Home Tech Podcast Episode 129

Home Tech Podcast

Home Tech 129 is a special first look at the HP ProLiant MicroServer Gen8 Ultra Micro Tower Server:

“A special edition to Home Tech that was recorded after show 128, Jim stayed live with Andrew Morris, John Zajdler, John Stutsman and Kevin Schoonover to talk about the newly released HP ProLiant MicroServer Gen8 Ultra Micro Tower Server G1610T.  Since we didn’t know this would become a podcast, there is no intro to the show.”

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

Add-In: StableBit Scanner v2.5.0.2940 /2941

StableBit Scanner Icon

The beta build of StableBit Scanner for WHS2011, SBS 2011 Essentials, Windows Storage Server 2008 R2 Essentials and WS2012 Essentials has had an update.

Version / 2941 has the following change log:

  • Added .config setting to further limit the automatic scan window to certain days of the month, as requested. (See Scheduler_LimitToDaysOfMonth)
  • Added option to only scan on certain days of the week, as requested.
  • Rewrote the way that we associate disk check metadata and disk settings with disks.
    Previously we only used the disk signature that is located in the MBR or GPT to uniquely identify disks in order to associate past disk health data with that disk. This works most of the time but has issues when you want to identify a disk uniquely that has not been initialized yet, or a disk that has been cloned. The new system uses various points of identification, each having a higher priority than the next.
    Starting from highest priority to the lowest:
      – Direct I/O disk serial number
      – GPT Signature + WMI Serial number + Disk size
      – GPT Signature + WMI Model + Disk size
      – GPT Signature + Disk size
      – MBR Signature + WMI Serial number + Disk size
      – MBR Signature + WMI Model + Disk size
      – MBR Signature + Disk size
    Since the disk serial number may not be available at all times, we can fall back to the legacy method of using the MBR / GPT in combination with the disk size. The new system works correctly if you plug in a disk into a port that allows access to a serial number, and then plug in the same disk into a different port that does not provide an accurate serial number. For the second connection we will fallback to the less reliable MBR / GPT method, but we will still attempt to match the disk with the correct scan data. Also, your old disk metadata will be automatically upgraded to the new Disk ID method, but the new system is not backwards compatible. Downgrading will wipe out your settings and scan history.

You can download this beta build from here.

The HP MicroServer Gen8 and PS1810-8G Switch

ProLiant MicroServer Gen8

Windows IT Pro have a review of the HP ProLiant MicroServer Gen8 and the HP PS1810-8G Switch.

“The HP ProLiant MicroServer and PS1810-8G switch is a great choice for small businesses looking to put in their first server, a home office server or for organizations looking to add manageable low cost servers for departmental computing.”

A nice combination from HP, which you can read about here.

Add-In: StableBit DrivePool v2.0.0.345 BETA


Various fixes in StableBit DrivePool for users of Windows Server 2012 Essentials.

Version BETA has the following change log:

  • Fixed disk enumeration failure.
  • If a directory was marked as read-only on the pool (not in Explorer, but actual attribute), when removing a disk, that directory would get migrated properly, but would not be deleted from the pool part folder on the disk being removed. We now delete empty read-only folders as well. Windows uses the "read-only" flag on directories to indicate a special folder (such as My Documents or My Pictures).
  • Fixed a service lock up when it was being stopped.
  • The UI will now remember which computer is was connected to last, and on startup it will automatically connect to that computer (unless it’s unavailable).
  • Disk performance is now being reported per-pool (not for all pools).
  • Extended integration DLL to expose the "first seen" time of a pool part. The ordered file placement plug-in makes use of this.
  • Added static peer support for remote control. Use this when multicasting is not working on your network.
    – See C:\Program Files\StableBit\DrivePool\RemoteControl.default.xml.
    – There are further instructions in the XML file.
  • Fixed task labels not updating their state properly in the UI (Add / Remove disk).
  • Changed store change notification thread pool performance parameters to resolve a bottleneck that would lead to the service stalling for a few minutes sometimes. Did not affect pool I/O.

This release can be downloaded from here.

The guys also have a blog post on this release explaining the Windows 8.1 Preview support, improved UI responsiveness, remote control updates, duplication tag consistency check and more, which you can find here.

The Home Server Show Podcast Episode 232


Another episode of the Home Server Show is available, and this week it’s Chromecast and 2012 Essentials R2:

“It’s a packed show this time.  We are showing off the new Chromecast and talking about the network issues with 2012 Essentials R2.  Got some Drobo and SkyDrive news for you and we are in the forums a lot!  Big show, no Meetup talk this time so enjoy!”

You can enjoy episode 232 here.

The HP Gen8 MicroServer In and Out

TechHead have an article on the HP ProLiant MicroServer G8 where they take a look at the CPU, the disks and controller, the memory and networking capabilities as well as all the other hardware features in HP’s newest MicroServer.

MicroServer G8 Rear View from TechHead

Also on the G8 is ServerWatch which takes a look at the setup and configuration including the embedded Smart Array B120i disk controller for enhanced hardware-assisted RAID.

Gen8 MicroServer - Array Configuration Utility


Add-In: StableBit DrivePool v2.0.0.333 BETA


Another update for StableBit DrivePool for Windows Server 2012 Essentials

Version BETA has the following change:

  • Fixed service crash after removing the last disk in the pool.

You can download StableBit DrivePool from here.

The BYOB Podcast Episode 128

BYOB Podcast Logo

Its time for another episode of the BYOB podcast:

“This week Michael and I are joined by John Zajdler as we talk Server 2012 R2 and Server Essentials 2012 R2.  We also have a few updates from prior shows on Haswell, and some new hardware and services to discuss.”

Interesting content, which you can find in episode 128 of the BYOB podcast here.

Add-In: StableBit DrivePool v2.0.0.332 BETA


StableBit DrivePool for WS2012 Essentials has been updated.

Version BETA has Windows 8.1 support, a duplication tag check and other fixes. Here’s the full change log:

  • Duplication tag consistency check now also works with legacy pools (pre 1.3).
  • Converted the duplication tag consistency check to a pool task. It will run when each pool arrives, and not on service startup.
  • Changed "Duplicating…" to "Checking…" in the pool organization bar when we’re not actually duplicating anything.
  • Added a comprehensive duplication tag consistency check and repair. Every time that the service starts up it will traverse all of the existing duplication tags on each pool and ensure that each tag on every pool part folder (and sub-folder) is consistent with all of the other pool parts.If a conflict is found it is resolved by examining both tags and constructing a new repaired and valid tag from the contents of the existing tags. Then both tags are overwritten with the repaired tag and a full duplication check is then scheduled to be immediately run over the entire pool.
  • Fixed a race condition in the code that was turning off CoveFS tracing. This was generating error reports needlessly for those with CoveFS tracing enabled permanently.
  • [D] Fixed memory leak when pool part find files errors out. This happened if one of your disks dropped from the system unexpectedly.
  • Incorrect disk names were being shown in the tooltips when the StableBit Scanner was not installed.
  • Performance UI now remembers its expanded state once again.
  • [D] When setting a duplication count, always write through the number to disk before considering the set successful (i.e. bypass the cache) (port from 1.X).
  • [D] Changed how pools are enumerated at boot time to get rid of the 1 second delay between when the virtual disk driver is loaded and when it spawns its disks (port from 1.X).
  • Put error handler around background duplication size change reporting (port from 1.X).
  • [D] Fixed drive removal issue where volume manager would not let DrivePool read the pool part ignore tag due to the pool part being marked for deletion. This would cause a removed disk to remain in the pool until a reboot (port from 1.X).
  • [D] Implemented MDL based read / write requests. Protected MDL writes are disabled.
  • [D] Fixed crash with race condition in internal buffer management, as reported.

You can download this release from here.

Office Maven Updates Add-Ins for Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials

The Office Maven has released all new versions of their Windows Server Solutions add-ins for use with Microsoft’s Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials and Windows Server 2012 R2 Standard/Datacenter (with WSEE) server operating systems.

WSE RemoteApp 2012 R2 Dashboard Users

Here are links to the new add-ins (note the “R2” designation in their names) where fully-functional 21-day evaluations can be downloaded by anyone who’d like to try them out with the “Preview” release of Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials or Windows Server 2012 R2 Standard/Datacenter (with the Windows Server Essentials Experience server role enabled):

WSE RemoteApp 2012 R2 (Version 1.71.711)

WSE Office 2012 R2 (Version 1.71.711)

WSE QuickBooks 2012 R2 (Version 1.71.711)

WSE Quicken 2012 R2 (Version 1.71.711)