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Microsoft Windows Home Server Unleashed Paperback – 5 Apr 2010

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Product details

  • Paperback: 792 pages
  • Publisher: Sams; 2 edition (5 April 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0672331063
  • ISBN-13: 978-0672331060
  • Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 4 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,501,338 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

Paul McFedries runs Logophilia Limited, a technical writing company, and has been writing computer books for more than 17 years. He is the author or coauthor of more than 60 books that have sold more than 3 million copies worldwide. Paul is also the proprietor of, a website that tracks new words and phrases as they enter the language.

Product Description

From the Back Cover

Microsoft® Windows® Home Server Unleashed


Second Edition

Covers PowerPacks 1, 2, and 3!


Paul McFedries


This is the most comprehensive, practical, and useful guide to Windows Home Server, including Microsoft’s major updates in PowerPacks 1, 2, and 3. Top Windows expert Paul McFedries brings together tips, techniques, and shortcuts available nowhere else and presents them all in plain English for every Windows Home Server user.


McFedries covers all facets of running Windows Home Server: configuration, file/folder sharing, networking, media streaming and sharing, backup/restore, monitoring, Web and SharePoint site deployment, performance optimization, maintenance, and customization. He thoroughly addresses Windows Home Server’s new Windows 7 support, as well as major improvements in areas ranging from remote access to storing TV recordings.


This edition presents comprehensive, up-to-the-minute guidance on Windows Home Server security, plus a full section of advanced solutions utilizing Microsoft’s power tools, the command line, and automated scripting. Throughout, McFedries demonstrates key techniques through real-world examples and presents practical configurations you can easily use in your own home.



Detailed information on how to…

  • Set up Windows Home Server networks, user accounts, devices, and storage
  • Integrate with Windows 7’s new file libraries, backup/recovery tools, and Windows Search 4.0
  • Efficiently share folders, files, and digital media
  • Ensure security for both local and remote users
  • Automatically back up and restore all the computers on your home network
  • Quickly set up web and SharePoint sites

Tune, maintain, and troubleshoot Windows Home Server

Use the new Remote Access Configuration and Repair Wizards



Register your book at to access all examples and source code presented in this book.


Category: Windows Server

Covers: Windows Home Server with PowerPacks 1, 2, 3

User Level: Intermediate–Advanced




About the Author

Paul McFedries is a Windows expert and full-time technical writer. Paul has been authoring computer books since 1991 and has more than 70 books to his credit, which combined have sold more than three million copies worldwide. His recent titles include the Sams Publishing book Windows 7 Unleashed and the Que Publishing books Networking with Microsoft Windows Vista and Tweak It and Freak It: A Killer Guide to Making Windows Run Your Way. Paul is also the proprietor of Word Spy (, a website devoted to lexpionage, the sleuthing of new words and phrases that have entered the English language. Please drop by Paul’s website at or follow Paul on Twitter at

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Paul McFedries' `Microsoft Windows Home Server Unleashed' is the first SAMS user-guide type publication I've purchased. I've previously bought titles like 'Windows Vista Inside Out' from MS Press, or 'Using Microsoft Outlook 2003' from Que Publishing.

It comes as no surprise that this SAMS `Unleashed' offering is very much of the same ilk as the `Inside Out' & `Using...' titles, if not as `pretty' (nor quite as large) as my 'Inside Outs' - though still quite hefty & excellently laid out.

Amazon's hugely useful `Look Inside!' feature reveals how it is divided up; five large parts deal with everything from initial set-up to `Advanced Tools' & appendices.

I spent some considerable time trying to sort out which WHS book to get. I eventually decided to wait a few months because (at the time) none of the current publications covered Power Pack 2 or above: when I got this, it included Power Pact 3 updates, so I was chuffed with that. I began with 'WHS for Dummies', which was helpful with initial set-up but, as is usual for the Dummies series, while it was very easy to follow, it just didn't go anywhere near far enough.

I also considered titles like 'WHS User Guide' from Expert's Voice but despite some positive, if superficial, reviews, at just 334 pages, I plumped for this `Unleashed' 750+ page offering.
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By M. Martin on 7 April 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Does exactly what it says on the tin. This book is well worth every penny if you want to create your own home network. It contains all the information you require to ensure a smooth setup and configuration of your home network. It also has suggestions on the type of hardware specification to consider for later expansion of you network with minimum disruption to your current configuration. If you new to networking this book should be read before, during and after installation, and is ideal as a reference for hardware compatibility and for any network troubleshooting errors that may arise.
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By Alexander Baldwin on 22 July 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Thanks very much for a great book and great delivery service. A*
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful By RS on 27 Nov. 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Windows Home Server will be in the path of a good number of families. The need is there, whether you go for WHS or something else is a matter of choice. But if you choose WHS you need to know all about it and this book really tells you that.
Not only it gives you a reference on WHS but also recommendations and general knowledge about server options and networks and the way that all fits together. You can go with WHS on your own but this book puts at your fingertips much faster and more detailed information that otherwise would take you months to obtain (if ever).
Are you into WHS? Well, just buy this book!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 21 reviews
52 of 54 people found the following review helpful
Excellent Windows Home Server Reference and Home Networking Book - All In One! 18 Oct. 2007
By Robert Stinnett - Published on
Format: Paperback
How often do you purchase a book on a topic and end up not only learning a wealth of information about that topic, but also getting a treasure trove of information on a related topic? In "Windows Home Server Unleashed" the author has created not only a terrific reference manual for the newly released Windows Home Server product, but also includes an excellent primer and how-to on home networking that is among the best I have seen!

Let's start out talking about who this book is for -- geeks. It's chocked full of helpful information, tweaks and "behind the scenes" information about Windows Home Server. The author not only tells you about what it can do out of the box -- but how you can extend it to bring out its full potential, such as creating shared calendars or your own internal (and external if you wish) family website to display vacation photos, journals, etc. You'll even learn how to use SharePoint technologies to extend WHS in a way that makes it seem as if you've been doing it for years!

The book is also good for those amongst us who are comfortable with computers, but want to take that next step. Who see the value in setting up a home network and using Windows Home Server, but want to do more than just share files and automate backups. It's for the Geeks-in-Training, and you couldn't ask for a better training manual.

The book itself is filled with 800 pages of information about Windows Home Server and home networking. You'll find out everything you need to know to get WHS up and running in your house -- regardless of whether you bought the software and installed it yourself or an "out of the box" appliance with WHS already installed. And don't worry if you are still running Windows XP, 2000 -- or even Millenium Edition in some cases! For many of the examples on how to use WHS features the author covers a variety of operating systems -- including Linux and Mac!

I am a tech guy, and therefore am an early adopter of Windows Home Server and this was the first book to hit the bookshelves on this amazing new software from Microsoft. I was just expecting to get a book that walked me through WHS and its basic features, but what I got was a reference I could use to really tear into it. It's not a book you read cover to cover, but rather one you refer back to each time you are ready to try out something new and push the envelope.

If you are thinking about getting Windows Home Server, do yourself a favor and add this book to your bookshelf. You will soon find that you are extending Windows Home Server to do new things and bringing your home network to life by adding useful features that brings the entire family into the digital age.
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
Good but starting to get out of date 18 Feb. 2010
By Winter - Published on
Format: Paperback
This is probably the most thorough book I've seen about Windows Home Server (or "WHS"). However, it was written some time ago and WHS has changed substantially since then, particularly in December of 2009 with the release of Power Pack 3. Windows Home Server is a very different OS from anything I've worked with before, and it helped to have some explanations as to the HOW and the WHY of Windows Home Server.

A lot of the Windows Home Server is easy to use because it goes through an interface called the Windows Home Server Console. Just the same, not all of the pieces of the Console are easy to understand at a lower level, and that's where Windows Home Server Unleashed comes in. My particular favorite section, however, is the chapter that discusses exactly how WHS manages files, folder replication, and storage: this is (to me) a weird way to do things, and the explanation helped my understanding greatly.

I'm writing this review in Feb. 2010. There is a new Edition of this book scheduled to come out in early April. If you're interested in a good reference, I feel this is the one. However, if you can wait, I'd suggest you do so because the newer version will cover the newer configuration of Windows Home Server, probably with more details on Power Pack 3.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Excellent Reference Resource 24 Nov. 2007
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
An excellent reference and resource book for Windows Home Server(WHS). It is not intended to be read cover to cover but piecemeal as problems or needs arise.

- covers all of the essential, including system requirements, installation, setting up, maintaining and troubleshooting WHS
- has additional tips on optimizing WHS
- uncovers many undocumented features to really bring out the power of WHS
- provides nonWHS related information on TCP/IP, the Windows Server 2003 underlying operating system, and running your own website

- can be difficult for nontechies to read since it assumes a certain level of knowledge of using Windows and also uses certain technical terms without explanation. Even ones that are explained, like a stack or layer, use an explanation that is technical in nature
- sometimes the instructions are redundant in that the book will repeat verbatim a 12 step process that was just covered a page before but with only 1 change in the steps

Bottom line: A great reference book for intermediate users.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
"Comprehensive" it ain't! 16 Aug. 2010
By JD - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought the 2nd edition hot off the press in April 2010, hoping for a comprehensive as well as up to date WHS reference. This appears to be the first review here of the 2nd edition, so if the previous edition deserved the praise it received for completeness in earlier reviews it apparently dropped several entire subjects in the update.

Specifically, don't look for help on any of the following:

1. Building or adapting your own hardware platform for WHS. Not a word.

2. Installing WHS software. Not a word. The book assumes you bought a complete box ready to boot up.

3. Add-ins. As far as this book is concerned, the subject doesn't exist.

4. Running other applications on WHS. There is a whole chapter on installing Windows SharePoint Services, (a business-class server app, the usefulness of which in the average household is not clear to me) but that's it. No help on trying to figure out what will work and what won't.

5. Backing up WHS itself. Backing up shared folders is briefly covered, but not a word on backing up the backup database even though Microsoft published a procedure a couple of years ago and a very handy add-in "BDBB" automates the process. And nothing on selecting and connecting an external hard drive to use for backups. (When you're backing up several hundred gigabytes, the speed advantage of eSATA over USB 2.0 is quite significant)

6. Security. Should you install antivirus software? Sorry, no help there. But a whole section on auditing if you want to detect malicious users in your household, along with some standard advice on securing household PCs.

All of the above is not to say the book does not contain a lot of useful information, but the claims that it covers everything of interest are more than slightly exaggerated. There's also a good deal of bloat in the form of excessively detailed step-by-step instructions on working through windows dialogs, along with a lot of stuff on registry editing, VBS scripts, and command-line arguments for those who enjoy doing things the complicated way rather than clicking a few buttons. There is a page-long vbs script provided, for example, to tell you how much free space you have on a hard disk. I guess both kinds of stuff are there to support the claim that the book supports beginners through advanced technical users.

I'm still looking for a comprehensive WHS reference.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Everything you need to know about WHS - and more. 14 Dec. 2008
By Jerry Saperstein - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It's a pleasure to find a technical book as well done as "Microsoft Windows Home Server Unleashed" by Paul McFedries. Like all such series, there have been a number of weak titles, but this one shines on top of the hill.

McFedries' writing style is fluid, polished and lucid. He never gets lost in his own detail, even though many of the subjects covered in this book lend themselves to meandering. McFedries stays unerringly on topic - and that is a quality to be praised and appreciated.

Particularly so here, for Windows Home Server (WHS) is a somewhat simplified version of Windows Server 2003, a very potent and complex server platform. Even though WHS weasrs a very pretty face for home users, its internal plumbing is still very complicated.

Effortlessly, McFedries walks the reader through the less complex WHS interface and use - and then explores the deeper roots. He really accomplishes this very well.

There are about 750 pages of text on WHS and related subjects and around 80 pages of appendices.

In 23 chapters, McFedries tells you everything you need to know about installing, administering and using WHS. The level of detail is very impressive. The author covers related subjects that may not interest everyone and may be well beyond the competence of many, such as running a SharePoint Site on WHS, working with the WHS Registry and scripting WHS. That's not a complaint: it's as compliment. Everything you really might need to know about WHS is to be found between the covers.

McFedries has turned out a remarkably lucid technical book on an inherently complex subject. If you're considering installing or have installed WHS, you should really consider this book. It's the only book I've bought about WHS and the only one I can see needing. Excellent.

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