March 2010 Blog Posts

Björn Bürstinghaus has reviewed Disk Management 1.1 on his Windows blog:

[Google Translation] The hard drives are, in my opinion the most important components of a home server, because there all data is stored centrally. Unfortunately, the Windows Home Server Console no native support for display of information on the built-in hard drives.

With the add-in Disk Management for Windows Home Server Tentacle Software you have a perfect overview of the status and activities of the individual hard disks in your home server.

Thanks Björn!

These are actually pretty funny!

Starting today, two, 30-second Windows Home Server commercials will run for 3 months throughout 25 different shows that are aired on Hulu. The videos were created to be metaphors of Windows Home Server, and convey 2 of the key features – Backup and Recovery, and using it as a Media Server.In the 30-second clips, Windows Home Server is described as a “Genie in the Box” who magically works to keep your data safe, and in one central location.

Intel have released new drivers (Intel Rapid Storage Technology Driver v9.6, previously known as Intel Matrix Storage Manager) for their desktop RAID controllers, and in some cases it appears that SCSI paths for disks attached to the controller are changing.

A change in SCSI paths isn’t anything catastrophic, but it does mean that your Disk Management wireframe might need to be reconfigured.

The wireframe tracks disk locations based on their SCSI path, and will highlight a drive bay in red if a particular path isn’t present anymore. If you update your disk controller drivers and some drive bays turn red, you just need to jump into the Settings dialog box, edit your wireframe, and change those drive bays to use the new SCSI paths.

Andreas M. has posted a nifty little tutorial for creating a version update check in your Add-In.

I want to show you the simplest form of an update check in less than 20 lines of C# code. Before we can have a look at the code we have to ask ourselves which steps are required to perform:

  1. Determine the version of our addin that is currently running
  2. Retrieve information about the latest version of our addin from the web
  3. Compare these two versions and decide whether the currently running version is outdated

Nice work, and very simple to implement.

We’re into the second week of the Disk Management 1.1 release, and we’ve had lots of positive feedback so far.

Here’s a selection of reviews and release announcements:

Tentacle Software announced the release of their updated Disk Management Add-In this weekend and I spent an evening in “hard drive information overload” as I reviewed this sweet update to an already cool tool!

Is this Add-In for me? Heck yeah. My parents? Not so much. This Add-In is well worth the $10 for any avid WHS user. Access to the disk temperatures, serial numbers and drive models are worth the money in time-savings alone.

The Most Essential WHS Add In: Disk Management 1.1 for Windows Home Server

I have been beta testing an add in for my Windows Home Server for what feels like ever!!! It’s an essential tool in managing your disks in Windows Home Server. It has seamless integration with WHS. When it is installed, you wonder how could Microsoft possible have left these features out of a server…

Disk Management for Windows Home Server was probably one of the first add-ins I installed for WHS, and is one of those must-have add-ins for WHS.

The great thing is that you get a chance to support your favorite add-in without costing you an arm or a leg.  Hell, I can spend $10 in one day getting my caffeine-laden soda fix!

Sam Wood of Tentacle Software, curator of one of the most popular Windows Home Server add-ins announces a feature-loaded updated version of his Disk Management add-in.

The new version has been significantly overhauled with an updated interface, better performance, and a number of new features which are listed below in the official announcement.

I’ve been fortunate to participate in the beta testing of the 1.1 version, and if you found the previous free version to be valuable I’m sure you’ll appreciate the updates included in this new release.

MS Windows Home Server

The Disk Management add-in from fellow MVP Sam Wood is designed for users who need more detail about their server’s storage status than what the standard Server Storage interface provides. It’s also the 1st add-in I install on a Windows Home Server box and the good news is that a new version is finally available with lots of new features.

posted @ Thursday, March 04, 2010 9:55 PM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ Site ]

Over at the Ignition Development blog, I’ve posted an article on the development of the content management and online store framework that runs Tentacle Software.

The old Tentacle Software website wasn’t a looker by anyone’s standards; it functioned, in that it served HTML pages with text and links, but it was by no means a stunning piece of architecture. In fact, it was just a couple of raw HTML pages and some JavaScript.


In the run-up to launching Disk Management, we redesigned the site using a free CSS template and switched to Ignition Development’s Site Foundation Framework for content management and shopping functionality. Why SFF? Well, you can’t run a successful store on a crap CMS, and I helped write SFF so I know it’s awesome.

I’m planning to do a few posts like this, describing the infrastructure I built to get Tentacle Software off the ground. Should be interesting for anyone trying to get their own business started.

This isn't a WHS-related post, but I'm throwing this out to Google as a vote for a specific solution to a specific problem. If you're trying to copy some really large files from an OSX user, ones that don't fit on a FAT32 volume, use HSFExplorer.

To transfer large files from an OSX machine to Windows, if you don’t want to mess around with Bootcamp drivers:

  1. Copy large files from the OSX machine to an HSF-formatted USB disk
  2. Plug USB disk into your Windows machine
  3. Run HSFExplorer and locate the HSF volume
  4. Right-click the files you want and choose ‘Extract’

Works just like any archive unpacker (WinRAR etc). Highly recommended.


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