TechSoftwareFirst Look at Blackbox for WHS Add-In for Windows...

First Look at Blackbox for WHS Add-In for Windows Home Server


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Fellow WHS MVP Sam Wood over at Tentacle Software has just released a new add-in for Windows Home Server called Blackbox for WHS.


Sam is the author of one of the best, and must have add-ins for Windows Home Server – Disk Management (if you haven’t got this add-in yet, stop what you are doing and go get it now).

Here is how Sam describes Blackbox for WHS:

Tentacle Software Blackbox is a Windows Home Server Add-In that provides in-depth monitoring of motherboard hardware sensors and configurable alerting rules to notify the server administrator when a sensor exceeds a defined threshold.

Key features:

  • Real-time monitoring of supported hardware sensors
  • Administrator-defined rules to perform actions based on sensor states, including:
    • Log the alert to a file
    • Log the alert to the Event Log
    • Create a Windows Home Server health notification (that appears in the server health status window)
    • Set a fan speed
    • Change the system power state (shut down, suspend, hibernate, or restart)
  • PWM fan control

Blackbox requires the following platform:

· Windows Home Server v1 operating system

· A motherboard with supported hardware sensors (most ITE* chips, CPU thermal sensors, hard drive SMART sensors, and UPS battery sensors are supported)

Note: This release of Blackbox is not supported on Windows Home Server “Vail”.

Note: Blackbox is not supported on Windows Home Server running as a virtual machine.

Installing and Using Blackbox for WHS

Installing the add-in is just the same as installing any add-in.

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After the Windows Home Server Console has restarted you will see a new tab called Blackbox for WHS.

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Any supported hardware will be listed on the Hardware Sensors page.

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You can use Blackbox just to view the hardware sensor information, but where Blackbox really comes into its own is by creating a series of rules that monitors certain events and then performs actions you dictate.

Creating a rule is very simple, you just work your way through each of the drop down boxes.

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You can then choose what you want the action to do – for example, create a WHS health notification or set a fan speed.

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Then you can view all your alerting rules. Obviously you can have as many as you like.

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The instructions that come with the add-in contain a lot of detail on the alerting rules, so take a good look at them and decide just what you want to set up.

And that’s it – it will just sit there in the background doing its thing for you.

Final Thoughts

So there you have it, another great add-in from Sam Wood and one that is worth having! Depending on your hardware you will see more, or less sensor information. This is down to the hardware and not the add-in!

I have been using Blackbox now for a few weeks and I am really impressed with it.

Great work Sam, can’t wait to see what you come up with next.

You can download the preview release here.

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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