Using Windows Home Server

All about Windows Home Server, the Digital Home and Security.

Installing the Remote Notification Add-In to Windows Home Server on a Friday night

with 2 comments

Background

According to the Add-In creator Alex Kuretz and his website, Remote Notification is “designed to forward the System Health Notifications from the Home Server to an email address. This can be particularly useful when configured to send to an email address that forwards an SMS (text message) to the user’s mobile phone.” This sounds really cool. I have a WHS and a cell phone. I have some extra SMS text time left on my cell phone bill at the end of each month so I am going to install the Add-In. Hopefully it will notify me any time there is a status change to my Windows Home Server. I will do the installation on my home-built WHS and my parents HP MSS. A real SA needs multiple clients, right?

Note: I already have this Add-In installed and working properly so I am going to uninstall it and go through the process again for this Friday night article.

Equipment Needed:

Remote Notification Add-In available at downloa … cation.zip or http://www.mediasmartserver.net/forums/viewtopic.php?t=19

A cell phone and plan that allows text messages (you probably should check for text charges first)

An email account through a major service provider

One beer (optional, but you could need up to three depending on your router and ISP)

Serenity playing on Hulu (you pick the episode)

Installation of the Add-In

  1. Download the RemoteNotification.msi file to your server Add-In folder. You will probably have to unzip it and then move it to the folder.
  2. Open the WHS Console and click on settings.
  3. Click on Add-Ins on the left and select the Available Tab on the right
  4. Click on Install and wait for the WHS Console to restart

Pic1

The WHS Console will restart automatically.

Pic2

Settings for the Remote Notification Add-In in Windows Home Server

Click on the Remote Notification Add-In. For the Message Settings I am going to enter the data from an email I set up especially for my WHS. Check with your ISP. Most of the time they allow you extra email names.

I am starting with ISP information from a website that has most of the United States email providers. The website is http://snappermail.com/support/isp.cfm . Check with your ISP if it is not listed.

I have entered all of my information (not real data shown below of course) in the Add-In and sent the Test Notification.

Pic3

My silver cell phone just beeped like a little bell. I love WHS.

Pic4

That was too easy. My router is UPnP so I did not have to do any backend changes. I am not even done with my first beer. Something should have went wrong. It always does. Seriously.

Settings for the HP MediaSmart Server on a 2Wire Router

Time to remote in to my parents HP MSS. I have installed the Add-In and am waiting for the Console to reconnect. I have a few minutes. Do I open a second beer? Of course but I have to walk to the garage.

Mental Note: I should have got that damn mini fridge back.

I have entered all of my data in the Add-In settings on the HP MSS and sent the Test Notification.

Pic5

Error message and it is big one. Crap. My phone is just sitting there like a little silver turd.

Pic6

I verified that I have set up the same exact settings on my parents HP MSS as I did on my WHS and just sent the Test Notification again. Same error. Crap. Still a silver turd.

So it is really not working. What is going on? The same exact settings. Is the HP MSS WHS software different? It works on mine but not theirs. Same version of the Add-In. Crap³. Time to look around the forums and see what I did wrong.

Nothing I can find on the forums that match my error. Time for a new post and a new beer.

Sweet, I got a response from the author of the Add-In. Based on the information I provided, Alex said that I need to check that port 25 is available. I remember enabling ports on their 2Wire router when I first installed the MSS. Dumb router. I hate the 2Wire interface because it is not UPnP. Dumb. I could do a router behind the router but it seems like such a pain in the butt. Maybe for another Friday night…

Mental Note: What should I write about next Friday?

Ok, I have added port 25 to the 2Wire router, saved the new settings and clicked on Test Notification. Still a quiet turd. What is going on here? Time to check with the forum again.

Another response. Coolio. Alex said that my ISP only allows access from their customers, so they will not allow me to send email from my parents AT&T IP. Either I need to configure Remote Notification to use their AT&T mail server settings or use Gmail or some other web mail provider. I say F AT&T so Gmail here I come…

Ok, created a Gmail account for the server and the Gmail settings are entered (I am pretty sure that yourmamasWHS @ gmail was taken) and I am clicking on the Test Notification.

Pic7

Flipper. What is going on now? I knew my WHS install went too easily. Beer and posting number three I guess.

Alex just responded back again via the forum (he is never going talk to me again after this) and said that Gmail doesn’t accept connections on port 25 (I never changed it from when I switched from my ISP to Gmail) so I should try port 587. Back to stupid 2Wire.

Pic8

I get it now. The port number 587 for Gmail was also listed on the web site I referenced above but I must have missed it. I am dumb. Not as dumb as 2Wire though.

I will check all of the settings one more time.

Pic9

Here we go again with the Test Notification. Please work. Seriously.

Pic10

It worked! I hear silver bells, silver bells. It is like beeping Christmas here.

Conclusion

The Remote Notification Add-In works great and all of the issues I had were just incorrect settings on my part. This Add-In is really cool because it allows you to turn it on and off without affecting the settings. It also allows you to choose which messages you receive. I feel like an SA now with Remote Notification.

A special thank you to Alex for the Add-In and the help with the installation. Oh, and one more thank you to the 2Wire developers for making such a POS interface and router without UPnP.

See you next Friday.

Timothy Daleo 

Parts of this article restate the actual issues I had back in December when I initially installed this Add-In. That original posting can be found at:  http://www.mediasmartserver.net/forums/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=2995  however the beers were consumed tonight in real-time. The email settings were changed to protect the innocent.

Advertisements

Written by Timothy Daleo

March 28, 2009 at 9:33 am

2 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. Great writeup, thanks for sharing your experience. I get embarrassed when I see those giant error messages, I think you’ve motivated me to work on a minor update to fix that plus a couple other lingering issues. 🙂

    Alex

    Alex Kuretz

    March 31, 2009 at 6:27 pm

  2. Thank you for the words of support. I really enjoy your Add-Ins and look forward to seeing improvements and future upgrades.

    Every Friday I will be writing about a new topic on WHS so let me know if there is anything you would like to see in a future article.

    I hope in some small part this will help the WHS community grow.

    Tim

    Timothy Daleo

    March 31, 2009 at 8:22 pm


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: