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Windows Home Server - Announcing Power Pack 2

Windows Home Server - Announcing Power Pack 2

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We are pleased to announce Windows Home Server Power Pack 2.  Power Pack 2 fixes known issues and adds new features to improve the Windows Home Server experience.  Enhancements include: Improvements to remote access configuration, enhanced functionality for computers running Windows Media Center, and content streaming support for Windows Media Center Extenders.  Power Pack 2 adds Italian language support on new home servers.

Power Pack 2 will be made available via Windows Update.  Users need to have Windows Home Server with Power Pack 1 already installed on their home server. Power Pack 2 will automatically install as part of Windows Update if Automatic Updates is enabled on the home server.  (How to turn on automatic updates.)  The English version release date is March 24th.  Chinese, French, German, Japanese and Spanish is currently scheduled to be available before the end of April. 

Overview of enhancements:

Remote Access

· The Remote Access Settings page is redesigned to make it easier to use.

· A Web-hosted diagnostic service is used to more accurately test if remote connectivity is available from outside the home network.

· New and improved initial configuration and repair wizards, as well as better troubleshooting guidance for common home networking issues that can prevent Remote Access from working properly.

Remote Access Disabled

Windows Home Server Console - Remote access settings

Remote Access Configrating Complete

Windows Home Server Console – Configuring remote access

Remote Access Configrating Error Suggestions

Windows Home Server Console – Troubleshooting guidance

Media Sharing & Windows Media Center

When the Windows Home Server Connector software is installed or updated on a Windows Media Center computer, the next time a user starts Windows Media Center they will be prompted to install the Windows Media Center Connector.  

· Windows Media Center computers will automatically have access to content stored in shared folders on the home server.  Music, Photos, Videos, and Recorded TV folders are enabled by default.

· Windows Media Center Extenders can access and stream multimedia content stored on the home server.  Access permission can be granted on an individual folder basis.

· Windows Home Server now supports streaming MP4 files, a popular format for high quality multimedia, to Xbox 360 and other devices that support the MP4 format.  Metadata such as title, artist, composer, album, and genre now appears in the music or video library.

Media Center Home Server Add-in found

Windows Media Center – Windows Media Center Connector installation reminder

MCE install

Windows Media Center Connector – Installation wizard

MCE install 2

Windows Media Center Connector – Installation wizard

MCE User Access

Windows Home Server Console – Configuring Windows Media Center Extender access

HomeServer Videos

Windows Media Center – Videos folder on Windows Home Server

For additional information, please read the Power Pack 2 Release Documentation.

It is very rewarding for our team to deliver another update for Windows Home Server.  We continue to hear fantastic feedback from our customers about how Windows Home Server is helping them protect and organize their digital media, access it away from home, and share it with friends and family. Thank you to our beta testers and partners for helping us ship Power Pack 2, and to the Windows Home Server community as a whole, for its ongoing support and enthusiasm.

The Windows Home Server Team

Comments
  • As is the custom… this morning I put 1 pound of M&M’s outside of my door to celebrate my 1 year anniversary

  • Just yesterday I was demonstrating Power Pack 2 RC at a Microsoft event in Dublin (TechDays). The great

  • For those that don't read release notes (like me)

    Windows Media Center

    The following is a known issue with the Windows Media Center Connector:

    • You cannot run the Windows Media Center Connector (MCWHSSetup.exe) on 64-bit versions of Windows 7 Beta.

    There is a known bug in the 64-bit versions of Windows 7 Beta. To fix the issue, add the following registry key, and then reinstall the Windows Media Center Connector:

    Path: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Media Center

    Key: Ident

    Value (REG_SZ): 6.0

  • TedHoward, in response to your post, I found the following in the release notes:

    Media Center Extenders that are connected to a computer running Windows Media Center can now access content on your home server without using the guest account.

  • This week on Channel 9, Dan and Brian discuss the week's developer news including: - DreamSpark now

  • I think it is great that you guys released PP2. I really truly think WHS is one of the best MS products to come out in years, it shows a strong desire to own the garage, though there is a ways to go yet (clients for others OS's for a small fee maybe, gasp :), true time machine integration etc ).

    I was really excited when I was reading through though initial press release stuff for PP2 the language was a bit ambitious about the MCE support but gave me hope.

    Sadly, this was not what I was hopping for though it's nice to have.

    I really, and so would MANY others, like to see WHS be able to serve MCE. Even if it's not a full MCE package at least let it serve the blade to the xbox 360 so folks can use my movies etc really make use of extenders with a visual move collection the way it should be. The straight file browse experience is totally lacking on the 360 but needing run a completely separate box (or VM like many of us do) just to server a extender UI is pretty wasteful and the sort of in garage own the garage kind of tech we need from WHS.

    This is even more important as more web content gets streamed and cached through MCE.

    Please get with the Win7 team and work it out, this situation is nutty.

  • This week on Channel 9, Dan and Brian discuss the week's developer news including: - DreamSpark now

  • Hello guys,

    you did a great job on releasing PP2, but I've just seen reviews so far as my WHS doesn't get that update at all. Through remote desktop I confirmed that automatic updates are in fact ON. So I tried using update.microsoft.com, but no results as well :-(

    I don't understand why there isn't any full redistributable download available on Connect or Technet, as it now seems my homeserver would never update to PP2. Ofcourse a legitimate COA, and updates always went fine.

    Through Settings > Resources I've the following versions installed:

    WHS Console 6.0.1771.0

    WHS Backup & Restore 6.0.1771.0

    WHS Drive Extender 6.0.1771.0

    WHS Remote Access 6.0.1771.0

    WHS Server Storage Manager 6.0.1771.0

    My backup database has some errors from the past and the repair-function doesn't help any, so I'd like to see what PP2 can repair for me, and ofcourse will make the life of my MCE a little bit happier and excited :-)

    I hope you guys can assist me in some way on this issue. Maybe you've heard about this problem more often?

    Thanks in advance for your valuable assistance and goodluck with engineering WHS to a new level of UI and raise the platform to a whole new level.

    Best regards,

    Bart Stens, The Netherlands

  • After the auto-update to PP2, I enabled the Windows Home Server Connector for media center extenders.  Immediately afterwards my brand new Samsung MediaLive extender failed to connect to the media center PC. I have also posted this issue on The Green Button here:

    http://thegreenbutton.com/forums/permalink/345928/350496/ShowThread.aspx#350496

    Can someone please help me resolve this?

    Thanks,

    Ryan

  • Follow up to my previous post about the Samsung extender issue:  It appears to be related to a conflict with AVG free 8.5 antivirus software and not with PP2.  

  • I also cannot update to PP2.  Windows Update does not see the update for my WHS.  I had to manually update to PP1.  Anything we can do to update to PP2.  On the properties of the WHS, it shows I'm currently running PP1.

  • First, let me say, I love my WHS. I love having access to my files on the go, love knowing that my Netbook is consistantly backed up, and love having a Terrabyte (vs. my Netbook's 16 Gig) to put my music collection on to.

    However, when is Microsoft going to properly provide us a fix so that the Windows Media Extender on the Xbox 360 will truly play nice with the WHS? I've paid to have access to that pretty Xbox UI so that when I choose "My Xbox > Windows Media Center" I actually can do something other than click "Continue" a bunch of times, then be told to go to xbox.com/pcsetup, and if I do that on the WHS be told to use the Xbox Dashboard. If I wanted to use the Dashboard I could have just bought an inexpensive NAS.

    If WHS is to succeed, you're going to have to make it THE Media Center of the home. I agree with Griffon, I shouldn't have to (and don't plan on) purchasing another computer to run Windows Media Center on so I have something to connect my Xbox to.

    Add that, and have a manufacturer add a Tuner with DVR functionality to the console and WHS would be the absolutly perfect server configuration.

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