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N54L - OS decision?

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Hi all.  I'm in the exact same position as reelss.  I have been using an HP EX470 WHSv1 for the past ~5 years to backup my home PCs and store important files like home movies and photos (making use of Drive Extender and Folder Duplication).  Lately I've been wanting to get away from WHSv1 though because of lack of support for the OS, problems I've heard about using Advanced Format Drives, and difficulties I had restoring a 64 bit Win7 system with it.


I jumped on a deal yesterday to get the HP N54L and am debating how to use it.  I've considered WHS 2011, which would address the Advanced Format Drives and 64-bit OS backup, but I loose built-in folder duplication, Drive Extender, and support will end in 2016. 


My main goals are almost identical to reelss except I don't plan on hooking it up as a HTPC (will run headless in the basement closet), and I do want a solid bare metal restore solution for my Win7 and Win8 PCs.  Otherwise, just like reelss I want to store important files with file duplication on multiple drives, and occasionally stream a movie or pics to a Roku box in the bedroom or my iPad while travelling.  I am also trying to stay away from RAID controller setup since I don't want to be forced into requiring matched Hard Drive make/models.  I've got a 2TB and 500GB available to use now, and would like to expand as drives come on sale.


So I'm mostly considering either: Ubuntu with Greyhole for folder duplication, and Plex for media streaming, or unRAID with Plex plug-in.  But neither of these provide me with a BMR option that I know of, which makes me come back to WHS 2011.  WHSv1 was very easy to setup and administer.  I've played with Ubuntu a little bit, but am still new to it.  And I've only read about Greyhole, Plex, and unRAID, but never used any of them.  I also have a Crashplan family subscription, so whatever OS/setup I go with I'd also like to run Crashplan on it for offsite cloud backups.


So Ubuntu, unRAID, or WHS2011?  Thanks for any suggestions you have.

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RyansP,   I, like you, come from several years of V1 usage and modifications. I used it to do the same things and had all the same concerns about leaving V1 behind.  I got the N54L, WHS 2011 + Drive


Hi RyansP!


WHS-2011 with StableBit DrivePool or DriveBender -- either will work well – my personal preference is StableBit DrivePool.  Then you would have the advantages of WHS-2011 with a data-pool that's much easier/better (IMHO) than DE that you're already used too in V1 --


Check out the links I posted Here


DrivePool and DriveBender would both provide you the flexibility to move your data-pool to a new OS in the future.


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^^ What he said. If you like WHSv1, I think you will like WHS2011 with DrivePool or DriveBender even better. Besides having the features you had with Drive Extender, you will gain the ability to back up and restore the WHS OS itself. I have found WHS2011 more stable than WHSv1 as well.

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Just avoiding the 64-bit problem is enough reason to move up. WHS2011 has been rock solid and using the DE replacement will easily do what you want to do.

And a server OS for $50, how can you go wrong.

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Thanks all for the ideas/suggestions.  I'm new to the forum and am really impressed with the quick responses and all the help!  The comments make me feel less weary about going the WHS route again.  Can't wait to get my N54L and try some of these suggestions out.

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I, like you, come from several years of V1 usage and modifications. I used it to do the same things and had all the same concerns about leaving V1 behind.  I got the N54L, WHS 2011 + Drive Pool. Best setup yet. Plus, like V1 you can customize it to your hearts content. Same too for the N54L.


Been a big Boxee & HTPC user and used WHS to feed them content. .....now Roku is near and dear. Though, the only way to get content to play on Roku is via Plex, which many have loaded on WHS 2011 with great success.  That is my final set up need for my N54L, but will need the 8gb ram update first. This is all for another thread.....


I think you'll be very pleased with how WHS 2011 + Stablebit Drive Pool will meet and then exceed V1 in many ways.

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Completely agree judgeschambers. Another advantage is you can run Stablebit Scanner in conjunction with DrivePool.

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  • 1 year later...

Hope no one minds a few on topic, quick fire questions?


If I went with Server Essentials 2012 would that include a kind of drive extender technology?

Is Drive Extender this setup once the OS etc is installed?

Surly this needs to be selected and setup during installation to partition? or is the OS on a separate drive not 'pooled'

Is Drive Extender classed as a type of software RAID?

If I had 2 x 3TB WD Reds for media, would it be better to Drive Extend them to one drive or software RAID 0 ?



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