Add-In: Drive Bender v1.7.1.0

Drive Bender Logo

Drive Bender for WHS 2011, SBS Essentials 2011 and Server 2012 Essentials has had another update.

Version has the following fixes:

  • Bug fix: An internal language issue could prevent the S.M.A.R.T. attributes from displaying correctly.
  • Bug fix: Under certain circumstances a drive removal process can fail with an error.
  • Bug fix: When upgrading to a new version and email notifications are enabled, the first re-start can result in a service crash.

You can download this version from here.

Add-In: Drive Bender v1.7.0.0

Drive Bender Logo

Version 1.7 of Drive Bender has arrived, featuring a new SMART engine, powered by Hard Drive Sentinel: 

  • Bug fix: S.M.A.R.T. could cause a mount point to stop responding for short periods during specific file system operations (folder namely rename and delete operations). 
  • Bug fix: Improved drive S.M.A.R.T. detection.  

Note – The base version number has been incremented to align with a number of internal libraries.  

Version 1.7 for WHS2011, SBS Essentials 2011 and Server 2012 Essentials can be downloaded from here.

The BYOB Podcast Episode 114


Episode 114 of the BYOB podcast is up for this week, with lots of goodness as usual:

…some home network discussion. Windows 8 utilities to help bridge the Windows 8 gap and the Transformer AiO leaves us wonder why on this weeks BYOB Podcast

You can find episode 114 here.

WHS 2011 for £35


If you are in the UK then CCL have WHS 2011 for just £33.70 plus 95p delivery, so if you have a spare £35 handy then you can buy a copy from here.

Top 10 Reasons to buy Windows Home Server 2011:

  1. Scheduled automatic backups. Get full automatic backups of the actual server and all the PCs connected to it every night. And with disaster recover tools, it’s easy to recover individual files and folders, or even restore your entire hard drive in case of a crash.
  2. Simplified remote access to your data and computers. Easily connect and access your digital files or take control of your home-based computers with Windows Home Server 2011 from virtually anywhere with a personalized Internet address.
  3. More storage for your needs. Windows Home Server 2011 comes with built-in options that make adding storage effortless. And with support for industry-standard RAID and data protection, you’ll get more options to expand and increase your storage as you need.
  4. Network health monitoring. Easily monitor the status and health of your Windows and Mac computers on the network from a single view and ensure computers are being backed up on a regular basis.
  5. Whole-house entertainment. Use Windows Home Server 2011 as an entertainment hub for your entire house by streaming music, videos, recorded TV, and more straight to your Xbox 360, and other DLNA Certified™ devices.
  6. Easily share your files. No matter where you are, you can always access your files and folders. And because you can access your media files through a secure, personalized web page, you can let friends and family view and enjoy them too.
  7. Remote media streaming. Are you at work but want to listen to a playlist from home? Want to show a friend a movie you just made or your latest photo collection? No matter where you are, you can stream media to your home network over the web using the SilverlightTM browser plug-in.
  8. HomeGroup integration. The HomeGroup feature in Windows 7 is a way to create ad-hoc networks with other PCs running Windows 7. You can connect Windows Home Server 2011 to a HomeGroup too, which makes it a snap to find that one particular file-no matter which PC it’s on.
  9. A 64-bit operating system. You’ll get all the power of a system that incorporates best-of-breed 64-bit technologies, so you get a server environment that’s ideal for the high media demands of a home environment.
  10. Remote access to files and folders. Away from home and need to access a PC on your home network? Now, you can access your entire PC-including all your applications, files, and settings-virtually anywhere by using Remote Web Access.

The Home Server Show Podcast Episode 215


Episode 215 of "The Home Server Show" podcast is up:

“We are talking Symform again and finally have a judgement about the service.  Some SkyDrive, and ADATA in the news and then we talk about UR1 and some hot fixes for Windows Home Server 2011 and Essentials 2012.”

You can find episode 215 here.

Add-In: StableBit DrivePool v1.3.0.7534 RC


The beta build of StableBit DrivePool has had an update for users of WHS 2011, SBS 2011 Essentials and Windows Storage Server 2008 R2 Essentials.

Version RC has the following changes:

  • [D] Fixed CoveFS update reboot reminder not showing up sometimes.
  • Fixed folder / drive detail panes not showing up sometimes.
  • Optimized the Windows Search query algorithm to get folder statistics quicker, for folders with a huge number of files.
  • Offloaded the non-pooled total folder size Windows Search query onto the background value provider.
    It was generally very fast, but sometimes not instant, which was causing a slight delay in the UI.
  • Added background computation and caching value providers. Implemented folder pie chart computation using the new value providers. A folder pie chart computation expires every 5 minutes.
  • Finalized all translations.
  • Optimized WPF animations for terminal services. May reduce Dashboard CPU usage by a factor of 10 on low-end systems, when showing animations.
  • Optimized animations to reduce unnecessary WPF rendering cycles.
  • COM continues to pump paint messages on the UI thread when it’s waiting on a lock. This was a change introduced in Vista to minimize deadlocks. This causes a deadlock if a paint message results in the acquisition of the same lock, on the same thread, which is very possible. This is now turned off to prevent random Dashboard freezes.

[D] = Driver was modified (reboot required after update)

You can download this release from here.

WS 2012 Essentials Client Restore with a USB Flash Drive

Dell’s TechCenter have an article on the Windows Server 2012 Essentials client restore process.

The article explains how to create a Client Restore USB Flash Drive and how to use it on a client system to perform a restore of that client system.

Server 2012 Essentials Client Restore Create USB Key

All 26 steps are presented to us with plenty of pics to guide you through the process, which you can find here.

Alternatives to Using Windows Home Server – Really!

A round up of posts from various blogs from the last few weeks that talk about alternatives to using Windows Home Server.


The 1st is from techshout which give us 7 FreeNAS alternatives which actually does include WHS 2011.

Next up APC explain  how to make your own Windows home server OS using alternative software for file/print serving, remote desktop, BitTorrent, an FTP/UPnP-DLNA/Music server, automated remote client backup and media streaming – WOW!

Third on the list is the short but sweet makeuseof guide to how to build your own NAS box.

And finally PCWorld explain how to setup Windows 8 as a home server by creating a Storage Space, sharing your files and Streaming media on/across the network, how to access your files remotely with SkyDrive remote fetch and backing up your "server".

Video: Newegg Talk WS2012 Essentials

Newegg TV have a video on WS2012 Essentials.

The 20 minute video takes a look at what WS2012e is and what’s new, with a demo of the dashboard too:

Office 365 Integration Service Reports Not Running after install UR1 for WS2012e

If you have the Office 365 Integration feature enabled before installing Update Rollup 1 for Windows Server 2012 Essentials then after you apply UR1 and reboot the server, you may get the following Health Alert when opening the dashboard:

“One or more services are not running

The following important Windows services are not running. Windows Server Office 365 Integration Service (O365ProviderSvc) Note: Services can be stopped when software updates are applied.”

In Update Rollup 1 for Windows Server 2012 Essentials, a new Password Sync component is introduced to better work with Office 365 integration Model and Hosted Email Framework. The new Password Sync component is deployed as a service on the server and the initial status is set to Disabled by default. Only during the process when you enable Office 365 model or your Hosted Email plug-in, the password sync service will be automatically turned on. Therefore, if you already enabled Office 365 model before applying UR1, you need to manually turn on the Password Sync service.

And the solution is to run the following script in PowerShell with Administrator privilege on the server and then restart your dashboard:

Set-Service -Name PwdSyncProviderSvc -StartupType Automatic
Set-Service -Name PwdSyncProviderSvc -Status Running
Set-Service -Name O365ProviderSvc -Status Running

From Microsoft’s TechNet Wiki.