Windows Server Technical Preview Available

The first technical preview of Windows Server vNext is available for download to those of you who wish to test, from the following locations:

WS Technical Preview TechNet Evaluation

At the heart of the Microsoft Cloud OS vision, Windows Server brings Microsoft’s experience delivering global-scale cloud services into your infrastructure. Windows Server Technical Preview provides a wide range of new and enhanced features and capabilities spanning server virtualization, storage, software-defined networking, server management and automation, web and application platform, access and information protection, virtual desktop infrastructure, and more.

Need more information about the next version of Windows Server? See what’s new in Windows Server Technical Preview.

Available in both ISO and VHD formats, its great to see the software behind the next version of Windows Server Essentials available for testing early this time.

Windows 10 Technical Preview

Microsoft today announced the next version of Windows called Windows 10.

Deciding to forget about the number 9 altogether, Windows 10 has the return of the start menu, Windows Store apps and desktop applications running in the same Window and multiple desktops too.

Windows 10 Tech-Preview Start Menu

A Technical Preview version for laptops/desktops will be available from tomorrow, with a build for servers following soon after.

Windows 10 is due for release "after the build conference, mid next year".

To download, PC experts and IT Pros will have to sign up to the windows insider program, which will enable you to have access to a steady stream of early builds with the latest features Microsoft are experimenting with.

From October 1st you can sign up for the Windows Insider Program at, download the technical preview, and let Microsoft know what you think.

Add-In: Drive Bender v2.1.9.0

Drive Bender Logo

Drive Bender have released version for WHS2011 and Windows Server 2012 (R2) users.

Here is the change log for this release:

  • [b] When enumerating folders during a file system health check or balancing operation, the watch dog introduced in v2.1.7.0 is now disabled by default (was causing a benign error to be generated).
  • [b] A fix to the "Microsoft based objects permission issue", caused other file handling issues. This has now fixed and the original permission issue has been rectified.
  • [b] The setting for update check and notification was not be honored correctly.

More details on Drive Bender are available from here.

The Home Server Show Podcast Episode 270


Episode 270 of the Home Server Show is available for your listening pleasure.

In this episode the guys talk about QNAP, ioSafe, Synology and more, which you can find here.

Hitachi Hard Drives Are The Best

Back in January we informed you that Hitachi hard drives were more reliable than those from both Western Digital and Seagate. Backblaze who are supplying the data, have new data from over 34 thousand hard drives detailing how these old drives are doing plus data on some newer drives too.


Hitachi are again beating the competition in regards to failure rate with the 3TB (0.7 annual failure rate) being the best followed by the 2TB (1.1%) and 4TB (1.2%).

If you most go WD then the 1TB (3.8%) Caviar Green beat the 3TB (8.8%) Red drives and the 4TB (3%) Seagate beats their 1.5TB (9.6%) and 3TB (6.7%) offerings.

You can see that Backblaze is using three new hard drives: Western Digital Red 3TB, Seagate Desktop HDD.15 4TB, and HGST Megascale 4000 4TB. So far, it isn’t looking very good for the Western Digital Red — an 8.8% annual failure rate in the first year is very bad. The Seagate drive is doing OK. The HGST drives (which is a low-end enterprise-class hard drive) hasn’t had enough time or failures yet (but it’ll probably  be very good, judging by the other HGST/Hitachi drives).

The full report can be found at ExtremeTech.

Add-In: My Movies for Windows – Home and Essentials v5.10 Pre Release 9

My Movies Home and Essentials Server Solution

Another pre release version of My Movies for Windows – Home and Essentials for WHS2011, WS2012 Essentials and
WS2012 w. Essentials Role has been released.

Version 5.10 Pre Release 9 has the following change log:

  • Added: Prompt to select screenshot or artwork when uploading backdrops.
  • Added: Requirement to select backdrop content type and alignment when contributing backdrop.
  • Added: Group and categories can now be set when adding monitored folders.
  • Added: Movies for disc titles can be created by right clicking the disc title.
  • Added: Option to download all episodes in a season – right click menu.
  • Added: Check for connected movie, when doing update of single disc title that got an IMDBid and no locally connected movie.
  • Change: Canadian parental rating values adjusted.
  • Fix: In some situations, a language selection dialog could be displayed for backdrops.
  • Fix: Change title function could fail with an exception.
  • Fix: A faulty movie was connected to titles with IMDB id = tt0000000. This fix removes that movie from the collection again, if it isn’t registered as a stand alone movie.
  • Fix: TV Series wasn’t registered in a group when added to the users collection.
  • Fix: Filters created could due to parental control settings exclude some titles by default.
  • Fix: Adding spoken language information on movies could create an error if UI was not set to English.
  • Fix: Folder monitoring could default to add disc titles, even if another type was selected when operating on WHS and Essentials.
  • Fix: Opening a Blu-ray as first title when opening could have wrong cover scaling.
  • Fix: Incorrect storage of a country could lead to country data resetting.
  • Fix: Country and language drop-downs were not sorted correct when localized.
  • Fix: Copy button in tray popup was displayed, even if disc copier was disabled.
  • Fix: Copy button in tray popup could overlap text. It have been moved.
  • Fix: Icon wasn’t changed for TV Episode when the episode was contributed.
  • Fix: Youtube trailers for movies could not open if the trailer ids were inherited.
  • Fix: Changing of movie lock could only be done once, then another item had to be selected.
  • Fix: Removed wrongful check on existing series names, when creating manual movie or disc title.
  • Fix: There were no messages sent if movie monitoring did not add a title because it existed as a duplicate.
  • Fix: Marking of movie watched in WMC did not work.
  • Fix: Deleting a movie in WMC did not work.
  • Fix: When doing a change source and data on TV Series and Movies, the title wasn’t shown in the search text field.

More information on this pre-release is available from here.

Add-In:StableBit Scanner v2.5.0.3053 Release Final

StableBit Scanner Icon

StableBit Scanner have released version Release Final with lots of new stuff since version 2.4.

This release is for users of WHS2011, WS2012 Essentials and WS2012 R2 Essentials.

More details on StableBit Scanner can be found here.

WS2012 R2 Essentials Now Supports Office 365 and Azure AD with Multiple Domain Controllers

If you are using Windows Server Essentials 2012 R2 then you may have noticed that all of Microsoft’s online services integration features, which include Azure Active Directory and Office 365, are supported only in environments that have a single domain controller.

WS2012 R2 Essentials Now Supports Office 365 and Azure AD with Multiple Domain Controllers

Microsoft have announced that the re-release of the Windows August Update which was originally released on (8/12/2014, PST) now adds support for both Azure Active Directory integration and Office 365 integration features in domain environments consisting of a single domain controller, multiple domain controllers, or Windows Server Essentials as a domain member server.

Great news for those of you using WS2012 R2 Essentials in environments with more than one domain controller.

Add-In: Drive Bender v2.1.8.0

Drive Bender Logo

Drive Bender has been updated to version with the following change log:

  • [b] When enumerating folders, the process can hang if a folder that is flagged as "pending delete" is encountered.
  • [b] When enumerating folders, scanning of the System Volume Information folder can cause the process to hang.
  • [b] If a thread that has obtained a folder enumeration lock hangs, the locks will be reset after a short period.
  • [u] The timeout for a folder enumeration scan has been increased (this is to prevent slower systems timeout when there are just slow to respond).
  • [b] When installing certain Microsoft based objects, they can fail with an "Access Denied" error.
  • [b] Desktop.ini files were not being included in the file audit.
  • [b] The file audit count was not being correctly persisted across restarts.

As always Drive Bender can be downloaded from here.

The Home Server Show Podcast Episode 269


The latest edition of the Home Server Show podcast takes a look at the Toshiba Encore Mini and the QNAP TS-451:

On this edition of Home Server Show John Wiskowski of the Agnostic Tech Podcast joins to talk about the Toshiba Encore Mini 7″, $120 Windows 8.1 Tablet.  Christoper Kenney, HSS Forums Admin, also joins to tell us about the QNAP TS-451.

You can catch episode 269 here.