Guide to Using Windows 8 as a Windows Home Server


I’ve been a Windows Home Server user and advocate since the product’s earliest inception. Like many WHS users, I was quite torn when Microsoft dropped Drive Extender from the WHS 2011 release, but ultimately switched over. As time has gone on, WHS 2011 has felt more and more like a regression of the product, not just because of the loss of the DE storage pooling, but because of the intrusive Launchpad app and the long-standing bug that prevents backups of UEFI-based computers, a problem that has all but rendered the beloved automatic backup functionality useless in my house. As Windows 8 took form with its own Storage Spaces pooling technology and robust backup capabilities, I began to wonder if Windows 8 might not be better Windows Home Server than WHS itself. Evidently, I am not the only one as the WHS experts over at We Got Served have posted the first in what they promise will be a series detailing how to use Windows 8 as a home server OS.

However, if a home server is no longer a viable option perhaps have a look at investing and migrating to a virtual private server.

In this series, Building a Windows 8 Home Server, we’ll dig into the lesser-known corners of the newWindows 8 operating system to uncover a wonderful secret. That the future of Microsoft’s home server push is alive and well and about to land on millions of desktops and devices later this year.

We Got Served

  • After WHS lost demigrator I

    After WHS lost demigrator I made the plunge into UNRAID.  After the initial setup I havent touched my system except to add more drives.  This thing lives in my storage room and serves the entire house.  Its been running for at least 7 months continuosly without a hiccup.  There has never been a Windows system that I have ever used that comees close to this level of performance.

    I would hope that people would stop trying to make windows work and just get something does work…like UNRAID.  I have a 20 drive system and as soon as it is filled Im going to build a second system.


    • I have looked at unRAID a few

      I have looked at unRAID a few times now and would agree that it might be a better solution than Windows if all you need is a file server. However, like many WHS fans, I think the draw of a Windows-based server is the option to run other software on the system. For instance, my server runs Squeezecenter, Calibre, PLEX, and several other pieces of software full time for other media distribution purposes and I also set it for crunching video in Handbrake  in the evenings when no one is using the network or server for other tasks.

  • It’s sad, it seems like M$ is

    It’s sad, it seems like M$ is abandoning the home user. The elimination of drive extender from WHS2011, now word that WHS will be dropped all together. And of course the news that W8 will not have WMC in it unless you buy the top of the line sku and pay extra for the WMC pack. Don’t they know we’re struggling to get out of a recession!!