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Upgrading from WHS2011?


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Great info - thanks. This is feeling like a vacation project to make sure it has the time it deserves! Not until March, but that'll give me plenty of time to prepare!

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  • 1 year later...

Hi guys

I’m fully aware that this is an old thread, and I’m also new to this forum. Just managed to google my way here J

I am a WHS2001 user and has been using Home Server since vers 1. I love it and had no plans to change but now it is time, the last bit of support has been dropped and I’m forced to look for something to replace.

NAS is not an option, because I want to be able to transcode when Plex streams to my whole family’s different devices. I can get my hands on a license of Windows Server 2019 Essentials for free, but I’m worried my knowledge isn’t good enough.

What I want the server to be able to do:

  • ·  Run as a file server. All files must be mirrored to two different discs.

o   Store all our photos and home videos.

o   Store all documents.

o   Store all movies

o   Store all TV-shows

  • Run as a media server

o   Plex Media Server

  • ·         Maybe backup our seven computers and of course backup the server itself.


All of this my current WHS2011 can handle beautifully, but can Server 2019 Essentials, and if so, is it hard to set up?

Thank you all I advance for any help or tricks

Edited by Novalucol
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There were a few things removed from 2019 Essentials that we've grown used to over the years, but 2019 should do everything you want, either by itself or with additions like Veeam's backup software.


I'm running 2019 and have VM's on there for Plex and the likes..


Does your hardware support 2019 would be a key question..

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IN the end, I installed Win Server 2016. It can do all of the things you require. I also use StableBit DrivePool for my file duplication. I'd recommend it. 


I think Win Server 2016 + 2019 are quite similar. The only wartning I'd give is that you will get the option to set up Active Directory or Virtual Machine. Be warned - if you choose Active Directory, you cannot install MS's virtual machine system later. 


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I think 2016 Essentials will keep people well enough before it hits end of service, at least give people some time to make something that fills in all the gaps, although there are those out there that have made the Essentials part work on 2019 as I read its just .NET stuff.

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if the list of needs are only as listed above, I don't think a server OS is even a requirement, just sayin'... put veeam on your clients and have them send their single free scheduled backup to a share on the "server', and the 'server' can veeam all the copies to an external drive or two you plug in periodically so they aren't online most of the time

Edited by nrf
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Thank u all for quick replies.

Unfortanetly I can only get server 2019 Essentials for free.

The actual backup function of computers i've come to not use much at all over the years. Once a hard drive dies, it s about time to do a Clean install anyway 🙂


Most important is Plex as media server and as a file server.


All the stuff u guys write about Active directory and virtual Machines... Sorry, but my knowledge is zero there.


Regarding hardware, my current machine has this CPU: AMD Black Edition, Phenom II X2 555 3.2GHz-Socket AM3-L3 6MB 

Do u need more info about hardware?


Thanks for your support, i really appreciate it

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I just saw how bad my English spelling is (I'm Swedish), and for some strange reason this forum puts capital letters a Little bit everywhere without me doing anything. Sorry about that, but i hope u understand what im trying to say

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We're kinda in the same boat. For years I've been putting off the work required to migrate from WHS2011 to WS2016 or WS2019. There's just a lot of things to do.... the preparation, it's dizzying.


I have:

Plex Media Server

Drive Bender (24 TB)

UniFi Controller

and a bunch of smaller misc. apps, some of which took ages to configure and/or tweak


I have already built a task list and procedures.... just never had the heart to pull the trigger.


But anyway, with this quarantine going on until the foreseeable future, I'm sure I will somehow find the time and courage to go through with it. 


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Haha yeah, all these things we planned on doing but didn't have the time, now we have time, we realise that isn't the reason lol

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