The “Upgrade”

Starting on a Friday evening, I began the Great Journey from WHS v1 to WHS 2011.  My “test” server would now become my “production” server.  The basic specs:

  • Motherboard: MSI K9A Platinum
  • CPU: AMD Athlon 64 4400+ dual core
  • Memory: 4 x 1 DDR2 sticks
  • PSU: Seasonic SS-600HT 600W (I have a CORSAIR HX Series 620W waiting in the wings, if needed)
  • Video Card: MSI GeForce 8600 GT
  • (2) WD EARS 2TB drives plus more?

Most of these components are a few years old and may not impress the HW geeks much.  I upgraded the memory recently and the hard drives are quite recent acquisitions.  But for use as a Windows Home Server, it should do quite nicely.  About the only upgrade I might incorporate is a better NIC, but that can wait for another day.

My initial installation included only one HD, as the second EARS drive was in my WHS v1 machine and was about 1/3 full.

The OS Install

Friday Evening

It all started last Friday evening.  The first order of business was to burn the .iso download to a DVD.  I removed the existing drives from the machine, installed the first WD EARS drive, connected my external DVD drive, and fired up the machine.

However…

I went into the BIOS and for the first time, I set the BIOS SATA mode to AHCI.  I normally had set this to native IDE mode, as older operating systems needed drivers for AHCI for the little that was gained with AHCI mode.  It was time to see how easy it was to load WHS 2011 with the BIOS set this way.

I exited the BIOS, and booted to the DVD.  A few minutes later, the OS started the installation process, and I walked away to let it do it’s install thing.  I did not time it, but I think the whole installation took less than an hour.  I initially logged into the OS locally, logged out, shut down the monitor.

Next, I removed all traces of the WHS v1 console and any other v1 software from my desktop machine, and proceeded to install the Connector software from http://xxxxxx:65510/connect/, where xxxxxx is the name of my server.  It was at this point that I found out that I had to rename my desktop, as WHS 2011 does not support the use of a  _ in a computer name.  So, it was rename, reboot, and install the connector on a computer named using the “proper” character set.

I then brought up the dashboard and performed *most* of the initial “Getting Started Tasks”.

2011-1

  • I let MS Update do it’s work and let it install 10 important and 3 optional updates.
  • I added myself as a user.
  • I set up Remote Access.
    2011-3
  • I set up Sharing
    2011-52011-6
    2011-2
  • I configured Media Settings
    2011-4
  • Finally I “Learned about centralized storage”
    2011-7

As you can see,

2011-1

I did not complete the “Set up Server Backup”.  Not yet anyway.

I had a significant amount of file copies and other chores to accomplish, so it was now time to set up a RDC session.  The first time I logged in using this method, I got the Server Authentication warning screen, so I changed that to “Connect and don’t warn”.  I know what I am doing!  At least after 3 or 4 tries…

2011-82011-9

The next order of business was to install my preferred anti-virus program, NOD32.

2011-10

I felt quite comfortable with the progress I had made to this point, and I wanted to start fresh before I moved on to the next phase, so I shut it down for the evening.