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Windows Home Server, Painless Backups for all!

WHS pie chartSo my Freenas NAS has been a pain in the ass lately.  It has this neat little habit of forgetting it has hard drives attached to it.  This is the second time this has happened, so I decided to branch out and try new server OS’s.  I have read a little bit about Windows Home server and heard the claims that “It just works”.  With this in mind, I decided to give it a chance.  The install was neat to say the least.  At first it installed windows 2003 server, then converted it to SBS and finally logo-ed it as WHS.  This process took 5 reboots, and looked like one hell of a batch file by MS.  The one thing I didn’t like was that it didn’t ask for an admin password until it was finished installing.  I was away form the house during the end of the install process and couldn’t log in to RDP on the server until I had an admin password set. That aside the install was pretty painless.

Setting up the WHS client on the rest of the PCs was equally as painless.  Once installed from either a CD or the handy dandy network share under \\server\software I could remotely manage all the WHS functions and as well have remote access to my PCs (through a activex based RDP client).  This client also facilitates automated network backups, but I was going to set this up later…  or so I thought!

Since the old NAS used UFS for a file system, I have to use UFS explorer to mount the disk in windows and copy the data to the WHS.  This is taking some time so I opted to leave my PC on overnight to finish copying.  When I got up this morning I checked the status of the drives to see how much data has been copied.  WHS has this neat little graph which displays different chunks for data, system, backups and so on.  What did I see but a blue chunk full of 26gigs of backup.  I never even touched the setups and WHS took care of my backups over night.  How cool is that!  Now that’s what I call painless backups!  I recommend it for anyone that is looking for a nas solution.

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