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Newb: basic questions


AlexF
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Hello...
I had investigated WHS about 2 years ago, and then decided to stick with Windows 2000 on 233Mhz Pentium II as SMB back-end but have neglected it because of energy costs. File-sharing is the main reason getting SMB for my 3 PCs home network.
Now, part of a Annual Leave project I am about to install 120-day trial on my newly purchased (a cheap-to-run) ASRock ION 330HT (obviously, the HT part of it is irrelevant).
I have read quite a bit about WHS and also been listening to HSS's podcasts out of curiousity.
So, some questions:
1. I never experienced this problem and I thought SMB was safe but a year or so ago there was a widely reported WHS file-sharing problem. (I know it's been fixed on WHS.) The question: was that SMB-related or WHS-related?
2. Sometime I or my wife won't want to turn on WHS box. Are XP/Vista/7 offline files viable?
3. I managed to get 2 120-day trials, could I use them sequentially to last 240 days - enough to get me to WHS2 release?
4. I understand that WHS Client is used for maintenance, but WHS being based on Server 2003, is there enough of the original server there - for instance, is Active Directory still there? Could I have finer control with regards to permissions?
5. Am I incorrect in my understanding that even though WHS can bare-metal recover the clients, it cannot recover itself without losing configuration data?
Thanks,
Alex

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1 That corruption bug was due to the Drive Extender software that is unique to WHS as part of a duplication of data scenario and to add mixed drive sizes and brands in and out.

2.If your hardware supports it, you can enable Wake On Lan for the server to get your files.

3. Yes, You can use the same disk to reinstall. However the second time you would choose Server Recovery so you do not delete your shares. But you will have to reinstall any addins or software you installed on the server and re-create you Users.

4 Yes, it's in there, you can install Active directory, But it's against the licensing agreemment. You can find a wiki by Drashna at wegotserved.com

5. That's correct. Even if you use software to clone the drive, you will have problems.

John (homeservershow).

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Thanks... One more:
If I don't install the client software, can I still mount folders from WHS using Windows' plain-old "Map network drive"?

Requesting an opinion: (if I don't want client backups nor remote access) mainly for file-sharing, is there still advantages of WHS compared to say XP Pro as SMB/NTFS Back-end?

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Yes, you can still access it. Just note that you will have to do the same as you do on your win2k and setup user accounts on your server that those on the client machines.

The additional benefits are simple duplication, remote access, and easy utilities with add-ins.

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One more... :)

My ASRock supports NVidia's MediaShield RAID.

When I configure the two internal hard-disks as SATA RAID (0 or 1), via BIOS, during "Configure" stage, just at initial stage of installation process, WHS gives me I get an error "Could not initialize UI subsystem" and reboots (to repeat the same).

I googled and noticed that a chipset driver may be necessary, but as I understand, WHS should prompt for a driver but I don't get such prompt...

If I set SATA to AHCI (instead of RAID) mode, I don't get the above error and acutally do get a prompt for a driver, which I decline and continue installatoin.

Any clues how to get RAID going?

Clues any one?

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From what I heard from Dave, you can not upgrade from the evaluation copy to a retail version. You have to do a server recovery.

John (homeservershow).

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AlexF,
Just my thoughts, but since the WHS can be purchased for less than $100, I would suggest you install the trial, run it minimally for a month or two, then go ahead and install the legit copy as there is no indication of when WHS 2 will come out and I doubt it will be within you trial period. We all ultimately spend some time configuring and setting our servers to do what we want and it is a pain to have to start over again. WHS is a wonderful product and for what you are defining as your needs, you will not be dissappointed.

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Guys, some feedback about my progress.

I couldn't get AHCI to work. The installation process seems to be divided into 3 parts. The part in the middle - the all-text part - needed me to install drivers from a floppy - WTF, a floppy? It didn't recognise USB stick that I had used just a few minutes before in the first GUI part. Seems like a more modern WHS installation procedure tacked-on to a much older Server 2003 installation.

Turning off AHCI and setting drives to Legacy IDE got me through the installation. The ramifications of this is that my eSATA port becomes non-hotplug-able. Pathetic.

Another thing I noticed is that I don't have an option to put my machine to Sleep (S3) even though the Device Manager shows the CPU as ACPI Processor. For sure, with Windows 7 I can put this hardware to sleep, so, what gives?

As I wrote before, I am currently using Windows 2000 as SMB Back-end. It's not fancy, but together with freeware PowerOff and VNC it did that job well and the maintenance processes were all pretty rudimentary and intuitive. With regards to WHS, I still cannot comprehend why it cannot back-up itself and how this is considered practical or acceptable, especially without hardware RAID 1.

Now I am at stage to install the client console of which I have mixed feelings. I am normally very apprehensive about installing new software on my machines. Even on this forum there's a post about the client breaking Windows Media Centre.

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