Tags Posts tagged with "essentials"


There is an update to the beta of Drive Bender for Windows Home Server 2011, SBS 2011 Essentials and Windows Server 2012 Essentials, taking it to version v1.4.7.8 rc1, also known as the Tomcat release.


Release v1.4.7.8 rc1 (2013-02-18)

– Update: Improved the file deleting speed for folders will a large number of files.
– Update: The file handling performance has been dramatically improved.
– Bug fix: Manually activation can fail with an error.
– Update: S.M.A.R.T. drive detection has been improved.
– Update: S.M.A.R.T. monitoring ignores drives that are in a powered down mode.
– Update: Email notifications are now limited in the number that can be sent is a given period.

[button link=”http://www.drivebender.com/drive-bender-beta-downloads-sn” style=”download”]Downoad the beta from here[/button]

What do you think of Drive Bender? Let us know by leaving a comment below.

There is an update to the beta of Drive Bender for Windows Home Server 2011, SBS 2011 Essentials and Windows Server 2012 Essentials, taking it to version v1.4.7.0, also known as the Tomcat release.


Release v1.4.7.0

  • Added: Email notifications. Any Drive Bender system notification can now be sent to a nominated email address, this is configured under the Notification settings.
  • Update: Improved user security setting when creating a new mount point.
  • Bug fix: On a multi-pool system, if all the drives go off line for one of the pool, the other pool can also be affected.
  • Update: Improved handling of participating drives going off line (fault tolerant mode).
  • Bug fix: When opening the Drive Bender Manager, the main interface can hide behind other windows.

[button link=”http://www.drivebender.com/drive-bender-beta-downloads-sn” style=”download”]Downoad the beta from here[/button]

What do you think of Drive Bender? Let us know by leaving a comment below.

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Microsoft have just posted that Windows Server 2012 Essentials Release Candidate is now available.


This is what Microsoft just posted on their blog:

Here are some of the major changes in the RC:

  • Increased support for importing your own SSL certificates. Previously, customers had to do a lot of work to configure domains obtained in our domain wizard by using SSL certificates that were acquired outside of our domain wizard. We have now updated our wizard, which should make this process much simpler.
  • Installation of only critical setup updates during setup. One of the things that all Microsoft teams care about is getting customers up and running as quickly as possible. With the RC release we have changed our logic to only install critical setup-related updates during setup time. This might not seem to be a big issue if you only occasionally install Windows Server 2012 Essentials, but to partners that install Windows Server 2012 Essentials often, this change will make setup faster and more predictable. Note that customers will continue to select the update strategy that they want to use after the server has been set up.
  • Windows SBS Best Practices Analyzer (BPA) changes. We have updated the BPA rules to include the latest set of rules and have also made it possible to ignore specific BPA rules by using our UI.
  • Office 365 changes. We have now made it easier to import existing Office 365 users into Windows Server 2012 Essentials.
  • Verified DHCP supported. Windows Server 2012 Essentials supports turning on the DHCP role and setting a static IP address for the server.

[button link=”http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=30719″ style=”download”]Download the Release Candidate from here[/button]

Have you tried it yet, even in beta? If so, let us know what you think by leaving a comment below.

Microsoft yesterday opened the registration process to be a beta tester of the new version of it’s Security Essentials software. Want to be a part of the testing?

Microsoft SE

Here is what Microsoft said:

Today we announce that the Beta for the next version of Microsoft Security Essentials is open for registration.

Do you want to try out our latest innovations in protection and performance?

Are you interested in helping to improve Security Essentials?

The number of users than can participate in the Beta is limited, so sign up today and we will notify you once the Beta is available for download. We anticipate the Microsoft Security Essentials beta to be available to the general public by the end of the year.

New features in the Beta of Microsoft Security Essentials include:

  • Enhanced protection through automatic malware remediation – The Beta will clean high-impact malware infections automatically, with no required user interaction.
  • Enhanced performance – The Beta includes many performance improvements to make sure your PC performance isn’t negatively impacted.
  • Simplified UI – Simplified UI makes Microsoft Security Essentials Beta easier to use.
  • New and improved protection engine – The updated engine offers enhanced detection and cleanup capabilities.

The Security Essentials team

I have been running Security Essentials since the very early beta and I am very happy with the product, and can’t wait to see what the new version has to offer!

What about you?

On Monday, Western Digital announced that they would be entering the Small Business Marketplace with offerings using Windows Storage Server 2008 R2 Essentials (formally codename Breckenridge).


There are no real details on the hardware or any pricing yet, but watch this space, that information should start coming out very soon.

It’s good to see some support for Storage Server 2008 R2 – now how about some more support for WHS 2011?

Here is what WD have said:

IRVINE, Calif. – July 12, 2011 – Western Digital® (NYSE: WDC), a leader in digital storage solutions, announced it will be offering a small-office storage server product and has signed an OEM software agreement with Microsoft Corporation to include the Windows® Storage Server 2008 R2 Essentials operating system software. WD® will combine its leading storage technologies with Microsoft’s operating system to deliver a complete storage solution for the small business market. The result will be a product that simplifies connection, protection and collaboration online for small businesses and the information technology services organizations that support them.
Fast, dependable and secure access to data, along with complete backup and recovery capability are becoming as crucial for small-to-medium-sized businesses (SMBs) as it is for large enterprises. According to Forrester Research, SMBs will outpace the projected IT market growth rate of 7.1%. In terms of infrastructure spending increases, storage and servers top SMBs’ hardware budget plans. Fifty-three percent of SMBs indicate that they will increase their storage spend.1 To serve this market, WD joined with Microsoft to incorporate the most advanced online features so businesses can easily and securely share information with clients, consultants or satellite offices located anywhere in the world.
“Small businesses will find great value in the combination of WD’s hardware solutions and the recently released Microsoft Windows Storage Server 2008 R2 Essentials solution from Microsoft. I am excited about the opportunity we have with WD and their solutions for helping small businesses run more efficiently,” said Nick Parker, VP of Worldwide Marketing for the OEM Division at Microsoft.
“By combining Microsoft’s platform with WD’s strength in the storage market, the two organizations bring extraordinary synergies that boost productivity and efficiency for small business. With this, WD will offer storage solutions for small business that provides centralized, online shared storage capable of meeting the storage requirements of the small business owners in today’s fast paced business environment,” said Thomas Gallivan, WD’s vice president of marketing for SMB branded products.
To receive future sales and product information regarding WD’s upcoming SMB products, please email smbstorage@wdc.com.
About WD
WD, one of the storage industry’s pioneers and long-time leaders, provides products and services for people and organizations that collect, manage and use digital information. The company designs and produces reliable, high-performance hard drives and solid state drives that keep users’ data accessible and secure from loss. Its advanced technologies are configured into applications for client and enterprise computing, embedded systems and consumer electronics, as well as its own consumer storage and home entertainment products.
WD was founded in 1970. The company’s storage products are marketed to leading OEMs, systems manufacturers, selected resellers and retailers under the Western Digital® and WD brand names. Visit the Investor section of the company’s website (www.westerndigital.com) to access a variety of financial and investor information.
1 Forrester Research, Demand Insights: The SMB Hardware Infrastructure Market, April 20, 2011

Microsoft have created a Windows Small Business Server Migration Portal which provides links to information and tools that help guide you through the process of migrating to SBS 2011.


This is what Microsoft said:

This latest enhancement to the Windows SBS migration information experience is designed to provide quick access to a broad spectrum of migration guides, tools, and community knowledge that can help guide you through the process of migrating from your current version of Windows SBS to a more recent version of the product, or to a new or significantly modified computer.

This portal does not mark the end of the work to be done in this area. Oh no. We are always learning, always evolving, always improving. And thanks to your passion, experience, and involvement, we like to think that your voices lend beautiful harmonies to our work. Or is that the other way around? Either way, we hope you find the Migration Portal helpful.

[button link=”http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sbs/gg981878″ style=”download” window=”yes”]Access the Windows Small Businss Server Migration Portal[/button]

And don’t forget Working With Windows Small Business Server 2011 Essentials, the book I have written with Charlie and Sharon which will be available very soon.


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Charlie Russell and Sharon Crawford’s new book the Windows Small Business Server 2011 Adminstrator’s Companion has just been released, and I was the technical reviewer on the book.


The Administrator’s Companion is the comprehensive, one-volume guide to deploying and administering Windows Small Business Server 2011 Standard edition. This edition is the ideal solution for small businesses with up to 75 users. And, a heck of a value. The software is built on Windows Server 2008 R2 and includes Exchange Server 2010 SP1, SharePoint Foundation Services 2010, and Windows Server Update Services. The Premium Add-on option provides SQL Server 2008 R2 for Small Business.

As the authors say, “The evolution of Microsoft Windows Small Business Server from its inception to the latest version in 2011 has been an orderly progression of improvements both large and small—and the total distance covered is immense.”

[button link=”http://blogs.msdn.com/b/microsoft_press/archive/2011/06/10/new-book-windows-small-business-server-2011-administrator-s-companion.aspx” window=”yes”]Learn more about the book from here[/button]

And don’t forget Working With Windows Small Business Server 2011 Essentials, the book I have written with Charlie and Sharon which will be available very soon.

Today saw Microsoft update it’s Windows Small Business Server 2011 website – and did you know there are a number of resources available for you to view, ready and even try?

SBS try

180 Day Trial of SBS 2011 Standard Edition

Would you like to try out the new Small Business Server 2011 edition but you don’t have access to either TechNet or MSDN? Well now you can as Microsoft are giving you the opportunity to download a fully functional trial copy.

sbs try2

To download your trial copy, click here.

SBS 2011 Training Videos

There are also a number of videos you can watch that teach you more about SBS 2011 – and expect these to be added to as time goes by.

SBS training

You can watch the various training videos from here.

Working with Windows Small Business Server 2011 Essentials

Well you didn’t think I would miss an opportunity to plug my next book would you? I am working together with Charlie Russell and Sharon Crawford on an SBS 2011 Essentials book.

SBS 2011 book

You can pre-order the book from Amazon today.

You can check out the new Microsoft Windows Small Business Server 2011 website here.

Yesterday I posted an announcement about my forthcoming book Windows Home Server Inside Out for MS Press. Well today I wanted to announce Working With Windows Small Business Server 2011 Essentials, which is also for MS Press and I am co-writing with Charlie Russell and Sharon Crawford.


As you know, Windows Small Business Server 2011 Essentials is the new name for what was called Windows Small Business Server Code Name Aurora.

You can learn more about Windows Small Business Server 2011 Essentials here.

Charlie and Sharon already have a number of books on previous versions of Small Business Server and have the Windows Small Business Server 2011 Administrator’s Companion coming soon as well (which I am honoured to be the Technical Editor on).

I cant really say too much about the book at this stage, only that it will be out sometime before the middle of next year (watch this space)!

Sean Daniel has just posted a really good article on his blog called Announcing Windows Storage Server 2008 R2 Essentials and in it he compares some of the differences between Home Server Vail, Windows Storage Server 2008 R2 Essentials and Small Business Server 2011 Essentials.


Sean goes on to look at the differences between Vail, WSS 2008 R2 and SBS 2011 Essentials:

As you can see, it looks a lot like the Windows Home Server Codename “Vail” Edition and the Windows Small Business Server 2011 Essentials Edition. That’s because it is! It shares the same underlying architecture, which means all the same add-ins work on WSS 2008 R2 Essentials, as they do on the other products.

So what is the differences?

Server comparison

Aside from the ability to Domain Join, and the user limit increase, there are some subtle differences you’ll notice throughout the product that have more of a business “tint”, like if you choose to use WSS 2008 R2 Essentials for Remote Web Access, you’ll notice the same defaults you see in SBS 2011 Essentials, instead of what you see in Home Server. There are also some changes to HomeGroup defaults as well. The last thing to note is while you can install WSS 2008 R2 into an SBS 2011 Essentials, or WHS Vail environment, the client connector from each of these products cannot be installed on the same PC.

So why should you consider WSS 2008 R2 Essentials for your small business or customer?

  • PC Backup for up to 25 PCs in your SBS 2008, 2011 Standard network. And yes, you can run multiple devices in the same network, and choose who has access via a domain group
  • Server backup – backup those PC Backups and other critical data on the WSS 2008 R2 Essentials server. (no, you can’t include the backup of this into your SBS backup)
  • Similar console management as our other products. But if you domain join, you don’t manage users from this console, and the password policy is inherited from the domain (even for local users left on the WSS 2008 R2 Essentials box)
  • If you are installing it into a standard server environment, enjoy the Remote Web Access functionality
  • Additionally, monitor the health of computers in your network
  • Media streaming in the business (training videos, etc)

Windows Storage Server 2008 R2 essentials should be released in the first half (H1) of next year (2011). While it can work as a stand alone NAS device, it’s primarily targeted at Small Businesses with an Active Directory in place and the need for PC Backup and media streaming functionality. When it’s released, it will be available through multiple OEM channels with multiple form factors.

You can read the whole of his post here.

And for anyone who read his post earlier, yes, it did say WSS 2011 and he has now changed it to WSS 2008 Smile Sean works very hard so we can let him off!

You can also check out our post from yesterday as well annoucncing WSS 2008 R2 Essentials.

Today Microsoft announced Windows Storage Server 2008 R2 Essentials – also known as Breckenridge – and it shares common features with both Windows Home Server Vail and Windows Small Business Server 2011 Essentials.

Here is what Microsoft posted on their TechNet blog:

Building on the Windows Small Business Server 2011 announcements and adding to that exciting momentum – today on the Storage Server blog, Microsoft announced a new edition targeted at small business, Windows Storage Server 2008 R2 Essentials. Windows Storage Server 2008 R2 Essentials is part of the Windows Storage Server family of network attached storage appliances. It shares common features and usability with both Windows Home Server code name “Vail” and Windows Small Business Server 2011 Essentials and is optimized for:

  • Server and PC backup, including file, folder and image based restore
  • Centralized storage for file data and easier sharing
  • Console driven administration for easier management
  • Access to your data from virtually anywhere through Remote Web Access
  • Network health monitoring for both Windows and Mac PC’s
  • Active Directory Domain join

With support for up to 25 users, Windows Storage Server 2008 R2 Essentials is an appliance form-factor with preconfigured hardware and software – vastly simplifying the deployment and management tasks normally associated with a new file server or additional servers for storage. Plus, Active Directory join capability enables Windows Storage Server 2008 R2 Essentials to easily integrate into existing infrastructure and networks.

picture 1

Windows Storage Server 2008 R2 Essentials Administration Console

picture 2

Windows Storage Server 2008 R2 Essentials Domain Join Wizard

picture 3

Windows Storage Server 2008 R2 Essentials User Administration

Windows Storage Server 2008 R2 Essentials is targeted at very small businesses such as home offices which are looking for an affordable entry server without line of business support. Further to this, it can also be used as an additional storage server for organizations with existing servers. We likewise anticipate Windows Storage Server 2008 R2 Essentials to be a viable solution to assist many current SBS 2008 and new SBS 2011 Standard customers with automated PC backup and further storage options. Upon release it will be available through many OEM vendors who will offer multiple form factors, and is expected in H1 2011.

To learn more about Windows Storage Server 2008 R2 Essentials, visit the Official Storage Server Blog.

Michael Leworthy
Senior Product Manager
Windows Server Marketing

So, another new product from Microsoft based on the same code as Windows Home Server. This is great news. Expect more soon.

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Today Western Digital have launched three new drives, all supported USB 3.0 and one that is a whopping 3 TBs!

It’s good to see more USB 3.0 devices coming out, and even better to see a 3 TB model – yeah, I want one, well ok, more than one please!

Here is the full press release:


Blazing-Fast USB 3.0 Connectivity Now Available with My Book® and My Passport® External Hard Drives


Oct. 5, 2010 – WD® (NYSE: WDC), the world’s leader in external storage solutions, today introduced its new My Passport® Essential portable hard drive,


, My Passport® Essential SE portable hard drive


and My Book® Essential external hard drive.

All three drive families come in a variety of capacities and offer lightning-fast USB 3.0 connectivity.[1] Highest industry capacity is another key feature for the My Book Essential, which is now available in 3 TB capacity, in addition to 1 and 2 TB capacities. Equipped with WD SmartWare visual backup software for automatic, continuous backup, these drives provide users the extra space they need to store or back up all of their digital memories, such as high-resolution photos and videos, along with music and other critical files, all in one place.

The drives not only take advantage of the latest blazing-fast USB 3.0 technology, but are also fully compatible with USB 2.0 connections for those who have yet to upgrade their computers to USB 3.0. When connected to a SuperSpeed USB 3.0 port, consumers can transfer data at speeds up to 5 Gb/s. At that rate, a two-hour HD video will transfer in as little as three minutes. The same two-hour video would take approximately 13 minutes to transfer on a USB 2.0 port[2].

My Passport Essential, still WD’s smallest portable drive, is available in a 500 GB capacity and comes in five fun colours – Midnight Black, Cool Silver, Real Red, Pacific Blue and Arctic White (Arctic White only available in EMEA and APAC). My Passport Essential SE portable hard drives are available in 750 GB and 1 TB capacities and come in stylish black, silver, metallic blue and metallic red colours. The pocket-sized My Passport portable hard drives are powered directly through the USB cable; no separate power supply is needed3.

My Book Essential, the world’s number-one selling hard drive, also impresses with its small footprint, sleek design and high-capacity storage ranging from 1 TB up to a massive 3 TB.4 The drive is compatible with both USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 ports, and uses WD SmartWare visual backup software.

“With more and more devices like the iPod touch®, iPhone®4 and other smartphones adding video-capable cameras, digital video is becoming ubiquitous. Most homes already have thousands of photos and music files, increasing the need for storage around the house. Having the extra capacity to store these files and move them around quickly is becoming a big issue for many consumers around the world,” said Dale Pistilli, vice president of marketing for WD’s branded products group. “WD’s newest line of My Book and My Passport external hard drives features the latest USB 3.0 connection technology, which more than triples the speed to transfer media files, but still works with today’s USB 2.0 ports. In addition, consumers can take advantage of the highest capacity available on external hard drives with the new 3 TB My Book Essential drive.”


My Book Essential external hard drives, My Passport Essential and My Passport Essential SE portable hard drives feature:

– Dual USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 interface;

– Up to 3x faster transfer rates when compared to USB 2.0;

– WD SmartWare software for automatic, continuous backup;

– Password protection for privacy; and,

– Planet-friendly packaging from recycled materials which can, in turn, also be recycled.

Capacity and Compatibility:

The My Passport Essential portable hard drive is available in 500 GB capacity. The My Passport Essential SE portable hard drive is available in 750 GB and 1 TB capacities. The My Book Essential external hard drive is available in 1 TB, 1.5TB, 2 TB and 3 TB capacities. The drives are formatted NTFS for Windows® XP, Windows Vista®, or Windows 7. These drives require reformatting for Mac® OS® X Leopard® or Snow Leopard®.

Price and Availability

My Passport Essential portable hard drives and My Book Essential external hard drives offer a 2-year limited warranty and are now available at select retailers and online at www.shopwd.co.uk.

MSRP for My Passport Essential 500GB is 99 Euros. MSRP for My Passport Essential SE ranges from 149.99 Euros to 199.99 Euros. MSRP for My Book Essential ranges from 139.99 euros to 299.99 euros.

Dave and the guys over at the Home Server Show have released show 99.


Here is what Dave has to say about this weeks show:

In today’s episode we talk about the latest Windows Home Server news and our feature today is all about the new beta of Microsoft Security Essentials.  Should you run it on your server?  Can you?  Find out by listening to 99.  Next up, the show 100 mega-episode.  You will not want to miss it!

Host WordPress on your Windows Home Server


Microsoft Security Essentials on Windows Home Server via forums

MSE Screenshot tour from HowtoGeek.com

Download MSE beta

Test virus signatures

As usual you can listen to the show here: http://homeservershow.com/the-home-server-show-99.html

Almost at 100 shows – how time has flown by!

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