Windows Home Server – first impressions


Well, it’s excellent – in a word…..

I have to say it’s a very impressive bit of software – the most stable and functional piece of Beta 2 software I think I’ve ever used. I got my invite 36 hours ago – an overnight download, and an install the following night have got me to this post….

The install was painfully simple – pop the DVD in, boot and about 5 (possible more like 3) clicks later – it’s done…. so simple even my dear old Mum could probably manage it!

The initial user experience is good – it’s a very simple desktop – think stripped down Windows 2003. The console connection is clear and easy to use, and overall it’s a doddle.

My only complaint so far is the keyboard “support” there’s no option to choose what keyboard you have – so it defaults to US…. not a huge issue I hear you say – but it’s a PITA when you use @ or ” in your initial password – they’re reversed on UK / US keyboards – so logging in from a UK laptop later means you think you’ve gone mad for a couple of minutes 🙂

There’s also no obvious way to change the administrator password once you’ve set it – so if it’s compromised – you’re SOL as far as I can see at the moment – I’ll do some more testing on this one tonight and post more if I find it.

PC Backups are very cool – you install the connector software, it automagically finds the server, gives you a link to the shares and the console software and you can then setup the backups from the console in a matter of minutes – pick what you want to exclude – rather than what you want to backup – novel idea – and quite nice I think…. means you’re less likely to miss something important (and it automagically removes stuff like your pagefile and temp directories – very clever) The backup then kicks off – and it looks pretty fast – I don’t have an exact time as I got booted off the PC – WAF still counts for something 🙂

I’ll post more in the coming days as I try to work out how to migrate my data across (4 drives in a Firewire enclosure) – should be fun 🙂