How to Replace the MediaSmart Server Power Supply

by Alex Kuretz on August 20, 2009 · 20 comments

in Guides

The MediaSmart Server is generally recognized as being quite reliable, with only occasional reports of hardware failures being reported in the forums. Of these few reported cases, the most common failure I’ve seen mentioned in the forums has been the power supply. Unfortunately this power supply is not an easily user replaceable part, with no publicly available source known to acquire the 200 watt HiPro HP-U200EF3. Another complication is the fact that the wiring connector on the power supply and MediaSmart Server motherboard is not a standard ATX type.

Fortunately the industrious MediaSmartServer.net forum members spent some time researching, experimenting, and measuring voltages with their multimeters and were able to come up with a solution. Forum member “erail” is the first person I’m aware of to replace his power supply, and he wrote up the process into a tutorial for me. Another forum member by the name of “pettt” then volunteered to be the guinea pig and rounded out the tutorial with pictures documenting the procedure. I’ve now cooked these two documents up into a Wiki article that will guide you through the steps needed to replace your MediaSmart Server power supply.

Testvoltage

Obviously this procedure will go beyond the comfort level or technical ability of many users, so if you have a hardware issue with your MediaSmart Server outside of it’s warranty period, I’d suggest you instead contact the HP support team and ask about the “Out Of Warranty” service option so the experts can get you up and running again.

Note that performing a power supply replacement will most certainly void your warranty, and electricity can always be dangerous. Please do not attempt this unless you are comfortable working with electronics, and remember that you do so at your own risk.





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.


{ 19 comments }

Comp1962 October 17, 2009 at 6:12 pm

Thanks Alex for the information. I check HP’s web site from time to time for replacement parts and the do not have the powersupply listed. I bookmarked this page for future refrence. In future I plan on putting the powersupply outside the EX470 in its own enclosure to reduce the impact of heat inside the Server and to increase the air flow both to the server and powersupply.

SirNoBull June 23, 2010 at 10:13 pm

How about this site. They seem to have a direct PSU replacement. Check the second, which seems to be the quieter version. http://www.atxpowersupplies.com/power-supply-cross-reference-3.php?manufacturer=HP&make=MediaSmart&model=EX475

Alex Kuretz June 24, 2010 at 8:54 am

The pinout is non-standard on the MediaSmart Server power supply connector, and this company has been discussed in the forums for misleading advertising on Ebay and their site.

Jim Kerrigan July 7, 2010 at 10:37 pm

I have a dead PSU on HP EX475, and HP is useless. I’ve made my last HP purchase.

However, I’ve studied for two days. Amazingly, there is still no ready replacement PSU! I have a “concept solution” I’d appreciate some help with:

1. I buy one of the “acceptable” substitutes that don’t work without pin-out corrections.
2. I studied the excellent wiki article connector problem descriptions.
3. Question… Instead of all the Molex and pin-pulling and replacement, why not just cut off the connector of the dead PSU, get out the multi-meter, and match the voltages per the wiki, soldering the new PSU to match the diagram? (adding insulation,as required of course)

if I got it right, the cost of a fix is time and a suitable sized replacement…
Isn’t it?

Comp1962 July 8, 2010 at 12:23 am

@ Jim Kerrigan or why just not purchase a direct replacement Power Supply unit. You can buy new or used from the same company. Check it out.
http://www.mediasmartserver.net/2010/07/08/replacement-power-supplies-available-for-the-mediasmart-server/

Bret Scott September 14, 2010 at 6:39 am

Thanks Alex for your clear and concise Wiki on the re-wiring and installation of replacement power supplies. It saved me a lot of research time, and the whole procedure took less than 3 hours.

My power supply failed over the weekend and HP had no help to offer. Since they no longer stock the replacement supply, they don’t support any out-of-warranty service, and didn’t have any documentation to say what alternative supplies might work.

After reading the Wiki article, I found a Flex ATX power supply at Micro Center that fit the description of the others (Athena model AP-MFATX30, Micro Center SKU 561183). It screws in and fits although it is shorter, leaving some room up front for the extra wiring that comes with the replacement supply. This supply has the sensor wire installed in Pin 11, which I moved to Pin 20 of the old connector, and it seems to be working fine.

While I was in there, I upgraded the memory to 2GB, which does seem to speed things up a bit… or maybe it’s just me wanting to justify the memory purchase… ;-)

Bret

Alex Kuretz September 14, 2010 at 7:51 am

Bret, great to hear and I’m really glad the guide helped you! If you can share the exact model of Power Supply I’d be happy to add it to the Wiki list of known good alternatives.

Bret Scott September 14, 2010 at 5:00 pm

Hi Alex- The only number I have as reference is AP-MFATX30, made by Athena. The power supply website is: http://www.athenapower.us/products/power_supply/ap-mfatx30.html

Hope this helps,

Bret

Alex Kuretz September 16, 2010 at 11:55 am

Thanks Bret, that does help, it looks like it’s available from Newegg as well.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817338042

I’ll make sure to add that part number to the Wiki.

Lei Fang June 18, 2011 at 8:44 pm

Hi Alex, my EX485 was dead recently. I would like to replace its power supply to see if this can save the sever. I googled “HiPro HP-U200EF3″ and found this vendor:
http://www.cputopia.com/psu-replacement-hipro-hipro-hp-u200ef3.html
Is this power supply good for the purpose? Thank you!

Comp1962 June 18, 2011 at 11:35 pm

Hi Lei the only direct replacement PSU for your server can be ordered through Overtek LTD. For more information please check out the link below.

http://www.mediasmartserver.net/2010/07/08/replacement-power-supplies-available-for-the-mediasmart-server/

Lei November 27, 2011 at 8:40 am

Hi Alex and Comp1962, I replaced the power supply (bought from Overtek on ebay) today. But nothing happened (no light, even no fan spnning) when i press the power button on the back. What else can go wrong? Thank you.

Comp1962 November 28, 2011 at 6:22 pm

I would pull the PSU and Motherboard Assembly out and verify the molex connector to the motherboard it properly connected. If it is then I would power the unit and then press the button in on the back of the motherboard to see if the PSU will turn on. If it does then the back button in the case is not making good contact the the switch on the motherboard. If it does not turn on then I would disconnect power from the unit and remove the Molex Connector from the PSU to the motherboard and examine the pins in the moldex connector to make certain they have not backed out particularly with pins 1 & 2 which causes the PSU to start up. The last thing I would do with the moldex connector disconnected is jumper pins 1 & 2 then apply power to the unit to see if the PSU starts up or not. If at this time the PSU does not start up then I would contact the John at Overtek to arrange for a replacement PSU.

If the PSU Starts up then you may also want to take the time to verify the voltages from the unit using the sites WIKI Guide in the link below:

http://www.mediasmartserver.net/wiki/index.php/Replacing_the_Power_Supply

I do apologise for the delay in my response. I was traveling for the Holiday.

Lei November 28, 2011 at 7:34 pm

Thank you a lot, Comp1962. When I jumper pins 1 & 2, PSU can start up. But PSU will not turn on when i press the switch on the back of the motherboard. Is this a problem with the motherboard? Really appreciated.

TheSpideyBC July 21, 2011 at 12:38 pm

Great thread, folks! This helped with a personal issue with the Pres of my company. I just recently repinned a new PSU for the MediaSmart and now he says is saying that the file permissions are incorrect.
Anything I should look for?

Alex Kuretz July 21, 2011 at 3:29 pm

Glad it helped. I can only speculate that if you had to replace the power supply, it may have been crashing the server and causing OS corruption. There are some tutorials on how to reset file permissions if you need them, but it’s hard to say without knowing more specifics of the problem.

TheSpideyBC July 22, 2011 at 12:47 pm

That would be great. Since at this point I don’t have the system anymore, it’s hard to really troubleshoot. I figure it will most likely be a permission reset. Can it get a link to that tutorial please? Thank you!!

Alex Kuretz July 22, 2011 at 1:22 pm

This is the guide I had in mind, the post by Mark Vayman has the instructions.
http://social.microsoft.com/forums/en-US/whssoftware/thread/93300286-3898-405a-9152-0d2a11a23382/

John C. Weum January 16, 2013 at 12:44 pm

Thank you for showing me there is a way out of this. When I woke up yesterday and my 475 was dead I thought it might be R. I. P. time for my aging Server. Now I know as soon as I can locate a power supply 2 hours later She’ll come back to Life.

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