How To's & GuidesHow to install or remove an Add-in for Windows...

How to install or remove an Add-in for Windows Home Server

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Add-ins are additional features or functionality that can be easily added to Windows Home Server. The additional features or functionality can even make changes to the look and feel of the Windows Home Server Console, which may include adding new tabs for you to control the application. Add-ins effectively extend the capability of your Windows Home Server, and the possibilities for new add-ins are endless.

However, it is not always simple to install an add-in if you don’t know to do it – it’s not just a case of running an .EXE file, so in this walk-through I will explain how to add and also to remove an add-in from your Windows Home Server.

VIEWING ADD-INS

Click the Settings button on the Windows Home Server Console and then click Add-ins to open the Installed Add-ins screen.

Available Add-ins

As you can see, there are two available tabs, Installed and Available. The Installed tab lists all of the add-ins that are currently installed and operational on your Windows Home Server.

The Available tab lists any add-ins that are available to install. In this example, the TwonkyMedia Server for HP MediaSmart and also the HP MediaSmart Server Online Backup add-ins are currently installed.

INSTALLING AN ADD-IN

In order to use an add-in, you must first install it. For this example, I am installing the Windows Home Server Disk Management add-in by my friend Sam Wood. This particular add-in is designed for users who need more detail about their server’s storage status than what the standard WHS Server Storage interface provides. For more information on WHS Disk Management, including the download link, visit http://www.tentaclesoftware.com/WHSDiskManagement/

Installing an add-in is fairly straightforward, although the specific steps required for each add-in might be slightly different, so make sure you check the documentation that comes with the add-in, just to make sure you don’t miss an important step.

1. Download a copy of the add-in for Windows Home Server that you want to install and use, and save it wherever you usually save your downloaded items, or insert a CD or DVD with the add-in on any computer on your network that has the Windows Home Server Connector software installed.

2. Right-click the Windows Home Server task tray icon and click Shared Folders

Opening Shared Folders

or double-click the Shared Folders on Server icon on the Desktop. Either method connects you to the Shared Folders area on your Windows Home Server.

Shared Folders icon

3. When the Shared Folders window opens, as shown in Figure 13-4, double-click the Software folder.

WHS Software folder

4. In the Software folder, double-click the Add-Ins folder.

Contents of WHS Software folder

The Add-Ins folder contains any add-ins you currently have installed on your Windows Home Server.

Contents of add-in folder

As you can see I have a copy of files already there along with a ReadMe.txt file.If you are curious about what the ReadMe.txt file contains, this is it: Copy Windows Home Server Add-in files (.msi) to this folder. For more information about Add-ins, open the Windows Home Server Console Help and search for “Add-ins.”

5. Copy the add-in (it is likely to be called something.msi) to the Add-Ins folder. Before you continue, make sure that you can see the add-in or add-ins in the Add-Ins folder.

6. Close the Add-Ins folder when you have confirmed that the add-in appears in the folder.

You may also receive a message about an add-in being ready to install, similar to this.

Add-in available to install

7. Launch the Windows Home Server Console.

8. Click the Settings button on the Windows Home Server Console to open the Settings screen.

9. Click Add-ins in the left pane.

10. Click the Available tab. You should now see the new add-in listed.

Installing the add-in

Before continuing, check to make sure that the add-in or add-ins listed are the ones you expect to be there. For example, I am installing the WHS Disk Management Add-in, and that is what is listed, along with a couple of other add-ins, so I am happy to continue the installation process. If the add-in or add-ins that you copied to the Add-Ins folder are not listed on the Available tab, try restarting the Windows Home Server Console, because that refreshes the list on the Available tab.

11. Click the Install button on your chosen add-in to install it. Depending on the add-in you are installing, the installation process may take a moment or two.

12. You are then presented with the Installation Succeeded dialog box and you just click OK to close the Windows Home Server Console.

Install succeeded

13. After the Windows Home Server Console closes, you see a message advising you that your computer has lost its connection to the Windows Home Server.

WHS Console lost connection

Don’t worry, this is supposed to happen; just click OK to clear the message.

14. Reconnect as usual to the Windows Home Server via the Console.

15. Click the Settings button and choose Add-ins; you should see the new add-in appearing on the Installed tab.

Installed add-ins in Console

If the add-in does not appear on the Installed tab, click the Available tab and see if it is still appears there. If it does, then just repeat the installation process and try again.

16. Click OK to close the Settings window.

If the new add-in includes a new Windows Home Server Console tab, it should now be visible and selectable.

New Add-in tab in WHS Console

For example, the WHS Disk Management add-in has added a new Disk Management icon.

Now that the add-in has been installed, you can start using it. You may need to perform additional configuration steps on the add-in before you can use it, so make sure you read the instructions that came with the add-in.

UNINSTALLING AN ADD-IN

To uninstall an add-in, following these steps:

1. Launch the Windows Home Server Console.

2. Click the Settings button on the Windows Home Server Console to open the Settings screen.

3. Click Add-ins in the left pane.

4. On the Installed tab, click Uninstall for the add-in you want to remove.

Uninstalling an add-in

Depending on the add-in you are uninstalling, the uninstallation process may take a moment or two.

5. In the Uninstallation Succeeded dialog box click OK to close the Windows Home Server Console.

Unistall succeeded

6. After the Windows Home Server Console closes, you see a message advising you that your computer has lost its connection to the Windows Home Server. Don’t worry, this is supposed to happen; just click OK to clear the message.

7. Reconnect as usual to the Windows Home Server via the console.

8. If you now click the Settings button and choose Add-ins, you should see that the add-in you chose has disappeared from the Installed tab. If you click the Available tab, it now reappears there, giving you the option to reinstall it at a later date.

9. Click OK to close the Settings window.

You should now see that any additional tabs that may have been included as part of the add-in have also been removed.

If you do not intend to reinstall the add-in in the future, you should delete the MSI file from the Add-Ins folder in the Software shared folder on your Windows Home Server. Not only will this keep the list of available add-ins to only those you may want to reinstall, but it will also save disk space on the Windows Home Server itself.

Andrew Edneyhttps://moviesgamesandtech.com
I am the owner and editor of this site. I have been interested in gadgets and tech since I was a little kid. I have also written a number of books on various tech subjects. I also blog for The Huffington Post and for FHM. And I am honoured to be a Microsoft MVP since January 2008 - again this year as an Xbox MVP.

40 COMMENTS

  1. So what do you do when you uninstalled an add in and deleted it from the add in folder and it still shows up under installed add ins. Every time I try to uninstall it. it says uninstall unsuccessful.

    • Dan – this will depend on the add-in in question. My first suggestion would be to check any documentation that came with the add-in. Next, you might try reinstalling the add-in and removing it again. Failing that, you should contact the author of the add-in and see if this is a known problem and seek guidance as each add-in could be vastly different.

  2. how do you uninstall add-in if the whs is nothing but a blue screen after login?

    My first add in and my last if I ever get back to where I was

    • Joe – what was the add-in that caused the problem? Have you tried rebooting your WHS? If that doesnt work you could try contacting the author of the add-on or doing a search to see if others had the same problem.

      • hey have you managed to sort out the problem I have the same problem and it so friggin anoying. on top of that i only had the server for a few days. email please if you have a solution

        many thanks

        • the problem is that each add-in may cause a different issue which means a different solutiont to the problem!

          do you know what add-in caused the problem for you?

          The easiest way to resolve the problem is to perform a server reinstallation, which keeps all your data in tact but removes all users and add-ins. You can then add the users back and any add-ins you had before you installed whichever one broke the console.

          Andrew

  3. This does not answer the key question, How to remove an Add-In. Not just unistall it, but outright remove it from the server so that it stops reporting it as an Add-In that can be installed. If I go to the folder and try to delete the Add-In MSI file I am advised I do not have rights, despite being the system administrator. My HP Media server came with McAffee bloatware and it keeps prompting me to install it. Told it to ignore it as I am running AVAST on the server. Now it keeps reporting that my network health is at critical risk as it reports my PC's do not have antivirus software. I have AVG on them. This is McAffee adware reporting false issues and I want to kill it. It is not helpful to design tools that report false issues that you have to tell the server to ignore. Now I run the risk that it won't report when I have a real issue.

    • Actually Peter, the last paragraph does tell you how to do this – "If you do not intend to reinstall the add-in in the future, you should delete the MSI file from the Add-Ins folder in the Software shared folder on your Windows Home Server. Not only will this keep the list of available add-ins to only those you may want to reinstall, but it will also save disk space on the Windows Home Server itself." I'm not sure why you are having problems, I have been installing and removing different add-ins now using this process for over two years since WHS was in beta and have not had a problem. I certainly dont get the error about not having rights to remove it.

    • Peter – I just removed teh McAfee AV suite that comes with the MediaSmart without any problems at all. From one of my computers with the WHS Console on, I selected Shared Folders, Software, Add-ins, then deleted the TopWHSaddin.msi file and then it no longer shows in available add-ins on the Console. How are you trying to do it?

  4. Andrew – Ok, I was able to delete it. Not sure why I could not do it before and I had tried going to this folder and it kept reporting I did not have rights. It is no longer prmpting me to install it.

    WHS is still reporting issue that my PC's have no antivirus software and seems to ignore that I have AVG installed on them. Wish I could kill that false notification also.

    Thanks for your help.

    • glad you managed to get it deleted. As for the AVG issue, I have seen this beofre, and in the past its actually because the application is not reporting information correctly to the Windows Security Center. WHS just reads the information from there. Its a pain, because I used to get this all the time with Norton 2009!

      • Andrew – You seem to know enough about the WHS to help me out. I am able to open the folders on the server (Videos, Music etc…) though am unable to connect the the Home Server Console – I immediately get an error "This computer has lost connection to your home server. Check your network connection and make sure your home server is powered on. Then try to connect" I am connected to the WHS (EX470) by an Ethernet cable yet am still not able to connect…

        Any suggestions? YES, I restarted everything, uninstalled and reinstalled and restarted again….

        • Pete – have you tried to connect to your Windows Home Server using Remote Desktop? If so, can you open the WHS Console from within the RD session?

  5. I can't find the twonkymediaserver2.msi in "Available add-ins". The file is located at homeserver/software/add-in.

  6. I was thinking it was time to join and here I am.

    This will keep me busy at night.

    Tilespace

  7. Andrew,

    Have you experienced or heard of anyone having this problem?

    I am putting the .msi files in the Add-Ins folder, but when I go to the Console and look for the Add-In, it does not show up on the Available tab. It's nowhere to be found. I've done this for Firefox and the WHS Disk Management add-ins.

    I can install the apps by going directly into the Add-Ins folder and launching the .msi but this doesn't provide me with any of the nice features on the Console.

    Any thoughts?

    Thanks,

    Chris

    • Chris

      I spoke with Sam Wood who wrote Disk Management as he is the guru on add-ins and he said:

      Yup, happens sometimes – not sure why.

      Try renaming the MSI file to something else (like "WHSDiskManagement.1.0.9.8.msi" to "WHSDM.msi"), then close and reopen the console – that seems to force WHS to reread the file as a "new" available add-in.

      So try that and see if it helps?

      Andrew

  8. Great blog! I am bookmarking this one!

    A question with a bit of a twist on this "How to"…

    I have an Add-In installed, but have received a notification that the Add-In program has an update. I have downloaded the updated .msi to the WHS Software folder. When I attempt to move the .msi to the Add-Ins folder, I get a warning message that the file name already exists.

    The question: What is the proper way to update an installed Add-In? Uninstall the old then install the new, or simply replace the existing .msi file with the new one?

    Thanks!

  9. Hi Jim

    Depends on the add-in, but it most cases you uninstall the old one, remove it from the folder, put the new package there, and reinstall.

    Check with the add-in author for specific instructions for his/her add-in though.

    Andrew

  10. Can you install any program to the WHS using the add-in folder, or must the programs be specifically written for use on a WHS?

Comments are closed.

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