Windows Home Server “Vail” August Preview now available

GreenVailLogo

Today Microsoft has released an updated preview build of Windows Home Server “Vail.”

This build has some very welcome changes and some cool new features. Among these changes and new features are the following:

  • Ability to enable or disable Add-ins at will from within the Dashboard
  • Improvements to the Getting Started tasks
  • New color scheme for the Dashboard, Remote Web Access, and Connect Computer website
  • Client Connector for Mac OS (Yes, you read that right, Mac OS!)
  • Alert Viewer now allows for alerts to be organized based on computer name or severity
  • Server Folders and Hard Drives now includes a summary tab
  • There is now the ability to create a bootable USB flash drive that can be used to restore a client computer
  • Official support for Windows 7 and Server 2008 R2 Service Pack 1 Betas

However, there are some issues and changes in this build that need to be mentioned up front.

  • For users of a previous release of Vail, you will have to migrate data off of your test server to another PC or external storage device before reinstallation as Drive Extender has undergone more changes making DE drives from previous releases incompatible with the August preview.
  • There is a QFE available along with this build that addresses an issue where saving files to a Vail server may fail when a large amount of data is present on the server. It is advised that this QFE be installed immediately after installing Vail.
  • Storage Check and Repair is broken in this release, as under certain conditions, there may be data loss.
  • If a hard drive goes missing from the storage pool and you attempt to remove that missing hard drive from the storage pool, the removal wizard may inadvertently remove the wrong files from your server.

For the build number curious amongst us, this is build 7657 and is available from Microsoft Connect today. The CRC and SHA1 hashes for the ISO have been posted below along with steps to check the integrity of the downloaded ISO.

Hashes for today’s release:

Volume label: GR0SHSxFRE_EN_DVD

CRC: 0x7D6C61AD

SHA1: 0x051BBC9A1EEF7BEFD9DADD5584EEEB0C81F07AF2

To run MSCDCRC against an ISO file that you have downloaded follow these steps.

  1. Download MSCDCRC to the same folder that you downloaded the Vail ISO to. (Click here to download MSCDCRC)
  2. Open a Command Prompt window and navigate to the folder from Step 1
  3. Type "MSCDCRC InstallDVD.iso" (without quotes)
  4. The integrity check will take a few moments to complete. After the check is complete compare the CRC and SHA hashes to the hashes posted below
  5. If the hashes match then you have successfully downloaded the ISO
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