Bits from Bill

Technology thoughts leaking from the brain of "Bill Pytlovany"

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Windows Home Server Saved my Butt

Last November I posted the article below after someone recommended a Windows Home Server to me. I’m happy to say after having a system failure this week I was able to try the “Restore PC” CD that came with my HP Mediasmart Home Server and it saved my butt. I now have a completely restored system in working order.

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November 30, 2009
Do you have more than one PC or Laptop in your home? Would you like a better way to make sure your computer data is backed up? If you answered yes then like me you want a Windows Home Server for your home network.

Last month, I finally decided that a Home Server system would be a good choice for me. After some serious research, I went ahead and purchased a HP EX490 1TB Mediasmart Home Server . At the time it was $500 but can now be had for $469 USD. I also added some drive space with an extra Western Digital 1.5 TB Caviar Green SATA Hard Drive for only $90.
hpmediasmart_thumb

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HP Mediasmart Home Server

I can’t believe I waited so long before picking up this essential device for any home network. Designed as a single device to stream your music, videos and photos the Mediasmart Home Server has a variety of cool functions. For me the single feature which backs up all my computers was well worth the cost. When I first set up the Windows Home Server I had it back up all my home computers which took the better part of the day. Now, it backs up every system in 5-10 minutes and only stores what has changed. Everything is done without any intervention and alerts me only if an error occurs.

If I sound excited it’s because I am. I’m sure, I’m not the only one with 2+ computers at home and this is a must have addition to any home network. For more information on the power and features of the Windows Home Servers check out Microsoft’s Windows Home Server page.

I recommend highly that you add a Windows Home Server to your holiday wish list. This month keep your eyes out for special savings. Today on Twitter I read that Amazon has a HP LX195 MediaSmart Home Server with a 640 GB hard drive on sale for $199 USD. This smaller unit doesn't have room for more internal storage but includes 4 USB ports to easily add more space. If you’ve ever had a hard drive failure and/or looked at the costs of disk recovery you’ll want to order one today.

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My 4 year old desktop had 829 GB’s of data which I have collected over the years. It included 12 years of digital photos, full copy of TV shows which I had recorded, 10 years of Email stored in Microsoft Outlook, many programs which I doubt I could ever find again and more.

I have never found a backup system I was happy with until now. It took almost a full day to restore all the data but it worked as advertised. I doubt this is the last time you’ll hear be sing the praises of the Windows Home Server. If you have a household with multiple computers treat yourself and make the investment today.

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4 Comments:

Blogger wwaterhank said...

I WONDER IF BILL RECOVERED ALL FILES INCLUDING SYSTEM FILES. THAT IS,-- ABLE TO MAKE A COMPLETE TOTAL DISK RECOVERY INCLUDING A RUNNING OPERATING SYSTEM, WITHOUT RERUNNING AN INSTALL (PROBABLY XP), BY JUST RESTORING THE DISK(S).

I WONDER ABOUT THIS BECAUSE I USE NERO TOTAL DISK BACKUPS & OFTEN WONDER IF I HAD A CATASTROPHIC CRASH, WOULD RESTORE REALLY WORK.

CONSIDERED BUYING SERVER AFTER READING BILL'S NOV. WRITEUP BUT THE HP PRODUCT DESCRIPTION IS SO ORIENTED TOWARD PHOTOS,MUSIC,VIDEOS,ETC., I DID NOT THINK THAT DISK BACKUPS WERE A STRONG SUIT. I THEN DECIDED TO STICK WITH MY 4 INDIVIDUAL EXT. DISKS (4 COMPUTERS--4 EXT. DISKS). HOWEVER I AM WARY OF EVEN THIS BECAUSE I HAVE MULTIPLE BOOTS ON SOME COMPUTERS.

1:39 AM  
Blogger Bill Pytlovany said...

WWaterhank,

The backup isn't a file backup. Windows Home Server on the HP computer maintains a complete mirror image of any volume you set to backup.
On a daily basis it does incremental backups of only those locations which have changed.

When I say my system is back in the exact state I mean it. All the annoying Windows quirks that were on my system before are still there. ;)

Bill

9:42 AM  
Blogger wwaterhank said...

Thanks Bill.
Consequently I will eventually buy an HP server. HP products have become my brand of choice. I find it best to buy product & warantee from local trusted retailer(which is not easy to find) altho HP did replace a faulty printer 3 years back after 2 years usage.
Thanks again.

12:30 AM  
Blogger lobsta21 said...

Will my 64 bit computers work with the 32 bit backup? 64 bit computers seem to work in 32 bit fine but I'm a bit foggy.I use vista-64(2) and 7-64(3) at a busy home. I use external hard drives also.

5:22 PM  

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