Windows Home Server, Day 8

No, you’re not missing any posts. I’ve jumped from Day 4 to Day 8.

Last night WHS box passed the “Yep, still looking good” test, and got promoted to the dark closet beneath my stairway. No keyboard, mouse or monitor anymore. Just the AC cord and an ethernet cable. Don’t cry because it’s lonely though. It has company: The Media Center box that previously had the closet all to itself.

Later I used Remote Desktop connection to log into the server, and poke around. All looked good, and it was only using about 309 MB of committed memory. With indexing enabled, it does use a bit more, and I’ll probably break down and buy another 512 MB of memory to keep it happy. I’ll also likely need another UPS if I want power monitoring. If only there was some way to have one UPS communicate via USB cable with multiple machines…

Of my terabyte of storage, I’ve still got about 650 GB free. I have all my photos and music using “duplication”, but my 33 ripped DVDs are in a non-duplicated folder.

Over the weekend, I also pointed the Media Center “DVD” path to point at the Videos folder. My wife was genuinely impressed to see all the random DVDs we’ve collected show up on Media center.

I’ve also changed the kitchen laptop to never suspend. Instead, the screen saver displays random photos from the “Photos” folder on the WHS box. It’s a great way to be reminded of past memories without having to manually browse your photo collection. It’s also an easy way to make sure your server is still kicking. 🙂

Comments (11)

  1. Mark Garner says:

    What was it that was causing it to hang overnight?

  2. Matt Pietrek says:

    No idea what caused the crash. I ran the Microsoft memory analyzer for several hours and it didn’t flag anything. The crash hasn’t happened against since then. Keep your fingers crossed!

  3. Norman Diamond says:

    > the dark closet beneath my stairway.

    Does that mean no ventilation?????

    > I ran the Microsoft memory analyzer for several hours

    Oh yeah that reminds me.  One time I had a crash when memtest86 detected a memory error at an address somewhere around the 17GB mark (nine nonzero hexadecimal digits in the address, properly converted to around 17GB by memtest86).  The machine had 4GB of memory.  This particular problem did not recur.  I’m still wondering how it happened though.  If a cosmic ray hit an address line somewhere then it means my CPU has more address lines than I thought it had.

  4. AlienRancher says:

    I would enable ETW tracing with a circular buffer, say a file of 20 MB. I would enable the basic kernel providers plus whatever is specific of WHS.

    If it crashes again you can look at the etl file.

  5. AlienRancher says:

    And I forgot, maybe enable the PnP ETW provider…

  6. Matt Pietrek says:

    AlienRancher: Good idea about the ETW tracing. I should have thought of that myself. The machines been OK since the first two days. Keeping my fingers crossed.

  7. onovotny says:

    Any idea if it can join a domain and use domain user accounts instead of whatever it’s currently using?  That would be really important in some cases…

  8. Norman Diamond says:

    Extended Trace Whatchamacallit?  What is it?

  9. andre says:

    what is the effective size of the server if i have 4 250GB disk? is it 0.5TB or 1TB? i ask for planning disk drive purchases in the future.

  10. Keith Hill says:

    >> pointed the Media Center "DVD" path to point at the Videos folder

    What exactly do you mean by that?  I assume that this allows you to watch ripped DVDs stored on WHS from your MCE box – this really ought to be built right into MCE like the support for ripping audio CDs.   BTW, are you running MCE 2005 or Vista MCE?

  11. Matt Pietrek says:

    Keith: Yes. The DVDs are stored on the WHS box, and being accessed from MCE 2005 on another box.

    I agree, DVD ripping in MCE would be cool. Nonetheless, the current situation is what we’re stuck with.

    Personally, I’d be happy to move to a media-free world. My CD’s are all in a box somewhere and my DVDs are headed to long term storage soon as well.