The first minor release of Windows Home Server was announced today at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. Power Pack 1, formerly code named "UR1", will ship in the first half of 2008 and be made available to existing customers of Windows Home Server via Windows Update.
Power Pack 1 has some great new functionality. A high level overview is included below and we will share additional details in more blog posts throughout the week.
Windows Home Server Connector Software
When Power Pack 1 ships, the Windows Home Server Connector will be able to be installed on home computers running Windows Vista x64 editions.
Functionality is added to detect that the version of the Windows Home Server Connector software is aligned with the version of Windows Home Server software. Users will be prompted to update either the home computers or their home server software under certain circumstances.
You can also install the latest version of the Connector software over your home network from the Software shared folder on your home server via a handy web interface.
Windows Home Server Data Backup
While adding a hard drive to Windows Home Server, a user is now presented with an option to use the hard drive for backing up the home server.
Once this option is selected, the home server will appear in the Computers & Backup tab - where a user can decide what information they want to store on this hard drive.
Just like with your home computers, you can view the backups stored on these hard drives and choose to restore the files, photos, etc. back to your home server.
You can also backup and restore and the entire home computer backup database.
When adding/editing a user in the Home Server Console, in addition to enabling remote access for that user, there is now a drop down list box that allows you to specify whether the user will have access to the computers tab, the shared folders tab, or both tabs when logged in with Windows Home Server Remote Access.
A new ‘Views’ drop-down list is added for the Shared Folders tab in remote access which allows the files in a shared folder to be displayed either as a list of files (‘Details’ view) or as thumbnails (‘Icons’ view). In ‘Icons’ view, the majority of the picture files will be represented as a thumbnails, and the rest of the non-picture files and folders will be displayed as large icons.
File upload functionality has been improved for users of Internet Explorer 6 and 7. Users can drag and drop multiple files directly into an upload area or select multiple files in the open file dialog for upload. Upload progress reporting has been improved, with the addition of a progress bar and individual file upload status. Ability to cancel the multiple upload has been added as well.
When you download multiple files, you are now given the option to package the files in a self extracting executable (.exe) file in addition to being able to store them in a ZIP file.
Home Computer Backups
If the backup database on the home server has a consistency error, you can now use the backup database repair wizard to attempt to correct this error. The repair wizard can be launched through the Backup Settings page in the Windows Home Server Console.
Also, a new option has been added to the Windows Home Server Connector tray icon that allows the user to enable or disable the home computer from waking up for backup if it is in sleep or hibernation mode.
And More ...
There are some more great things to shared about Power Pack 1 that we will cover in more blog posts throughout the week. As always, if you have questions about Power Pack 1, please ask them in the Windows Home Server Community Forums, as we have lifted the embargo from our beta testers, so they can now answer questions, blog about it and help everybody learn what is coming ...