Hardware commonalities between the HP MediaSmart Server and Acer easyStore?

by Alex Kuretz on April 27, 2009 · 6 comments

in News

We’re seeing a fair bit of talk about the new Acer easyStore Home Server, and fellow Windows Home Server MVP Yoshihiro Okabe from Japan has just published an article showing the insides of the new server. He noticed a 26-pin header on the motherboard that looks suspiciously like the debug header on the MediaSmart Server. Yoshi connected a cable and discovered that the VGA functionality is indeed identical to the debug header on the MediaSmart Server. I asked Yoshi for a few more details since the Google translation is a bit rough, and he confirmed that he has not yet tested the PS2 or Serial connectors yet, only VGA.

Debug header on the Acer easyStore

Debug header on the Acer easyStore

Yoshi also discovered that the BIOS was locked, but similar to the unlock jumper trick I discovered for the EX485 and EX487 servers, there is a jumper that can be closed to unlock the BIOS and allow access.

BIOS unlock jumper on the Acer easyStore

BIOS unlock jumper on the Acer easyStore

Perhaps most interesting is in the comments of Yoshi’s blog post, where user memogundam speculates that the 26-pin debug header, BIOS jumper unlock mechanism, and hardware enclosure management driver are all the same as the MediaSmart Server EX48x servers. Since there are indications that the MediaSmart Server is manufactured by Wistron and Wistron used to be part of Acer Computer, this seems to be anything but coincidental.

You can read the entire translated article here.

A note to Charles “cakalapati”, I think you may want to gear up your cable building operation, after first getting your hands on an easyStore and making sure it works. :)

Thanks to Yoshi for the great article, and to forum user ymboc for pointing me to it.





Article by

I'm Alex Kuretz, and I'm the founder of MediaSmartServer.net. I was the Lead Test and Integration Engineer at HP for the MediaSmart Server until April 2008 when I moved on to other opportunities outside HP. I've kept active in the Windows Home Server community, creating several add-ins and helping users make the most of their Home Servers.


{ 5 comments }

Norman November 18, 2009 at 1:34 am

Hello, Alex

I am amazed by your article… I am doing the home server with the pci-e slot and raid function…however ..the MB is the mini-ITX size, do you know if the ACER easystore have the same size of MB?

Norman

Alex Kuretz November 18, 2009 at 3:47 pm

Hi Norman,

I’m not positive but I believe the Acer easyStore uses a custom motherboard.

Nick December 3, 2009 at 7:35 pm

Hi,
Do you know if the Acer easystore can boot off a Raid pci express 1x card once you have access to the bios to change the boot order?

I would like to use the 4 bays in the acer in a hardware raid 5 setup instead of the JBOD setup.

I believe Windows home server doesnt like raid.
If the raid 5 possible, I would install windows 2003 via a bootable usb key instead of using windows home server so I can use the raid.

Any additonal information would be appreciated.
Thank You
Nick

Alex Kuretz December 4, 2009 at 9:21 pm

Hi Nick, I don’t know for sure but I tend to think it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to do what you propose.

used computers December 19, 2009 at 12:52 am

I believe Windows home server doesnt like raid.
If the raid 5 possible, I would install windows 2003 via a bootable usb key instead of using windows home server so I can use the raid.

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