Using Windows Home Server

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

Posts Tagged ‘Podcast

The Home Server Show 39 Out Now

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HomeServerShow graphic Dave over at the HomeServerShow.com has released the latest edition of his podcast, The Home Server Show, number 39.

This weeks show is all about OS System Drive Failure Options for Windows Home Server and is worth a listen – as usual.

Dave also announces the winners of the my book giveaway he announced last week.

You can get more information here, and download it from iTunes or your other favourite place.

Written by Andrew Edney

April 3, 2009 at 6:03 am

The Home Server Show 38 – PP2 Extravaganza!

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HomeServerShow graphic Dave over at the HomeServerShow.com has released the latest edition of his podcast, The Home Server Show, number 38.

This weeks show is all about Windows Home Server Power Pack 2 and includes an interview with yours truly. Yes, I’m really getting around this week on podcasts!

Dave and I really had a blast recording the show – thanks Dave 🙂

You can get more information here, and download it from iTunes or your other favourite place.

Written by Andrew Edney

March 27, 2009 at 7:25 am

The Media Center Show #199 – Round Table and Windows Home Server PP2

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Digital Lifestyle

Ian Dixon over at the Digital Lifestyle.com has just published this weeks Media Center Show Podcast. This week has a great round table discussion and also I am on the show talking about Windows Home Server Power Pack 2 🙂

I had a great time talking to Ian again and will be doing a round table with him very soon, not to mention I will be presenting on Windows Home Server at the UK Windows Media Center and Home Server User Group Meeting in Birmingham on the 21st April.

To download and listen to the show, click here.

Written by Andrew Edney

March 26, 2009 at 4:19 pm

Backing up Windows Home Server on a Friday night

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Equipment Needed:

External Hard Drive

WHS BDBB Add-In available at http://www.mediasmartserver.net/downloads/WHSBDBB.zip or http://forum.wegotserved.com/index.php?autocom=downloads&showfile=90

Advanced Admin Console Add-In or remote desktop connection

2 Beers (optional)

Home Server Show Podcast #37 playing on iTunes (you can also substitute any episode of Jericho Season One)

Background

So I love the automated backup function of WHS. We all do. In addition to the regular backup of my networked computers, I run the folder backup of the WHS server to my external USB drive. We all do. I take an additional step to secure my data. On the weekends, usually every Saturday morning while I browse the discount tech sites and the wife is still sleeping, I copy the backup database to another hard drive that I take off-site. The backup database contains all of the files WHS would use if I needed to restore any PC backed up from the network.

I do this backup each weekend for three reasons:

  1. If the server ever goes tits up I have everything I need to do a complete and easy restore
  2. I enjoy saying that I have “off-site backup” protocols
  3. Saying “off-site” is cool. 

The Process

Let me start by saying that you might have a different order of doing this same process. The important thing is that you follow some sort of plan on a regular basis. Seriously. How much easier can MS make it? Keeping your data safe is the whole reason we do this, right?

Since I run the regular backup every few days all I need to do is copy the remaining backup database files to the same external hard disk. My typical WHS folder backup look likes this:

Pic0

The WHS backup database is not duplicated by this standard WHS folder backup process. For this reason, according to MS, “you may want to periodically copy the entire backup database from your home server to an external hard disk that you attach to your home server. The external hard disk should not be added to the Server Storage on your Windows Home Server.” I found this information at:

Home Computer Backup and Restore

I followed the MS directions and start by accessing the Command Prompt from within Advance Admin Console and using the directions listed in the link above.

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Mental Note: Disable the Remote Notification (if you have it installed) before you stop the backup service to avoid the extra SMS messages.

Once you have stopped the pdl and backup service, access your external hard drive from the Advanced Admin Console and create a folder on the external hard drive in which to copy the backup database as shown below:

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Give your folder a name that makes sense to you (preferably with the date) and is easy to recognize.

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The WHS backup database is stored entirely in the folder D:\folders\{00008086-058D-4C89-AB57-A7F909A47AB4}. We are just going to copy it. Use the Advanced Admin Console and navigate to that folder. Once you are in the folder, select all, and then copy those files to the new folder you created.

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This is the point where Jericho and the beers come in to play. You now have some free time. I have Netflix on the second monitor and the wife is watching her shows in the living room. I wonder if I could EMP-proof my server? A ruggedized Windows Home Server? Could I successfully build a Faraday cage in the server closet? Faraday is also the guy on Lost. Maybe he is the great great great great great grandson of Michael Faraday who developed the electromagnetic field concept in physics and the cage. I love Wiki. I love Lost. I love WHS. Seriously.

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My files took 56 minutes to copy during the manual process. There are some massive files sizes so be patient. You mileage will vary depending on the speed of your external hard drive. I keep a special USB drive in a small fire-proof safe. My safe was $100 on sale at a local retailer and the drive is a little 320GB Seagate for about $80. This ends up being cheaper than some of the dedicated fire-proof drives and lets me expand and change drives easily. An additional added benefit is that it is USB powered and does not constantly run off of AC power. Find the right combination that suits your needs and budget.

Pic8 

Installation of the WHSBDBB Add-In – An Easier Way to Backup

There is an easier way to backup the backup database. I found a file during my adventures that automates this process for you. I had probably looked at this Add-In before but since the name was WHSBDBB I just kept going. It was only until I read a related article on accident that I gave it a second look.

http://www.mediasmartserver.net/downloads/WHSBDBB.zip

Once you download the file install the WHS BDBB Add-In by copying the WHSBDBB.msi file to the Software\Addins folder of your Windows Home Server. Start the Windows Home Server Console, click on Settings, then select Add-Ins. Choose WHS BDBB from the Available tab, and click "Install". The Add-In installation is a standard install although I had to reboot twice to get the Add-In to work.

Automated Backup

Ready? Open the Add-In click on Backup and choose your drive.

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I actually perform this backup twice; once to a hard drive in my little safe and once to the off-site hard drive that I switch out. Switch out? Yeah, when I drop off the hard drive I backed up today I pick up the hard drive from last week. I rotate two drives that I got from the Western Digital outlet. Can you ever backup too much? Well maybe…

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The manual copy of 73GB took 56 minutes total while the WHS BDBB took 60 minutes. I am not sure why there was a delta (I used the same drive) but the simplicity of the Add-In offsets any extra time.

For more information about Windows Home Server Home Computer Backup and Restore, and why you should look into it, go to the Community Forums at the Microsoft Web site ( http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=100263).

We are all done and backed up. Nice.

See you next Friday night.

Written by Timothy Daleo

March 21, 2009 at 9:37 am

Home Server Show Podcast 37 Out Now

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HomeServerShow graphic Dave over at the HomeServerShow.com has released the latest edition of his podcast, The Home Server Show, number 37.

This weeks show includes an interview with my friend and fellow WHS MVP Terry Walsh.

There is also a mention of two of our articles – thanks Dave 🙂

You can get more information here, and download it from iTunes or your other favourite place.

Written by Andrew Edney

March 20, 2009 at 8:49 am