ReviewsReview of TrainSignal Windows Home Server Training

Review of TrainSignal Windows Home Server Training


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There are a number of websites and blogs now for Windows Home Server which offer help, tips, guidance and more. There are even a few books on the subject, mine being one of them.

There is also some instructor led video training from a company called TrainSignal. TrainSignal have been around for a number of years and provide instructor led video training for all sorts of technical subjects, so it was nice to see them produce one for Windows Home Server.

Windows Home Server Course Outline

Video 1
My Lab Setup

Demonstration of what you can do with Windows Home Server – stream music using Xbox, install and backup data from each computer in your home, etc.

* HP MediaSmart EX470 Home Server
* Network Equipment (Router and Switch)
* A Windows XP System Connected via Wireless N
* A Windows Vista System Hardwired
* A Second Windows Vista System Hardwired
* A Windows Vista Laptop Connected via Wireless N
* An Xbox Connected via an Xbox Wireless Adapter
* Xbox Networking Walkthrough

Video 2
Networking and TCP/IP

Introduction to the basic mechanics that make the network in your home work.
* Wireless Networking Options
* Wireless Network Security
* Power Line Networking
* Cabling Your Home
* Network Adapter Types
* Explanation of TCP/IP
* Bringing It All Together

Video 3
Client Computer Configuration

The steps you need to take before using your computers with Home Server.
* The Role of a Network Adapter
* Client Connectivity Methods
* Explanation of DHCP
* Configuring an IP Address in XP
* Configuring an IP Address in Vista
* Naming or Renaming a Windows Computer
* Creating User Accounts in Windows (Vista and XP)
* Importance of Maintaining Consistent User Names on All Systems

Video 4
Windows Home Server Feature Introduction

We’ll talk about all of the features and everything that is available on Windows Home Server.
* File Storage and Resource Sharing
* Centralized File and Computer Backups
* Client Health Monitoring
* Remote Access
* Video and Music Sharing
* Using Add-Ins to Extend Home Server’s Capability

Video 5
Windows Home Server Installation

One of the most important videos, because I’ll teach you to install and configure your Windows Home Server.  We’ll discuss the two options available for installing your Windows Home Server, buying or building, the pros and the cons, and getting it up and running. This video will show you how to install WHS if you did not buy the premade machine.
* Buying an Already-Built Home Server vs. Installing a Home Server
* Home Server System Requirements
* Home Server Installation Process
* Summary of Home Server Installation

Video 6
HP MediaSmart Server

In this video, I will show you how to set up your premade Windows Home Server machine.
* Specifications: Model EX470 vs. Model EX475
* Pictures of the Server and Port Information
* Initial Server Configuration
* Administrative Overview

Video 7
Adding and Managing Clients

Now that you have configured Windows Home Server and your clients, we’ll discuss how to add those clients to Windows Home Server and what this process entails.
* The Home Server Connector Software
* Basic Home Server Management
* Monitoring Client Health

Video 8
Managing Storage

We’ll discuss the centralized disk storage on Home Server – how it works, how to expand it, and how to manage the space.
* Drive Extender Explained
* Add Additional Storage
* Remove Storage
* Manage Server Storage

Video 9
Folder Sharing and Management

We’ll discuss the premade folders on Home Server and how to create your own folders.  Also, we’ll talk about how to manage and protect the data in your folders.
* WHS Shared Folders
* Manage Shared Folders
* Monitor Shared Folders
* Shared Storage Status

Video 10
Home Server Security

Steps to better secure your WHS and keep unwanted people from accessing your private data.
* Creating User Accounts
* Managing Windows Home Server Users Rights to Shared Folders
* Securing your Home Server
* Configuring Automatic Updates on Windows Home Server

Video 11
Accessing the Windows Home Server

Up until this video we have learned the server side of things.  In this video we will see things from the client side – what you can do to access things on your WHS.
* Assumptions
* Accessing Shared Folders From a Client
* Mapping Drives in Windows Vista
* Mapping Drives in Windows XP
* Copying Files To The Windows Home Server
* Working With Files Stored On Windows Home Server

Video 12
Managing Client Backups and Restoring Files

You’ll learn how to back up individual computers and restore files if you lose them.  I’ll demonstrate how to restore an entire failed computer using WHS.
* Managing Client Computer Backups
* Deciding What to Back Up
* Viewing Backups
* Restoring Files and Corrupt Client Computers
* Backing Up Windows Home Server
* Using an Online Service Through a WHS Add-In

Video 13
Configuring WHS Remote Access

Learn to configure your WHS to be ready for you to remotely access your data via any internet connection.
* Enabling the WHS Web Site
* Configuring Your Router
* Microsoft’s Service
* Remote Management Possibilities
* Other Management Options

Video 14
Advanced Home Server Administration and Troubleshooting

Learn the WHS Windows Desktop and the administrative tasks you can perform using Windows desktop.  Learn to troubleshoot basic problems.
* Connecting to Windows Home Server with Remote Desktop
* Tools and Actions to Avoid
* Sharing a Printer
* Managing the Windows Firewall
* Hard Drive Maintenance
* Other Administrative Tasks in Windows Home Server
* Troubleshooting your Home Server
— RAID Problems
— Computers brought Home from Work May Pose Problems
— 64-bit Client Support
— Remote File Uploads
— Remote Client Administration
— Using the Windows Home Server Toolkit

Video 15
Windows Home Server Media Sharing

Learn to share photos, music, and videos.  Access data from other computers and your Xbox.
* Enabling Media Sharing in the WHS Console
* Notes Regarding Media Sharing
* Picture Access
* Music and Videos Access
* DVR-line Functionality with Home Server
* Media-Related Add-Ins

Video 16
Extending WHS Capabilities with Add-Ins

Extend the capabilities of WHS with 3rd party software created to give you additional abilities on your WHS.

* Add-in Management
* General Notes Regarding Add-ins
* Add-ins Discussed in Other Videos
* Demonstrate New Add-ins
* Media Related Add-ins

Video 17
Windows Home Server Tricks

Learn Advanced tricks, such as adding WordPress to WHS for blogging purposes.
* Before You Start
* Hosting Your Own Blog with WordPress
* Windows SharePoint Services

The training package consists of 2 DVDs – the first DVD being the training videos and the second DVD is called Additional Content (I will come back to this one in a moment).

Train Signal Windows Home Server Contents

When you put the first DVD into your computer, the training menu is displayed, enabling you to choose any of the videos you want to see by scrolling and clicking.

Train Signal menu

When I tried to play the first of the videos, I had no picture, fortunately TrainSignal provide excellent help and it was only a couple of clicks before I had the correct Codec to view the videos.

Train Signal Help

The videos themselves are a mixture of lists, pictures and walkthroughs.

Train Signal intro

They are very easy to follow and very clear.

Train Signal lab

I mentioned at the start of the review the Additional Content DVD. This DVD contains all the video files in a number of different formats, including WMV for playback in Windows Media Player, MP3 for listening to just the audio and also in iPod format (along with instructions on how to load the iPod video files).

Train Signal Additional Content

This is a really good addition as it means you can watch or listen to the training on a multitude of devices without the need to have your computer with you. There is even a set of instructor notes provided so that you can read along and take your own notes if necessary.

Overall I found this very interesting, and the instructor, Scott Lowe, does a very good job explaining to his audience what he is doing and what he is trying to demonstrate. There are over 13 hours of videos to go through, so there is bound to be something new that you didn’t know.

TrainSignal Windows Home Server Training is available to order from the TrainSignal website and is currently on offer to buy at $97, including a 90 day risk free money back guarantee.

Andrew Edney
Andrew Edney
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.


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