Windows Home Server

Windows Home Server is an upcoming operating system from Microsoft. Announced on 7 January 2007 at the Consumer Electronics Show by Bill Gates, Windows Home Server is intended to be a solution for homes with multiple connected PCs to offer file sharing, automated backups, and remote access.

Features


  • Centralized Backup – Backup up to 10 PC’s using Single Instance Store Technology to avoid multiple copies of the same file, even if that file exists on multiple PC’s.
  • Health Monitoring – Can centrally track the health of all PC’s on the network, including Antivirus and Firewall status.
  • File Sharing – Offers network shares for commonly used files like MP3’s and videos.
  • Printer Sharing – Allows a centralized print server to handle print jobs for all users.
  • Previous Versions – Takes advantage of Volume Shadow Copy services to take point in time snapshots that allow older versions of files to be recovered.
  • Headless Operation – There is no monitor or keyboard attached to the device itself, much like a firewall or router.
  • Remote Administration – Provides a nice remote UI to do administrative tasks.
  • Remote Access Gateway – Allows you to access any PC on the network from outside your home.
  • Media Streaming – Can stream media to Windows Media Player or XBOX 360.
  • Data Redundancy – Guards against a single drive failure by duplicating data across multiple drives.
  • Expandable Storage – Provides a unified single and easily expandable storage space – no more drive letters.

Interface


While the underlying operating system is built on Windows Server 2003 R2, the interface is designed to be user friendly enough that it can be set up without prior knowledge of server administration. The interface will be accessed through a web browser from any network-connected PC or through the Internet via a free Windows Live-provided URL. The server requires no video card or peripherals; it is designed to require only an Ethernet card and at least one other Windows XP or Windows Vista PC.

Compatibility


Windows Home Server features integration with Windows XP and Windows Vista through a software installation. It can also be used with Time Machine, an upcoming feature in Mac OS X Leopard. “We’re a great back-end store for Time Machine,” Microsoft product manager Todd Headrick told Paul Thurrot.

Pricing and Availability


HP will release a Home Server (currently called the “HP MediaSmart Server”) in Q2 of 2007. It features a 64-bit AMD processor under the AMD Live! brand, and can be expanded to include as much as 6 Terabytes of storage space. It also includes four internal HDD bays and four USB 2.0 ports. In a Channel 9 video interview, Windows Home Server General Manager Charlie Kindel said that early Home Servers will cost about the same as a low-end PC, or around $500.

External links


Registry Unplugged !

The windows registry poses a kinda mystery to me… and like all people I am intrigued by mysteries. Many of the guides have thoroughly scared me that tweaking the registry does indeed crash your system and do something evil with all your data. But even I could not manage to crash my system the Registry way (means I’ve crashed my system numerous times in other ‘ways’) though I tweaked the registry to my fancy many times using many different methods. Of course even these short tips here come with the disclaimer that’s ripped off the microsoft’s original version.
Disclaimer: You can edit the registry by using Registry Editor (Regedit.exe or Regedt32.exe). If you use Registry Editor incorrectly, you can cause serious problems that may require you to reinstall your operating system. Harsha’s Blog does not guarantee that problems that you cause by using Registry Editor incorrectly can be resolved. Use Registry Editor at your own risk.

First things first,

  • If you dont know what a registry is and how to open a registry editor and other trivial questions you should probably head off to the following sites and get the basics first:
    Microsoft’s Official Description of Windows Registry
    Windows Registry at Wikiepdia
  • Backup your Registry: If you do not like what you’ve with your windows registry you might probably want to revert back the changes. Open regedit. Select “My Computer” and using the “export” option in the file menu save the “*.reg” file.

And Now the goods…
Low Disk Space Warning: Ever been bugged by the low disk space balloon warning that pop up every second disturbing you. I mean WTF? I know that I’m low on disk space, I’m saving money for a new hard drive you moron. Not YOU you, I meant the Windows XP system. Here’s how to get rid of that:
Method 1:

  • Locate and then click the following key in the registry: “HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer”.
  • On the Edit menu, point to New, and then click DWORD Value.
  • Type NoLowDiskSpaceChecks, and then press ENTER.
  • On the Edit menu, click Modify.
  • Type 1, and then click OK.

Method 2: Download the following No_Low_Disk_Space_Checks.reg file and double click on it. When it shows for a confirmation press ‘Yes’. You can freely view and modify the code in a notepad.

No Arrow For Desktop Shortcuts: Here’s how to remove the small arrow on the icons for shortcuts.
Method 1:

  • Navigate to “HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\lnkfile”
  • Delete the IsShortcut registry value.
  • Navigate to “HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\piffile”
  • Delete the IsShortcut registry value.

Method 2: Download the following No_Arrow_For_Shortcuts.zip file and double click on it. When it shows for a confirmation press ‘Yes’. You can freely view and modify the code in a notepad.

Clear the Commands In RUN: As time passes a lot of commands that you type into Run accumulates and the drop down gets pretty large. To clear all the drop down list follow these instructions.
Method 1: Navigate to “HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\RunMRU”. Delete all the items with names a,b,c,…z. Close the registry editor. Restart system to take effect.

Optional Recycle Bin: Even though you clear out all the icons on your desktop there’s one icon that doesn’t go – Recycle Bin. After applying this tweak you get an options in Tools>Folder Options>View>Advanced Settings. You can access the tools menu from any folder.
Method 2: Download the following
Recycle_Option.zip file and double click on it. When it shows for a confirmation press ‘Yes’. You can freely view and modify the code in a notepad.

Any Suggestions and Questions should go into comments…

Internet Connection Sharing (ICS) For Linux

I searched hours at a stretch to find nothing but guides that are outdated or those that are too complex for me. I’m just a linux newbie with just the basics to help me with right? So I just took what I thought was the best mix of a few guides and made my own. In my case I run both Windows XP Professional and Fedora Core 3(Kernel ver’s:: 2.6.9 & 2.6.12) on a dual boot system, which is directly connected to the internet. The other people who share my connection use just windows XP. So this is a Linux to Windows Internet Connection Sharing Guide I guess…

  • You will need two NIC(Network Interface Card)’s in th computer which has direct connection to the internet.
  • Your computer should be running a decent distro of linux like a Fedora, Mandrake or SuSE. Though this guide was specifically written for Fedora Core 3, I think any distro with iptables installed would suffice.
  • Setup up the IP, gateway and DNS’s as usual and save config and restart network. Network setup utility can be found at:: Applications>System Settings>Network. You can check your configuration by doing ifconfig eth0 (assuming eth0 is connected directly connected to the internet).
  • Now set the ip address of you other NIC, eth1, which is connected to your internal network to be:

IP Addr:: 192.168.0.1

Subnet Mask:: 255.255.255.0

  • Now the part of setting up IP configuration for the windows computers of your home network. Their configuration should be:

IP Addr:: 192.168.0.xx

Subnet Mask:: 255.255.255.0

Primary DNS:: same as your primary dns

secondary dns:: same as you secondary dns

Note: xx here is any other number but 1 since your computer has that IP. Also no two computers on you network can have the same IP. xx ranges between 2 and 254.

  • After the network setup has been complete make sure that you are connected to the internet(other windows computers will not get connectivity yet). Make sure you can ping other computers on you network and they can ping you back. Use the command: ping ipaddrofcomputer

Assuming every prerequisite has been completed run the following commands at the CLI(Command Line Interface) :-

Note:: eht0 here is the direct connection to the Internet. You should change the command according to your setup.

/sbin/iptables -F -t nat
/sbin/iptables -A POSTROUTING -t nat -o eth0 -j MASQUERADE
echo 1 > /proc/sys/net/ipv4/ip_forward
/sbin/service iptables save

Check if your other computers are connected to the internet now, they should be. Restart the computer to make the setup complete.