Windows Home Server Upgrade – Progress Report

Just wanted to share with you my “upgrade” experience going from the original Windows Home Server to Windows Home Server 2011.

This morning I made some hardware upgrades, specifically:

  • adding another 4GB RAM,
  • replacing the existing four hard drives totaling 3TB of varying sizes with three 2TB hard drives.

This part didn’t take so long and I took some time to make a video of how to install RAM (which I’ll share soon). I did take note of which drives were connected to which cable though just in case I needed to roll back.

Moving along, I connected a mouse and keyboard to the box and hooked it up to the television and started the operating system installation. This actually took a while longer than I had expected but nonetheless it was straightforward. After supplying some basic information such as target drive the installation went on its merry way. Some time afterwards, it asked to confirm various locale information (country, time and currency, etc) and a server name and password. After numerous reboots the new installation was up and running.

Then came Windows Update – I lost count of how many times I had to reboot (don’t think I quite cracked ten times just for Windows Update but I’m sure I was close). Apparently I did get a stack of updates installed as part of the original installed but due to the network port seizing up

Then there were a bunch of niggles and configuration stuff that I had to deal with after the installation which included:

  • Two out of the four network ports on the back of the server apparently seizing up (solid amber lights on both even without network cables plugged in),
    • Tip: This is a known issue with the Gigabyte GA-N680SLI-DQ6 which requires a complete power off including pulling the plug until the lights clear, starting up again and install the nForce Ethernet drivers).
  • Missing video card driver,
  • Missing audio driver (perhaps not so important but I found it annoying),
  • Reinstalling the UPS (this was an adventure in itself as the software installation failed to install the actual drivers and adjust Windows Firewall to allow the monitoring software to talk to the UPS),
  • Bridging all of the network ports on the back of the server so I can use it as a high speed switch under my desk,
  • Fixing up the static DHCP settings on the network so the old IP address still worked,
  • Figuring out how the DriveBender drive pooling add-in worked to make the three drives look like one big drive (since WHS 2011 dropped the Drive Extender featuring opening the door for third party solutions),
  • Upgrading the connector software on the client machines.

Stuff I still need to do:

  • Copy all of the data back (USB is not going to cut it so I’ll have to crack open the server and hook up the drive directly),
  • Reinstall 3CX (VoIP PABX),
  • Reinstall AirVideo,
  • Setup server backups.

Needless to say, I have my work cut out for me tomorrow.

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