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  • Dave

    The first beta for DriveBender has been released to the public.  DriveBender is one of several options recently announced that will take the place of Drive Extender that was a major feature in Windows Home Server.  This article is a quick look at the software, the install, and some notes from the author about the beta.


    Installation Screens












    Popped under






    Once the machine has been rebooted you will find the DriveBender Manager icon on the desktop.  At this time there is no Add-In functionality for Windows Home Server 2011 although the software will work just the same.  It just won’t be available in your 2011 Dashboard.


    Release Notes

    Before we start

    First of all there are a few points we would like to draw your attention to

    1) First and foremost, this is BETA software. And although we have gone to great lengths to ensure it doesn’t do anything undesirable, you should not use this version in a production environment until it hits a release milestone.

    2) Drive Bender does not format, nor change the structure of any drive attached to a pool. Any drive attached, will have its existing content preserved.

    3) Drive Bender does not require exclusive use of a hard drive. It will happily attach any partition (or volume), empty or not to a pool instance.

    4) Drive Bender uses a standard file system on every drive in the pool. If a drive is pulled from the pool, it can be read just like any other drive.



    Drive Bender requires Windows XP(x86/x64 - untested), Windows Vista (x86/x64), Windows 7 (x86/x64), Windows 2003, Windows 2008, Windows 2008 R2 and Windows Home Server 2011. The Drive Bender Management console requires .NET v4



    There are a number of terms used throughout this guide that we feel need some explanation.

    Pool instance: This is a collection of one or more drives. Drive Bender is capable of having one or more pool instance.

    Mount point: A mount point is an access point defined on a specific pool, of which each pool can have one or more mount points. A mount point can be defined as a networked resource (like a shared folder) or as a drive letter. For those running Windows Home Server, this is the same as Shared Folder.


    Points of note

    This section details known issues (and workarounds if applicable) for this version of Drive Bender

    Special Note - During the final testing phase there was a bug discovered with the transaction engine (this engine performs a number of tasks, including ensuring the pool remains consistent across the different volumes). As a result we have disabled the transaction engine for this initial beta. Because of this, please note the following.

    a) When deleting a folder, orphaned files / folders could be left on one or more of the volumes. This can happen if an undetected lock is on the target.

    There may be locking issues when renaming folders.

    c) File duplication has been disabled.


    The Windows Home Server 2011 plugin that we had hoped to ship with the beta will be shipping with the next beta release.

    Folder security has not been fully enabled.

    There is no file size check being performed on the pooled target drive.

    The performance during some read and write operations is less than optimal.

    During testing we have found that the management console may not install if the target machine does not have .NET v4 installed. You can manually install the management console from the Drive Bender installation folder.



    Installing Drive Bender is straight forward. After running the install wizard, you will need to reboot your machine (this is a onetime event, from here on out there is no further rebooting). After which you will you will need to start the Drive Bender Management (Start -> Drive Bender).



    I have it installed and running on my test server as shown above.




    Creating a Pool.




    Pool created.




    Create a mount point so you can access the new pool.




    Here is where it’s getting tricky.  Use the mount point as a network drive or local drive.






    I chose to mount it as a drive to see what it would look like locally.  Drive “”?




    Mount point is alive in the manager.




    I don’t see it.




    I created another mount point but this time selected network share and it shows up.






    The network share shows up in the shared folders launched from the WHS2011 LaunchPad.


    Now guess what time it is?  Time to test, test, test!


    Hit the forums for more discussion on Drive Bender.


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