Yesterday I released version 0.5.2 of the Advanced Admin Console AddIn for Windows Home Server. As always I noted that you should UNINSTALL any previous version before installing the latest release. If you tried to install the latest version over an existing installation of AAC, you may find yourself now in a situation where you can’t uninstall the previous version (getting “Uninstallation failed” messages from the console) and also can’t install the new release (getting “Please uninstall previous version first” messages from the installer).
Please follow these steps to fix this issue:
- Establish a Remote Desktop Connection (RDP) to your server (if you don’t know how to do that, please see this short How-To).
- On your server, go to control panel –> Add/Remove programs. Find the entry for the “Advanced Admin Console AddIn” and click “Remove” to uninstall it. If you are prompted to reboot your server, really REBOOT YOUR SERVER before installing AAC again.
You can now install the latest AAC version from the console.
It’s very likely that now both (old and new) versions of AAC are now listed as installed in the settings dialog:
In order to clean up this mess you can use ASoft’s Addin Cleanup Tool. Download it and read the instruction from the Readme.txt (contained in the downloaded .zip file) carefully. You can use this tool to delete the orphaned addin entry for your previously installed AAC version (0.5.0 in this example).
This is the third in a series of blog articles highlighting some of the non-obvious features of my popular Advanced Admin Console Add-In (AAC) for Windows Home Server. You can find a German version of this article over at www.home-server-blog.de.
Users of the Advanced Admin Console Add-In should be able to perform any administrative task on their Windows Home Server with it. As with everything, there’s always more than one way to do things. While many users are quite happy with graphical user interfaces and using the mouse there are others who value the lightness and speed of text-based command line interfaces. Advanced Admin Console contains links to the classic Windows Command Prompt (cmd.exe) that has been part of Windows NT-based operating systems since the dawn of time, as well as to the “new” Windows PowerShell.
Windows PowerShell is Microsoft’s object-oriented command-line shell and scripting language. It’s way more powerful than cmd.exe. However, it’s not preinstalled on Windows Home Servers so when you try to launch it from the AAC toolbar you’ll receive the following error message:
So in order to be able to use Windows PowerShell on your server you will have to install it first. The easiest way to do that is by using my Update History AddIn.
Windows PowerShell is available as an optional update on the Windows Update website. Simply click on “Launch Windows Update” on the “Troubleshooting” menu of the Update History AddIn:
On Windows Update click “Custom”:
After searching for available updates is complete, click “Software, Optional” and select “Windows PowerShell 1.0 for Windows Server 2003 (KB926139)”:
Now click “Install updates” and wait until the selected package has finished installing.
From now on you can launch Windows PowerShell from the AAC toolbar:
If you haven’t worked with PowerShell before you should visit the Windows PowerShell website to get started.
PowerShell 2.0 was released by Microsoft back in October 2009 but since it’s not available on Windows Update I wouldn’t recommend installing it on your server.
This is the second in a series of blog articles highlighting some of the non-obvious features of my popular Advanced Admin Console Add-In (AAC) for Windows Home Server. You can find a German version of this article over at www.home-server-blog.de.
As a user of the Advanced Admin Console Add-In you know that you can run external programs like Task Manager or the Windows Command Prompt from the Windows Home Server Console by utilizing the AAC toolbar. If you’ve read my first AAC Feature Focus article describing the Minimize feature, you also know that while you can minimize the WHS console and switch back and forth between multiple running external programs, you do not have access to the Windows Home Server’s Desktop.
Even though I see little reason for running a fully fledged desktop session with taskbar, start menu and everything on your server, I’ve included this feature in AAC Version 0.5.0 because many people were asking for it.
If you want to start a desktop session all you need to do is click on ‘Show Desktop’ on the drop down menu at the top right hand corner of the Advanced Admin Console toolbar:
Advanced Admin Console will run explorer.exe which itself provides the taskbar, start menu and desktop functionality. You are now free to do anything on your WHS machine but remember: Windows Home Server was NOT designed to be used this way and Microsoft explicitly discourages users from doing so. Everything you do from there is at your own risk. Microsoft support services will most likely not help you with problems that arise from your fiddling with the WHS desktop.
That being said, have fun exploring your Windows Home Server!
Note: It is very likely that after clicking ‘Show Desktop’ you will see the taskbar only for a short time. Next thing you see is a full screen Internet Explorer window warning you from using the desktop too carelessly. After you close this window you will be brought back to the WHS console and the taskbar is gone. That’s when the Minimize feature of the Advanced Admin Console Add-In comes to the rescue: Just click the Minimize button in the lower right corner of the AAC window and you can finally start working with your server’s desktop.
There’s one final thing you should be aware of: When you close the WHS Console window on your client computer the Windows Home Server Console and any external program you started from it will keep running on your server. This is also true for the desktop session you launched using AAC. Because of that you really should log off from the server (either from the WHS console or the start menu) instead of just closing the console window. Otherwise one of the external programs or the desktop may prevent your server from going to hibernation or power off when it should.
The next installment of my “AAC Feature Focus” article series will explain the “Windows PowerShell” command on the AAC toolbar and why it doesn’t seem to do anything useful. If you don’t want to miss new articles simply subscribe to my RSS feed.
This is the first in a series of blog articles highlighting some of the non-obvious features of my popular Advanced Admin Console Add-In (AAC) for Windows Home Server. You can find a German version of this article over at www.home-server-blog.de.
At first sight, the Windows Home Server Console looks like a normal windows program. However, it is a full-screen application running atop an otherwise empty, taskbar-less Windows Desktop. The application is running on your Windows Home Server and it’s user interface is presented to you on your home computer via a remote desktop connection.
The Advanced Admin Console Add-In gives you (among other things) the ability to launch external programs directly from within the console. Since there’s no taskbar, there’s no way for you to switch back and forth between the WHS Console and an external program, because the WHS Console runs full-screen. That’s where the Minimize feature comes in handy: Once you’ve switched over to the WHS Console from your external program you simply click the Minimize button in the lower right corner of the AAC window:
The WHS Console window will be minimized to the lower left corner of the screen and you can work with your external program.
One frequently asked question is how you can get back to the WHS Console once it has been minimized. The answer is: Just double click on the minimized window title bar of the WHS Console window:
A situation where you most likely will need to use the Minimize feature is when you use the Advanced Admin Console to launch a full desktop session by clicking “Show Desktop” on the AAC menu. The “Show Desktop” feature will be the topic of the next installment of “AAC Feature Focus”, so stay tuned!