Windows home server installation and basics

I decided to finally install windows home server. I have zero server experience and have heard Paul Thurrott gush about this many times on windows weekly with Leo laporte. I have a few computers in my apartment and i would benefit from windows home servers backup features and file hosting.

Picking the right system
The first step in setting up the server is to find a PC to install it on. I have a few older xp computers laying around and i figures they would be perfect for this project. I was dead wrong. Windows home server has basic requirements first you need a computer with at least a 100 gigabyte Hard drive. A typical person would want much more than this. So to be fair anyone serous about using windows home server is going to buy a new large hard drive. Most of the newer large disc drives are SATA and most of the older xp systems are IDE. This is a problem because windows home server doesnt support many RAID cards.

Installing the OS
Installing the OS is basic enough. I found the installation is very automated and doesnt ask many questions at all. This is unlike Windows XP setup which is painful due to how many times it will stop in the middle and require info. Once The OS is installed you have 30 days to activate and I had 94 Windows updates to do.

Drivers and updates
Its important install windows updates first and choose custom versus express. With a custom windows update you will have the ability to install needed drivers quickly, easily and it is very safe.  Windows home server is based on Windows server 2003 which is also based on windows xp. When you are looking for drivers that windows update cannot find you may have to choose an alternate operating system. If you cant find windows home server in the choices of drivers on the manufacturers site choose server 2003. If server 2003 is unavailable choose windows xp. Xp drivers has worked for me. Windows may warn you about the driver not being signed. Ignore this and install the driver anyway. If you actually have a major problem with a driver. It wont be the end of the world, just a OS reload.

I will continue to write more about my experience with windows home server in the future.

3 thoughts on “Windows home server installation and basics”

  1. I love my WHS. If you need help, email me. If you come up with some crazy ideas for it…write about it! I use mine to rip all my DVD’s, music, and pictures to. I love the backup feature on all my computers. The online “FTP” server is pretty cool too. I use it to make available all the files on my USB key just incase I forget to bring it with me on a job for tools that are hard to remember where I get them. My wife likes it since she does all the admin stuff in my business. She can edit files and do billing from her laptop in the livingroom instead of having to use my PC downstairs in my office. Cheers and congrats on being a new dad!!

  2. Oh, btw: if you decide on pickup up the Western Digital Green hard drives, they work great in WHS’ but you have to apply the jumper to them since they are based on Windows Server 2003. I like them because at Best Buy they are like $130 for 1.5TB, but the Best Buy online site has them priced at $99. Newegg has them for $119. Anyways, just thought you could learn from my experiences. I found out the hard way!

  3. There is a super fast distro that will run on the most miserable ancient crap hardware. I’ve done a server using Apache which was pretty easy. Puppy Linux fans seem to be switching to Hiawatha which I hear is easier still.

    If you know how to download a file (A puppy .iso file) and burn it to a CD you can be up and going on Linux in minutes. Here are a couple links for Hiawatha http://puppylinux.org/wikka/Hiawatha. And very important it will not require you to blow away your XP stuff or even fool with your disc partitions. You can set up puppy by writing one normal windows file and using the CD to quickly boot puppy when you want it and XP when you take the CD out.

    I stopped drooling over new and faster hardware. I get things going faster and easier using my old stuff and getting better (And free!) software.

    BTW Very cool stuff on the SMT air soldering station!

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