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Western Digital Livewire...

Internet throughout the house, thats one of the biggest annoyances people have when at home. You are usually stuck where the router is, and that is probably where you have the most powerful signal. In my case I went to an insane extent to wire up different rooms throughout the house so I can spread the wireless signal coverage. Most cases your stuck with the wireless signal you have, but in this case you have powerline networking. I have always been a bit skeptical about this technology, it usually doesn’t produce that speeds that I am looking for and I’m always thinking that it just won’t do. But there have been a lot of successful kits and this is just the latest development. If you are having internet coverage problems and putting ethernet cables through what little space you have in your walls is not possible then the WD Livewire Powerline Networking Kit is your best option.

There are drawbacks with powerline networking but it’s a simple solid solution when don’t have a wired option. You have four ports with the WD Livewire, the throughput is around 200MB/s which your machines will interpret as 100 MB/s since it’s not a Gigabit connection which is 1000MB/s. Sometimes with sound there is interference but if you need to this get your network where you need it to go. You would have to buy it from Amazon UK to get the right plug with it, but you can change it you buy it from the US as well.

Check out the Review at
Link: Amazon

LaCie 5 Big Network...

There are a lot of storage solutions out there, some are simple, some are complex, and some are more reliable then the other. Usually for big Storage needs I have stuck to the Netgear ReadyNAS line as their support has been excellent and they have a nice range of items from the expensive to the reasonably price depending on your needs. Lacie have been also developing high quality external storages for sometime now, and now they have just launched the new LaCie 5 Big Network which is available in 5 TB, 7.5 TB, and 10 TB versions.

The 5big Network is fully featured with a Gigabit Ethernet connection, USB, 3 eSata, and five hot-swappable drives that support seven RAID modes, which makes it very versatile. The 5big Network’s multimedia server capabilities have been improved, now allowing users to play media from the NAS device through a UPnP-AV compatible device such as a PS3 or Xbox, directly to a television or directly to any DLNA multimedia device. Not including that is compatible with iTunes Server, moving library over and streaming all media to different computers across the network. It has been optimized for Mac & Windows backup solution with 3 Intego Backup Licenses for Mac & 3 Genie Backup Manager Pro Licenses for Windows The price ranges from $799 all the way to $1400, it is a well backed-up product with LaCie procedure to replace it within a few days of you sending it. And I think it looks very good, same sort of Industrial Design as Apple.

Link: Amazon

HDBaseT – The New TV Standard...


From RCA to HDMI, if your in the UK it you would have also have been through SCART, and now hopefully coming soon the HDBaseT. In simple terms HDBaseT is our regular Cat5e or home Ethernet cable, which is a great new development even though a bit late. I always wondered why they didn’t use ethernet cables before for regular tv broadcasting, it seems that they have just got around to agreeing to it. Since ethernet can easily handle 1080p its a given that it can handle all forms of HD broadcasting, and LG, Sony, and Samsung are already onboard, so hopefully it will take the fast track to consumers. A perfect idea to utilize current technology for advancement of broadcasting and high definition tv, now I will look forward to this technology being utilized soon and it looks like 2011 will be the year its coming in.

Link: UnPlugged

ReadyNAS 3200 – At Last...


I have had my eye on this product for over a year now and at least I have managed to get my hands on the ultimate NAS Storage, the Netgear ReadyNAS 3200. Complete full redundancy with dual power supply, dual network connectivity, and a very well built system. I have had my ReadyNAS1100 for over two years now and it always felt a little bit lacking in regards to space, and they build very stable systems but a bit slow on the upgrades. When this machine out I was very happy but it was extremely expensive, so I just waited and recently it dropped from $12’000 which is the original price down to about $8900, and I got it for about $7800 after saving for several months and installing my hard drives on my own which makes for a cheaper solution but I had to put it through my own testing. I will go into further details of the machine’s capabilities at a later point. Its not for everyone, and very few people would want something like this but I have been working to get it for 6 months now since its price started dropping a bit and all the reviews and forums kept praising its performance, write/read speeds, and transfer speeds.

System Breakdown:

  • Running X-Raid 2
  • 12 x Western Digital 2TB Enterprise Hard Drives
  • 18 TB available for storage with full redundancy
Moving Your iTunes Library to Some Where...

I thought this would be a more difficult process then I expected. I currently have my iTunes library on my PC and I wanted it to move it to my Netgear ReadyNAS 1100 on the network. The ReadyNAS 1100 is a very solid high performance Network Area Storage unit, it has redundancy and been running for over a year and half now. I wanted have the library in a secure place with full redundancy accessible from any piece of hardware.

I thought it would very difficult to do but turns out its simpler then I thought, luckily Apple have thought about this issue and Home Sharing wasn’t going to work. Following the steps below you can move your library to any location and maintain all your playlists, playcounts, statistics, music, tv, movies, music videos and applications.

First Step:

  • Click Edit and go to “Preferences” then click the “Advanced” Tab
  • Where it says “iTunes Media folder location” click “Change” on the right and click any location, in my case I chose the NASBunker1100
  • Then Click “OK”

Second Step:

  • Click “File”
  • Click “Library” from the menu
  • Click “Organize” from the submenu
  • Then Check “Consolidate” and hit OK
  • Then let your system copy over all the Music, TV Shows, Movies, and Details to the new location. This could range from 30 minutes to hours depending on the mount of data you have.

This whole process took me less then 10 minutes and the copying took a few hours but I just left the machine. It worked smoothly without any disruptions, I was playing my music and music videos fine, and the data on the main PC is still intact so if anything is miss you can just copy it over without any issues.

Sync Toy 2.1...

I have been using this Sync tool for over two years now, Sync Toy is a tool developed by Microsoft just for fun. Its not really supported by them but they have made decent improvements with it. Been using it since version 1.4, to 2.0, and now 2.1 which is a huge leap forward in comparison. A lot of features have been added and bugs have been fixed. The best tool I have found to sync drives or folders with lots of files and subfolders inside of it with little issue and lots of customization is Sync Toy. I needed it to Sync the different folders between the WHS Hazmat Server and the WHS Hazard Server. One will balance the other in file storage which won’t require any need for file duplication. It now supports 32 bit and 64 bit operating systems, works locally on a machine and across networks.

The first folder I needed to Sync was my Anime folder which is 2.49 TeraBytes of media, this is to be done across the network. Testing the file transfer it would transfer between 78 MB/s to 86 MB/s between both the machines so I start the transfer earlier in the evening for it end the next afternoon. Overall its the perfect free tool from Microsoft for all Syncing purposes, two-way sync, or one-way sync and lots of other combinations available.

Link: Microsoft Download

Network Access Points...


There are a lot of access points out on the market, and I have tried quite a few, been through 2 Netgear, 2 Linksys, 1 Belkin, and 3 D-Link. Out of all them I would avoid Belkin, probably the worst out of all the products, was horrible out of the box, worse support and I would avoid all their products period. Linksys are good but not what it used to be, I still prefer the older models then the new consumer models. Netgear is nice when its working but after a while it would hang, I would have to plug it and unplug it, and one of them just stopped working. Overall the best solid products with little nonsense and high features are D-Link products.


  • D-Link DAP 1160
  • D-Link 2100 AP
  • D-Link 7100 AP

What I like out of them is full security features, MAC Filter, DHCP control, simple setup, and reasonably priced.

WHS @ 30+ Terabytes...

This is one of the most complex Windows Home Server systems that we have built yet, and it drove us nuts. We started this project out in June of 2009 and didn’t finish it until March of 2010. We have reinstalled this system probably 4 times to have a clean install, its sensitive to install any Windows Home Server Ad-Ins once its working. We wanted the ultimate WHS Storage with the large capacity all in one unit, it would take a certain hardware setup to achieve this and thats what we aimed for. We suffered set backs, my system at one point just had a black screen, we switched out the motherboard, and nothing, we switched graphics cards, still nothing, changed the ram, and at the end it turned out to be a faulty power supply. Luckily my friend and myself were building the same system together so we just kept on testing as we went along, we got busy towards the end of 2009 but this was one difficult machine to get fully stable. I slowly kept gathering more and more 2 TB Hard Drives, we started off with 10 x 2 TB Drives and I just kept ordering a few when I saw a deal for them. Now that the system is operational it fantastic, we are doing some stress testing, its looking good with transfer speeds of 78 to 90 MB/s over the network which is the fast I have seen.

HW Configuration:

  • Norco 4220 Case
  • Intel Quad Core Q8200 2.33 Ghz
  • OCZ Vertex 120 GB SSD (Main HD)
  • G Skill 4 GB
  • 2 x Sata SAS Controllers (To Control 20 HDs)
  • ATI Radeon 7500

With the Sata SAS controllers we could use the extremely effecient and powerful SF8087 connectors to connect to each one of those back planes. Each back plane held 5 drives with 4 back planes for a total of 20 drives. Overall I installed 17 out of the 20 drives with e Western Digital 2 TB Drives to get it up to 30 + TB, and I have a little bit more room to go, I think I can get it to 36 TB with the last few drives. Going overboard with the storage is understatement in my case, but it has been a long and arduous trip with this machine but with a clean install and the right setup its very solid.

Now with Windows Home Server running on Windows Server 2003 it has taken a lot of steps forward Power Pack 3 and all the patches. Now I have two WHS servers running, one is extremely solid and this new one, planning on running one as back up to the other so I have two complete back solutions for the other. Now I’m just waiting for Windows to release Vail which Windows Home Server built on Windows Server 2008 which is a huge step forward. When that is out I’m going to just format and reinstall one of the systems and test it out.

Continue Reading…

WHS Hardware Failure...

As of recently my WHS Server has gone through a major Hardware failure, and luckily WHS seems to be handling it to a degree, but there is only so much it can take. My setup is one Back Plane inside the Lian Li case with two Sans Digital Tower Raids each holding up to 8 Hard Drives each connected through eSata with a PCI-e interface.

This setup works perfectly except that the Sans Digital Tower Raid failed before and once I replaced it, it all worked perfectly again. Its rare that two hard drives fail at the same time, and its very rare that three hard drives fail at the same time but in this case its 5 hard drives which are becoming inaccessible meaning its hardware failure at the interface level and not the hard drives again. I’m looking for an alternative solution because this has gotten ridiculous.

Results of inaccessible Hard Drives:

  • Usually I get 40 to 70 MB/s on my network when streaming shows or transfering files but due to the system unable to find files or trying to search for them it drops down to 0.58 to 4 MB/s and sometimes stopping to think. It finishes the job but you get stopped sometimes
  • Files go missing due to the missing hard drives which makes it difficult to continue watch any episodes, you have file duplication running but because of this mass Hard Drive failure so files are not accessible so you can watch a few episodes and can’t see the rest of the show
Public Torrent Trackers...


As of recently some of the trackers have been out of the public eye, then there are few which are blocked by MOC. I just use a VPN to access the blocked TorrentSites and the torrent downloads work without the VPN as it has nothing to do with the blocked website. These are the ones I get most of my media, all the different kinds.


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