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Will WHS 2011 install on my mediasmart EX470 RRS feed

  • Question

  • I know 2011 is a 64bit OS but I am not sure if my HP MediaSmart EX470 will support it. I did upgrade to 2GB RAM some tima ago
    Thursday, July 28, 2011 4:02 AM

Answers

  •  

    I started here: http://www.dba-resources.com/whs/installing-whs-2011-on-a-hp-mediasmart-ex475/   and after quite a few hours and many different sites I got it installed.  My first mistake was using an 80GB harddrive (WHS2011 requires a minimum 160GB but not many places state this, also 2MB RAM and a x64 processor 1.4Ghz minimum requirements).  I threw in a 2TB and everything was going well until I saw "server" in my network (not the name I had chosen in my ini answer file).  I couldn't access it no matter what I did, even the ip address was a jumble of letters and numbers, the install had stopped.  I took out the drive and hooked it up to my desktop and saw the three partitions and tried to decipher the log files but couldn't find anything wrong.  I did a few things so I'm not sure what fixed it.  Instead of only deleting the partitions to start again I formatted them first and then deleted them leaving the drive unallocated.  One thing I had noticed was when I had only deleted them some old information was there after the partial install so I thought formatting and then deleting would be better (not sure if it made a difference but it did install after that). Using a brand new drive you wouldn't have this problem.  I then modified the answer ini file and removed the "processed=true" line that WHS had put in when it tried to install it earlier and then tried again.  It worked!

    Another thing was I couldn't get my usb bootable using the instructions on the website so I used diskpart instead.  I don't remember which site I followed but the instructions here are pretty similar: http://www.intowindows.com/bootable-usb/  Also because we have the EX470 we have to follow the "hit f12 immediately (and I mean IMMEDIATELY!) when starting the server, do this for about 10 seconds or so.  The key must be in the bottom usb slot in the back, then hit your down arrow key on your usb keyboard 7 times and hit enter."  We can't simply plug the key in and it loads. 

    Another great site to see what is happening because we can't see is: http://www.mediasmartserver.net/2010/04/26/windows-home-server-vail-installation-guide/

    After my install I decided to remove the 2TB drive and use a 500GB.  I pulled the harddrive, hooked it up usb to my desktop and used Acronis Clone Disk.  I re-sized two of the partitions but kept the OS partition at 60GB and everything works great.

    I hope this helps and eliminates some of the problems I ran across. :)  Oh I should add that the drive lights do not light up and the health light continually blinks after install.  Someone has created drivers for the 49* and other machines but so far no drivers for the EX47* (I'm hoping someone will soon but it doesn't look like it will happen).

    My modified cfg.ini file was:  (remove the bold text!)

    [WinPE]
    InstallSKU=SERVERHOMEPREMIUM
    WindowsPartitionSize=61440
    CheckReqs=0
    ConfigDisk=1
    Processed=true      <--------------You will see this line if you tried to install earlier.  Remove this line, it's added when you install WHS2011

    [InitialConfiguration]
    Language=en-US
    Locale=en-US
    Country=US
    Keyboard=00000409
    AcceptEula=true
    ServerName=WHS2011
    PlainTextPassword=Password1
    PasswordHint=Cap P 1 at end
    Settings=None    <---------- this line was for updates and I think this was one of my problems early on, by changing it to "none" I was able to skip over about 44 updates and make the install much faster.  After everything was installed I then downloaded the updates using the dashboard and then changed to automatic updates.
    PID=****-****-****-****-****  <----This was my WHS2011 Key but is an optional line that you can leave out if you are installing a trial or want to activate it after it's installed.

    • Edited by Meegie Friday, August 5, 2011 7:01 AM Added more info.
    • Marked as answer by Ken Warren Friday, August 5, 2011 1:43 PM
    Friday, August 5, 2011 6:50 AM
  • Without some way to connect a monitor, you'll be installing "blind", but yes, it should support the new version. Performance will be lacking, as the processor isn't much more than the minimum required.
    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    • Marked as answer by Ken Warren Friday, August 5, 2011 1:43 PM
    Thursday, July 28, 2011 10:35 AM

All replies

  • Without some way to connect a monitor, you'll be installing "blind", but yes, it should support the new version. Performance will be lacking, as the processor isn't much more than the minimum required.
    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    • Marked as answer by Ken Warren Friday, August 5, 2011 1:43 PM
    Thursday, July 28, 2011 10:35 AM
  • No it does not support 64 bit
    Friday, July 29, 2011 1:13 AM
  • Umm, the AMD Sempron processor line is 64 bit...
    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Friday, July 29, 2011 1:14 AM
  • Yes your right the processor is 64 bit capable.  I based my statement on a lot of discussion in the forums back when whs2011 was just a rough beta...at least a couple of years ago.  The general (forums) conclusion at that time was no because it was thought the baby motherboard in the EX470 didnt have the wider bus architecture required. 

    I am not aware of anyone who has actually tried it so I guess it could work. Maybe sombody will try it and let us know. If my statement is wrong I will stand corrected. Thanks.

    I have a EX470 which I upgraded to 2GB ram and the faster 2.6ghz processor, but while I had the babyboard out I didn't think to check if this is the case.....not even sure you could tell by inspection, depends on how many layers in the board. 

    Yes, my EX470 is still running stong.  I'm using it primarily to automatically backup all the shares from the WHS2011 machine (via synctoy).  Additionally, I backup the WHS2011 to USB drives so I have a double backup...just paranoid I guess.

     

     

    Friday, July 29, 2011 9:20 AM
  • Yes it can handle it, or at least mine did but I also replaced the processor with an Athlon 64 LE-1640 when I upgraded the RAM.  It was a bit tricky with a usb key but eventually I got it installed and surprisingly it works well. :)
    Friday, August 5, 2011 3:17 AM
  • Great to know, thanks.  If you would care to share any of the installtion process details I'm sure the original poster and myself would be interested.  thanks again.

     

    Friday, August 5, 2011 4:41 AM
  •  

    I started here: http://www.dba-resources.com/whs/installing-whs-2011-on-a-hp-mediasmart-ex475/   and after quite a few hours and many different sites I got it installed.  My first mistake was using an 80GB harddrive (WHS2011 requires a minimum 160GB but not many places state this, also 2MB RAM and a x64 processor 1.4Ghz minimum requirements).  I threw in a 2TB and everything was going well until I saw "server" in my network (not the name I had chosen in my ini answer file).  I couldn't access it no matter what I did, even the ip address was a jumble of letters and numbers, the install had stopped.  I took out the drive and hooked it up to my desktop and saw the three partitions and tried to decipher the log files but couldn't find anything wrong.  I did a few things so I'm not sure what fixed it.  Instead of only deleting the partitions to start again I formatted them first and then deleted them leaving the drive unallocated.  One thing I had noticed was when I had only deleted them some old information was there after the partial install so I thought formatting and then deleting would be better (not sure if it made a difference but it did install after that). Using a brand new drive you wouldn't have this problem.  I then modified the answer ini file and removed the "processed=true" line that WHS had put in when it tried to install it earlier and then tried again.  It worked!

    Another thing was I couldn't get my usb bootable using the instructions on the website so I used diskpart instead.  I don't remember which site I followed but the instructions here are pretty similar: http://www.intowindows.com/bootable-usb/  Also because we have the EX470 we have to follow the "hit f12 immediately (and I mean IMMEDIATELY!) when starting the server, do this for about 10 seconds or so.  The key must be in the bottom usb slot in the back, then hit your down arrow key on your usb keyboard 7 times and hit enter."  We can't simply plug the key in and it loads. 

    Another great site to see what is happening because we can't see is: http://www.mediasmartserver.net/2010/04/26/windows-home-server-vail-installation-guide/

    After my install I decided to remove the 2TB drive and use a 500GB.  I pulled the harddrive, hooked it up usb to my desktop and used Acronis Clone Disk.  I re-sized two of the partitions but kept the OS partition at 60GB and everything works great.

    I hope this helps and eliminates some of the problems I ran across. :)  Oh I should add that the drive lights do not light up and the health light continually blinks after install.  Someone has created drivers for the 49* and other machines but so far no drivers for the EX47* (I'm hoping someone will soon but it doesn't look like it will happen).

    My modified cfg.ini file was:  (remove the bold text!)

    [WinPE]
    InstallSKU=SERVERHOMEPREMIUM
    WindowsPartitionSize=61440
    CheckReqs=0
    ConfigDisk=1
    Processed=true      <--------------You will see this line if you tried to install earlier.  Remove this line, it's added when you install WHS2011

    [InitialConfiguration]
    Language=en-US
    Locale=en-US
    Country=US
    Keyboard=00000409
    AcceptEula=true
    ServerName=WHS2011
    PlainTextPassword=Password1
    PasswordHint=Cap P 1 at end
    Settings=None    <---------- this line was for updates and I think this was one of my problems early on, by changing it to "none" I was able to skip over about 44 updates and make the install much faster.  After everything was installed I then downloaded the updates using the dashboard and then changed to automatic updates.
    PID=****-****-****-****-****  <----This was my WHS2011 Key but is an optional line that you can leave out if you are installing a trial or want to activate it after it's installed.

    • Edited by Meegie Friday, August 5, 2011 7:01 AM Added more info.
    • Marked as answer by Ken Warren Friday, August 5, 2011 1:43 PM
    Friday, August 5, 2011 6:50 AM
  • Great answer by Meegie! Wish I had it a week ago - it took me several frustrating days to get this figured this out on my own!

    One unfortunate note that I will add is that if you previously updated the processor in your ex47x (as I did), you may want to revert back to the original Sempron... if you still have it, that is.

    Since the bios does not recognize higher processors, Server 2008 is not able to identify it and the installation fails. I tried for two days to get it to work with the AMD Athlon LE1640 and couldn't get past the post-reboot install (from the browser) - server would crash at 0%. Put the old processor back in and everything went smooth.

    Also, note that you will need to have upgraded the server's RAM to more than 1GB to do the install. Avoid the G.Skill 2GB DDR2 module, if possible - it caused frequent system hangs for me (that incidentally would freeze my entire home network!!)

    I likely would have fared better with Meegie's answer file format... it took me forever to figure out the "Processed=true" caveat.

    If you find you still have issues with the answer file, another alternative (one which I found preferrable in the end) is to prep the drive on another system (e.g. one with a monitor). This is also helpful if you would rather just install from the CD and avoid the USB / answer file approach altogether; or if you don't want to deal with cleaning the partitions from the hard drive ahead of time.

    To do this:

    1. Remove the sysem disk drive from your desktop pc and replace it with the hard disk that you want for your WHS 2011 system drive ( >= 160GB )

    2. Insert your WHS 2011 install disc or USB flash drive

    3. Start the computer and use the appropriate hotkey for your bios to boot from the install media (or edit the bios boot order prior to install)

    4. Once the setup has loaded, choose the option for a "New Install" -- You will be warned that the drive is going to be erased.

    5. Agree to the terms and start the setup. You will see the usual Windows install actions: Copying Files, Expanding Files, Installing Features, Finalizing Install.

    6. Turn off your computer during the first reboot (so the install does not have a chance to continue)

      Note: You will need to pay attention once the "Expanding Files" step is complete. It won't take long after that for the rest to complete and for the install to get to the automatic reboot.

    7. Replace the system drive in your desktop computer and move the prepped drive into the bottom bay of the MediaSmart Server.

    8. Boot the server and give it several minutes to finish the pre-install setup on the ex47x

    9. Once you see "Server" show up on your local LAN, open the Internet browser on an active network pc and navigate to http://server/connect to complete the install. You will be prompted to download and run the setup helper application.

    10. The browser-baser Setup Wizard will prompt you for all the information you need to get things comfigured (so the answer file is not necessary).

    11. It may take a while with the ex47x, but after a few reboots by the installer, the setup will complete and the server will be accessible on your network.

    Additional notes:

    • Once you get things situated, you will probably notice a low hard disk space warning from the server shortly after install. This is the internal flash memory drive for the ex47x models. To get rid of the warning, just Remote Desktop to the Server and disable the drive within Device Manager (under Diagnostics in Server Management Console). It is listed as "SMI USB DISK USB". Right-click --> Disable

    • If you have your data on the old server drives, plop them into the remaining bays, Remote Desktop to the server (as the Administrator user), and work your way through copying the data over from the old drive's "DE\Shares" directory (hidden by default).

      Robocopy is your friend: Open the Command Prompt on the server as an administrator and use the Robocopy commands to move the files.

      Example: C:\> Robocopy F:\DE\shares\Users D:\ServerFolders\Documents /e /copyall /move

      If your drives are in order, you can also just write out these commands and throw them into a batch file to avoid having to babysit the process.


    If anyone hears of a driver solution for the lights on the ex47x, please post! It would definitely tidy things up nicely for me.

    • Proposed as answer by Mike48236 Friday, August 5, 2011 6:39 PM
    • Edited by Mike48236 Friday, August 5, 2011 7:01 PM
    Friday, August 5, 2011 6:33 PM
  • Great alternatives Mike.  Funny how you had problems with your AMD Athlon LE1640 because that's the exact processor I have installed and that's one thing that didn't give me trouble.  I still have "AMD processor model unknown" in device manager tho'.  I'm a bit nervous about doing the Bios update so I've been holding off on that. :D  Yeah it would be great not to see that blinking light and have the harddrive lights going 'cause I'm getting tempted to throw some black tape on that blinking light lol.
    Friday, August 5, 2011 6:57 PM
  • Go Figure! I think I just go stuck with a faulty processor. It was also somehwat unstable with WHSv1 for me - I had previously tried reseating it 4 times and it never truly fixed the problem.

    I read elsewhere of many others that had the same problems as me with the crashes. It may be that one of the LE1640 revisions is issue prone. If the speed eventually gets to me, perhaps I will try again with another CPU.

    Same as you - I would really prefer to avoid changing the bios. I'm just not lucky enough for that to work for me!

    The black tape approach just so happens to be my current fix for the light problem :-)

    Friday, August 5, 2011 7:19 PM
  • Yes: WHS 2011 RTM version will run on the original HP MediaSmart EX470 with 2GB RAM upgrade.

    FYI: I have been running WHS 2011 on this system since the VAIL beta version. While it is a fact that the MediaSmart hardware is somewhat "underpowered", performance is surpisingly confortable for doing the dayto day job of serving files, backing up and default streaming.

    Since the early beta's I did several installs using a procedure based on unattended installation from a USB-stick and a USB keyboard to direct the server to booting from this USB-stick. This results in a fully unattended server install. It even does remote (as it is headless) server restores without a problem.

    I did post details on the procedure I have been using on this foru, some while ago but I will be happy to repost it for anyone that is interested.
    - Theo.

     


    No home server like Home Server
    Sunday, August 14, 2011 9:13 PM
  • i upgraded CPU on my ex470 initially with LE-1640 then changed it to ADD 4200  35w dual core. which handled the temperatures well.

    I got around the unknown processor issuw after the whs 2011 upgrade. but when changing processor, i also did a BIOS upgrade, see details in: http://www.mediasmartserver.net/forums/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=1102&start=45

     

    see post: ymboc - Tue May 20, 2008 1:59 pm    for BIOS update that will recognize LE-1640

     

    also my installation experience of whs 2011 on EX470: http://www.mediasmartserver.net/forums/viewtopic.php?f=33&t=10967

     

    USB boot didnt work for me and i dont have VGA cable to see what was going on. i put my system drive to my home pc and did the installtion on it from the USB then at first boot, shut it down , put it back to EX470 and boot it up.. installation worked fine after that

     

    hope this helps someone

    Friday, October 14, 2011 7:51 PM