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Archive for the ‘Networking’ Category

Die cast

Had a PCI SATA card on the Windows Home Server die recently. It did something unspeakable to the installation, so much so that the time cost to up and running is lower if I do a re-installation. I know that I haven’t lost any data, so it’s just a matter of getting the platform up and running.

So I’m going Windows Server 2012 Essentials. The Release Candidate. I am confident in my backup methodology, and I have a shelved set of rotating backups. It does mean a change to domain accounts, but that’s OK, as for some reason I’ve made sure that all my clients are running Win7Pro as a minimum.

It will be interesting to see the difference in performance between Drive Extender and Storage Spaces.

More to come.

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The Windows Home Server: What’s inside?

My Windows Home Server machine began it’s life in 2005 as my primary workstation – the one that I used to play games, did work, edited photos’ and video and so on.  As life changed and my time-frame for using my computer moved later and later in the day, I found myself looking for a laptop to act as the primary, and a plan to rebuild the workstation as a server.  So that’s what I did!

The first decision was platform.  After playing with Ubuntu, Amahi, Windows Home Server, the choice was clear for me.  The WHS option integrated seamlessly with both Vista and Windows 7, automating backups and connectivity and the all important permissions stuff that is often so incomprehensible.  This is the specification for the Windows Home Server machine that I presented at the Sydney Windows User Group late last year.

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Network cards annoy me

Bought myself a nice new DLink Gigabit switch (look – it’s Green!) last week to act as the heart of the network between the docking station, the home server and the HTPC. The docking station and the HTPC connected with the switch nicely, reporting 1 Gpbs. The server? Unfriendly.

I reconnected the cable to the router, to find that I had a nice solid 100Mbit connection.  Yes – the motherboard has a gigabit NIC onboard – I really really checked all the documentation for the board.  Really.   I updated the nVidia driver pack.  No change.  I swapped out the cable for a new Cat6 – no change.

What is odd is that the switch is auto-sensing – it’s supposed to decide whether to connect at 10, 100 or 1,000 based on what it is connected to.  When I connect the machine to the router, 100Mbit and rock solid.  Connect to the switch, the machine attempts to connect, and drops, attempts to connect, and drops.  And no throughput at all.

Now – you’d think that if I connected a 100 Mbit NIC to a 10/100/1000 switch, it would connect at 100 Mbit.  But I get nothing at all.

Is there something that I’m missing?  I’m going crazy here!