MP1: Windows Server confusion

Discussion in 'Newcomers Forum' started by Stilez, November 19, 2014.

  1. Stilez

    Stilez Portal Member

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    I'm getting confused by the unclear requirements for MP1 when the TV server is running on Windows Server 2012 or 2012 R2. The documentation is clear on two points - MP needs a database server (Windows or MySQL) and the TV service needs BDA which isn't included by default on Windows Server. But the rest is very confused:



    1. On some pages it's said that some kind of Server Essentials and Media Extensions are needed, or are enough, with no separate BDA patch needed, but other pages say that BDA needs patching as well, even if Media Extensions are installed. Some places suggest that if BDA is installed, then Server Essentials or Media Extensions aren't needed, or perhaps the other way round.

      So... do I need Server Essentials? If so, is the one I need, the Server Essentials role (on 2012 R2), MS SQL Server Essentials (application), or Windows Server Essentials itself? Do I also need Windows Media Extensions as well (or whatever it is)? Do I need the BDA patch too? What functionality are these each needed for, within MP?

    2. Everyone seems to agree that the 2008 R2 BDA patch works (perhaps with slight modification) for Server 2012 and 2012 R2. It doesn't seem to for me. Is there a way to test it, or a MP diagnostics program which would identify where problems are arising? It's also a bit unclear because I couldn't find a clear thread or link to download "known working" scripts and driver ("/drv") files suitable for localised 2012 R2 and Windows 8.1.

    3. Do I need to configure my TV card using TBS utilities, or can I do it all within MP?

    Thanks for any help on these, so I can start to try out MediaPortal. If I should ask in the support forum, can someone move my question there?

    System: Intel Z97 chipset using on-chip HD 4xxx graphics, 16GB, TBS 6281 T/T2 tuner
     
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  3. HTPCSourcer
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    2012 Essentials will work out of the box. It includes BDA drivers
    2012 Essentials R2 will require the installation of a special media package, which can be downloaded from Microsoft. In another thread I have posted the link. Must have been some 2-3 weeks ago if you would like to search for it. The BDA injection is a workaround only.

    You don't need Essentials. The "better" versions will simply require more customization.
     
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  4. Stilez

    Stilez Portal Member

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    Thanks. Unfortunately this hasn't helped, although I know and appreciate the attempt at helping. But your explanation doesn't really respond to my question because it gives vague and conflicting kinds of details..... which are exactly why I posted in confusion originally :)

    1. There are at least a dozen things called "2012 Essentials" or "Server Essentials". Everything from roles, to whole enterprise OSes, to "cut-down" server OSes, to SQL servers, has had the "Essentials" name at some time or other. Apparently Microsoft likes the word Essentials" :)

      As it stands, my computer is running Windows Server 2012 R2 Standard right now (not Server Essential or any other version of Windows Server). Which "Essentials", specifically, is the "2012 Essentials" I need -- is it the "Windows Server Essentials Experience" *role* which I can add from Server Manager in Server 2012 R2, or should I uninstall Windows Server 2012 R2 and instead buy and use the cut-down server *OS* called "Server 2012 R2 Essentials", or do I need to install Microsoft's *SQL Server*?

    2. What "other things" would have to be customised? Which "special media package" would be needed? Why are all the requirements so vaguely stated for TV Server running on Server 2012 R2 Standard :)
    I don't mean to sound unappreciative or mean-mannered in any way, sorry. I'm a bit frustrated at not finding clear directions for Windows Server 2012 / 2012 R2 setup, when so many people are out there using MP on full versions of Windows Server 2012 / 2012 R2. I just need the actual exact names, or details, of driver patches, or other Microsoft products, or Server roles, which I need to download, enable or install, so that Server 2012 R2 Standard can handle TV Server.

    Vague product names, and hints of unidentified software that might be linked in unidentified threads, just aren't as useful as exact details. That kind of confusion is why I asked initially - because other posts just say "Install <ambiguously identified product or role>", or say one thing is needed but then immediately afterwards, that it's not *necessarily* needed. I've tried to sum up what I'm missing, in my OP. Sorry again for tone, and hope to have MP working soon!
     
    Last edited: November 19, 2014
  5. HomeY
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    @HTPC_Sourcer i'm running Server 2012 R2 Datacenter, and i tried installing that damn Essentials package, but how do you bypass the domain stuff?? I don't run a domain server @ home. So what i did in the end, was the same 'trick' as with Server 2008: extract the BDA files from my Win 8.1 system and copy them.

    All is working fine since then, and it was done in less than a minute, instead of the 20-30 mins install that Essentials need (from what i've read!!).
     
  6. HTPCSourcer
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    No problem.

    The term Essentials might appear confusing to you, yet each Microsoft software package is precisely described. By the way, anything with SQLServer is not an Operating System but a database software. MS SQLServer Essentials is the free package with limited capabilities.

    Second, Server 2012 (any version) is not officially supported by the MP team. Therefore you depend on what some users have achieved, sometimes by trial and error, sometimes with some help from Microsoft, or whatever.

    So more precisely what you may want to do:

    You have installed WS 2012 Standard R2. Keep it.
    Add the role "Essentials Experience"
    Give me time to find my own posting with the 2012 Media Package download link. I will get back to you tomorrow. Then install it and you will be OK.

    Alternatively do the BDA injection as suggested by HomeY.

    @HomeY , what do you expect if you opt to run a professional server system? :D. I too had started with a datacenter setup and then very quickly decided to replace it by the Essential version. Man, I have five PCs in my home and the only things I am interested in are simple and fail-safe central backup plus the administration, e.g. central group policies, WSUS server, etc. Datacenter can probably handle a couple of hundred users, different user groups, better scaling,... - total overkill and lot of customization required.

    I do not want to tell anybody to not run bypasses as described by you. I do caution everybody though that you can crash your setup for good. Reinstalling WS 2012 on a standard MoBo is probably a matter of hours if you don't have a working image. All I have been doing was to describe the official Microsoft path for installing the media options that originally came with WSE 2012 but were not part of the standard setup of R2 anymore. And why does one want to run a server system without taking advantage of the domain server properties?

    I begin to think that I should maybe draft a short tutorial. However, I can't test all the different options and possibilities myself. Also I have no interest in then having to defend myself because I report what Microsoft officially describes as the correct procedure.
     
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  7. HTPCSourcer
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    P.S.: @Stilez , in reference to "vague product names...": This not a paid helpdesk, I am not the agent on duty nor am I a computer to recall precisely what I posted when and where. If using the forum search function based on the keywords I gave you - even Google would work - is too much hassle for you, then I suggest that you discover Windows Server by yourself.
     
  8. HomeY
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    Very true, it might be overkill, but i'm kinda used to picking the best version, so i'm sure i've got all that i would ever need :D

    Well, primarly it started out as a test, since my desktop was starting to act as a server. Then noticed that OS runs a whole lot more stable then on Windows 7 with the amount of hard disk in the case. Now i have a TV Card & 2 RAID cards in there, and a total of about 20 HDD's. That's why i run a server system ;)
     
  9. Stilez

    Stilez Portal Member

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    Thanks, helpful responses both.

    I think I found the pack you must have meant: Windows Server Media Experience Pack?

    It sounds like you are describing three parallel TV Server platforms, any of which allows TV Server to properly handle TV tuning, PVR, and media streaming:
    • Windows Server 2012 Essentials with Windows Media Server Experience Pack (and anything else?), *or*
    • Windows Server 2012/2012R2 Standard or higher with Server Essentials Role enabled and Windows Media Server Experience Pack (and anything else?), *or*
    • Windows Server 2012/2012R2 Standard or higher with no extra roles required, and BDA patch added (and anything else?)
    Is this roughly right?


    And @HTPC_Sourcer - offence wasn't intended. Apologies if it came over that way. I truly don't take the help you give here for granted, and I am greatly appreciative of it, as I hope you gathered. It was a reflection of the fact that after a lot of forum searching, I had commented it was unclear whether I needed Windows Server Essentials *role* or Windows Server Essentials *OS*, and the answer was "2012 Essentials". Hence why I felt this was still ambiguous. I'm sorry this came over in any way other than as a request for fuller details.
     
    Last edited: November 19, 2014
  10. HTPCSourcer
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    Right

    Correct
    No. WSE 2012 will work without any further additional software installations

    Correct
     
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  11. 4Fred
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