The Buffalo TeraStation Pro Duo WSS running Windows Storage Server

The Buffalo TeraStation Pro Duo WSS comes complete with hard drives and Windows Storage Server.

Buffalo TeraStation Pro Duo WSS Front

On the back are two gigabit network ports, two USB 2.0 and two USB 3.0 sockets and a serial port. The power supply is integrated, and there is also a small switch which lets you start up either from USB or from the hard disk.

Buffalo TeraStation Pro Duo WSS Back

The NAS is powered by a  1.66 GHz dual-core Intel Atom D510 processor with 2 GB RAM and the gigabit network ports are based on Marvell 88E8059 controllers.

The Buffalo TeraStation Pro Duo WSS costs an average of £835 and comes with three years of warranty.

Buffalo TeraStation Pro Duo WSS Open

Now with that info out of the way, would you like to know how it performs?

Hardware.Info has a great 8 page review which you can find here with lots of performance data.

Upgrade the EX490 to WS2012 Essentials R2

A brilliant article from techAU for those of you thinking of installing WS Essentials 2012 R2 onto a HP EX490 MediaSmart Server.

WS Essentials 2012 R2 onto HP EX490

Jason Cartwright explains his 10 step process to get the process complete:

  1. Eliminate data
  2. Install drives in PC
  3. Setup Storage Spaces
  4. Copy data
  5. Install Windows Server 2012 R2
  6. Install drive in EX490
  7. Complete software install / updates
  8. Install fresh drives
  9. Copy data back
  10. Complete

A great read for EX490 owners thinking of upgrading, which you can find here.

The Home Server Show Podcast Episode 233


Episode 233 of "The Home Server Show" podcast this week has a loot of info on the next meetup.

…We were just chatting and this 30 minutes podcast came out of it.
It’s short show about Xsplit, gear, and Home Server Show Meetup 2013.

You can catch this episode here.

Add-In: StableBit DrivePool v2.0.0.355 BETA

StableBit DrivePool for WS2012 Essentials users has had an update.


Version has the following change log (and it’s a big one!):

  • Disk performance was stripping out the first directory component.
  • Rewrote the find common path prefix algorithm to take the ‘\’ characters into account.
  • [D] Added preliminary EFS support (CoveFs_EfsEnabled in .config).
      – Right now, background duplication and re-balancing are not supported for EFS encrypted files.
  • Added a folder size pie chart to the per-folder duplication window. This pie chart is computed automatically whenever you select a folder in the folder duplication window. It breaks down file data vs. duplication data and gives you the exact numbers as they are stored on the disks. You can use this as a visual confirmation that your data is duplicated properly.
      – The pie chart is not available when other more important tasks are running (such as background duplication).
  • Child task groups were being un-paused prematurely at times.
  • [D] When enabling folder duplication, some pool parts may not have been processed leading to inconsistent duplication tags on the pool. This is now fixed. The duplication tag consistency check repairs existing pools with this issue automatically without any user intervention.
  • Changing the duplication level of a folder while background duplication was running would needlessly restart the duplication pass as many times as you’ve changed the level. What we were supposed to be doing was aborting the current pass, finding the common path prefix of all of the queued changes and running a single pass over the common prefix. This is now working correctly.
  • The tooltip over the pool organization bar is now showing more details when background duplication is running, including the common prefix that we’re checking and the last folder scanned.
  • Fixed "Duplicating…" in pool organization bar. It would show up intermittently.
  • When changing pool / folder duplication level, sometimes the pool organization bar would dropunnecessarily.
  • Pool modes were not being set properly in some cases (such as read-only pool, etc…).
  • Added ability to set and see duplication counts > 2 in the UI.
  • In the per-folder duplication UI, the selected folder and the expand state of all the folders will not change after changing the duplication level.
  • Added a refresh button to the per-folder duplication UI.
  • Added a legend to the per-folder duplication UI to explain the new coloring scheme.
  • In the per-folder duplication UI, folders without any sub-folders will not show the expander without you clicking on it.
  • After changing the duplication level of a folder, if that folder has any subfolders with explicitly set duplication levels equivalent to the newly set level, we change those explicit levels to ‘I’.
  • Changed how the folder duplication UI shows folder duplication levels as follows:
      – A "+" is shown for a folder that has one or more subfolders with a different duplication level than itself (a hint for you to expand the folder).

                  This is equivalent to the ‘M’ flag in CoveFS.

                  The root is always ‘M1’ by default for DrivePool 1.X compatibility.
                – Folders with an explicit duplication level set will show up either green or red.
                – Folders that are inheriting their duplication level are blue.
                – The actual duplication count set is shown in the ‘x?’ label.
This makes it less confusing to change folder duplication levels and the system should automatically do what is more intuitive.

  • [D] Implemented a new duplication ‘M’ tag cleanup routine in CoveFS that is run after every duplication tag set.

                     Duplication ‘M’ tags with no sub-folders that have explicitly set duplication counts are redundant. Removing them improves the overall performance of the duplication tag query system.

  • [D] When setting a duplication count, the file system can now optionally make better use of the ‘I’ (inherit) flag. In addition, if the folder doesn’t have a ‘M’ (multiple) tag, then we can simply remove the tag altogether because all folders have an implicit ‘I’ tag.
          For example, when setting a duplication count of ‘1’ on a folder, if the parent folder also has a duplication count of ‘1’ (whether inherited or explicitly set, it doesn’t matter), it makes more sense to inherit the duplication count from the parent folder rather than to set it explicitly. So this is what we do now.
          If we don’t do this, then setting a duplication count of ‘2’ on the parent folder has the counter intuitive result of not propagating that duplication count to the one sub-folder with the (previously set) explicit duplication count of ‘1’.
  • [D] When setting a duplication count fails, the file system will now notify the service to run a duplication tag consistency check.


As always you can download this latest beta release from here.

More information on this release can be found in a blog post which explains the folder duplication improvements, which can be found here.

Windows Server 2012 R2 Coming Soon

Download WS2012 R2 Preview

The R2 version of Windows Server 2012 alongside Windows System Center 2012 R2, Windows Intune and Windows 8.1 are coming October 18th. No news of when WS2012 R2 Essentials will be released, but from previous years we can assume that it will follow not far after.

Compatible Processors for the HP MicroServer Gen8

Benjamin Bryan has installed a Xeon E3-1230V2 in Gen8 HP MicroServer.

Benjamin goes through the actual installation process and provides us with a list of compatible processors for the new MicroServer from HP.

Compatable Processors for the HP Gen8

You can read his full post here.

Storage Spaces Performance in 2012 Essentials R2

The Doc’s World takes a look at Storage Spaces performance but this time in 2012 Essentials R2.

Storage Spaces Performance in 2012 Essentials R2

…this experiment ended up as all the others did, and turned out to be a waste of time on a feature not worth using especially in parity.

Not good, but you can read the Doc’s full report here.

The BYOB Podcast Episode 129

BYOB Podcast Logo

Another episode of the BYOB (Build Your Own Box) podcast is up:

We have a bunch of topics to discuss  tonight.  Michael and I talk about Storage Spaces on Essentials R2, some laptops, Fractal Design Mini case, some new Dell monitors, as well as some grips about Windows RT 8.1.

Interesting stuff as usual – You can find episode 129 here.

Home Tech Podcast Episode 130

Home Tech Podcast

Episode 130 of the Home Tech podcast has details on the Windows Server Solutions add-ins by Office Maven, more on the HP Proliant Microserver G8 and StableBit Scanner:

“With John Zajdler on the show, you know we are going to talk some about Home Servers!  We also catch up with Christian and here about his new plans for the fall as well as some big announcement from Jim.  It’s a jam packed show, so let’s get started!”

You can find the audio here, or watch the video below:

Add-In: WHS 2011 Media Collector v1.0

A Home Server user by the name of Viros has developed an add-in which duplicates what the HP Media Collector in the HP Media Smart Server’s used to do.

Version 1.0 can be downloaded from here:

Some notes:
1.It assumes (and in fact only works on) the standard media folders (i.e., SERVER\Music, etc).
2.Upon installation, you need to run the included Config program (need Administrator rights) to specify your user collection settings, as well as the server.  To make it more flexible, you MUST include the "\\" prefix to the server name for standard setups.
3.It will install as a scheduled task, so if you feel it hasn’t run in some time, then you can check there for issues.
4.If you go to the media folder and see a file named something like "Music – Username.LOCK", then it’s most likely running.  If you know it’s not running on any of your machines, then something likely interrupted the process.  9 times out of ten, you can safely delete this file if nobody is running it.
5.It organizes your collections by username, so if your usernames are the same across all machines, then it will drop them into the same folder, otherwise, it will have one per account.
6.The installer checks for this, but you need .NET Framework 3.0 or higher and Windows Vista or higher (x86 or x64).
7.You can add additional formats!  All you need to do is open "%ProgramFiles(x86)%/Nick Radtke/WHS 2011 Media Collector/formats.txt".  Add the extension you want to add to the appropriate section and make sure you precede it with a "-".
8.I’ve only tested it with WHS 2011, but it should also work with WSE2012 (and possibly even standard NAS boxes if the folder structure is right)

I’ve been running this on my 3 machines (Desktop w/ wired connection, Laptop w/ Wireless, and Surface Pro w/ Wireless) for about 3 weeks now and I finally feel confident in it enough to release.  I appreciate any and all feedback.

Future enhancements (based on interest):
◾Actual server add-in to display the collected item data as placed in the xml files on the server
◾Integration with launchpad Add-Ins pane.
◾A true 64-bit version for those who want one.

More information on this add-in can be found here.