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Windows 7: Why You Need Windows Home Server

The Windows Home Server (WHS) is an addition that you can purchase to supplement Windows 7. WHS is designed to manage your network for you. To help you decide whether you want to make the investment in WHS, take a minute to explore some of the things that Windows Home Server can do for you that you just can’t get any other way.

  • Windows Home Server supports shadow copies on the external hard drive. Because Windows 7 stores its shadow copies on the boot drive, if a Windows 7 drive fails, its shadow copies are lost. Fortunately, Windows Home Server can restore an entire dead drive.

  • Windows Home Server can mirror folders stored on the server using folder duplication. When you turn on duplication, WHS maintains two separate copies of all files in the folder — and they’re saved on two different hard drives. WHS can regenerate an exact copy of the drive in the event of a crash.

    To turn on duplication for a folder, open the WHS Console, click the Shared Folders tab at the top, and then right-click the folder and choose Properties.

  • You can have Windows Media Player (WMP) rip music directly to the Windows Home Server Music folder to save room on your hard drive. Set up your WHS Music folder as part of your Music library, to make the music easy for WMP and Windows Media Center to find.

  • Similarly, you can have Windows Live Photo Gallery grab pictures off your camera and stick them directly on the server.

  • You can use it to log in to your network from anywhere in the world. If you’re running Windows 7 Professional or Ultimate, you can use the Remote Access feature in WHS access your network via Internet Explorer.

  • You can easily create your own shared folders on the WHS server. Create separate folders on the server for your taxes, or anything else. When you add those folders to your Documents library, Windows 7 treats them as though they were sitting on your computer.

    To create a shared folder, on the Console’s Shared Folders, click the plus sign Add icon.

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