Thursday, November 19, 2009

Get Windows Home Server Power Pack 3 on November 24th!

According to the Official Windows Home Server blog, Windows Home Server Power Pack 3 will be available for install on November 24th!

The Windows Home Server Team is pleased to announce that Power Pack 3 will be available in all shipping languages (Chinese, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, and Spanish) on November 24th, 2009. Power Pack 3 will be made available to existing users via Windows Update. Users need to have Windows Home Server with Power Pack 2 already installed on their home server. Power Pack 3 will automatically install as part of Windows Update if Automatic Updates is enabled on the home server.

Details on what’s new:

Windows 7 Backup & Recovery

While backup of Windows 7 clients worked prior to Power Pack 3, there were definitely some noticeable problems, such as when a Windows 7 PC was sleeping, when it woke up, there was no guarantee it would do the backup or not.  Having run Power Pack 3 for the past week, my two Windows 7 PCs haven’t missed a backup yet!  Additionally it suppresses that pesky Windows 7 backup warning designed for single PC homes!

Windows 7 PC Backup support

Windows 7 Libraries

If you haven’t used Windows 7  Libraries yet, you’re missing out.  On my Netbook I added the Home Server shares in myself, since there is no data there.  I was happy to discover this is done automatically for me on my other PCs now and I can access all my data with a simple CTRL+E without having to use the handy Share Master gadget.

Windows 7 Library Support

Windows Search

Windows Search 4 is included, which drastically increases the speed at which you can search shares from Windows 7 clients (and other clients with Windows Search 4 installed).  Additionally, EFS encrypted files are supported!

Windows Search

Windows Media Center TV Archiving

If you have a Windows Media Center in your home (which I don’t), then you’ll be easily able to Archive your TV to your home server.  Did you like that episode of “How I met your Mother”?  Save it without using valuable recording space on your MCE!  Additionally, you can get statistics such as storage space, backup status, etc right from your Media Center

Media Center Improvements

So, Tuesday night when you get home from work, you might want to check out Microsoft Update and get this little gem of free upgrade software for your Home Server.

Here’s what the MVPs are saying:

If you've recently upgraded to Windows 7, Windows Home Server Power Pack 3 is an essential download providing enhanced integration between the two platforms and a number of cool new features. Combine library support with enhanced features for Windows Media Center, and we're really starting to see Microsoft bring together the Windows Home Server and Windows 7 client experience so that your media can be stored on your home server and enjoyed seamlessly on TV, PC and Mobile devices with little effort from the user. The bad old days of copy, paste, convert and transcode may well be behind us,” says Microsoft Most Valued Professional (MVP) Terry Walsh of We Got Served.

Microsoft MVP Alex Kuretz of says “Windows Home Server Power Pack 3 makes storing and accessing your media easier by bringing all the content contained on your Home Server smoothly into your Windows 7 libraries. TV Archive is also a very nice feature that has allowed me to record TV shows and move them to my Home Server to be watched at a later time.”

Trackback: Windows Home Server Blog.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Windows SBS 2008 Hands-On-Labs available for download from MS Connect


Have you been wanting to get some hands-on experience with Windows Small Business Server 2008 but weren’t sure how to get started? We have just the thing! Four hands-on-labs for SBS 2008 are available for download from Microsoft Connect: Administration, Managing Clients, Installation, and Migration from SBS 2003. To take advantage of these labs, you will need a test server with at least 4GB of RAM running Microsoft Hyper-V Server or Windows Server 2008 with the Hyper-V role installed.

To download the labs, use your Live ID to login to Microsoft Connect, select Connection Directory, and enter the invitation code SBSP-62B6-K3TH, which will give you access via the SBS 2008 Downloads page. In addition to gaining access to these labs, joining the MS Connect community is a great way to stay informed and up-to-date about the latest developments with SBS 2008 and interact with some our most active and knowledgeable partners.



If you want to join the program directly, you can Click this link to jump right in!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Managing Hyper-V servers from Windows 7

Hyper-V and virtualization seems to be one of the most versatile ways to run servers and clients these days.  Single piece of hardware, many different machines.  For me, Hyper-V is really my primary test environment for building Windows Small Business Server and Windows Home Server.

To date I constantly am using Remote Desktop to connect to my virtual server, at which point I can connect to all my different machines.  While I could connect via remote desktop to all the machines, they are on a separate, network connection behind a router, and it’s just been easier to connect to one machine to get access to them all.

Well, I have recently discovered the Hyper-V Management tool, which is a part of the Remote Server Administration Tools for Windows 7.  This manually installed Windows Update package enables the server administration tools to be installed via the turning Windows Features on or off in the Control Panel.

Turn Windows features on or off

Once you’ve installed the MSI, simply click on this section of the control panel and choose the remote administration tools you want, I chose the Hyper-V tools

Windows Features

Once this is finished installing, you get the familiar Hyper-V console, and you can open the machines on your client, and make changes directly.

My only caution is to make sure you continue to keep the host patched and up to date from Windows Update.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

The Big Easy Offer is back – Limited time

Woa, just received the U.S Partner newsletter and noticed that the Big Easy Offer is back!  This means that for a limited time (until January 2010), the Big Easy gives customers a choice when purchasing Microsoft products and solutions.

They get the right solution, and earn money back in the form of partner subsidy funds which can be used to implement their Microsoft solution.

Check it out at the Microsoft Partner Network.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Java With John – Windows Home Server Chat

Windows Home Server had some air time on Java with John.  John takes the time to interview Jonas (A community program manager) and Steven (a marketing manager). 

Launch the interview here

This show can be found in the Archives of Java wit John, for October 2009.

The talk covers a bit of how-to, and an overview of Windows Home Server with Jonas.