Microsoft MVP John Zajdler talks WHS 2011, Windows Server 2012 Essentials, Western Digital Sentinel DX4000, the leaked Windows 8.1 and HP Media Smart – HT113
Jim (@jcollison) is joined this week by long time Home Sever Show host and Microsoft Windows Home Server MVP John Zajdler (@Dieharder) for Home Tech episode #113. John spend some time talking all things Windows Home Server, the Western Digital Sentinel DX4000 running Windows Storage Server 2008 R2, Stablebit DrivePool, his own Windows Home Server that he runs, the leaked version of Windows , Antivirus and much, much more. I very packed hour and 30 minutes of content. Join us for the show live each Thursday at 8pmC/9E at Listen Mobile: See the Western Digital Sentinel DX4000 specs sheet at Looking for some Cloud Storage Options? Sarah’s new equipment: Logitech Bluetooth Illuminated Keyboard K810 for PCs, Tablets, Smartphones – Black (920-004292) by Logitech Logitech Zone Touch Mouse T400 for Windows 8 – Black (910-003041) by Logitech Jim at Infotec 2013 – Interview with Ben Vu from Local Omaha Guy Jim’s Portable Audio equipment list. Audio-Technica ATR2100-USB Cardioid Dynamic USB/XLR Microphone by Audio-Technica Alesis MultiMix 4 USB Four-Channel USB Mixer by Alesis ART HeadAmp4 Headphone Amplifier by ART Sony MDRZX100/BLK ZX Series Stereo Headphones by Sony PYLE-PRO PMKSDT25 Adjustable Desktop Tripod Microphone Stand by Pyle Don’t forget to use our Amazon link at Drobo / Cali Lewis Event in Omaha. April 30 – Facebook Page: Facebook Group: If you’d like to subscribe to the show, click on to update your iTunes library, or for other Podcast downloading applications, please click on the RSS Feed and pick your Pod Catcher of choice! Or, you can now stream the show online at at The Show Announcements and Schedule: #!/TheAverageGuyTV Jim’s Twitter: #!/jcollison Andrew’s Twitter: #!/unrealshots Contact Christian: Contact the show at Find us on Facebook: Find this and other great Podcasts from the Average Guy Network at Some links may contain affiliate codes that benefit the Average Guy Podcast Network.
Listen now: Audio Only Play / pause 1x 2x 0:00 0:00 0:00 volume #2 Rich’s Random Podcast Generator: RAID, UnRAID, Wuala, HTPC’s and Streaming Media iTunesGoogle PlayShare Leave a ReviewClammr ItListen in a New WindowDownloadSoundCloudStitcherSubscribe on AndroidSubscribe via RSSAudioboomSpreakerOther Options Subscribe to the TAG Weekly Update (Be in the know!) Come On! You know you want to! Download episode right-click > Save target/link as… From the Guys who brought you the Home Tech Podcast, and a production of the Average Guy Network, Rich’s RPG is a weekly show about the world of technology hosted by Jim Collison and Rich O’Neil. Using Google+ hangout to meet up with technology guys and gals, they discuss whatever is hot, current or frustrating them at the moment. No outlines, no agenda, no worries. This week, Rich and Jim are joined once again by Mike Howard ofjpeg2RAW fame. Rich and Mike talk about general RAID configurations, settings and hardware that they use with their respective home servers. Rich, new to RAID, is using a HighPoint RocketRAID 2720 in his Windows Home Server 2011 machine, while Mike uses a SuperMicro SATA card in his UnRAID server. What is UnRAID, you ask? From the Lime Tech web site: “unRAID Server is an embedded Network Attached Storage server Operating System designed to boot from a USB Flash device and specifically designed for digital media storage.” Basically, UnRAID does not stripe the parity of an array across all drives as a RAID5 does, but rather assigns one fixed drive as the parity drive. It also does not stripe data across the drives as RAID5 does, but rather writes files in their entirety to a single drive which is NTFS formatted and easily readable on any system. The down side of UnRAID is that the performance (the writes, anyway) is lower than a single drive’s. This is because parity calculations are being done at the same time. Overall, though, UnRAID is a pretty robust storage solution. Ever thought about backing up to the cloud but hesitate because of the cost of online storage? Jim and Mike talk about using Wuala to create a free backup network using your friends’ PC’s. If you’ve ever been watching Netflix and had Windows updates break in on the movie, you understand that an HTPC and Windows Updates do not mix. Rich tries to convince Jim to shut off Windows Updates, along with other app updates such as Flash. If you don’t use your HTPC to browse the Internet, and most people, Rich suggests managing updates manually or skipping them altogether. This’ll put an end to annoying interruptions and increase WAF. In the show this week: Mike Howard, Jim Collison, RIch O’Neil Jim’s Twitter: #!/jcollison Contact the show at If you have a product or a topic you would like us to discuss, please tag your articles in Delicious using the tag “TheAverageGuy”. Find this and other great Podcasts from the Average Guy Network at Intro and Exit Music used by permission from “"In the Shadow Of The Great Machine” by Fool’s Chaos. Hear more great tunes at Fool’s Chaos
I have been reviewing a Drobo in some form or fashion since December #160; Some reviews over at the Home Server Show and some here at the Average #160; The first part of this review can be found at Drobo Has a New Dashboard! Welcome Version with a Drobo S and 5 Drives In recent months, Drobo has released a new version of their dashboard ( updated for this review) for both their consumer and enterprise #160; For a company that is taking steps in the right direction when it comes to back up hardware, this software upgrade replaces a fairly vanilla offering from the last several #160; It’s a definite upgrade and one that users of a Drobo should test out #160; I found no reasons not to #160; If you are a Drobo owner, the upgrade is free. With the new Dashboard, you can: (from ) View all your Drobos in one window Get capacity and status for each Drobo DroboCopy tasks run in the background Get email alerts about your Drobo Here is a good overview of the Drobo Dashboard v2 from Mario Blandini. Tools From the Capacity and Tools option in the Dashboard select #160; This gives the user the ability to do several functional and maintenance #160; Blink the lights, rename the device, check for software updates, register your Drobo, perform some system diagnostics, shutdown your Drobo, format it and reset the unit. Let’s look at them one at a time! #160; Blink Lights – I’m sure there is a good reason to blink the lights on a Drobo, but this might be the least used function in the tools #160; I did it several time to impress my friends when on a Skype call, but that was #160; When selected, it will blink the light between red and green. #160; Rename Device – If I had two of the same unit or if I just wanted to rename my Drobo to “Bob” this would be the place. #160; Check for Updates – Between this post and the first one, Drobo upgraded the software to version ! The software does automatically check for updates, but in case you skipped it the last time, you can update it from #160; I was already up to date! #160; Register – Takes you to the Drobo site for registration of the #160; #160; Diags – Runs some very quick diagnostics and puts a log file to your desktop for #160; Support will most likely ask for this if you are experiencing #160; The file itself is unreadable by the end user. #160; Shutdown – Performs a clean shutdown of the unit. #160; Format – Use this to change the way the Drobo has been #160; For the purposes of this review, the Drobo was formatted into 4 – 2TB #160; Selecting the format option starts with a prompt warning you that all your data will be deleted. The rest of the process is similar to the format this is done when first installing the #160; See my first post here. #160; Reset – Made a horrible mistake and just need to start over? This is your tool. Drobo Copy Drobo Copy is a feature that enables you to easily backup files to your Drobo device. From this screen, you can add, edit, delete or run a Drobo Copy task. You can also view a report of the last run of a particular Drobo Copy task. Selecting the + option allows me to create a new copy object. I will rename the copy to ‘First Drobo Backup’ Select the source folder at my Documents Folder from my PC Select the destination folder as one of the Drobo volumes Leave the default time and days of the week to AM and All Days Basic View Advanced View In Advanced view, the options to include system files. Delete files in the ‘To’ folder that are not present in the ‘From’ folder, set the Reporting Level and add exclusions are #160; For the purposes of this review, they will remain default. This would be a very handy way to back up the files on your computer if you had no other form of back #160; Set up is very easy to use and understand as well as manage. To run the backup manually, use the ‘Run Now’ button at the bottom of the #160; Select ‘Edit’ to make changes to the scheduled jobs. One a job is run, the ‘Last Report” option is #160; When completed, it looks something like this. From the Drobo Website: For Drobo Dashboard version or later: See Using Drobo Copy to Back Up Data in the Drobo Online User Guide. To create a new Drobo Copy, see Creating a New Drobo Copy in the Drobo Online User Guide. (Also see "Information for Advanced Settings" below in this article.) To run a Drobo Copy now (manually), see Running a Drobo Copy Now in the Drobo Online User Guide. To review a report of Drobo Copy activities, see Reviewing the Last Report for a Drobo Copy in the Drobo Online User Guide. Dashboard Preferences There two options under the Dashboard Preferences – Dashboard Settings and Email Settings Under Dashboard Settings, a General Settings window #160; The options to Auto Update, Enable System Tray functionality (which means it is running even if the software is closed) and Alert #160; If I wanted to configure Email Alerts, I could do that in the Email Setting #160; This option is for more advanced users. More information on setting up Email Alerts can be found here. Conclusion The upgrade to the Software was a huge improvement over the #160; A better interface, easier to use features and a more intuitive layout is a big plus for the average #160; There is no reason not to move to this version of the Drobo Dashboard and if you are just purchasing a Drobo, the dashboard should be a tremendous #160; Nice work Drobo! So what is next? In the next review, I will atake a look at how it can be used with different applications including Windows Home Server 2011 and Oracle’s Virtual Box. Jim Collison is a blogger and podcaster for and Full Disclosure – Drobo provided an evaluation unit with drives for this review.
I have been reviewing a Drobo in some form or fashion since December #160; Some reviews over at the Home Server Show and some here at the Average #160; In recent months, Drobo has released a new version of their dashboard ( for this review) for both their consumer and enterprise #160; For a company that is taking steps in the right direction when it comes to back up hardware, this software upgrade replaces a fairly vanilla offering from the last several #160; It’s a definite upgrade and one that users of a Drobo should test out #160; I found no reasons not to #160; If you are a Drobo owner, the upgrade is free. With the new Dashboard, you can: (from ) View all your Drobos in one window Get capacity and status for each Drobo DroboCopy tasks run in the background Get email alerts about your Drobo Here is a good overview of the Drobo Dashboard v2 from Mario Blandini. This review was done on Windows 7 PC using a 5 bay Drobo S connected via USB The Review The v2 software can be found at the Drobo support #160; #160; The install is fairly standard and I selected all the defaults. The Dashboard: (Click on any of the images to enlarge to viewable size) Icons View List View Both views give the ability to sort by Health, Name or #160; There is a graphical representation of the device in the lower left corner of the #160; Very handy to use if your Drobo is in another location and cannot be seen. Since the Drobo is empty of drives, we are going to add 5 of #160; 2 – 3TB, 2 - and 1 – 1TB #160; I am going to load all of them at once. While the drives are being loaded by the Drobo, I get this warning message: The Drobo itself is flashing the yellow and green #160; This process is no different in previous versions of the dashboard, just a new way of alerting the user. Because the drives are not completely acquired by the unit, this alert occurs as well: It took the unit about 3 minutes to completely add all the #160; Now they need to be formatted. Icons View List View Selecting the first option, Capacity and Tools, I am prompted to format the #160; Selecting #160; A final warning before the format. Like in the previous version of the dashboard, there three different Format Types #160; For the purposes of this review, I am choosing the 2nd or NTFS option. In further reviews, I am going use the Drobo to test the new Windows Home Server 2011 with Oracle’s Virtual Box #160; For that purpose, I need 2TB #160; So for this review, I am choosing to create multiple 2TB #160; It would be just as easy to create a 4, 8 or 16TB volume right here with the slider. One of the handy features about the Drobo is that I can very easily set up the volumes once I chose their #160; I am going to change both the drive letters of the volumes as well as their #160; This will help in future reviews know which drive is which. Its important to remember that while I might have 4 – 2TB volumes, I really only have of capacity #160; If I loaded more than of data to these drives, the Drobo would require that I add larger drives to the #160; Before After And a #160; Selected Format The formatted look from the #160; Usage Option Capacity Option In order to complete the set up, the Drobo needed to be #160; This was accomplished in about 2 minutes time without rebooting the PC. Volumes Tab Status Tab Out of the box, the Drobo uses Beyond RAID to protect any data stored on the #160; By default on the Drobo S, one drive can fail without the loss of #160; In the Setting – General Tab, there is an option increase the number of drives that can fail at once to two #160; While it adds a greater amount of protection, it takes additional #160; Each user needs to evaluate their risk #160; Here is what it looks like if it’s turned on with this configuration. There are also two other options for power #160; The first one determines how quickly the disk spin down when they are not in #160; The default is 15 #160; The second is brightness of the #160; 1 is nearly off and 10 is #160; 10 is default. By selecting the Dual Disk Redundancy, the drive capacity is almost cut in half with this configuration. With this configuration, it took the Drobo about 12 minutes to convert the disks. Before After Since I can risk having only one drive fail at a time, I am going to set the protection mode back to the default setting. This process took about 5 seconds to complete. So what is next? In the next set of reviews, we will look at The Tools available from within the Dashboard, Drobo Copy, the Dashboard Preferences and the Help available from the Drobo #160; I will also take a look at how it can be used with different applications including Windows Home Server 2011 and Oracle’s Virtual #160; Jim Collison is a blogger and podcaster for and Full Disclosure – Drobo provided an evaluation unit with drives for this review.
How to use Team Viewer, Technet and Action Pack, Mac Mini, IE 9 RC, Windows 7 Family Pack, Magic Wake on LAN and Special Guest Andrew Morris – HT011
We tried 4 guys for the show this week and welcomed guest host Andrew Morris from Melbourne, Australia the this week’s #160; In a very full show, we talked about the Team Viewer application, some discussion around the differences between Microsoft’s Technet and Action Pack software subscription services, the release of IE 9 RC, Bing’s gaining on Google, Facebook’s Q4 revenue, Brian newest post at AppAdvice, the Mac Mini, Windows 7 Family Pack, Christian’s WHS addin Magic Wake on LAN, W7 and 2008r2 Service Pack 1, Guitar Hero getting the axe, HP releases new WebOS offerings including a tablet, Media Browser and HTC Home! It was a full show! Listen Mobile: Show Notes · Study Shows Bing is More Accurate Than Google, and It’s Gaining Share · Facebook Earned 250 Million in Q4 and Profits are Growing at an Astounding Rate · Team Viewer · Action Pack for MS Software · TechneNet Subscriptions · Download Internet Explorer 9 RC · Windows 7 Home Premium Family Pack · Activision Kills Guitar Hero · HP Announces Plans to Bring webOS to the PC & Introduces TouchPad Tablet and Two Phones · Windows 7 and Server 2008 R2 Service Pack 1 Available February 22nd · Guest – Andrew Morris from Media · HP Pavilion DM1Z with AMD Fusion Review · HP ProBook 4320s How To Get Your Facebook Email Now Quick Advice: IM All Your Friends on Every Network with Palringo Facebook Page: Facebook Group: If you’d like to subscribe to the show, click on to update your iTunes library, or for other Podcast downloading applications, please click on the RSS Feed and pick your Pod Catcher of choice! Or, you can now stream the show online at at The Show Announcements and Schedule: Jim’s Twitter: Andrew’s Twitter: Contact Christian: Contact the show at Find us on Facebook: Find this and other great Podcasts from the Average Guy Network at Some links may contain affiliate codes that benefit the Average Guy Podcast Network.
Have you been looking for a better way to back up your data other than an external hard drive? So have many #160; Over the last 3 years, Microsoft has been developing and supporting a product to help you with not only backing up your PCs, but assist you with some network file #160; It’s called a Windows Home Server (WHS). Admittedly, I am a WHS enthusiast, blogger and podcaster and have a vested interested in the #160; In November, Microsoft pulled the Drive Extender (DE) functionality from the product and left the WHS community #160; Much of this has already been document on this topic and if you have fallen behind, here is a must read to catch #160; The short of it, is that the ability to use multiple hard drives in a single PC and have them seen as one volume and managed as a pool of drives is not longer going to be supported by Microsoft in the near future. For WHS enthusiasts, this was a blow! It begged the question, could there be something else that has similar functions and features of DE in WHS that I could use? Could I replace DE in my WHS with something else? With a little thought, a Drobo looked like a good candidate, so I contacted them, acquired some hardware and wrote these posts at the #160; While writing these posts, it became apparent that I might be able to replace the WHS completely with a Drobo and Windows 7 native #160; If that was the case, it deserved a #160; This is that journey. The first Drobo was released in 2004 and was similar to the model I am reviewing #160; In the last 6 years, Drobo has expanded their line of devices to include models with faster transfer speeds, more drive bays and different ways to connect to your #160; For the purposes of this review, I have a 2nd Generation Drobo (current retail is between $299 and $399) and am using the USB connection to my #160; You can find more info on Drobo and their other products at So to give it a fair shake, here the major features of a WHS. The Windows Home Server’s main features (from Microsoft) Media Server Store and organize digital memories and media in one central location. Stream the digital content to Media devices. Backup Software Effortlessly backup your home computers daily and automatically. Data Recovery Easily restore lost files or even entire hard drive contents in a few steps. Document Management Get complete access to files from both inside and outside the home. Remote Access Share photos and home videos with friends and family with the built-in secure and personalized website address. Add-ins Easily extend the capabilities of the Server using software add-ins. Expand storage capacity easily as your needs increase. Let’s look at each one of these areas and see where the Drobo lines #160; First, we need to get the unit installed. The Drobo and Management Software Install In the box comes: #160; The Drobo (wrapped in a black cover that could be used later as a dust cover) #160; Power Cords, USB and Firewire 800 Cables #160; A resource CD and Documentation (the book is actually handy!) Set up and configuration is #160; Pull all the contents out of the box, plug in the Drobo and it comes to #160; I connected the unit to my PC via USB (I don’t have a Firewire 800 port on my PC) and installed the software from the provided CD The install is very #160; Double click on the install icon and select all the #160; Here are some of the screen shots: One the install is complete, the unit is ready to accept drives. If you select Advanced Controls, you see a view of the Drobo and it’s drive #160; In this case, drives need to be added. I have 2 x Western Digital WD15EARS Drives and 2 x 1TB Western Digital WD10EARS Drives that will get inserted into the #160; When I inserted the first drive () into the top slot, the Drobo prompted me format the drives and to create a volume. Selected NTFS for Windows Vista PC Created a 16TB Volume Selected a Drive #160; I took the default. It formatted. Success! One thing to remember is that even though the Drobo creates a 16TB partition, it doesn’t mean you have 16TB of available #160; That is determined by the number and size of drives you put #160; So let’s put some drives in the #160; Below are the screen shots from each drive. [Click on each of the images for a larger view] Capacity images were created using Capacity Calculator at So with all four drives loaded, I have available out of the of actual #160; The space not available is used for data #160; Here is a look from the Drive Properties in Windows. So now we have 3TB of space for data that is redundant and #160; What can we do with it besides use it like a regular external drive? Let’s look at how it would match up to the features of a Windows Home #160; The Media Server – Store and organize digital memories and media in one central location. Stream the digital content to Media devices. The first step in the process is to get the sharing permissions correct so that we can share files and folders across the #160; For the purposes of this review and simplicity, I am going to choose the least complex security and allow all users to access all network shared #160; There are several options that need to be changed in the control panel of Windows 7 On the PC that is going to host the Drobo, go to Control Panel\Network and Internet\Network and Sharing Center\Advanced sharing settings Select Choose media streaming options… Select Turn on media streaming I changed the name of the media library from my PC name to #160; It added several PCs from my network to the devices that would be allowed to access my #160; Select Ok. To make sure that the other users on my network don’t have to enter a password, I am going to turn off Password Protected #160; It’s more complex of a set up to have it on and I am not going to cover it here, but it is possible to insure that each user has permissions to the media. I created three folders on the #160; Music, Video and #160; So I could tell them apart when looking for them on various devices, I put Drobo in front of each title. In Music, added music files and streamed both on the local PC and over the network. In Video, added a file that had been recorded with my HD Homerun in over the air #160; In Pictures, included a few pictures that were taken at #160; Was able to view them for various points on the network. Since video would be most affected when adding and removing hard drives from the Drobo (or a real hard drive failure), I added a new drive during the playback of recorded #160; A the same, I was copying an entire DVD to the #160; Added a 1TB Drive to Bay 3 Removed a Drive from Bay 1 Once I pulled the drive from Bay 1, the Drobo began to going to action to move the data that had been on Bay 1 to Bay 3 for #160; During the back up, the video still played (although there was some skipping in the playback) and still had access to the music and pictures #160; It would be safe to say that the Drobo can handle most of the media sharing ability that currently exist on a Windows Home #160; However, there are many factors that going streaming audio and video across a network so your experience may #160; Backup Software – Effortlessly backup your home computers daily and automatically. When the Drobo is directly attached. Select Set up backup I will select the Drobo Choose the default method. It gives me the option to review the #160; I could change The frequency (daily, weekly, monthly) What day of the week (blank for daily, day for weekly and number for monthly) What time it backs up each day, on the hour. I then Selected Save setting and start a back up. Once the back up is complete, the Drobo then contains a back up #160; This image could be used to restore the PC in the event of a hard drive or loss of #160; Simply use the System Restore CD that was created the first time a back up was made, boot the new PC with the Drobo attached and restore the image from the Drobo. To back up other PCs on the network, I would simply create a back up folder that I would share across the #160; When selecting the destination location, I would choose network and store it there. Document Management – Get complete access to files from both inside and outside the home. Remote Access – Share photos and home videos with friends and family with the built-in secure and personalized website address. Let’s get two for #160; We have seen from the Media Server section, document management (of things like Word docs and Excel files for example) is not any different than hosting music or video #160; The real challenge would be the access of those file from outside the #160; This task is made very easy with the help of Window Live Mesh, part of the Windows Live Essentials suite of #160; Instructions to set up Live Essentials can be found #160; Windows Live Mesh allows you to both remote control a PC or have access to the files that are on that PC from a remote #160; To set this up, First open and log into Window Live Mesh on the PC with the Drobo. Then choose Sync a folder, found under the PC #160; In this case, I am going to Sync the Drobo Pictures #160; Select the folder and choose Sync. In this case, I am going to choose my SkyDrive #160; From there I could choose to share them with friends and family by using the share features that already exist with that #160; I am limited to 5GB of total space with this option. If you had files or pictures that you wanted to share with the same PC all the time, you could set the sync to go from PC to PC, say your PC to your parents #160; There would be no 5GB size limit in this #160; To view them on the web, go to and #160; I would select the PC that hosts the Drobo, in this case #160; Then choose Drobo Pictures. And there are my #160; I have include a screen shot from both the Drobo and the SkyDrive From the SkyDrive From the Drobo Add-ins – Easily extend the capabilities of the Server using software add-ins. Expand storage capacity easily as your needs increase. One of the amazing features about the Windows Home Sever was it’s Add-in #160; The Add-in developers could extend the functionality and capabilities by writing specific applications on the Home Server #160; Many of these add-ins for free or very #160; Surprisingly, Drobo also has its own Apps that can be used with the #160; They can be found at #160; There are apps for both the Drobo and the Drobo FS. Here are an example of a few: DroboApps Admin Utility The DroboApps Admin Utility makes installing, configuring, updating, and uninstalling DroboApps even easier. It can temporarily disable a DroboApp to keep it from starting automatically. Apache Apache is a secure, efficient and extensible server that provides HTTP services in sync with the current HTTP standards. Firefly Firefly serves digital music residing on the Drobo FS to the Roku Soundbridge and iTunes. Lighttpd lighttpd is a HTTP server with a focus on security, speed, compliance, and flexibility. Unfsd UNFS3 is a user-space implementation of the NFSv3 server specification. It provides a daemon for the MOUNT and NFS protocols, which are used by NFS clients for accessing files on the server. Conclusion While not an exact replacement for a Windows Home Server in every way, a Drobo could replace most if not all of what is needed when using a Windows Home #160; Results can and will vary depending on one’s specific environment and there may be additional or other solutions that I didn’t consider in this #160; It should get you thinking! Jim Collison is a blogger and podcaster for and Full Disclosure – Drobo provided an evaluation unit with drives for this review.
News is going to be slow until the next beta release of Vail but we do have a couple of items for #160; On an exciting note the HSS Forums has opened up to Developers who want to control testing of their #160; John is back and the ustream chat was #160; AJ joins to talk about his backup article and we go over a lot of different options for Windows Home Server backups, retention, restoring, cloud backups, etc. The Full Show and Show Notes at