HTPC

Archiving TV with Windows Home Server 2011

When Windows Home Server 2011 was announced I was extremely excited. I participated in the beta, and I now have a dedicated 8TB Raid 10 running in my closet. Not only will WHS2011 store all of your files in the house, backup your computers, and allow you to stream your content through your browser or WP7, but you can even automate recorded TV backups. We’ve had a few questions come in lately about this process, so we decided to put a little guide together.

What you will need:

  • WHS 2011
    • Separate storage drives in the WHS2011
    • Windows 7 running Windows Media Center

I will assume that you have already set up your WHS2011. So the first step is to open the WHS2011 Dashboard and go to the Server Folders and Hard Drives section. By default, WHS assigns default locations to where it thinks you want to store your files. We do not want to go this route. Instead, we want to choose a specific folder. So go ahead and select the Recorded TV folder, and take note of its location. If it is not where you want to store your files then simply press “Move the Folder” button.

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If you do this you will now see a list of possible locations that you can move the folder to. So go ahead and pick a different hard drive to put your Recorded TV on to. Another thing we will want to do is Turn off Shadow Copies for this hard drive. If you desire you can keep Shadow copies on, but it’s not necessary since you are probably already running a RAID. Next, click on “Hard Drives” and select the hard drive that the Recorded TV folder is now on and click “View Properties”. Now under the “Shadow Copies” tab uncheck the “Enable Shadow Copies” box to disable it.

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We are all done on the Home Server. Now if you haven’t installed the WHS connector software on your HTPC you will want to do that now. To do so simply go to a web browser on your HTPC and enter http://<servername>/connect and install the software. After you have done this you will want to open up WMC. Right under “Extras” you will now see a nice new tab called “Home Server”. Unlike WHS v1 there is only 1 option here, which is TV Archive.

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Once you select this, you have 4 options.

  • Series –> Select specific series that you want to have copied to your WHS
  • Programs –> Select specific recordings that you want to have copied to your WHS.
  • Settings –> There is only 1 option which is to automatically back up everything to your WHS.
  • Activity –> View if files have been copied over to your WHS

So for instance I can tell my WMC to backup this episode of 30 Rock by checking it and hitting save.

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After I hit save I can now go into activity and see that is is being archived directly to my WHS:

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If I simply open up WHS in windows explorer I can see that it is currently being copied over as well.

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So there you have it. The important part is to specify on your WHS where you want your Recorded TV to pull from. Your archived shows should still show up in your Recorded TV folder. If they do not simply go to Settings->Media Libraries->Recorded TV->Add Folder->On another computer –>Select WHS –> Select Recorded TV Folder and you should be go to go.

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If you are interested in purchasing Windows Home Server 2011, it is available on Amazon for as little as $45!

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