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Feature Tour

The Console is the best place to explore most of the MSS' features. Figure 14 once again shows the Server tab, which provides access to some key configuration options. However everything here, except for the LED Brightness Control, is just a shortcut to an item on the Settings window, which I'll cover later.

Main board / power supply assembly top view
Click to enlarge image

Figure 14: Windows Home Server Console - Server

Check out the slideshow See the slideshow for more Console screenshots.

The Computers & Backup tab provides an overview of clients that have the MSS client software installed and is where you manage and configure automatic backup. I'll come back to backup later since the story there is a bit involved.

Most of the action in the User Accounts window is in the Properties menu. Everything in Figure 15 is self-explanatory, but note that Remote Access itself is set up in the Settings window.

User Properties - General

Figure 15: User Properties - General

Shares are managed through the Shared Folders tab, which is pretty straightforward. Added shares have Folder Duplication enabled by default, but you can choose to disable it by unchecking the selection box in the folder Properties window. The User Access tab in the folder Properties window lets you change User access permissions.

Server Storage (Figure 16) shows an overview of the drives connected to the MSS. When you connect a drive to the MSS, it initially shows as "Not Added". Selecting a drive and clicking Add launches a Wizard that formats the drive and adds it into the one, big, happy, storage pool.

Windows Home Server Console - Storage
Click to enlarge image

Figure 16: Windows Home Server Console - Storage

Conversely, clicking Remove launches another wizard that first checks the consequences of the removal and asks for confirmation. For example, you might want to remove a smaller drive and replace it with a larger one. The Remove Wizard first tries to see if it has space on other drives to accommodate the files on the drive to be removed. If it doesn't, it will tell you what will be deleted if you proceed with the drive removal, which you can still do.

I tried a drive removal with only about 30 GB of storage used and it completed within a few minutes. Of course, if the Wizard had a lot of file moving to do, the process could take hours to complete. Once the removal was complete, I had only a single drive system left, which changed the shield icon in the Console to the Network at Risk shown in Figure 19.

Clicking on the icon brought up multiple warnings about folders not able to be duplicated due to the lack of a second drive. But after I disabled Folder Duplication on each share, the warnings went away and the shield turned back to its green "Network Healthy" mode.


The controls for some of the MSS' most interesting features lie behind the Console Settings link. Figure 17 shows the first, General, page and other Settings categories.

Console Settings - General
Click to enlarge image

Figure 17: Console Settings - General

Check out the slideshow See the slideshow for a tour of most Settings pages.

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