Wednesday, June 11, 2008

WHS: Power Pack 1

I've finally gotten TVersity running on the MSS, but its a tad slow though due to the memory requirements of codec translation. Pretty much that chip and memory upgrade regardless of the warranty breaking is looking like a decent proposition right now if it can boost productivity (come on HP, give it up and let us poor folk who bought this expensive hardware do it already!). Joe's already done it with one of his systems taking a cue from that other guy from HomeServerHacks.

Anyway, moving along. Joe personally invited me to beta test the supposed new WHS SP1 coming out in June last month. My lazy excuse here is that so many projects in the works and I've not been on personal email too much recently. What I did do though is sign-up for the WHS Beta Program as mentioned in another forum which allowed me to get WHS Power Pack 1 just the other day. Skipping the instructions I simply dumped everything in the MSS/Software directory and initiated a Remote Desktop session and installed it from there.... Done!

WHS MSS upgraded and my WHS Connect Software as expected complained about a need for an upgrade by flashing (!) on the taskbar icon as well as (oh, thank you MS guys for thinking of backward compatibility issues) in the original WHS Connect console. Looking good so far.


I've gone back to the document today to see if I missed some steps and to verify the installation. Its still a multi-disk system but am not ready to just turn on disk duplication back on for my critical multi-media files just yet. The aim of my beta test is to (1) ensure the installation works, and funny enough it was Patch Tuesday yesterday so there's possibly a new update available and so (2) ensure that patches are installed successfully.

There two-(2) consoles I'm using WHSC on and per the update instructions there's a manual way to get the update from the WHS (on page #19), which I did. And why is that? Simply because using the download instructions from the beta document got me a possible update from Microsoft but it wasn't connecting to my MSS! Best assumption then is to get what was really packaged where it was installed thus the above steps done.

Right then, on to verification but not before seeing what would happen if I followed the written instructions on page #12. Clicking on the "Update Now" button resulted in the following window inside WHSC.

Ah, so was this a result of the Power Pack 1 update or were these patches from Patch Tuesday? Looks to me that IE 7's being updated so it must be the latter. More on this later.

And suddenly, an Application Error on [homeserverconsole.exe]. Uh, WTF? Clicking on the "OK" button resulted in that WHSC v.1 session crashing. Fine, closed it and moved to the WHSC v.2 session which was of course locked off from registering and connecting to the MSS due to inability for a concurrent session.

Now WHSC is based on Windows 2003 server, so why aren't concurrent sessions allowed?!!

Once more check if the update pushed through, and apparently it did (oh really?).

Here's the version check as mentioned from page #17. It plainly shows WHS with PP1, and components at version 6.0.1771.0

When in doubt, check again. So I made an RDP session and discovered that apparently the updates continued to go on regardless of the previous application error, and is now requiring me to reboot.

In fact, the reboot timer did this for me. And yes, just last night I refused the reboot on my Windows XP production machine since I had a couple of emails that were pending and earmarked for response... But nooooo, the system went ahead and did it in my sleep!

Bummer, now I've got to go back and re-read and possibly miss responding to some items. (Hello MS Office 2007 guys, a good feature would be to re-open messages in similar cases. Someone work with the patch update team please?!).

Alright, so the HP MSS EX475 rebooted successfully. I did a once over update check again and WHSC reports no more updates available. Via RDP the system profile shows I'm still running WHS SP2 after the update. Unfortunately, the WHSC still tells the story of Hotel California, that my update is current as of 1969.

"Good night", said the watchman. We are programmed to deceive. "You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave."

PS> A quick comment on the new WHSC is that during all the tests it was running alot better, by that I mean it had faster response. Something tells me the WHS Team may have sped up some connection problems either as part of the update or inadvertently. For that, I'm really thankful! You guys rock.

AND NOW, on to other hurdles like configuring the server to host either this blog or a portion of it; as well as figuring out how to start serving pictures and video for the family back home in Baguio City. Mama Linda, Jeng, Ashley, Jaune, Jay, Tin, Gavin, Len, Craig -- we miss you!

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