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I've Only Been Backing Up, what's next?


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What's the evolution of a WHS for me? Here you go:

I had a powerful machine I was using for SharePoint development at home and after purchasing a powerful laptop and moving that enviornment there I had a 64 Bit, AMD 6000+ Dual Core, 8600GT, Gigabyte, 4GB RA (I know 2 max), about 1.5 TB home built machine left over. I of course installed WHS.

I have installed a few items, your more "WHS Google Search" extensions including My Movies, Disk Management, Web Folders 4 WHS, PhotoSync (Doesn't work), etc.

I am backing up 2 other machines with the following partioned Operating Systems.

Vista 64 (to be Windows 7)
Windows Server 2008

Desktop + 4 hard Drives
Windows Vista 64 Ultimate (Gaming Only)
Windows 7 Ultimate (New buiness install)
Windows Vista 64 Ultimate (Old business install)
Storage Drive - My Documents...

1. I have never insrtalled a power pack for 3-4 months frankly because I have only performing backups of my 2 machines. I suppose I can but I have only heard of info on PP3 to date...
2. I have a couple Zune's + subscription (120GB & HD) and a lot of podcasts that I listed to on my way to work and at work. I would like to be able to use this content on other machines, I suppose DRM will prevent music sharing via the WHS?
3. No XBOX, I am a PC gamer...
4. I have an unused WinTV-HVR-1600 TV tuner I could put in my WHS, can I? Then what?
5. I backup DVD's from time to time, but I have been doing that on my Windows 7 machine then I added a line to SyncToy to syncronize my photos on my Windows 7 machine with my WHS folders. This allows me to have the photos reside in two places.
6. What options are available for connecting odler TV's to PC's?

Now I am really interested in know how I can use my WHS for other items, I am interested in streaming to other machines and TV's once I purchase a few with HDMI inputs. I do not have a TV with the proper inouts for connecting to a PC as far as I know?

What's the evolution of a WHS for me?


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1/ If you have automatic updates turned on, you might have already received Power Pack 3. If so, you'll probably have to update the connectors on the client PC's.
1A - Just a thought. For dual-booting, make sure that each boot is setup to only backup that partition, because if you have the client on each boot, you'll have lots of duplicate data on the server (not that it takes up any more space since it only stores one copy of each file regards of how many backups that file is included in).
2/ There are 2 things you can do here. The first is to install the Zune software on the server and use that for syncing your Zune (which is what I do). Also, you can set the primary Zune folders of each computer to be the \\server\music share (again, which is what I do. I have a \\server\music\_Zune folder which is the primary Zune directory for all the computers in the house. You will only be able to play the Zune pass content through the Zune software, but you can at least only have the data live in one place.
3/ Do you have any way to stream movies to your Home Theater? Even a popcorn hour or HTPC?
4/ Unfortunately, you can't do anything interesting with it. I have the 1600 as well, but it's in my Media Center PC. Have you thought about setting up an HTPC?
5/ Wait, are you talking about DVD's or photo's? I just store all my media - photo's, music, and movies - on the server, but that's just my personal usage. For taking media out of the network, I just use my Zune.
6/ You pretty much need a video card that has an s-video output. That'll work fine as long as you don't expect a high-quality image. It's going to be as good as a DVD looks though.

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Thanks for the response:

1. I do beleive I have Automatic Updates on? So this is solved.
1.A. As of now I have the following setup for WHS to back up my machines:

So your suggesting that I back up each partitioned by itself, that makes sense to me in terms of restoring if I ever needed to. It was suggested in the Microsoft Social forums that I back each machine entirely and not individual partitions which never made sense to me. I have not made time to install and set up each one. In the end I want to backup the following OS's for a total of 4 machines as far as WHS is concerned.

Vista 64 [/b]Back Up[/b]
Windows Server 2008 [/b]Back Up[/b]

Desktop + 4 hard Drives
Windows Vista 64 Ultimate Gaming [/b]Back Up[/b]
Windows 7 Ultimate [/b]Back Up[/b]
Windows Vista 64 Ultimate (Old business install) (no backup)
Storage Drive - My Documents... [/b]Backed Up w/ Windows 7 install - files only, no OS installed[/b]

2. Installing the Zune software into the WHS may be a better option since my WHS should be on almost all of the time (Desktop is too most of the time) I suppose I would have to remote into it in order to actually make changes to the Zune content but when I am gaming nothing is being downloaded because the Windows 7 OS has the Zune content installed anways. I'll think on this one a bit.

3. I do not have an HTPC at all but have considered getting one once I upgrade a couple of TV's. I do like some of the small form factor machines that are out there however my best TV is a 36" Sony WEGA :) I have 2 other TV's from around the same archaic era that I hope to upgrade soon.

4. Sucks for me, but I suppose I could build another HTPC with the 1600 and some other parts I may have or need to get. I need to look for good HTPC cases for that effort.

5. Right now I hook all of my digital cameras download into my Desktop Windows 7 machine. Then at night I syncronize them via Windows Scheduled Task & Sync Toy to my WHS. I also back them up with the WHS nightly backup which is actually a tripple backup. To clarify, for movies I rip/back them up to my Windows 7 machine and I added another line to Sync Toy to move them over to the WHS Movies folder as well. They are duplicated essentially.

6. My gaming machine has a HIS 4870 1GB machine video card, I think that's even HD out? My Windows Home Server has a 8600GT which has Composite, S-Video, Component, or DVI connections. This was my old gaming video card.

***It seems I need a HTPC

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1/ Yeah, I would suggestion doing each partition by itself. The exception would be any non-primary, data storage partitions. You would want to make sure that that is backed up with the most frequently backed up image.
2/ You can have the WHS Zune set to do the podcasts and/or marketplace playlists, but then you can also manually download the content from the Zune Pass from any computer, and if you have the WHS set to be your Zune folder location, then it will be available to download from any computer and to play on any computer. Don't forget that I think you can only have the software installed on 3 computers with your sign-in, but you can use the web-based player for playing content on other devices.
3/ I don't know that I've seen a recent SFF PC that has non-HD outputs. That might potentially be a problem. You can use extenders on such devices, because almost all of them have analog outputs.
4/ You could look into other options like Sage, which I think might let you have the software installed on the WHS. Don't forget, you only need a good case if the machine is going to be visible. You can always throw it in a closet.
5/ That works for picture. However for movies, why don't you just store them on the WHS? That would give you more flexibility for watching, and also save some space.
6/ If it is this card, then that does have the outputs that would connect to the TV. That card is quite overkill though, because standard-def TV's are native ~480i, so 640x480 is all you'll be pushing.

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1. thanks again
2. I think I will start doing this, as you stated if my Zune is actually USB'd to my WHS it should always be up to date? My only issue is I fill up my HD occasionally, I would assume that those messages would only display on the physically connected machine. By the way what is the web-based player your referring to?
3. Thanks, cost wise I need to see if I build or buy
4. Thanks, good suggestion
5. I actually do, I just rip them on my desktop machine, store them their and then copy over to the WHS. I essentially have a backup in two places (which I may not need)
6. I actually have this card, a variant in my gaming machine here. I don't intend on using it anywhere else unless I upgrade it. The 8600GT was my old gaming card, now WHS card.

Thanks again!

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2/ Once the Zune is connected, just remote into the computer (I use live mesh instead of remote desktop) and you can control the Zune like you would from your local computer. The remoting works fine for management, i just wouldn't play any music that way.
5/ Personally I'd move all such content to the WHS and run it that way. Are you running gigabit network?
6/ You could run the WHS without a video card if you really wanted to. *Shrug*

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2. Why are you using mesh over Remote Desktop? I use Remote Desktop nearly every day at work and a lot
at home in order to connect to my desktop upstairs from my laptop.

3. No, I beleive my Motherboard on my desktop supports it, my WHS was my older motherboad from my desktop, I just looked it up and it does support Gigabyte, my new motherbord in my gaming machine is only a month old and on the better side of the good side so I assume it does. I'm reading this article on making the switch, had not really thought about it much?

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It really isn't difficult to "make the switch." Cat5e cables can support it, and you probably are using those. Most motherboard for desktops sold in the last 4 years have at least 1 gigabit port. Other than that, all you need is a gigabit switch. I like the $40 one that I bought on Newegg that has 8 gigabit ports.

As for Mesh, the way that Windows Server works is that unlike XP/Vista/Win7 you can have concurrent logon sessions. I have my WHS setup to automatically login so that the Zune software will start. If I use remote desktop to connect to the WHS, it will start a new session, instead of using the one that is already started. That causes problems because then when the Zune software tries to start (since it is in the startup folder), it doesn't like running twice. So I just use Mesh because that will use an existing session or start one if no prior session exists.

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I did find a decent looking switch @ http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16833127082. I suppose its the one you have? I read in the comments that the swich maxes out with the highest connected machine?

I will look into mesh.
I also started doing some research on instaling the Zune software to the WHS.

Good information, and thanks for your help. I found this forum from listening to the Home Server Show Podcast which I found in the Zune Marketplace.

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Yup, that is exactly that switch I have. That person in the comments is wrong. It will auto negotiate the speed of each port independently. (I can say that for a fact because my laptop & WHS are gigabit and the xbox is 10/100, and I still get gigabit between the 2 gigabit machines. It is smart like that. You will notice the specs that there is memory buffer there. Part of that is for the switch to allow for different transmission speeds. Even if the server is the only gigabit machine you have on the network, you can actually see the difference over a 10/100 switch in this scenario: If the server is maxing out the 100mbps to computer 1, it can max out a second 100mbps connection to computer 2, because the server can send up to 1000mbps to the switch, and the switch will split that between the various computers.

There is a case where a switch will default to the lowest part is when doing some specific types of broadcast transmission. Off the top of my head I don't remember the protocol, but I don't think you will be using it.

For the Zune, make sure to read John's post here (and my follow up comment below on Media Player):

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