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.
Click the Settings button on the Windows Home Server Console and then click Add-ins to open the Installed Add-ins screen.
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
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.
3. When the Shared Folders window opens, as shown in Figure 13-4, double-click the Software folder.
4. In the Software folder, double-click the Add-Ins folder.
The Add-Ins folder contains any add-ins you currently have installed on your Windows Home Server.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.