Dynamic DNS (DDNS) or A backup for livenode.com

As you may know Microsoft temporary provides the yourhost.livenode.com sub domain to make it easy for you to establish a connection to your Windows Home Server remote access page (Web Interface) without needing to track the IP address. The method of keeping this easy to remember name linked to a changing (dynamic) IP address in real time is known as Dynamic DNS (DDNS) – Short for dynamic Domain Name System.

There have been occasions when livenode has been unavailable due to downtime or maintenance issues, so I wanted a backup sub domain address so I could access my server’s web interface when livenode.com was not available.

Luckily there are other providers that provide free Dynamic DNS, the most popular being No-IP.com and DynDNS.

Create Account

In this tutorial we shall use DynDNS as our example, so first we go here https://www.dyndns.com/account/create.html to sign up for an account.

Fill out your details and provide a valid e-mail address. Once you get the confirmation e-mail, you have 48 hours to activate your account. Once it’s activated, you can log into your account.

Once you’ve logged in, click on the My Services link in the top right corner of the DynDNS Web site. Next, click on Add Host Services to the right of Host Level Services. Then, finally click on Add Dynamic DNS Host. On this page you choose the name and the domain that you would like to use under Hostname. Leave the IP Address as it is, place a tick into Enable Wildcard and then things like www.yourhost.dyndns.org will work, leave the Mail Exchanger (optional) empty and finally click the Add Host Button.

Setup (a)

We now have two ways of setting this up. If your router supports DynDNS (DynDNS Certified Hardware Clients), then it is easy:


As you can see we just we access the configuration page for DDNS. In my router it’s under Basic then DDNS. Simply select DynDNS – Dynamic as the Service, type in the username and password that you set up with DynDNS.com, now type in the full hostname, such as yourhost.dyndns.org. We tick the Wildcard box and click the Save Settings button. As you can see the current IP address is shown at the top of the image under Current Address. The object here is to have your router update your hostname’s DNS entry at DynDNS with your public IP address whenever it changes.

Setup (b)

If your router does not support DynDNS then we can install the DynDNS software on the Windows Home Server. This software run in the background (or periodically), and ensures that the IP in the DynDNS database is the same as the one you are currently using so that your hostname remains accessible when you are online.


Just make sure that when you install you click that you want it to install as a service, so it will work when nobody is logged in the WHS.

Forwarding Ports

If you have not done so already you will need to configure your router to forward the ports to your home server machine.

Finishing Off

Make sure that your WHS is configured for remote access (console, settings, Remote Access, Web Site Connectivity) and for security issues make sure that you use complex passwords. You can now access your WHS with Internet Explorer (since Remote Desktop is an ActiveX) using  https://yourhost.dyndns.org. You will get a certificate error warning, but this is normal as the new DynDNS sub domain address will not be listed in the certificate.

NOTE: Once WHS is released (RTM) the livenode.com sub domain will change to yourhost.homeserver.com.

uTorrent add-in UPDATED

The uTorrent add-in by Marcel Nouwens has been updated to version 1.1.1 with many fixes including:

  • When the add-in loses its connection to µTorrent the list will be cleared instead of showing an invalid state.
  • When Auto-Refresh is disabled the Auto-Refresh interval setting will initially be disabled in the settings interface.
  • The current scrollbar position will be remembered after the list has been refreshed.
  • Improved responsiveness. All requests to µTorrent will be performed asynchronously.

New features for this version include:

  • Force Start.
  • Multiselect.
  • Set and clear labels.
  • More columns.
  • Columns can be reordered, except for the first and last columns. The last column can not be reordered to hide a bug from you guys .
  • Columns can be hidden, except for the first and last columns.To hide a column right-click on any of the column headers and deselect the column you want to hide.

    The last column can not be hidden because of the same reason as before…

  • About dialog.


Download the 1.1.1 package which comes with an installation guide, by Deciphered, which explains how to set everything up.

Upon installing the new version you will lose the previous configuration of the add-in so you should reconfigure it.

A Windows Service Installer for Windows Home Server

uTorrent add-in developer Marcel Nouwens has been a busy person. He has also released AnyServiceInstaller which enables you to install any application on WHS as a windows service, so when you are logged out from your home server the application you installed will continue to operate without a logged in user. This can be done manually off course but this software simplifies the task.


AnyServiceInstaller version 1.0 can be downloaded from http://webwacker.ath.cx/Web/Windows%20Services/ UPDATED: https://webwacker.livenode.com/Web/Windows%20Services/AnyServiceInstaller%201.0.zip and instructions are included with the zip file.

Microsoft WHS Forums: Issues and Workarounds

The Microsoft Windows Home Server forums that we visit so often, will soon be upgraded to fix two main issues that many users are encountering, Alerts sign-up page not found and problems signing in. This should happen within the next few weeks, so in the meantime here are some instructions to help you work around them:

Alerts sign-up page not found

Issue: When a user posts with the Alert Me checkbox checked (which is checked by default), they are redirected to the Alerts sign-up page which displays a browser 404 error.

Workaround: Uncheck the Alert Me checkbox before posting. If you still wish to receive Alerts on the thread, try using the Alert Me button at the top of the thread instead.

Problems signing in to Forums

Issue: User clicks Sign In and is redirected to persona.aspx which displays a browser 404 error.

Workaround: There are a couple workarounds to this, we can:

Hit your browser’s Back button until you are on the Forums page where you started the sign in process.

Click the Refresh button

You should now see the Welcome message indicating that you are signed in


Delete your cache and cookies

Close/open your browser

Sign-in to Forums as normal. Note that this also should clear any sign-out problems.

Why has my evaluation period expired?

The latest RC of WHS will expire 180 days from the date of install which should take us into 2008 if we installed it today but as Tom Ziegmann from the MS Windows Home server Team pointed out:

“If your evaluation period has expired, and it is well before the 180 day timebomb, be sure to check your BIOS to make sure that the date and time are correct.”

Compatibility problems with NOD32 Anti-Virus

NOD32    NOD32 on a go slow!     SNAIL

It seems that some of us are having problems with NOD32 on home server. One of our contributors TheJudge found that the Nod32 AMON service is NOW blocking access to he’s shared folders, but only since the installation of the uTorrent service.

“After about a dozen different configurations, trials and reboots, I found out that the conflict does in fact involve AMON. I turned off uTorrent and stopped the service. But Amon would still block the shared folders. AMON must be completely disabled or the shares will be blocked.  I’m not
sure why, but Amon is the reason. Odd part is that Amon played well with my WHS all week until I installed the uTorrent Service and add-in.  Coincidence? Don’t think so. Would an uninstall and reinstall of NOD32 work? Not sure, but that may be the next thing I try. If not, I may have to try another AV solution. The IMON portion scans incoming HTTP ports just fine on WHS and does not cause any conflicts even with uTorrent running happily in the background.

Wonder if anyone else has had this problem?

They did, beta tester playadru182 from the WHS forums also had problems which disappeared only after he uninstalled NOD32 as did others as well. I have spoken to ESET technical support who said that they have not tested NOD32 on Windows Home Server yet, so have no idea why this is happening. They will be testing it before WHS goes RTM but say that since home server is based on Windows Server 2003 it should work fine which naturally it isn’t, which is a shame because NOD32 is a very good anti virus product. So until this problem gets resolved what can we use in the meantime? Looking back at my previous article More Anti-Virus Software for WHS and we can see that there are still a few others that we can use on the home server that are reasonably priced like AVG Anti-Virus Network edition and F-PROT Antivirus for Windows.

And the meantime any ideas why this is happening anyone?

Setup Static IP for Windows Home Server

If you have installed additional applications on Windows Home Server you would have setup port forwarding which enables your router to forward ports to the server’s IP address that you specified. Whilst this would work when you initially set it up, after restarting your WHS it would most probably get a different IP address. When this happens the ports would no longer be forwarded to your server’s IP address and port forwarding would no longer work. To get around this issue there are two options we can undertake. We can either setup a static IP via the router which is known as Static DHCP or we can setup a static IP on the Windows Home Server.

Static DHCP: If your router can do it, we can tell it to reserve an IP address for your server from within DHCP.  This means entering the MAC address from the network card in the WHS, into the router and assigning it a static IP address then whenever the WHS is restarted it will always have that same address.

The MAC address can be obtained by typing IPCONFIG /ALL at a command prompt from within the Windows Home Server.

If like many routers yours does not support this feature then we need to setup a static IP on the Windows Home server instead.

Static IP on WHS: First we need to choose an IP address.

IP Address Ranges:-

If in the router the DHCP Server IP addresses’ are assigned to then we can use any IP address from to for the static IP address as these will still be in the subnet but not in the DHCP scope.

Within the server click Start, Run and type CMD

In the box that opens type ipconfig /all and press Enter on your keyboard. Take note of the Subnet Mask, Default Gateway and the DNS Servers.

The DNS Servers entry may not be correct as some router’s act as a proxy between the actual name DNS servers and your computer. You will know if this is the case, because the Default Gateway will list the same IP address as the DNS Servers entry. We need to have the correct DNS Servers IP addresses otherwise we will not be able to browse the web. To get this information we need to log into the router’s web interface, and look at your router’s status page. On that page you should see an entry for DNS or Name Servers. Write down these IP addresses.

Type exit in this window, then press the Enter key to close it.

One again click on Start then Control Panel, Network Connections and then Local Area Connection.

On the dialogue that opens on the General tab click Properties.

On the General tab of this new box click on Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) (make sure that you do not un-tick it) and then click Properties.

On the General tab click Use the following IP address and enter the IP address you choose earlier followed by your Subnet mask and the Default gateway.

Click the lower Use the following DNS server addresses and enter those that you wrote down earlier.

We can now OK out of all the dialogue boxes.

We now need to re-boot the Windows Home Server and that’s it job completed!

Speed up File Transfer to your Shared Folders

You may notice that it can take quite a time to move/copy large amounts of data to the WHS shared folders. To speed up this file transfer process I use FastCopy from SHIROUZU Hiroaki.


To get the FastCopy utility to work you have to first map your shared folders to drive letters*.

Copying 9.12GB of files using copy and paste in Windows explorer took just under 37 minutes and with FastCopy the same data took just under 15 minutes. A huge difference! It has saved me many hours moving my 250GB of data to my Windows Home Server shared folders using this utility.

*Map a drive to a shared folder in Windows XP 
*How to map a network drive in Windows Vista

Add-in KeepVault has expired (for Now!)

As of 01 July 2007 the beta of Proxure KeepVault expired. It will be publicly available later this year as part of AMD LIVE! This add-in which fully integrated to the Windows Home Server console enabled you to select which shares you wanted to protect for offline storage. It also:

• Monitored for changes/additions to your Windows Home Server shares and automatically uploaded them to secure storage servers

• Enabled access to protected files from anywhere by logging into your account http://www.keepvault.com/login.htm

• Protected files either immediately or once every evening

• The ability to limit the amount of bandwidth used for the uploads

• Free account had 25 GB of storage space, with a 10 MB download limitation. Pay-for accounts were available for higher storage needs.

Now that beta version 2.00a has expired file protection has stopped and the WHS console now notifies you that the beta software has expired.

Create a website on Windows Home Server

Developer Andrew Grant from the site andrewlive! has a post up on his website entitled How to create a website on Windows Home Server in minutes. It details using the Whiist add-in to create web sites on your Windows Home Server. It’s well worth a read!