How to install and setup windows home server

By Mehdi Karimi
Post date

Windows Windows Server 2016 installation is one of the key tasks in the network. As an administrator you should know how to install and configure Windows server. To start administrating your network, surely you first need to install Windows server and configure it. Before installing Windows server make a plan for the installation. Surely you can plug installation media (DVD, USB flash, etc) to the server and click on next button several times. Then you’re done and Windows server is installed. But that doesn’t work surely.

Make a plan

Choose an appropriate edition of the Windows server. An edition of Windows server supports specific role/roles that others doesn’t support. Think of your present needs and what you may need in the future. How many virtual machines (VM) do you need? How many VMs you may need in the future? Does your network need Web server now? What about the future? How many users work in your network? They are all the things that you should pay attention to while making a good plan for Windows server installation.

If you work on your personal lab, click on the link below to learn how to install Windows server 2016 on VMware Workstation.

Install Windows Server 2016 Step by Step Guide

Prepare the installation media (DVD, USB flash, etc) and start the installation process. If you don’t have the Windows Server 2016 installation software, click here and download the software from Microsoft website.

1. Plug the Windows Server 2016 boot drive (DVD, USB) to the computer and boot your computer. When the Windows Setup page appears, select your language, time format and keyboard then click on Next button.

How to install and setup windows home server Language, Time, Keyboard

2. Now click on Install now button to start the installation process.

How to install and setup windows home server Install now

3. Select the appropriate version of the windows server that meets your organization’s needs then click Next. Make sure that you’ve chosen an appropriate edition of Windows server.

How to install and setup windows home server Select the operating system you want to istall

4. Put a check mark in the box next to the I accept license terms and click on the Next button. License term is about the way you want to buy license for your server from Microsoft.

How to install and setup windows home server I accept the license term

5. Select the Custom: Install Windows only (advanced) option for clean installation. Clean installation is the term used against upgrade. When you upgrade a Windows server you can have your settings, apps, etc from previous version of Windows. When you do the clean installation you can’t have the settings, apps, etc.

How to install and setup windows home server Custom installation

6. Select the hard drive that you want to install the windows server on, then click on the New button to do the partitions.

7. After clicking on the New button, some options appear. Specify the amount of the drive based on MB and click on the Apply button. A warning appears which wants you to give the permission to system to create a drive for system files. Click on ok button, if you want to add more drives do this process again. When finished hit Next.

How to install and setup windows home server Drive size

8. After clicking Next the System starts coping all the files from the external drive to internal hard drive. It will take a while so be patient. Be aware that your system will be restarted several times.

How to install and setup windows home server Copying files on machine’s hard drive

9. When the system copied all the files and restarted, finalize your task by entering the required details. Type complex password (composed of uppercase, lowercase, symbol and numbers) twice in the boxes and click on the Finish button. User name is Administrator by default.

How to install and setup windows home server Enter password

10. Press Ctrl+Alt+Del buttons to jump start the screen to a login page and inside the box below the administrator user name, enter the password and press Enter button from the keyboard to sign in the Windows.

How to install and setup windows home server Press Ctrl+Alt+Del buttons

11. After you logged in the Windows you see the some thing like the picture below. Welcome to Windows Server 2016.

How to install and setup windows home server Windows Server 2016 Evalution


Finally, we’ve installed the Windows Server 2016 successfully and is ready to work. When Windows installed you can’t go back and for example change the edition. If so, do the clean installation again. For any question leave a comment below. I answer your questions as soon as possible.

Now you need to initially configure Windows Server. Click on the link below to learn how to do the initial configurations.

Use code KB4KDO0L9 to receive a 10% recurring discount on any server.

Ever wanted to setup your own web server to host a website or share files with family? Creating a web server is really easy to do and we’ll show you everything you need to get started.

In this tutorial, we’ll install all of the components required for setting up of a web server on a ServerMania server. This will setup all of the basic components of a web server. If you will be hosting many sites, or want more robust site management, you should install a control panel like cPanel instead.

Why should I use an external server for my web server instead of a computer in my house?

There are many reasons why you should use a ServerMania Hybrid or Dedicated Server to set up your web server instead of setting up a web server at home

  • Cost: While it may sound cheaper to use that computer lying around doing nothing when creating your web server, when you factor in the cost of powering an old computer 24 hours a day, it can get very expensive. A 250W desktop computer running 24 hours per day at 12 cents per KW/h is a whopping $262.00 per year! Not to mention the costs of internet, hardware replacement, etc. It is much cheaper to rent a ServerMania server each month in the long run.
  • Reliability: Consumer grade internet and computer hardware are not designed for the stresses of 24×7 usage and connections from around the globe. ServerMania on the other hand, uses enterprise grade hardware and connections to ensure everyone can connect to your server at lightning fast speeds.
  • Support: One of the major drawbacks of hosting your own website is that you are responsible for any support issues. With ServerMania, you get 24×7 support included with every server so you know we’re always here if you need help.

As an IT consultant I work with a lot of small business owners. One thing that continues to surprise me is how many of them don’t use a server. Most of them run their entire business from a handful of desktop and/or laptop computers. Why? They all say their business isn’t big enough to justify the expense of installing a small business Windows server.

While this approach might save you money in the short-term, it puts the company at serious risk. PCs configured in a peer-to-peer environment don’t provide much security or file management capability and can lead to questionable reliability or even data lost. A true network server does more than just provide centralized data storage. It also provides file and network security, increased reliability, remote access capabilities and even a unified backup solution.

The catch is that servers are not cheap. Unlike a regular PC, servers are designed to run 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 356 days a year. They need heftier hardware specifications, such as redundant hard drives and power supplies, hot swappable components and are scalable to meet current, as well as future needs.

A server also requires a special operating system which is more expensive and far more complex than your standard Windows desktop. As a result, they often require someone with technical skills greater than your typical small business owner to setup and maintain, adding to the overall expense.

Considering how important a genuine server is though, I’d like to suggest an alternative. A few years ago Microsoft introduced Windows Home Server (WHS). This operating system has modest hardware requirements and acts as a central data store for all of your digital media, making it easy to access files, photos, videos and music from any PC on your network. As the name implies, this product was developed for a home with multiple PCs.

The server was designed to make it very easy to perform numerous tasks that once may have been considered beyond the technical knowledge and skills of the average consumer. WHS consolidates all of the complex administration utilities used on a typical server — such as the capability to manage disks and create users — into a single, simplified interface. Numerous wizards walk you through most of the tasks you might need to perform, such as backing up your data, creating and sharing folders for storing and streaming your digital content, and securing your data through restricted user accounts.

Despite its name, this server is more than just some low-end consumer product. Based on the wildly successful Microsoft Windows Server 2003 operating system, WHS provides small and home businesses with many of the same features found in high-end network servers, but at about a quarter of the cost. And since it was designed for people without extensive technical knowledge, it’s very easy to setup, administer and maintain.

While a WHS is by no means a replacement for a genuine server, it does have lot going for it. Let’s take a look at some of the most important features that apply to small business owners.

Automatic Backups

One of the greatest tech sins people commit is a failure to perform regular backups. As a result, a failed hard drive or accidentally deleted file can be disastrous. With WHS, this is no long a problem. When you install the Windows Home Server Connector software on each of your computers, WHS creates an automated backup schedule. Simply ensure that your computer is switched on and connected to your network when the backup time arrives, and your backups will be performed automatically.

You can use these backups to restore individual files, folders and even for entire systems. WHS performs an image-based backup of your PC, just like Norton Ghost or Acronis TrueImage would. So in the event of a hard drive failure or unrecoverable Windows error, instead of having to reinstall Windows and all your applications and devices, all you do is start the PC using the Windows Home Server Home Computer Restore CD and select the backup image you’d like to restore.

Remote Access

Imagine arriving at a client’s office with laptop in hand only to realize that you left your presentation on your office PC. WHS provides you with a unique domain name so that you can access any of the shared files stored on your network when you are away from the office, using any Internet-enabled PC. If you happen to make any changes to that presentation, you can upload the modified file to your server for safe keeping.

Some desktop versions of Windows (like Windows 7 Professional and Ultimate) even support the Remote Desktop feature. With this feature you can actually connect to the desktop system in your office, via the WHS and work on your computer as if you were sitting directly in front of it. This lets you access e-mail, files, applications and printers from wherever you happen to be; be it a client site or on vacation.

As technology evolves and multi-computer households become more and more popular, the process of sharing information between computers becomes more and more of an issue. For years, businesses and organizations have been using servers to store all of their information centrally. This is great in the sense that it allows for more simplistic collaboration, and simplified security. This also makes sense, because it means that if an employee’s workstation is to become damaged, their essential information is located on the companies server.

For residential use however, servers are just now beginning to catch on. Microsoft makes a software product called “Windows Home Server”, HP makes a standalone home-server console, and Apple recently unveiled a Mac Mini that ships with Snow Leopard Server (obviously intended for home use). Despite the great levels of simplicity in which they provide, many people see pre-packaged home servers as being “dummied down”. Because of this, this tutorial will show you how to take an existing computer and configure it to be a Windows server.

This tutorial assumes that your server will either be running Windows XP Professional or Windows Server 2003. Both of these products work well on home servers, simply because unlike newer versions of Windows, these versions are relatively small in footprint. This tutorial also assumes that your partition is NTFS, and that all of the computers in your home are connected via a router.

It is suggested that you do a clean-install of whichever version of Windows you are going to use, as this will ensure that your new server is as stable as possible. This tutorial also assumes that you have already configured all of the necessary network card drivers on your server (Ethernet is preferable).

  • The first thing that we are going to do is enable Remote Desktop (also known as Terminal Services) on the server. This will allow us to leave our server idle without the need for a keyboard, mouse, or monitor. To enable Remote Desktop, log into your server from the console, and click “Start”, and then right-click “My Computer” and select “Properties”. Within the “Properties” dialog, select the “Remote” tab, and lastly check “Enable Remote Desktop on this computer” and click “Apply”.
  • Once you have set up remote desktop on your server, access it using the Remote Desktop client built into Windows, or one of the clients available for Mac or Linux. From this point, you will be able to do the rest of the configuration remotely.
  • The next step is to create Windows users for each of the people within your household that will be using your server. To do this, click “Start”, and right-click “My Computer” to select “Manage”. Within the computer manager, expand the “Local Users and Groups” link on the right-hand panel, and select “Users”.
  • Within the main window of the user manager, right-click and select “New User”. Add a user for each person who will need access to the server.
  • Windows XP only: Disable simple file sharing by opening a Windows Explorer window (e.g. “My Computer”), and selecting “Tools” and then “Folder Options” from the menu bar. In the “View” tab of “Folder Options”, scroll down to the bottom and un-check the “Use Simple File Sharing” checkbox.
  • Now that you have created users for everyone in your household, you will want to create “shares”; containers which contain everyone’s data. These shares can either be created on a secondary disk or partition, or within the C:\ drive (If you do it within the C:\ drive, it is recommended that you create a C:\Shares folder, and then place all of your shares there). Right-click the partition or folder that will be considered your “root”, and select “Properties”. Within the “Properties” dialog, select the “Security” tab.
    You will want to remove all groups from the “Security” dialog, except for “Administrators” and “SYSTEM”. Ensure that these users have full access by checking the “Full Control” checkbox under “Allow”.
  • Once you have set the permissions at the root of your shares directory or partition, create sub-folders within that root that will be your shares. You can create a share for whatever you may need. For example, in my household I have shares for each of my users, as well as a “Media” share and a “Documents” share.
  • Once you have all of your folders ready, right-click them, select “Properties”, and move to the “Security” tab. Click the “Add” button, and type in the names of the people that will need access to the given share. Separate the names using a cemi-colon and a space (e.g. “Mike” and “Debbie” would be expressed as “Mike; Debbie”).
  • Once you have added the persons needing access to the share to the list, select the level of access they will need using the checkboxes below.
  • Repeat the process for setting folder security as necessary for each of the shares you wish to create.
  • Once you have created all the necessary folders, the last step in setting up your home server is to share the folders. Right-click the folder and select “Properties”. Move to the “Sharing” tab, and change the radio-box from “Do not share this folder” to “Share this folder”. Then click on the “Permissions” button underneath, and selecting the “Everyone” group, apply “Full Control”. (Note that giving full control under the sharing settings simply means that anyone who has permission from the “Security” tab can access the folder. Windows has both NTFS and share level security, and when using NTFS like we did, it is not necessary to apply specific settings at the share level). Click “OK”, and then “OK” again to close out of the sharing and the properties dialogs
  • Repeat the sharing steps on each of the folders as necessary

At this point, your home server should be up and running. You can configure other things, such as IIS for website hosting, but we will not get into that in this tutorial. With an operating server, the last step is to connect all of the other computers within your home.

  • On the computers that you want to hook up to your server, open “My Computer” (under Windows; OS X should show the server by default in Finder, and Linux methods vary from distro), and select “Map Network Drive” (this may be located under “Tools” in the menu bar depending on your version of Windows).
  • For each share that you wish to connect (you may not wish to connect all shares on all computers), select a drive letter at which to mount, and the location of the folder in the form of \\SERVER\SHARE, where SERVER is the name of the computer (you should have set this during Windows installation), and SHARE is the name of the share that you created earlier.
    If necessary (if your Windows username and password are different on your computer than on the server), enter your username and password that you set up on the server.
  • Repeat this step for each share on each of your home computers.

Another option would be to create a shortcut on your desktop to \\SERVE R (again, replacing SERVER with the name of your server as specified during Windows setup). This would give you a list of all the shares on your server, and would allow you access to the ones in which you have access to.

If you find that you made an error or cannot get the setup to work, feel free to post your questions on the forums or in chat.

How to install and setup windows home server

It hardly shocks anyone today that popular web-mail providers, including Gmail, Yahoo and Outlook, are routinely scanning emails. Indeed, as the cliched adage goes: “If you’re not the consumer, you’re the product.

Should privacy lovers then simply surrender to the might of Big Data firms? Not when there are so many nice alternatives to popular web-mail providers. If you are willing to learn how to set up a basic email server, you will be surprised at how safe and private emails can truly be.

Here we will show you how you can host your own email server right in your Windows PC.

The Easy Way Out – hMailServer

hMailServer is one of the best free, open-source email servers for Windows. It is commonly used by ISPs, governments, educational institutions and more. The application comes with built-in spam control by SpamAssassin and supports a fast and easy download/installation.

How to install and setup windows home server

Once you have downloaded it, run the Installer. In the below screen, select “Server” only if you want your local computer to work as a server. If you set up a server elsewhere, only select “Administrative tools” to remotely manage that server.

How to install and setup windows home server

You will have to set up a password during installation. Write it down somewhere because you will need it every time you launch the application.

How to install and setup windows home server

Once the dashboard is open, enter a new website domain (with SMTP enabled from a hosting provider). After creating the domain, head towards “Protocols” followed by “SMTP.” Here, you must set up the Local host name as “localhost.”

How to install and setup windows home server

Finally, click the “Accounts” item. Here, you can create an email address for which you need prior access to a top-level domain name and its DNS settings. Basically, every time you send an email, the message first gets stored in hMailServer and is later relayed to the IP address of the DNS.

DNS settings are easily available from any purchased domain’s control panel. You will have to update Mail Exchange records (MX) for the domain. The exact procedure to update MX records varies from domain to domain. For example, updating a detailed MX record for a domain purchased with GoDaddy has been explained here.

How to install and setup windows home server

You can also enable options for auto-reply, forwarding, greylisting, DNS blacklists and more in hMailServer. But, we will reserve these options for the below step. Once your email server has been successfully set up, you will need a client like Thunderbird or Outlook Express to read/write those emails.

Set Up Hosted Email Using Thunderbird Client

Download and install Mozilla Thunderbird. You will have to immediately set up an email account there. Use the same email ID and password that you would normally use with the web-hosting provider.

How to install and setup windows home server

You will soon be prompted to the next screen where you must choose “Manual Config” to fine-tune your Thunderbird client settings.

How to install and setup windows home server

At this stage, you must set up your existing email account. The server hostname should be “localhost,” as you previously enabled those settings with hMailServer. As per hMailServer guidelines, use “143” for IMAP port, “993” for IMAP via SSL/TSL and either “465” or “587” for SMTP port.

How to install and setup windows home server

Additionally, you can change server settings from the Thunderbird account. Once the email address has been configured with the client, you can readily start using your new web host’s email service.

How to install and setup windows home server

You can use the Thunderbird mail client to run as many private email instances on hMailServer as you want. The email server is up and running and configured with the original email.

How to install and setup windows home server

As an optional step, you might want a webmail facility that works with your new email server for accessing emails on the go. SquirrelMail is one of the popular web-mail clients favored by IT admins. It has a file-based configuration (Perl-based) system for configuration based on the steps described here. In case you are unable to run the configuration, you can change the values for hMailServer manually.


Hosting an email server on your own requires some precautions and maintenance efforts. First, it is very important that your domain and server IP are in good health. You must keep track if your server IP is in some kind of public blacklist. Use this tool to find out if you are indeed going to have troubles. Sometimes web-mail providers like Gmail blacklist emails arriving from a particular server’s IP address because of incorrect DNS settings.

Have you considered going for your own email server? Which solutions did you use?

Sayak Boral is a technology writer with over ten years of experience working in different industries including semiconductors, IoT, enterprise IT, telecommunications OSS/BSS, and network security. He has been writing for MakeTechEasier on a wide range of technical topics including Windows, Android, Internet, Hardware Guides, Browsers, Software Tools, and Product Reviews.

How to install and setup windows home serverI bought a Windows Home Server about two years ago, I use it primarily for backups and file sharing in my home network. It is a good solution for a small home network such as mine because it is sufficient, it is not overkill and it is easy to manage.

A few months ago, I put together a new PC which I use for development when I am home and for gaming. I installed Windows Ultimate 64-bit in it and up until today, I didn’t worry about connecting it to the WHS because I didn’t have much to backup, now I do.

The first thing I tried was to install the WHS connector using the original CD, I didn’t have any luck. Then I searched for a solution online and I found this article, but it didn’t work either. In the article, the writer mentions that I can just browse to and then install it from there. I was able to see a button to install it, but when I clicked on it I got a “Not Found” 404 error. As it turns out, the link points to “/setup/WHSConnectorInstall.exe” and that path doesn’t seem to be configured in the web server. I searched for the folder Setup in the WHS and found it. After trying running various executables including “WHSConnectorInstall.exe” without success, one of the error messages suggested running Setup.exe (what a surprise!), so I did and I was able to install the Windows Home Server in my Windows 7 64 bit computer without any problems. The connection works perfectly and I also was able to configure this computer to be backed up by WHS every night!

These are the steps I followed:

  • Copy the files shown in the image below from the folder “C:WHS” in your Windows Home Server to a local folder in your Windows 7 computer.
  • These are the executables I copied from WHS to my WIndows 7 computer, double-click on setup.exe and follow the screen instructions.

How to install and setup windows home server

  • That is it! After running setup.exe you should see the WHS icon in the system tray.

How to install and setup windows home server

Setting a home server that runs on an open-source or Windows operating system is a valuable practice, as you can use it to run a website, send and receive emails, stack-up your old DVD and music collection, and so on. Building a server at home may sound like a very complex thing to do, but in reality, it is not.

Requirements for Building a Server

Establishing your server at home requires the following components:

A Computer

Since you will be setting up a server to conduct basic tasks such as receiving/sending emails and saving data, a machine running on 6 GB RAM and a Core i3 processor will be good enough. However, you shouldn’t use an old machine because used hardware isn’t reliable and you might be confronted with space issues. Also, if you require to host a database and cater to huge traffic, you might need a high-speed server having an Intel Xeon processor. Make sure the hard drive has plenty of space if you wish to install and store a variety of programs along with having a backup of your data. Another thing to keep in mind is cooling; make sure your system doesn’t overheat. You can use different things to cool the server, such as air, liquid nitrogen, or a fan. Some computers come equipped with water-cooled technology, which lowers power consumption by 30% to 40%

Ethernet Card

The server requires an Ethernet card. When buying it, make sure it’s compatible with the operating system you choose. I would recommend 3Com and D-Link cards because they’re reliable and offer value for money.

Reliable Internet Connection

Your server will be running on the Internet, so having a reliable connection is of utmost importance. You can choose either ADSL, fiber optic, or a satellite connection. A fast and reliable Internet connection will ensure prompt working and help it stay clear of lags.

Monitor and Keyboard

You can use an old keyboard and monitor; no need to buy new ones. You can go for a wireless keyboard and mouse if you like moving around in your room.

Choice of Operating System

These days, you can find open-source operating systems easily. You may use Fedora, FreeBSD, Ubuntu, Gentoo, or simply use your reliable Windows 10 for a home server, which also allows you to set up a VPN for Windows 10, to improve your privacy on the internet.

Once your server is up and running, you should keep the following considerations in mind:

· Don’t expose it to heat or dust

· Hide the cords so that people don’t trip over them

· Maintain an effective cooling system to avoid overheating and loud noises

· You can adjust it in a closet as long as air passes through because that will prevent it from overheating

· Always keep an eye on the internet: don’t settle for low-speed connections as they will affect the overall performance of your server

· Keep it plugged in an electric outlet at all times

· Install a functioning CD/DVD burner or have it at disposal if you want to burn discs

· Use a router if you wish to get access to your server space from other computers

· Use a surge suppressor if you are in an area, which sees frequent power outages

How to install and setup windows home server

About Nick

Nick is a Software Engineer. He has interest in gadgets and technical stuffs. If you are facing any problem with your Windows, feel free to ask him.

BYTE — Microsoft’s Windows Home Server 2011 will install on pretty much any system that supports Windows 7.

There are a few requirements system requirements to note. Unlike its 32-bit predecessor, WHS 2011 is a 64-bit only OS. Make sure your hardware meets and exceeds all requirements.

Now pop in the DVD or a USB key for an even quicker install.

Ensure the PC can boot from a DVD device by entering the BIOS for the PC and selecting DVD as a boot device. This is the default on most newer systems and motherboards, but if your PC won’t boot from DVD, the BIOS entry is the issue.

The boot process looks similar to Windows 7.

How to install and setup windows home server

Once the setup has completely booted up, choose whether you are making a new install or a repair.

I am selecting New Installation.

How to install and setup windows home server

The system will then present you with the hard drives on the system. Keep things simple while installing this OS. Only boot with the hard disk you intend to install the OS on. That way, you’ll minimize mistakes.

How to install and setup windows home server

If you don’t see a hard disk in this step, it’s possible you need to install drivers for the controller the hard drive is attached to. Locate the drivers for your device and put them on a DVD or USB key.

NOTE: Remove the install DVD at this point in order to put in a driver disk, if you need it. Just be sure to replace the install DVD once the drivers are loaded. Click the Load Drivers button to browse to the location of the drivers for your device.

How to install and setup windows home server

Now choose the drive that you want to install Windows Home Server 2011 to. Check the box at the bottom. All data will be erased. You’ve backed up, right? You’d better be.

How to install and setup windows home server

The installation procedes with almost no interaction on your part.

How to install and setup windows home server

The installation procedure will reboot the server up to four times before it needs any additional input. Just make sure you maintain power to the PC during the install. You don’t want to repeat this.

The install process takes around 20-30 minutes.

How to install and setup windows home server

Now it’s time for the fun part of the install. Customization. Select your country, time zone, and keyboard layout. Hit Next.

How to install and setup windows home server

Verify the time for the server. Click Next.

How to install and setup windows home server

The license agreement is next. Read through the agreement and check the box stating you agree to its terms, if you do. Click Next.

How to install and setup windows home server

Locate the product key that came with your Windows Home Server 2011 purchase and type it in verbatim.

The key will be 5 groups of 5 letter and number combinations — ie 12345-xxxxx-12345-xxxxx-12345. The installer will automatically type the dashes for you.

There is also an activation option. I recommend checking this box so Windows Home Server 2011 will activate once it is online.

If you don’t activate it the server will nag you for 30 days. If you don’t activate it within the 30-day time period Windows Home Server 2011 will cease to work until you do. So just activate it!

How to install and setup windows home server

The biggest decision during the entire install process is next. What will you name your server? A good example would be, “homeserver,” but you can name it anything you want up to 15 characters in length and including letters, numbers and dashes.

NOTE: There are some names you cannot use for your server such as Anonymous, Local, Users and Self. There are more than 30 of these reserved names.

How to install and setup windows home server

The next box is the password for administering the server. Choose a password that’s at least eight characters in length and includes three of the four criteria: Upper case characters, lower case characters, numbers, symbols. Type in the password and verify it.

How to install and setup windows home server

The password hint is just that. Never type in actual passwords as this hint is visible to anyone on your network. Fill in the boxes and click Next.

How to install and setup windows home server

The next decision is for updates. Microsoft gives you the choice to check and install updates automatically or to not check at all. I highly recommend that you have the server check and install updates automatically. Select the other options as you wish and change them later if needed.

How to install and setup windows home server

The installation will finalize and present you with the name of the server so you can connect the PCs in your household to it.

In this example you would connect to the server at: http://vm2011whs/connect

How to install and setup windows home server

Your server is now installed and you’re back at the desktop. Way to go! Safely log out of it or start the dashboard to get acquainted with its options. Let the fun begin.

How to install and setup windows home server

Based in Helenville, WI, David McCabe is a senior contributor at BYTE. Follow him @homeservershow. or email him at [email protected]

Installing the Windows Home Server Connector Software

The Connector is a small piece of software that installs on the clients (the computers you use in your home) that communicates, or “connects”, with the server. The connector software also allows easy access to the shared folders on the server, remote web access, manual backup initiation, and the Dashboard (where the server is managed). The Connector is required to be installed on any computer in the home that you wish to backup on the home server.

Connecting to the server

The Connector software is located on the server itself so you will never have to remember where you left “that” CD or what website the installer was on. Simply open a browser on each client computer and navigate to the software location. In the example below I’ve entered http:// followed by the IP address of the server and /connect/. You can also use the server name you chose during installation. As an example; if your server IP address is the address would be or you could use the server name (testserver in this example) and type http://testserver/connect/ into the address bar. Press the Enter key and you’ll be greated with the following page.

Click the Download software for Windows button on your Windows computers or the Download software for Mac link for Mac users and you’ll be asked whether you would like to Run, Save, or Cancel the download. You don’t need to save the file as it will always be on the server, so click Run.

You will receive the standard warning when attempting to open an executable file. Click Run to begin the Connector installation.

The installer will open and offer a brief description of what the Connector does. Simply click Next to continue.

The installer warns that your computer may restart during the installation process and if the .Net framework isn’t installed it will do so. Click Next to continue.

Enter the password you chose during the server installation and click Next to continue.

NOTE: If this is a re-install or you’ve given more than one computer on your network the same name you’ll receive the following error. Simply correct the problem and continue with the installation.

Review or change the description that will appear for the computer in the Dashboard. If you have more than one computer consider making this as descriptive as possible – Use the computer name, OS, upstairs, downstairs, etc so you know exactly which computer it is when dealing with the server. Click Next to continue.

Your next choice is whether to allow the computer to wake from sleep/hibernate to complete a backup. I highly suggest you choose Yes, unless you experience problems with the client returning to sleep/hibernation. Make your choice by clicking the radio button next to the option of your chosing and click Next to continue.

Now you can choose if you would like to participate in the Customer Experience Improvement Program. If you would like to help Microsoft improve WHS click the radio button beside Yes. If you are concerned about sending data to Microsoft click the button beside No. Make your choice and click Next to continue.

The Connector installation will begin.

After installation finishes you are given the option to open the connector. Go ahead, check the box and click Finish to close the installer.

Hey, things look different on the desktop!

You’ll notice a few additions to the desktop. The most prevelant is the Dashboard sign in. Don’t worry, this doesn’t open by defualt. It is there because we checked the box during the final step of the Connector installation. The Launchpad will now start with Windows, but you can disable that if you wish. There is also a new icon in the ntification area of the taskbar.

Windows Home Server Launchpad

This is where the day to day interaction with the server takes place. You can manually start a backup, launch the remote access web site, open the shared server folders, and open the Dashboard. The Launchpad does take up screen realestate on smaller screens, but it can be closed and opened at will.

Windows Home Server Taskbar icon

The WHS icon provides a quick way to open both the Launchpad as well as the Dashboard. More importantly it shows the status of the home server and network at a glance. The icon is Green when everything is functioning as it should, but will change to Red for serious issues, Yellow for minor problems, and Gray when the server is unavailable.

Windows Home Server Dashboard

The Dashboard provides access to the server settings from any client computer and is the reason you do not need a monitor, keyboard, or mouse attached to the server. All setup and settings can be managed from a client computer using the Dashboard. Enter the server password you chose during installation to open the Dashboard. Feel free to look around once it opens and we’ll pick up with the Dashboard in the next issue! In the mean time be sure to install the Connector software on the remaining computers.