_2
     
    I rarely listen to the Security Now podcast but when stuff like this pops up I give it a listen.
     
    http://twit.tv/show/security-now/452
     
    They talk about a tool that you can run to check your gear for heartbleed.  I wish I would have had this prior to patching as it would be cool to see it find the vulnerability.
     
    http://www.crowdstrike.com/community-tools/index.html
     
     
     
     
     
     

    Dave
    We can't stop talking about the Mini. A little more information has squeaked out and we will dissect it and yet again go over our wishes and wants.  Free money if you have a Windows Phone! Apps, new pop up stores, and deals on RT!  Enjoy.

    This podcast is a member of the geeks network. Check out thegeeksnetwork.com for other great podcasts.
     

    Twitter: Darren Cohen, David McCabe, John Wiskowski
    If you want to support this podcast please shop via our affiliate links.

    Newegg.com
    Amazon.com

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    Rate it in iTunes and join the forums!  That’s it!

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    New Popup Microsoft Stores and Surface RT for $199, Dell Venue Pro 8 for $99
     
    Microsoft to Launch Surface Mini on May 20
     
    Surface Mini with Pen Support
     
    Lumia owners get $25 credit in the Windows Phone Store.
     
    Snap Attack
     
    Box
     
    Skype and Bing apps updated for Windows 8.1, Skype now syncs favorites across device

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