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# 176930 16-Jul-2015 14:12
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I'm about to retire WHS V1, which has done a great job for us since 2008.  Notwithstanding the end of support for Server 2003, I'm sure it would keep running quite happily, but the problem is it won't back up W8 or newer.

I've downloaded the Windows Server Essentials 2012 R2 180 day trial, and installed it on a spare HDD.  I have a few questions and comments, but first thought I'd check if anyone else here is using it in a home / home office environment?




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  # 1345497 16-Jul-2015 14:32
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Hi,

I use Server 2012R2 as a replacement to WHS2011, which I ran for quite a while (note - I run Server 2012R2 Standard with the Essentials Role added, as I also run SBS2011, and you can only have one domain controller, which SBS2011 and 2012R2 Essentials want to be.  So SBS2011 is my domain controller).

It is a big change from WHS - the biggest being the use of domain accounts.  Where-as in WHS you can add a 'users' and use the same login credentials on a workstation, you know need to use Active Directory to control all your users.  And this means joining workstations to the domain, which can mean you end up with 2 or more profiles on each workstation.

However, the other things I use it for like sharing content and backing up workstations works well.  I backup each client to the server, then back the server up to an external HDD.  If you run Windows 8 or above, then file transfers can be much faster due to SMB3, but it's hardware dependent (don't expect it to make your WiFi faster).

The best 'new' thing I find with 2012R2 is the ability to run Hyper-V and use it to host virtual machines.

The worst - is dealing with AD and domains - quite a step up for a home environment.  Second worst is the add-ins that ran in WHS don't run in 2012R2 unless they have been updated.

Any questions, just ask!

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  # 1345533 16-Jul-2015 15:26
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ew, I was considering the same retiring my WHS2011 for Server 2012 Essentials but didn't realise the AD component.

The main reason I wanted to move was to try and set the client computer backups folder to a network drive as my WHS2011 machine is actually a vm, and I wanted to get the client computer backups directly on a host rather than using a 300gb vmdk.






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  # 1345574 16-Jul-2015 16:02
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Wonder if WS2012R2 Essentials can run on the HP EX490 which is running WHSv1. It's currently powered down as it loses network connectivity for unknown reason and I haven't got the time and energy to do anything with it. Looking at getting rid of it too if there's any enthusiastic people wanting to tinker with it - make me a good offer. :-D




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  # 1345577 16-Jul-2015 16:06
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chiefie: Wonder if WS2012R2 Essentials can run on the HP EX490 which is running WHSv1.

I have the HP X510, which I believe is very similar to the EX490 hardware-wise. It's apparently possible to install 2008 R2 with the help of a desktop PC (start install on desktop, power down at first reboot before it runs hardware detection, move hard drive across to server) and I suspect that similar tricks would work for 2012.

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  # 1345581 16-Jul-2015 16:13
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Behodar:
chiefie: Wonder if WS2012R2 Essentials can run on the HP EX490 which is running WHSv1.

I have the HP X510, which I believe is very similar to the EX490 hardware-wise. It's apparently possible to install 2008 R2 with the help of a desktop PC (start install on desktop, power down at first reboot before it runs hardware detection, move hard drive across to server) and I suspect that similar tricks would work for 2012.


I did a quick search and found this link: http://techau.com.au/how-to-install-windows-server-essentials-2012-r2-on-the-ex490/

Most site talked about having a make-shift VGA cable since EX490 doesn't have VGA out - something that detered me to do anything further.

p/s: Is there an evaluation version of WS2012R2 Essentials? Or where to source a (legit) copy?

p/s2: Is X510/EX490 64-bit capable CPU? I don't remember, thinking that WS2012 onwards they're only come in 64-bit OS, am I right?




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  # 1345584 16-Jul-2015 16:16
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chiefie: Most site talked about having a make-shift VGA cable since EX490 doesn't have VGA out - something that detered me to do anything further.

That deterred me too :)

chiefie: Is X510/EX490 64-bit capable CPU? I don't remember, thinking that WS2012 onwards they're only come in 64-bit OS, am I right?

2008 R2 is also 64-bit only, so the X510 must be 64-bit capable.



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  # 1345712 16-Jul-2015 19:22
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chiefie:
Behodar:
chiefie: Wonder if WS2012R2 Essentials can run on the HP EX490 which is running WHSv1.

I have the HP X510, which I believe is very similar to the EX490 hardware-wise. It's apparently possible to install 2008 R2 with the help of a desktop PC (start install on desktop, power down at first reboot before it runs hardware detection, move hard drive across to server) and I suspect that similar tricks would work for 2012.


p/s: Is there an evaluation version of WS2012R2 Essentials? Or where to source a (legit) copy?


Yes, there's a 180 day evaluation copy available from Microsoft.




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  # 1345716 16-Jul-2015 19:33
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w2krules:
Yes, there's a 180 day evaluation copy available from Microsoft.


And if it works out how much is a license?

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  # 1345751 16-Jul-2015 20:18
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w2krules:
chiefie:
Behodar:
chiefie: Wonder if WS2012R2 Essentials can run on the HP EX490 which is running WHSv1.

I have the HP X510, which I believe is very similar to the EX490 hardware-wise. It's apparently possible to install 2008 R2 with the help of a desktop PC (start install on desktop, power down at first reboot before it runs hardware detection, move hard drive across to server) and I suspect that similar tricks would work for 2012.


p/s: Is there an evaluation version of WS2012R2 Essentials? Or where to source a (legit) copy?


Yes, there's a 180 day evaluation copy available from Microsoft.


3 months probational period to see if it is up to the job ;-)




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  # 1345776 16-Jul-2015 20:48
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sidefx:
w2krules:
Yes, there's a 180 day evaluation copy available from Microsoft.


And if it works out how much is a license?


That would be $559USD, so far more expensive that WHS.  http://www.microsoftstore.com/store/msusa/en_US/pdp/Windows-Server-2012-R2-Essentials/productID.288079300

H
owever if you can get MSDN or Academic status, you can get it much cheaper (or free at certain Universities).



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  # 1345991 17-Jul-2015 10:01
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Well, I'm about to give up on this.  It's just not running well - seems unresponsive, can't connect clients or keep them connected, and this morning I had to repair the backup database!  So back to WHS V1 in the meantime, which is really quick on the same hardware.

I suspect there's some kind of hardware-related issue.  My server is about 2 years old and uses consumer hardware, and the setup installed generic drivers for some devices such as the graphics and SATA controller.  I've tried installing the Intel chipset drivers, but that hasn't helped.

You can buy a licence for under NZ$ 200 on eBay.




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