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The following post is an excerpt from Windows Home Server 2011 Step by Step - We Got Served’s “missing manual” for Microsoft’s home server platform. Written by WGS’ resident Microsoft Windows Home Server MVPs Terry Walsh and Jim Clark, this 667 page guide to the world of WHS offers straightforward advice and guidance for beginners and home server experts alike.
The book is split into 25 chapters covering hardware, software, add-ins, apps, tips, tricks, advice, support and a whole lot more. Once you’ve mastered the basics, you’ll get an ongoing series of bonus chapters over the coming weeks with more advanced projects to help to make the most of your home server.
If you’ve bought computer with Windows Home Server 2011 preinstalled, the manufacturer will have already matched your hardware to meet the minimum requirements needed to run this operating system. But if you are building your own server on which to install Windows Home Server 2011, you will need to know the minimum hardware requirements needed for installation. According to Microsoft’s Windows Home Server 2011 product information web page these minimum requirements apply:
Windows Home Server 2011 server software is a 64-bit only operating system.
You can install the server software either manually or unattended.
1.4 GHz x64 processor.
2 GB RAM
At least one 160 GB hard drive.
NTFS is the only supported file system.
Supported Networking Configuration:
Your server computer must be connected via a network cable to a router.
The router should be a UPnP-certified device, but it is not required.
The router should be in the 192.168.x.x subnet, but it is not required.
What do all these requirements mean? Some are self-explanatory, some not. So let’s take a look at them in more detail.
64-bit Operating System
This simply means that the computer on which you plan installing WHS 2011 must be capable of executing 64-bit software code. If you’re buying a new computer or building your own using components purchased today, chances are that you will not have to be concerned about whether 64-bit support is included. Most modern computers and processors on the market today are 64-bit capable. However, do not assume. If a product does not specifically state 64-bit support, ask.
For example, if you are buying a CPU, look for “64-bit” in the features or specifications sheet. If you already have a computer with a version of Windows already installed, you have a couple of options to determine if the computer offers 64-bit support. One of the easiest ways to find out is to download a great little utility called CPU-Z. Download it, install it, run it and look for x86-64 (AMD) or EM64T (Intel) in the Instructions line.
Once again, if you’re buying a new computer or building your own, you simply need to verify the specifications of the CPU (Central Processing Unit) to ensure it meets the minimum 1.4 GHz speed requirement. You can glean this information using the same CPU-Z program or simply run the your computer’s System Properties application, which can be run via Start> Control Panel > System.
Next, you need to make sure you have adequate memory, 2 GB being the minimum requirement. If you are purchasing components for a new build, or buying a new machine, simply check the specifications.