Add-In: My Movies Home and Essentials Server Solution v2.13 PR5

My Movies for WHS Monitor

The add-in My Movies Home and Essentials Server Solution for WHS2011 and WS2012 Essentials has had an update.

Version 2.13 PR5 has the following changes:

  • Fix: The application prompted to register AnyDVD when updating, even if already installed.
  • Fix: MusicBrainz was disabled was a meta-data provider during Pre Release testing, and is now enabled again.
  • Fix: External connection from mobile devices was broken.

My Movies Home and Essentials Server Solution can be downloaded from here.

Add-In: Drive Bender v1.4.7.7 Beta

Drive Bender Logo

The beta build of Drive Bender for WHS2011 and SBS Essentials 2011 has a new release.

Version features a new SMART engine powered by Hard Disk Sentinel.

Here is the full change log:

  • Added: Hard Disk Sentinel is now powering the S.M.A.R.T. functionality.
  • Added: Physical drive number emulation supported (allows TrueCrypt volumes to be used against Drive Bender). See help for more details.
  • Bug fix: Under some extreme circumstances, drives can fail to mount.
  • Bug fix: A number of minor interface and service issues.
  • Update: Trial changed from 30 days to 60 days.

You can download this release from here.

Restore Firewall Customisations in WS2012 Essentials

Robert Pearman has written a script which will allow you to restore the WS2012 Essentials firewall customisations.

WS2012e Restore Firewall Customisations

Whilst troubleshooting a problem on a server, have you ever reset Windows Firewall back to Defaults, but this could have unexpected consequences.
You could export and import the policy from Windows Firewall, with the import overwriting the existing policy:

This is all fine, however, if on an Essentials OS you happened to click ‘Restore Defaults’ you would have just wiped out a few custom rules, and disabled some other built-in ones. There is no function built in to do this. So you need to rely on having an existing Essentials server to compare with or phoning a friend.

But not now, with this script which will enable you to restore the Essentials firewall customisations.

Add-In: StableBit DrivePool v1.3.0.7388 BETA


The beta release of StableBit DrivePool for WHS2011, SBS 2011 Essentials and Storage Server 2008 R2 Essentials has had an update.

Version BETA includes many fixes and optimizations. Here’s the full change log:

  • Added an optimization layer to BaseDataInfo that checks whether value and string type properties have actually changed before firing off an expensive UI update.
  • [D] Fixed driver installation issue where on a non-upgrade install (initial install), an already existing older driver would not get overwritten with a newer one, or vice versa.
  • Fixed adding RAW disks to the pool.
  • Rewrote drive removal process (port from 2.0).
  • [D] Fixed pool part refresh deadlock (port from 2.0).
  • Folder sizes are now kept track of (using Windows Search) by the service, freeing up Dashboard resources.
  • Duplication progress will now reflect the actual folder being scanned (not the last one).
  • Fixed duplication progress not being reported properly.
  • Pool tab will now update more efficiently.
  • [D] Never allow the same pool part to be recognized twice, even if they are what appears to be on separate volumes.
  • Numerous fixes to the Omni-Store, which is responsible for all UI updates and application state metadata management.

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

This release of StableBit DrivePool can be downloaded from here.

The HP MicroServer on the Home Server Show Podcast


Its time for another episode of "The Home Server Show" podcast, and this week it’s all MicroServer:

When I say all Microserver, I mean ALL Microserver.  The entire episode is dedicated to “the little server that could.”  This thing can do it all and my guests have done it!  I’m talking with Chris Kenney, the admin of The Home Server Show forums, John Stutsman, and John Zajdler.  Stutsman is often referred to as “Mr. Microserver” and John Zajdler is “Mr. Modification.”  If there is a mod or a way to do something with a Microserver chances are one of these guys have done it.

A great episode for all HP MicroServer owners old and new, which you can find here.

Learn WS2012 Essentials Via Video Training

Microsoft have published a series of TechNet videos on Windows Server 2012 Essentials in their Virtual Academy.

MS Virtual Academy - The Essentials Dashboard

There are 6 videos or modules in all, the 1st being an overview and how to plan plan:

An introduction to Windows Server 2012 Essentials, to get an overview of its main feature areas, and learn about some common deployment scenarios as well as the system requirements.

The 2nd module is on installation and deployment:

Learn about the installation process and migration options, as well as the post-installation setup tasks and how to configure the server for remote access.

The 3rd is on server management and monitoring:

Learn about monitoring the health of the server and the connected client computers, backup and restore operations, managing server storage, and creating shared folders.

4th up is on email integration and add-ins:

Learn about email integration options, as well as how the functionality of the server can be extended by using add-ins.

The 5th module is on user and computer management:

Learn how to create and manage user accounts, how to connect and manage client computers, and how to troubleshoot some common connection issues.

Finally the 6th module is on the user experience:

Learn how end users can interact with the server using the Launchpad, shared folders, the Remote Web Access portal, and the ‘My Server’ apps for Windows 8 and Windows Phone.

A great set of videos available to stream or download which will help you learn more about Ws2012 Essentials.

Add-In: StableBit Scanner v2.3.1.2860

StableBit Scanner Icon

StableBit Scanner for WHS2011, SBS 2011 Essentials and Storage Server 2008 R2 Essentials has had an update to fix the SMART query timeout.

Here’s the full change log for version /

  • In the file scan, when non-recoverable entities are detected (such as unknown file systems), do not allow the user to start recovery on those entities.
  • Open Scanner in local notifications was not working on x64 and only in the Release build (non-WSS only).
  • Increased SMART query timeout in the Release build. It was timing out if you had many disks and SMART would not show up in a timely manner.

You can download this release of StableBit Scanner from here.

Add-In: iHomeServer v2 (for iTunes) v2.2.36.0

iHomeServer v2 (for iTunes) has had an update.

This add-in wraps iTunes so you can install and run it on a Windows Home Server, dedicated iTunes workstation or a spare PC. iHomeServer starts iTunes automatically when the computer starts, keeps it running and allows you to manage iTunes without having to physically access the computer, for example via the Windows Home Server Management Console. It also makes it really easy to add new media to your iTunes Media Server.

iHomeServer iTunes View

Version adds support for Windows Server 2012 Essentials and iTunes 11 in addition to various other minor bug fixes.

More information on iHomeServer v2 (for iTunes) can be found here.

The HP N40L MicroServer Modded Bios

The Home Server Show have a great post by Joe Miner on how to flash a modified bios to the HP Proliant N40L MicroServer.

HP N40L Modded Bios

As well as explaining how to get the modified bios, Joe also explains how to setup the bios after the flash:

…and had no problem flashing BIOS-MODS modified BIOS that would unlock many of the hidden features on the MicroServer – especially enabling me to set SATA port 5 (the mother board port for the ODD (“Optical Disk Drive”) if installed) and port 4 (the eSATA port on the back of the case) to AHCI and at a higher port speed than it’s default.

A comprehensive look at the modified bios for the N40L MicroServer, which you can finds here.

Folder Redirection fails if folder with username already exists on WS2012e

Folder redirection will fail on Windows Server 2012 Essentials if there is already a folder in C:\ServerFolders\Folder Redirection, that matches the username. Folder redirection will fail if you delete and recreate a user with the same name.

This is due to the new user not having the permission to create redirected folders since the client still uses the older user’s profile that is cached in the client.

Luckily for us there is an easy resolution:

Rename the existing folder and then re-implement folder redirection. If needed you can then manually merge the user folders.

  1. Rename or delete the old user’s folder under Folder Redirection (if there is any).
  2. Re-implement folder redirection group policy in dashboard.
  3. For each client that the old user has once logged in, BEFORE the new user login, clean up the older user’s profile cache by following steps:
    • Logon the client with Admin account
    • Remove the old user profile from Computer->Properties->Advanced System Setting->User Profiles.
    • Open cmd, type and run ‘gpupdate /force /logoff’.
    • After automatic logoff, reboot the client

From Microsoft Article 2729888.