AGAIN Do not use Advanced Format disks in WHS v1

After our warning the other day about using advanced format hard drives in version 1 of Windows Home Server, Microsoft have also published a Knowledge Base article explaining the problem.

The article (KB2385637) explains that if you are using one of these drives in Windows Home Server v1 for either Server Backup, the Storage Pool or System Disk then you will experience performance degradation even if using the manufacturers provided alignment tool.

Microsoft’s Recommendation is:

Do not use Advanced Format disks in your Windows Home Server v1.

Although these disks will work in Vail, version1 users should take note of Microsoft’s guidance:

It is important to note that some hard disk manufacturers are releasing Advanced Format drives in the same base models as traditional 512 byte sector drives. Because of this, it is critical that you make sure that the drive you are purchasing is not an Advanced Format drive if you are running Windows Home Server v1. Before you purchase a disk drive, review the product specifications or visit the manufacturers Web site to ensure that the drive is compatible with Windows Home Server. Be aware that Advanced Format drives are not always clearly identified on the retail packaging.

KB2385637 is available to view here.


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Add-In: CloudBerry Online Backup for WHS 1.7

CloudBerry Online Backup for Windows Home Server has had an update.

The online backup service for Home Server users which utilizes Amazon S3 cloud storage, now includes the following in version 1.7:

Integrated Azure Storage option – Azure Blob Storage is another storage option in CloudBerry Backup in addition to Amazon S3.  The users can now back up their data to their Azure accounts directly.

Backup files since certain date – This provides more flexibility for those who want to copy only the newer files to their backup storage. This option is available in the backup wizard.

Backup Schedule down to one hour – The added ability to configure backup schedule down to hours. In the previous releases you were limited to configure scheduled backup to days.

Back up to external buckets – This allows you to back up data to another users account while only having a free AWS account.  In other words the owner of the account can provide other users with the rights to read/ write data to a certain bucket and those users can back up their data not having to deal with the details of Amazon account setup and payments.

Back up network drives – The previous release introduced an option to backup network shares. Release 1.7 extends it with network drives support. Although under the hood CloudBerry Backup resolves network drives to network shares for the end user the whole process is absolutely transparent.

Unattended mode – It is now possible to run CloudBerry Backup in unattended mode even when run interactively using the console. In the earlier releases when you run the backup using the console you could not close the console or log off and you had to wait before the backup finishes. This limitation is now removed and you can run the backup plan, close the console and even log off from the computer and make sure backup plan will keep running.

More information on CloudBerry Online Backup for Windows Home Server is available from here.


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Add-In: DNS Updater

The add-in which enable you to access your computer remotely even with a Dynamic IP has had an update.

DNS Updater from "ten atoms" has been updated to version to fix a performance issue and if you act quickly they get the add-in for 50% off, bringing it down to just $9.99

More details can be found here.


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Learn More About Aurora

Microsoft’s official Small Business Server blog has published some interesting resources on Windows Small Business Server Code Name “Aurora” to enable you to get a “hands on” with the product.

  • First up is a product overview guide which provides an overview of the benefits of a server-based small business solution and introduces Windows Small Business Server Code Name “Aurora” and Windows Small Business Server “7”. The guide describes the new and enhanced features of Windows Small Business Server, presents scenario walkthroughs to highlight several of the new capabilities, and provides references to additional resources, including detailed installation instructions for the pre-release software.
  • Next is the Aurora click-thru demo which is an interactive click by click end- to-end demonstration of Aurora from initial configuration to client join, RWA and more drive by Microsoft Showcase technology.

The Aurora click-thru demo is also available on the Microsoft Partner Network, where you can also view it through the Microsoft DemoShowcase if you are a member.

  • Finally a Aurora demo video showing Aurora in action including voice over in this 20 minute overview.


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Add-In: AWIECO RemoteLauncher 0.1.2 (Beta)

The add-in AWIECO RemoteLauncher allows Aurora and Vail users to access predefined System Tools directly from the dashboard, and just launched is version v0.1.2 (Beta) which offers an improved UI design and fixes a bug which was present within the installer.

AWIECO RemoteLauncher 0.1.2

More details on RemoteLauncher are available from here.


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Add-In: AWIECO WakeOnLAN 0.2.1 (Beta)

The add-in AWIECO WakeOnLAN has had an update.

The free add-in for Vail and Aurora users has the ability to turn on a computer remotely. It enables the Server to start up every computer attached to your network and automatically recognizes, if a computer is already turned on or if it is booting up.

WakeOnLAN 0.2.1 Screen 1

Version 0.2.1 (Beta) ChangeLog:

  • Added: Device management
  • Fixed: Update to VAIL refresh and Aurora

WakeOnLAN 0.2.1 Screen 2

More details are available from here.


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Add-In: Grid Junction 1.5

Kendome Technologies have released a new version of their uninterruptible power supply management add-in "Grid Junction".

Grid Junction 1.5 Actions

Changes in version 1.5 include:

  • Various UPS device support improvement and fixes (see supported list)
  • Improved existing communication protocols
  • New expert feature to sleep/hibernate or standby the server instead of shutdown
  • New expert debug mode toggle
  • User interface enhancements and fixes
  • Improved update checking and product feedback based on Add-in Central technologies

Grid Junction 1.5 Events

You can download version 1.5 from here, whilst a list of supported uninterruptible power supply’s is also available.


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