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Coming Home to Windows Home Server, Part 8

Aug 4, 2008 12:00 PM, by Eric. B. Rux


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Coming Home to Windows Home Server Series

Earlier this month, Microsoft announced the availability of Windows Home Server (WHS) Power Pack 1. This long awaited service pack finally fixes the dreaded data-corruption problem that has plagued WHS’s reputation since its discovery in late December 2007. Every time I would talk to my technical friends and peers about WHS, all they wanted to talk about was the corruption problem. Now that it has been addressed, maybe we can put it behind us once and for all. (For an in-depth explanation of the corruption problem, see Coming Home to Windows Home Server, Part 5.

I never personally experienced the data-corruption problem, and from the reports I've seen, neither did a lot of other WHS users. With that in mind, I hope that this fix doesn’t overshadow the cool features that Power Pack 1 adds to WHS. I’ll talk about those features in greater detail in the months to come, but to whet your appetite, here’s an overview of a few of them.

64-Bit Support for WHS Clients

Now that you've installed Whiist, you can start to create websites. Log back on to the WHS Console and click Manage Websites in the top row of icons (near Computers & Backup, User Accounts, Shared Folders, and so on). Click Add and follow the wizard to either create a new, plain website (which you can edit and add content to), a photo album, or a link to a website that already exists. I wanted to share the photos of my bike trip with my friends, so I chose the photo album route. The next screen in the wizard asks you to name your new website and even tells you what the address will be so that you can send it to your friends. As an example, the address might look like http://familyWHS.homeserver.com/biketrip. You’ll also be asked to browse to the folder on your WHS system that has the photos.

Back Up the Backup

That’s it! In just a few short clicks, you’ll be sharing with family and friends—and you don’t have to know a single thing about HTML programming. As an added benefit, Whiist adds a Details button that gives you information such as resolution, orientation, ISO speed, exposure index, and so on.

Better Downloads

If you know how to create your own web pages in HTML format, you’ll want to use Whiist to set up your WHS system to host your own content. To do so, go back to the WHS Console and click Manage Websites. Click Add, and this time choose the "Create a new website that can be accessed from the Internet" option. As you did when you created a photo album, you'll need to choose a name and enter the exact location of the files. Keep the rest of the default options for now, click through the rest of the wizard, and you’ll soon see your webpage start in Microsoft Internet Explorer. If you don’t have any web content in the folder, a Temp page will come up instead.

Remote Access Control

WHS has treated me well this past year. It has faithfully backed up my computers each night, provided a place where I can store my very large files, and allowed me to securely access my home PCs from anywhere in the world. With Whiist (version .82, by the way), I can now easily share my photos with other Internet users and even create my own website.

Eric B. Rux is a contributing editor for Windows IT Pro, co-founder of WHSHelp.com, and writes a periodic column for Residential AV Presents Connected Home. Eric is a senior Windows administrator and teaches the Microsoft Certified Systems Administrator (MCSA) program at a technical college. He can be reached at ebrux@whshelp.com.

<< Coming Home to Windows Home Server, Part 7 | Coming Home to Windows Home Server, Part 9 >>



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