If you’re anything like me, you will be changing your home network and media center up pretty regularly, most of the time it is to try new stuff and for a challenge, in this case it is because I want to use the new Windows Server 2012 on my HP Microserver, rather than the existing Window Home Server.
The trade off for all the new toys is that I loose the automated backup, which for me doesn’t matter, as my Mac was never supported for backups, something Microsoft failed so epically to deliver, and third parties seem to have given up on (side note, everything I do lives on dropbox and then the home server, so theres no need for backup in my case).
The other trade off is no TV archiver addon for the Media Center. This is a big issue as my Media Center is a Mac Mini running in bootcamp on a tiny 128gb SSD, whilst is it awesomely fast and quiet, it isn’t that great for HD recordings, as within a few days it will be full.
Luckily I found a very simple way around it, using the Task Scheduler built into all Windows PCs. Using these simple steps you can set up a move from the media center to the home server, that is automated, happens every night at 2am and will even wake the machine if in sleep mode.
What more could a man ask for!
Step 1: Create a basic task
You can setup this task on either you Home Server or Media Center, but as I want the task to wake the machine, I have setup the task on the Media Center, so to the start menu and search for Task Scheduler, then select ‘Create basic task’ from the actions on the right hand side and then give it a name you would recognise.
Step 2: Pick a Schedule
There are lots and lots of options, you can have multiple times, but as the copy is going to be fast, there for use all the computers bandwidth, I would rather have it done when on one is using it and no one is awake, so I’ve gone for Daily (then press Next), and set the time to be 2am every day.
Step 3: Setup the copy
This is the most tricky part, you will want to tell it to start a command using the command line (or CMD program), so select Start A Program, then in programs/scripts type CMD. In the arguments section you are going to tell it what to copy. In my case it was…
/c move /Y “C:\Users\Public\Recorded TV\*.*” “\\SERVER\Recorded TV\”
If you’re going to do Recorded TV the odds are you won’t need to change anything. Just make sure to include the quote maks around the address, as this is how you can get long folder titles without having to worry about the old 8.3 name length limitation (amazing to thing that that stuff still exists these days!).
Then hit next and finish, but we aren’t quite done yet.
Step 4: Set the task to wake the computer
The last part is pretty simple, you should see the Task Scheduler window again, click on the library, and you should see you new task listed. Right click on this and select properties, from the window that appears select Conditions. This allows you to make all sorts of customisations to the timing and conditions around when the task should be conducted, the one we are interested in is simply ticking the ‘Wake the computer to run this task’.
If you wanted the copy to be sooner you could use the idle settings, but remember to also tweak the timers you’ve set as you might want it to say run every hour as long as the media center is idle for 30 minutes.
To test the task, hit Ok and right click on the task again, this time select Run. It won’t look like it is doing anything (because the command is set to be silent, so you need to check the server folder to see if there is a copy in there (it will delete the original on completion). If you have any issues try copying the attributes set and running them in a normal command window to make sure they work successfully.