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Windows Home Server Power Pack 3 BETA – Includes enhancements for Windows 7-based computers

Windows Home Server Power Pack 3 BETA – Includes enhancements for Windows 7-based computers

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We are pleased to announce the Windows Home Server Power Pack 3 Beta which improves the Windows Home Server experience with Windows 7 and Windows Media Center by providing the following new features: Backup and restore of computers running Windows 7, Windows 7 Libraries integration, enhancements for Windows Media Center, and better support for netbook computers.

If you are running Windows 7 on your home computer and are a current Windows Home Server user, we need your help!

Important: You will need to sign up as a beta participant of the Windows Home Server program on Microsoft Connect in order to download the Power Pack 3 Beta. https://connect.microsoft.com/WindowsHomeServer

Connect

New in Power Pack 3 Beta

Windows 7 Backup & Recovery

Windows Home Server performs a full image-based backup of Windows 7-based computers, allowing for a complete computer recovery in the case of a hard drive failure, or restoration of a single file or folder in the event of accidental deletion or loss. After the Windows Home Server Connector software has been installed on a computer running Windows 7, Windows 7 Backup warnings will be suppressed and users will no longer receive a notification to back up their computer. Windows Home Server can back up Windows XP SP2 or later, Windows Vista and Windows 7-based computers.

Windows 7 Backup

Windows 7 – Backup
Windows Home Server completes an automatic image-based backup of Windows-based computers every day.

Windows 7 Libraries

Power Pack 3 Beta will add Music, Photos and Videos shared folders on the home server to Windows 7 Libraries making the content available for applications such as Windows Explorer, Windows Media Center, Windows Media Player and other applications that use Windows 7 Libraries. This allows users to quickly access all their content in one organized place that is always available, searchable and expandable. Users can also search a specific library without having to know where the files are stored.

Windows 7 Libraries

Windows 7 – Libraries – Pictures
Windows Home Server content is automatically added to Windows 7 Libraries after installing the Windows Media Center Connector software.

Windows 7 Jump List

Windows 7 – Windows Explorer Jump List – Music Library
Users access the libraries through Jump Lists by simply selecting Music, Videos or Photos. All content is accessible from one organized location.

Windows Search

Windows Search 4 has been included with Power Pack 3 Beta to improve query search times, indexing times and reliability. If users are searching across multiple computers, extended remote discovery increases the efficiency of searching across all document libraries. Files encrypted with Encrypting File System (EFS) are now supported with search.

The image below is an example of searching across a music library where files are located in multiple places: the home computer Music folder, the home computer Public Music folder, and the home server Music shared folder. Users can add other locations to Windows 7 Libraries.

Windows 7 Search

Windows 7 – Libraries – Music – Searching for Aerosmith music content on the home server
Searching for content in the library folder will not only search the home computer but also search the home server.

Power Pack 3 Beta makes Windows Home Server compatible with netbook computers that have small screen sizes and low resolution. A home server makes a great storage and backup solution for ultra-portable computers.

Windows Media Center Enhancements

Last March, Power Pack 2 added functionality that allowed Windows Media Center and Media Center Extenders to easily access the content on a home server. Power Pack 3 Beta builds on this functionality. 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. Users will notice a new Home Server selection in Windows Media Center menu.

Windows Media Center
Windows Media Center view – Home Server

TV Archiving

The TV Archive tile in Windows Media Center will give users the option to move recorded TV content to the home server in a variety of resolutions. The recorded TV shows are archived in the correct resolution for the type of device that will be used for playback. TV Archive is optimized for Windows Media Center computers, Windows Mobile-based phones, and the Zune player, however, any device capable of playing WMV files can take advantage of this feature.

· TV – Original Resolution

· Windows Mobile – 320 x 240, 500 Kbps, .WMV

· Zune – 640 x 480, 1500 Kbps, .WMV

Users can select individual TV shows, a series of shows, or all TV recordings to automatically be moved to the home server. Because Windows Home Server storage space can be easily expanded, users can keep all the TV shows that they want in their collection.

TV Archive

Windows Media Center view – Home Server – TV Archive view

Console Quick View

Console Quick View allows users to see statistics about the home server through Windows Media Center and Windows Media Center Extenders. This is a convenient way to view many aspects of the home server without needing to access the Windows Home Server Console. This feature allows users to view and monitor a number of home server indicators:

· Storage – Pie chart listing the percentage allocation of the home server storage

· Drives – List, size and health of hard drives installed on the home server

· Backup – List of computers being backed up and their current backup status

· Shared Folders – List of Shared Folders by name with health status and duplication status

· Media Counters – Count of music, photos, videos and recorded TV files on the home server

· Health – Health of the entire home network

· Home Server – System information of the home server’s hardware and manufacturer info

 Console View
Windows Media Center view – Home Server – Console View

Timing of the Power Pack 3 final release has not been determined. With your help to test the Beta, we hope to release the update prior to the Windows 7 General Availability date of October 22.  Power Pack 3 will be a free update to existing Windows Home Server users via Windows Update. Thanks for your support!

- The Windows Home Server Team

Comments
  • I'm already signed up as a beta participant for Windows Home Server at MS Connect, but I only can see the PowerPack 1 download :-(

    How can I get the WHS PowerPack 3 download?

  • Same here - I'm already a participant in the WHS program, but no sign of PP3 in the Downloads...

  • ...and me too!

    where is pp2 & 3?

    I only see pp1. I'm guessing it pp3 will appear on the connect site at some point in the future?

  • Same here, can only see Power Pack 1.

    Also just one bit of clarification... if we install the beta, i assume when the final version is released it will just install over the top?

  • Will the TV Archiving feature work with shows recorded with an ATI Digital Cable Tuner w/CableCard?  If not now, perhaps after the (notoriously) upcoming firmware upgrade from ATI?

  • Its there now, and I can confirm the beta needs to be uninstalled prior to installing the final version.

  • That's odd... I've had the WHS PP2 Connector running on all the Pre-RTM Win7 releases for the past 6 months and backups have worked flawlessly.  What am I missing regarding the Windows 7 full image backup capability with PP3?

    Doug

  • I'm really glad that you have now added windows search 4.0. I got a little ahead of myself with that first came out since remote indexing is so much better that I installed it on the WHS box myself. Has anyone tried installing PP3 on top of a box running PP2 and WDS 4.0 already on it?

  • A new forum has been created for questions and discussions of the features for this beta release.

    http://social.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/whspowerpack3beta/threads

    -j

  • @dmiannay:

    The post is a little misleading....  It's not that WHS backup didn't work before on Win7, but that Win7 would nag you to set up Windows Backup despite having WHS handling your backups.  The PP3 connector tells Windows Backup to keep quiet.

  • Does the TV Archiving do the transcoding on the MCE machine? Does it take advantage of multiple CPUs?  

    If you have it set at "TV – Original Resolution" will it mostly appear the same quality as the original recording, including HD recordings?  i.e. use a much more efficient encoding then HD comes in as to make the resulting file much smaller without sacrificing quality.  (I realize any transcoding can hurt the quality but it can be very limited depending on the final output)

    Is there a way to limit how much space TV shows can take up on the WHS?  And then a way to expire the shows as they age so when the space set aside for TV gets filled the oldest shows get deleted first?  Would seem like this could allow having a small hard drive on the MCE box and transcode all your shows onto much bigger storage on the WHS box.

    Will the metadata from the TV shows stay attached to the file?

    Will the content show up as a shared library?  (i.e. look the same as tv content from another Windows 7 MCE machine on the network)

    The already asked question about it working with ATI Digital Cable Tuner w/CableCard is an important issue with me to.

  • Just wondering if you folks have any dev info you're willing to share about the progress of Win Home Server 2..

    Things are very quiet about this updated release..

  • I really want to try out the new beta to help fixing bugs.... but the problem is.. I cannot install it.. I have got a german WHS, and the update sais, it cannot install because of different language..

    can anyone please help me out?!

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