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Mailbag 18th January 2011

  • How can I install SmarterMail on Windows Home Server
  • How can I extract data from hard drives of a failed WHS?
  • Windows Home Server Vail 32bit
  • Setting up a VPN on Windows Home Sever
  • WHS console and share connectivity

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What will Sandy do for Windows Home Server? Sandy Bridge of course, what did you think I meant! Sandy Bridge is released and many people are raving about the performance increase over the original Core i* processors released, but can it really make a difference to Windows Home Server?

Well I can certainly see a place for it, the power usage will make a massive difference to a machine on 24/7/365 and with the power increase this will certainly allow innovation to flow when it comes to addins, it’s time to make that work horse work.

It just so happens that the first Sandy Bridge powered Windows Home Server has been announced, you can screenshots and more at http://whs.gs/1mp or you can see the full press release at http://whs.gs/5en. I am told these new Windows Home Servers are perfectly quite, I will bring more on these as soon as I can.

How can I install SmarterMail on Windows Home Server

T.Bone Asks:

I am looking for information on how to install SmarterMail on Windows Home Server. I found this: http://whs.gs/i2q but it’s out of date they installed v5.5 and SmarterMail only offers v7.4 and I can’t find the install file they used.

How do I go about installing and configuring this for my Windows Home Server using version 7.4, any help would be greatly appreciated?

Just this week Andrew Edney over at usingwindowshomeserver.com has posted his latest guide to installing, configuring and using SmarterMail v7.4 on Windows Home Server.

You can find the guide at http://whs.gs/jlf

How can I extract data from hard drives of a failed WHS?

Paul Asks:

I know you answered ’Can I restore files from a failed WHS hard drive?’ but my Windows Home Server drives have not failed; only my motherboard has failed.

I bought have a USB 2.0 to SATA adaptor so that I can connect these drives to my PC (running XP Home Edition); however, I am unable to read these drives.

Is there a way to extract the data files from the hard drives without using WHS v1?

This is most certainly a different issue to the one I talked about last week. Windows Home Server stores your shared files across multiple drives and keeps track of that data via a database, all the files are kept in the normal raw form that you would find on any normal Windows PC, although they are hidden when on the drive.

If your motherboard has failed and you want to retrieve the data, then this is actually relatively easy, go to http://whs.gs/cqk for a full guide on how to do this.

Windows Home Server Vail 32bit

Anonymous Asks:

Will Microsoft come up with WHS Version 2 (Vail) for 32-bit machines, if it will then when?

Unfortunately Microsoft will not be releasing there next installment of Windows Home Server Vail in a 32bit edition. Anyone currently using Windows Home Server v1 on 32bit architecture, and hoping to upgrade unfortunately this will not be possible.

Microsoft certainly have no plans to change this, I can’t even imagine it would be up for discussion.

Setting up a VPN on Windows Home Sever

Anonymous Asks:

I have been trying to setup a VPN over the 2WIRE DSL/Modem/Wireless router, it looks very complicated, i been trying several options, but none of those works, I have my static IP from AT&T, on the homeserver website the ’compatibles’ routers are Linksys and others but no 2wire, will this be the reason why I am unable to setup?

2wire routers are not the easiest to configure, they are very clunky and certainly cannot be called intuitive, coupled with setting up a VPN problems can easily arise.

There is an excellent guide to configuring your 2wire router over at http://whs.gs/jpo this will show you how to open the relevant ports needed to allow a VPN to establish a connection through the 2wire router, also the ports that need to be opened and pointed at your Windows Home Server are: TCP Port 1723, TCP Port 1701, UDP Port 500.

Also if you are experiencing any issues in setting up the VPN on Windows Home Server or maybe you just want to check you have the right settings, there is an excellent guide at http://whs.gs/5u6 this will walk you through creating and connecting your new VPN.

WHS console and share connectivity

Jim Asks:

I just replaced a faulty router with a new Linksys E2000, since then I have been unable access the shared drives via Explorer (i.e. //server/public/…).

The server is running and other applications (Squeezebox) are able to connect and access files, also the server can connect to the PC’s on the network to perform backups. Any suggestions to get connectivity back?

The first thing I have noticed is the server address you are you using i.e. //server/public/ is incorrect; it should read \\server\public although having said that it doesn’t explain why you have lost connectivity to the console.

Try doing the following:

  1. Make sure you have rebooted the server since the install of the router it sounds simple but easily missed.
  2. The new router maybe configured for a different IP range to the old router, make sure your WHS is not configured statically assigned, you may need to plug the old router back in, in order to connect to the server again while you go through this process.
  3. Make sure your software anti-virus or firewall is configured correctly for the new IP range.
  4. See if you can connect to your Windows Home Server via RDC, press Windows Key + R >> type “mstsc” >> type your server name in the box and click connect >> fill in username and password if this works, you will now be able to examine network settings further.
  5. Open the WHS Console and underneath the password box click options then click “reset Windows Home Server Console…” then try logging in, this may allow you to login to the console.

There are quite a lot of things that can cause these kinds of problems so you may need to contact me in the MSwhs forum to discuss the problem further if above has not fixed this.

I know I haven’t been able to answer everyone’s questions, so those that haven’t been answered why not post them in the MSwhs forum.

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Written by

Matthew Glover
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Mailbag 12th January 2011

  • Blu-ray drive and ripping software for WHS
  • Can I restore files from a failed WHS hard drive?
  • Is it possible to have no data on my WHS hard drive?

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It has been a very interesting week, with a lot of attention on the Consumer Electronics Show. The big news coming out of CES is the naming of Windows Home Server Vail, some very eagle eyed sole has noticed that the next edition of WHS is going to be called Windows 7 Home Server. I presume this is to bring consistency across the board i.e. Windows 7 Server, Windows 7 Home Server, Windows 7 and finally Windows 7 Phone. A Microsoft representative later confirmed this is indeed the official name for the next version otherwise known as codename “Vail”. However MVP Andrew Edney has informed me that it was a printing mistake, so it looks like a Microsoft rep has got it totally wrong! Many people still believe that this is going to be the new name and the Microsoft rep has let it slip; only time will tell!!!

Anybody running the latest beta of Windows Home Server Vail will know that it will have expired yesterday, you can still re-activate via a fix here. No data will be lost if your copy has expired but you will need to re-activate it in order to access the data still further.

The next beta release of Vail is expected in the next 6 – 8 weeks and I will be bringing more news of this as we approach and once released. Continue reading

Written by

Matthew Glover
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Mailbag 4th January 2011

  • Network Dropping During Backup
  • EX495 Running Slow & Hot
  • What next for Vail?
  • HP X510 Health Indicator Doesn’t Alert

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Happy New Year everyone I hope you have all had a good Christmas. There has been many questions posted over the holidays, unfortunately I haven’t been able to answer anywhere near as many as I would have liked, so as usual if I haven’t managed to answer your questions please post in the forum and we can get them answered for you.

The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) starts this week I am really looking forward to it, I am eagerly awaiting big announcements from Microsoft about Vail and I am sure the Drive Extender fiasco will be brought up at some point during the 4 day event, I will bring any news straight to the site as soon as I know anything. Continue reading

Written by

Matthew Glover
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