Guide: How to upgrade your MediaSmart Server to the 3.0 Software Update

by Alex Kuretz on February 23, 2010 · 97 comments

in Guides

If you are the proud owner of an earlier model of the HP MediaSmart Server such as the EX470/EX475/EX485/EX487, you’ve probably been reading the reviews and watching with a little bit of envy the new features available to owners of the more recent EX490 and EX495. A while ago, HP promised the community an update to this latest software and they have just recently made the update available. I have had the upgrade disks for a couple of weeks now and have performed the update on both the MediaSmart Server EX475 and EX487, and have put together this guide to help you through the process.

Making the Decision to Upgrade

The first thing you will want to do is decide if the 3.0 upgrade is right for you. A great starting point for an overview of the 3.0 feature set is my in depth review of the EX490 and EX495. One of the more important considerations to make is that once you’ve made the upgrade to 3.0, you really shouldn’t try going back to the older version. HP won’t support you if you want to revert versions, though it should be possible by performing a Factory Reset with your original Server Recovery disk, which erases all the disks in your server.

For owners of the EX470 or EX475 there are a number of changes, almost all of which should be considered positive improvements, with possibly one contentious change being the replacement of the Webshare feature by the new PhotoViewer. The PhotoViewer has a few significant differences in that it does not allow the ability to configure accounts for family or friends, has no email notifications, and doesn’t allow visitors to upload photos to your albums. If you are attached to the behavior of the Photo Webshare than you likely will not want to upgrade.

The 2.5 version of the software on the EX485 and EX487 is much more similar to 3.0, and all the changes can be considered improvements so the decision should be more simple. If you value the improved performance of the Media Collector and Video Converter, the advanced Mac backup solution, plus the redesigned user interface, then this update will likely appeal to you.

The LED behavior in the EX470 and EX475 will change to match that of the newer servers. The most noticeable impact is the loss of the “purple” LED mode that indicates when the system is ready to initially be setup, and also indicates when a drive is ready to be added to the storage pool. This behavior is replaced with the “breathing” LEDs that gradually dim and brighten in a cyclical fashion.

Finally, your hardware may impact your decision to upgrade or not. The original EX470 and EX475 only included 512MB of RAM which really is insufficient to effectively run the 3.0 software with many of the features enabled. HP recommends a minimum of 1GB of RAM, and 2GB is ideal for the best performance especially if you run many Add-Ins. The stock EX485 and EX487 handle the upgrade fine out of the box, but you really will want to upgrade the memory in your EX470 or EX475 if you have not yet done so. You can find some great deals on memory in the Newegg, Amazon, or links here in the forums.

Getting the Update Disks

If you’re still reading and have decided to perform the update, the next step is to head over to, enter your product model number in the “Support and Drivers” section. Then follow the path for your MediaSmart Server model number to order the upgrades. The upgrade costs US$25 or €25 and a pack of CDs and DVDs will be shipped to you.

While you are waiting for the upgrade disks to arrive, I suggest you review the upgrade process outlined in the following guides from HP. These guides cover the new features available in the 3.0 software, explain what features you will lose from the 1.3 or 2.5 versions, and of course provide step by step instructions on how to perform the upgrade. The guides are also included on the upgrade disks, but I’m providing these copies with the permission of HP to give you a chance to review them prior to performing the update.

EX470 and EX475 Software Update Guide (right-click and Save-As)
EX485 and EX487 Software Update Guide (right-click and Save-As)

Backing Up Your Data

While the Server Recovery process is generally quite safe, HP recommends that you back up your data from your Windows Home Server prior to performing the 3.0 update. This can be accomplished by copying data to your PCs, or using external hard drives or storage enclosures. If you have too much data on your server to fully back it up, you may want to carefully consider if performing this upgrade is the right thing for you to do.

With those warnings, I’ll state that I performed an upgrade on both the EX475 and EX487 with no issues and all my data remained intact.

Performing the Server Recovery

In order to get the 3.0 software onto your MediaSmart Server, you must perform a Server Recovery. This process replaces the Windows Home Server operating system on the System Drive of your server with an updated version that includes the HP 3.0 software. The process is covered in the Upgrade Guides linked above, in our Wiki, and you are also guided step-by-step when you insert the Server Recovery DVD into your client PC. Your data should remain intact on the server through this process, however you will have to recreate your user accounts on the server, re-install your Add-Ins, and possibly make other configuration changes.

Start by inserting the Server Recovery DVD into your client PC, and following the onscreen instructions.

Once you’ve powered on your server and used the paperclip to enter Recovery mode, the software should discover the server and give you the option of performing a Server Recovery or Factory Reset. You’ll want to do the Server Recovery to preserve your data.

The Recovery process can take 15 – 60 minutes to complete depending on your network speed, it took about 20 minutes to complete on my gigabit network at home. Once the process has completed, your server will reboot a couple of times and then be ready for you to set up.

Next you will run the Client Software Installation from the included CD. First the HP Client Connector software will install, and then the Windows Home Server Connector.

The setup process is the same as you’ve seen when initially setting up your Windows Home Server in the past. You’ll have the opportunity to rename your server, set the Admin password, and download updates.

After the setup process, the HP 3.0 software will attempt to look for an update. At the time of this writing there is no newer update to download.

Note that the 3.0 software does not include Power Pack 3 for Windows Home Server, so you will want to navigate to the “General” settings tab and click the “Update Now” button a few times until no more updates are found. After doing so, the Windows Home Server Connector on your client PCs will likely automatically update themselves in the background.

At this point the Server Recovery process is complete and your server should be running the 3.0 software.

Tips and Hints

There are a couple of quick tips I suggest for users that are new to the 3.0 software that I’ll cover here briefly. One of the most important is to exercise a bit of patience when you first get things set up, particularly on the lower horsepower EX47x servers. It can take some time for the Twonky media streaming service to index all your media, for Drive Extender to make sure everything is happy, and for the Windows Indexing service to do its thing. Because of these operations, I suggest you do not immediately turn on the Video Converter or Media Collector, instead give the system a few hours to settle down and take this time to install the new Connector software on the rest of your PCs and Macs, or share your upgrade experience in the forums.

You can monitor the resource usage of your server in the System Status tab of the Server Console.

Be sure to re-create your user accounts and re-install your Add-Ins.

Add the “Converted Videos” shared folder to your Twonky config if you use the Video Converter feature, this will allow you to stream your videos via the Remote Media Streaming feature or to your iPhone or iPod Touch using the iStream app.

Twonky has been updated to version 5.1.1 which is even newer than the version on the EX490 and EX495 servers. This version is supposed to resolve the high CPU load issue that was experienced previously.

The EX470 and EX475 hardware does not support the Sleep feature in the 3.0 software, and HP recommends that you do not try to utilize this feature.

My MSS Fan Control Add-In does not seem to work with this update, I’ll investigate if it’s possible to resolve this issue and release a new version if I can.

UPDATE: I’ve released a new version of MSS Fan Control that is compatible with both the HP 1.3 and 3.0 Software on the EX47x servers.

And most importantly, have fun with your newly updated MediaSmart Server, and be sure to post in the forums with your experience or any questions you may have.

Performance Impressions

I’ve not performed any numeric benchmarks or comparisons of the servers before and after the 3.0 upgrade, but I can state that I have been satisfied and even pleasantly surprised by the performance of both the EX475 and EX487 running the 3.0 software. I will reiterate my recommendation that you try to exercise some patience and let the system do it’s initial indexing of all your media before turning on all the features.

I’ve converted numerous videos with the Video Converter, and the console remains accessible and interactive even while under high CPU load. The Media Collector has functioned well in the few tests I have performed, and the Remote Streaming has functioned similar to my EX495. The EX475 isn’t as powerful, obviously, but it does get the job done and for those of you that have performed the CPU upgrade it should do it very well.

Overall I’m quite pleased with this upgrade and think it is definitely worth the time and money spent. I would like to thank HP for providing me early access to and free copies of the 3.0 upgrade disks so that I could test and evaluate them.

Article by

I'm Alex Kuretz, and I'm the founder of 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.


Shawn February 23, 2010 at 10:28 am

Great post! I’m particularly glad you mentioned a lot of detail about the upgrade experience.

Also, thanks to the team of people who worked on the hacked 2.5 update You truly helped the MSS community by being the initial voice of the users. The team’s work helped folks like myself who can’t program/code/etc by demonstrating how strongly owners felt about wanting the update.

Of course, the whole thing eventually got HP to recognize there was a very loyal (and complainy :) ) community of MSS owners who love the innovation the MSS represents. Thanks to HP for supporting their customers. I understand the support wasn’t originally intended, but this experience shows that HP is listening to customers and that earns some loyalty.

On the day that my MSS croaks or when I’m simply ready to purchase another home server solution, a new HP MSS will almost certainly find its way into my home. Thanks.

Jerry February 23, 2010 at 10:30 am

Can the upgrade be ordered online? I was not able to order online. I was able to see the category to click on and when I did click on it it said invalid product.

T-Bone February 23, 2010 at 10:30 am

Interesting very interesting. Im back and forth about this update. I like the new features and would love to have them. I fear though that the performance hit on my Ex-475 might be to much. I currently only have iTunes and a few add-ins on my server (2gb of ram). so maybe the hit wont be so bad. Im thinking that Im going to do this and take my chances haha. my only fear is that sometimes iTunes can choak out CPU cycles while it does nothing.

Alex Kuretz February 23, 2010 at 10:35 am

Jerry, see the release announcement, the ordering process should be available later this week.

Jon February 23, 2010 at 2:35 pm

“The PhotoViewer has a few significant differences in that it does not allow the ability to configure accounts for family or friends, has no email notifications, and doesn’t allow visitors to upload photos to your albums.”

I’m a little confused as I’m just now setting up file uploads/downloads on my EX-475 server. I’m not using the photo sharing app and making photo albums per se. But I do want to exchange files (upload and download) with relatives (negative and slide scanning image files) using shares (shared folders). Does the statement above mean that I cannot share those files? Or will this functionality still work — simple file sharing via uploads and downloads.

I sure hope that file sharing still works!

Alex Kuretz February 23, 2010 at 2:38 pm

Remote Access allows uploading and downloading of files for users that are authenticated with WHS. The Webshare is the photo sharing application developed by HP and included with the EX47x servers, it offers the ability for configured members (not necessarily Remote Access users) to view and upload photos.

Jon February 23, 2010 at 2:58 pm

OK, thanks for the clairification since I’m new at using the access features. It figures that something as basic as remote access for authenticated users within WHS would still work. I’m not using the photo webshare as you describe it, so so loss to me. Perhaps I’ll upgrade since I already upgraded my RAM to 2GB a while back.

Thanks for the review.

Paul February 23, 2010 at 3:19 pm

I have a EX470 and would like to replace the primary drive containing the OS at the same time as upgrading to version 3.0. What would be the correct way to do this?

Alex Kuretz February 23, 2010 at 3:51 pm

@Paul – Make sure you have duplication enabled on all your shared folders, and give the system time to balance, it will indicate at the bottom of the Server Console when balancing is complete. Shut down the server, remove the old system drive, insert the new system drive (I recommend making sure it is a new or clean drive), and perform the Server Recovery as described above.

Note that the PC Backup Database can exist on your system drive and is not duplicated, you may lose some or all of your PC backups. You can mitigate this by using my BDBB Add-In to backup the Backup DB prior to shutting down the server. That way you have a backup to restore if yours gets damaged in the Server Recovery process.

David February 23, 2010 at 7:56 pm

I have my MediaSmart Server set to a static IP address on my home network. Will I need to change it to DHCP before the upgrade, or will it be fine as it is? Will I have to change it back to static IP after the upgrade?

Comp1962 February 23, 2010 at 9:16 pm

Thanks Alex for posting this upgrade process. What timing tho because I am about to migrate the data from my EX470 to the new server so it will definately be backed up before I install the new 3.0. My upgrade will be somewhat delayed because of the amount of data I have to move but its ok since I will be able to see what others have to say and absorb their experiences and I look forward to reading everyones comments.

I wish everyone a safe and smooth upgrade process!

Alex Kuretz February 24, 2010 at 1:13 am

@David – The entire operating system will be replaced so it will lose it’s static IP address. You will need to enable DHCP on your router, but as long as that is turned on your server should get an IP just fine. I prefer DHCP Reservation or “static DHCP” over static IP address assignment.

@Comp1962 – Definitely let us know how it goes!

Bob February 24, 2010 at 6:34 pm

Alex – I noticed in your response to Paul that you can increase the size of the system drive at the sametime as the 3.0 upgrade. That is something I would also like to do but I seem to have a lot of “other” material the system drive. According to the Disk Management add-in disk 0 (stock disk 500 MB)=64%, disk 1(2 TB)=11%, disk 2 (1 TB)=98% and disk 3 (2 TB)=73% full, respectively. This distrubution happened when I replaced one of my 1Tb drives with a new 2Tb drive. Do I need to get disk 0 down to around 30 GB before I replace the system drive? if so, how do you suggest I do that?


Bob February 24, 2010 at 6:36 pm

Alex – One more thing…. I have had duplication enabled on all the shared folders since I have had the EX470.


Alex Kuretz February 24, 2010 at 8:14 pm

Hi Bob, my response to Paul pretty much sums it up. If you’ve got duplication enabled then your data should be safe. You could use the “Drive Balancer” utility (a web search should turn it up) to attempt to migrate as much data off the system drive as possible.

giltesa February 24, 2010 at 9:16 pm

I have ordered my disc. But I paid 14 € not 25€ : |
I hope to have it soon!

Thanks for the review.

Joe February 24, 2010 at 11:44 pm

Hello, I am very interested in this update for my EX470, but I am concerned about the MSS Fan Control Add-in not working. I upgraded my processor to the LE1640, and the server intermittently overheats and shuts down during periods of high CPU usage if I am not using the Add-In. Do you think there is any way to get the fan control add-in functioning correctly with this update? Thanks.

Alex Kuretz February 25, 2010 at 12:21 am

I believe it’s just because the name of the service changed, it should be a trivial fix, however I have not yet confirmed this. It’s on my list of things to investigate.

Bob February 25, 2010 at 4:43 am

Alex: Thanks for the quick answer. I do have one more question if you have the time. Will the 3.0 upgrade replace the Microsoft .NET programs on the server? I am having a problem with the program PlayOn and their tech boys told me that my .NET software was the problem and needed to be reinstalled. I have been very reluctant to do that since I was concern that I could lose contact with the EX470 during the process and not get it back.


Alex Kuretz February 25, 2010 at 7:54 am

@Bob – Yes, Server Recovery replaces the entire Windows Home Server operating system, which includes the .NET libraries.

DrewG5 February 25, 2010 at 4:15 pm

Got my order in today! Woo Hoo!

eidos February 25, 2010 at 5:34 pm

Alex, I also posted this in the forum but I wasn’t sure where was the place to ask such questions as the ones below.

Someone has to ask these tough questions but going to the 3.0 upgrade has some issues. Aside from the ones brought up by you and the HP paper on the upgrade I have a list of questions:
• I have been manually transferring video, music and photos to Shared Folders as the media aggregator function never seemed to properly work for me. Now that they are there, will the new 3.0 update find them with Twonky media and set them up?
• I have a custom wireframe in Disk Manager. Will I lose it and have to recreate it?
• I have a static IP address as my wireless and 1 Gb router will not allow me to set fixed addresses in it. Should I reset it to automatically obtain an IP address before I start the installation process? Afterwards I can reset it to allow my web access to work properly. I don’t want any issues in finding my server during the Server Recovery process.
• I have an installed license for McAfee Virus Software. Any ideas how I reinstall the software and get my license to work without losing it after I have paid for it.
• Under Grid Junction I have written a special script to send an e-mail to my cell phone when the power to the server fails. I have saved it in a Notepad file to restore it and not have to recreate it. This was important as I found an error in the original suggested script and I don’t want to have to recreate it. Others should remember to do the same thing if they have special mods. If we lose our add-ins we also lose our modifications
• Remember to make a note of each user’s password and also the administrator’s password for the server as well as the server name if you assigned one.
• Remember to make a note of your static IP address so you also do not have to reprogram your router to regain you web access.
• I have made a screenshot of each page of the Server Console so I can remember the details like how many videos, music tracks and photos I have in PV Connect to make sure the new system finds them all.

I am sure that I have missed several key topics but this is a start. I help this helps others prepare for the transition and I would like to hear some responses on items like recovering McAfee.

Ryan February 25, 2010 at 6:31 pm

I would like to know why it costs $27.00 US dollars, and for a Canadian order, we are in the $56.00 range?

Shipping is paid separately….. what gives with HP? We are almost at par at 0.94 today.

This price is way over the top, and further emphasizes why HP is losing customers due to their business practices.


Comp1962 February 25, 2010 at 7:15 pm

@ Ryan the cost are different primarily for a number on or more of 3 primary reasons. Exchange Rates, Customs Charges and Shipping which are added to the cost of the product. Although I believe the Customs charges are accessed when the item is picked up provided there are customs or duty charges but those are charged by the country of destination not origin.

Most of the items I ship are to my future wife in China and each time I worry I am going to get a call to send funds to cover the customs fee’s but it really comes down to what your sending and how you declare the contents.

I always get a headache when sending things to Canada or Ordering things from Canada especially with FEDex but thats another topic all together not related to the MSS…..

Ryan February 25, 2010 at 8:57 pm


Thanks for your reply, but double the price doesn’t add up! Customs charges and brokerage fees are extra that is charged on reciept, not related to the company shipping the product. The exchange rate is almost at par, $0.94.

Try it yourself…. use the postal code of k8v 1r7, Trenton, Ontario..

This is a double base price, and I have no idea what things are covered under this price! I just get a shipping cost of $7.00, and only fed-ex shipping offered.

Sounds like a hardcore jacking of price to me from HP. Either that, or maybe they gotta explain their system a little more.


Comp1962 February 25, 2010 at 10:40 pm

@ Ryan ~ I do not disagree the cost for the Canadians is high. One person mentioned that the only option he had for shipping was Fedex Air Freight and that just jacks up the cost no matter if your in Canada or within the US. I do not know if thats just related to his location or if it applies to everyone in Canada but the higher price seems to be attributed to the way their packages are being shipped.

Polaris February 26, 2010 at 4:46 am

When I priced it last night it was 64.16 cdn , for Ottawa. Would it be legal to share a copy (Ryan?) .

diehard February 26, 2010 at 11:55 am

Alex, what about drivers ? should I give that some thought ? I’ve seen this at UWHS

Alex Kuretz February 26, 2010 at 1:15 pm

diehard, I doubt HP upgraded the drivers in the image though it’s possible and I’ve not verified. I’m out of town for the weekend so it’s difficult to check. I personally recommend against upgrading the drivers unless they come down automatically from Windows Update (NOT optional updates), or if you are experiencing an issue.

Will G February 26, 2010 at 4:27 pm

Hey Alex,
I’ve already upgraded my ram to 2GB, but I’ve been debating the processor upgrade. It seems some people have reported overheating problems, and others saying it’s not really much of a performance boost. Can you comment on whether this will provide a significant change? Also, the articles regarding upgrading the processor mostly speak of the LE1640, which I haven’t seen around for some time now. Is there an updated post anywhere that lists the best/most reliable processor that is readily available today? And whether a BIOS update is necessary? Thanks much!

Alex Kuretz February 26, 2010 at 4:54 pm

I’ve not performed the CPU upgrade, but those that have and had good compatibility report a nice performance improvement. You’ll need to post in this 77 page thread for the details.

If you’re doing the 3.0 update I would recommend trying it and then upgrading CPU if you find it lacking.

eidos February 26, 2010 at 8:33 pm

Will G, here are some comments I made regarding of a recent updae I did of a LE1640,

My processor was the LE 1640 the same part number but a 2.6GHz. It is the older version I purchased in June of 2008 and is the one that everyone seems to think works. I just got lucky and purchased it before they ran out and the new generation came out.

I just recently put mine in and it runs cooler than the standard processor and seems snappier. In 3 days I have not had one issue.

From a basic CPU rating the Sempron 3400 is a 462 rank, LE1640 is 706, BE-2300 is 947 and the 3800+ is a 998.

Backups will be no faster as the limit is the SATA, eSATA and the drives themselves. Video conversion should be faster.

Thomas February 27, 2010 at 8:49 am

I only use my server (EX470), to stream movies to my Mac. (It is connected to a wireless Mac router as an external hard drive)
Should i upgrade to the 3.0 software?
One feature that would be enough for me to upgrade was the possibility to make the server sleep at night (but as i read you post this feature is not possible on 470/475 – is that true?)

I dont exactly understand what Mac improvements 3.0 delivers? Can i control all the server functions from a Mac with 3.0?

And finally – if i’m only using it as an external hard drive and maybe i will use it for streaming to my iPhone – is it necessary to upgrade the ram?


Alex Kuretz February 27, 2010 at 2:36 pm

@Thomas – as I mention in the guide, the sleep feature won’t work with the EX47x due to hardware issues. In the beginning of the guide I link to my EX49x review which covers all the 3.0 features. For your Mac, it supports full OS restore where previous versions only supported file restore. You will also get the Remote Desktop feature to control your server from your Mac (note that this is after initial setup, you cannot perform initial setup from a Mac). You can alwas try the upgrade and if it’s using too much memory you can upgrade it afterward.

jim March 1, 2010 at 2:31 pm

I have upgraded the cpu/bios/memory on the ex 470 then did the 2.5 update. Am I correct to assume that I would still order the discs for the 470/475 upgrade and that they would work in this scenario??

Alex Kuretz March 1, 2010 at 2:41 pm

Yes, this should work fine.

Richard Walsh March 2, 2010 at 9:33 am

I ordered mine Feb 26. Expected arrival is not until March 22. AHH. Looking forward to the upgrade, just wish it was not going to take so long. I am in Florida.

Paul March 2, 2010 at 5:33 pm

Thanks Alex, this info is great. Can’t wait to get the CD’s. Unfortunately I have just been called by HP to say that there is now a delay with the order I placed on the 25th Feb. It was originally due to be delivered on / by the 3rd March, now it is expected on / by the 16th March. It feels like I have been waiting for this update for years!! Oooh, I have!!!! I have to say that it is pretty good customer service though the fact that they called me. Oh well another couple of weeks is not so bad i guess……

Paul March 2, 2010 at 6:16 pm

I am in Vancouver, BC also paying the $57 which doesn’t quite translate to the $27 paid in the US.

Jon March 3, 2010 at 9:02 am

I don’t understand the wait .. Its just Cd’s ! … They could have just had a Direct download site with the .ISO’s you could burn yourself .. Weird

Amleht March 3, 2010 at 7:49 pm

Hi Alex. I have a fairly new ex485 and was thinking of updating to 3.0 but instead of updating the system hard disk, i want to replace it with a 1tb and do a clean install. Is that possible with the update disk? can i follow the same steps? If not is there i guide that i can follow to do this? Thanks in advance.

Alex Kuretz March 3, 2010 at 8:53 pm

Yes, it’s possible, here is some discussion and there are more posts on the subject in the forums, a search will turn up more.

Gary in Munich March 12, 2010 at 2:59 am

Alex, OK found this link. Went to HP and could only find the EX 48X upgrade. Is this the same for the EX47X model(memory upgrade installed)? I have already purchased since I will be in country soon. HP provides no link for us early adopters.

Nigel Wilks March 12, 2010 at 3:43 am

Sorry no. The EX47x and EX48x images are different due to the hardware differences. I think you would need to contact HP.

Nigel Wilks March 12, 2010 at 3:53 am

I stumbled around the German HP site, and it looks like the link for the 3.0 update for the German users is : -

Gary in Munich March 12, 2010 at 5:35 am

Thanks for the confirmation and the link. I clearly am not technical enough to know that there was a difference. I have ordered the upgrade via the Best2Serve site. Should get it in one day rather than weeks in USA. I will donate the EX48x disk somewhere since it is useless to me. Thanks again for the help. I’ll be back when I start the upgrade.

Marcus Lindberg March 15, 2010 at 12:22 pm

Hello there.
I have just updated my ex470 with the new 3.0 software an now I cant use Remote Access on the server any longer. It all worked perfect before updating so it cant be any problems with the router. When I click repair in the Windows Home Server Console I get the message that it cant verify my remote web page is available locally. It almost looks like something is wrong with the files for the web page, any ideas??

Alex Kuretz March 15, 2010 at 12:51 pm

Try completely unconfiguring and reconfiguring your Remote Access URL.

paul March 16, 2010 at 2:15 pm

HP Customer Service on geting this update SUCKS!!!. I placed my order expecting to receive these the following week, then got a phone call to say it would be 16th March. Then today I received another call to say I am looking at the 30th March. The fact that they have already charged my credit card as well is almost criminal!! They really don’t do themselves any favours as far as customer service! This level of service will definitly be a deciding factor to choose another brand of goods when i purchase a new computer, server etc. HP after sales service SUCKS!!!!!

Gary in Munich March 17, 2010 at 5:56 am

Paul, is it a supply issue or some other issue with fulfilling your order? HP has been pretty good on other support issues. Did they indicate that there were further technical issues?

paul March 17, 2010 at 10:12 am

The only information i was given that the disks are on back order. For me this is mainly a communications issue, which has been an ongoing issue now surrounding this upgrade. HP have not exactly communicated well with users on any part of the supply of the disks. I have gone from expecting them on the 3rd, the 16th, and now the 30th March. If they had said originally that they were only going to be delivered on the 30th March, then my expectations would have been set correctly. NO Problem!!! The problem though is that they have been promising to provide this upgrade for existing MSS users for a long, long time, and unfortunately this has been delayed several times. To a business user like myself it looks like the HP management decided not to miss the communicated deadline for the upgrade to be available again, but instead allowed us to pre-order without actually telling us that it was a pre-order. Call me cynical, but when something like this looks a spade it usually is a spade!!!!

Hopefully I will receive them on the 30th…. I will not be holding my breath though!!!!

Gary in Munich March 17, 2010 at 1:35 pm

OK, I get were you are coming from. (bad english)…I agree that the upgrade has and is a long time coming for us early buyers. Else I guess we are stuck with boat achors. I also understand that once set expectations should be met. Let’s hope that the wait is not in vien.

marossi March 17, 2010 at 4:14 pm

Some exp. from my EX470 3.0 Upgrade: (EX470, 0,5+1TB HDD, 2GB Mem, DE, Ordered 589822-ZH1-EMEA with descr. “HP EX470 MediaSmart Server GER” via german HP web / via Best2Serve 4thMar, shipment received Mo.8.Mar. Installed 13./14.. The installation was as described by HP / and took ~60min. I used an XP Home SP3 DE client, with 100MB network. After upgrade completion, recognized 3.0 update 2 and WHS PP3 update started. After completion and reboot, i recognized a corrupted Backup DB! Tried to repair it using restarts, stabilization time, cleanup/reorgDB without success. Finally did a backupDB repair which ended in loss of 9 of my 10 client backups. So i decided to delete the last one as well, did a reorg and used BDBB to import my -luckily previously exported client backups-. Only remaining issues: EventID Warning WNAS 22 “VRM temperature is warning, value = 112 degrees C.” and Error WNAS 16 “VRM temperature becomes too high, value = 112 degrees C.” (already seen before, misleading as far i remember).
In the end, my EX470 is now up and running with good performance (!) on Rel.3.0 with update patch 2 (btw.: i didn’t observe the Twonky CPU load issue).
It definately took a long time for HP to provide the upgrade, but it was really worth the small investment. Thank you very much Alex for BDBB and also many thanks to HP !!!

Scott March 21, 2010 at 8:08 pm

I successfully installed the 3.0 update on my ex470 with LE-1640 CPU. I poked around with all the settings and then started a video conversion, the conversion ran for about 5-10 min. then the server shut off without warning. I let it sit for a couple of min then tried to restart it, it didn’t even restart all the way before shutting back down. Any suggestions? I’m afraid the upgraded CPU may be the problem but it was working great before the upgrade. Any suggestions?

Alex Kuretz March 21, 2010 at 10:21 pm

I suspect the additional load caused by the Video Converter is exhibiting the problem. You can try additional cooling to see if that resolves the issue, otherwise you may need to downgrade the CPU or not use the Video Converter.

Bob March 22, 2010 at 3:48 pm

Alex: Have you had a chance to look into the problem with your Fan Control Add-in and the 3.0 upgrade? Us folks that still like our old MSS clunkers with the upgraded CPU could really use that handy little program to keep our systems cool and calm.


diehard March 22, 2010 at 3:49 pm
Alex Kuretz March 22, 2010 at 3:54 pm

Thanks, Bob and Diehard, I’ve updated this article with the link to the newly updated Fan Control Add-In.

Scott March 22, 2010 at 3:55 pm

Thanks for that link. And for the help.

Maybe I can bug you guys with one more problem. Once I finally did let the server cool down and fired it back up I can’t seem to connect to it, all the lights are lit up and seem healthy but my Connector icon isn’t lit up and when I try to reinstall the connector software it is unable to find the server. Nor does it appear in my local network.

Thanks in advance.

eidos March 22, 2010 at 4:02 pm

Installed in 75 minutes. Worked perfect so far except that I had another server running 3.0 on the network and it would not install the connector software. I turned other server off and deleted connector software and reinstalled and it worked great.

Twonky was on automatically and installed entire media library in 35 minutes of 60,000 items that took 8 days on my EX490 using media collector. I have media collector off on the EX470 and it is running great!

Response is VERRRY good and it is working well! The other problem that came up was that the disks were mis-labled.

Scott March 23, 2010 at 9:07 am


“Thanks for that link. And for the help.

Maybe I can bug you guys with one more problem. Once I finally did let the server cool down and fired it back up I can’t seem to connect to it, all the lights are lit up and seem healthy but my Connector icon isn’t lit up and if I try to reinstall the connector software it is unable to find the server. Nor does it appear in my local network.

Thanks in advance.”

Alex Kuretz March 23, 2010 at 9:09 am

Scott, I’ll suggest you post in the Troubleshooting forum, you’ll get a faster response from the broader community there.

Eidos March 23, 2010 at 9:33 am

We have the same EX470 with an LE1640. Mine now runs at 40 to 42 degrees C at idle and at 52 to 54 at 100% CPU load. I did see 60 Degrees when it was on for about 1 hour at 100% but it quickly came down. Honestly 60 degrees C is below the max operating temperature of 65 degrees C.

On occasion I have had problems with my Server Desktop console not coming up or properly connecting on two servers with the new software. Usually it is due to 100% CPU use and no overhead left to allow connection or any other functions. Remote desktop would let me in and and right click on the bottom bar and start task manager to see what is running at so high a power. You can also see your CPU usage at that time. I had to shut down a few programs to regain control of my server to get it to work properly again.

Scott March 23, 2010 at 9:50 am

Thanks Eidos.

I’ve posted the question over in the forums.

Jeff March 23, 2010 at 8:29 pm

Now that I have my disks (labelled incorrectly of course) I am ready to proceed. This is a great guide but I have one small question as a newbie – I realize that any applications I have on the server will have to be reinstalled.
But as I have a certificate for my website – how do I go about getting that re-installed?

Alex Kuretz March 23, 2010 at 8:34 pm

@Jeff – Glad you like the guide! How did you install the cert in the first place? You’ll want to back it up and re-apply it the same way you did before if it’s a custom cert. Your cert provider should have instructions on how to do that.

Jeff March 23, 2010 at 8:38 pm

Re: Certficate, I go it from Comodo but it was a challenge getting the information from them. I ad to make a pending request, get the certificate from them and then apply it – I don’t want have to go through the hassel of emailling them back and forth. I have the certificate in backup and simply want to add it

Martin March 24, 2010 at 12:02 pm

I received my US 47x upgrade disks 3/22 (a week earlier than promised :-) and installed them today.

WARNING: my disks were mis-labelled. Server Recovery disk was actually the PC Restore disk !! (and vice versa)

I followed Alex’s instructions and all went to plan with patch 2 installing as soon as I started up the console for the first time. All folders appear to still be there, now to reconnecting users… PCs… etc.

David Segura March 26, 2010 at 4:46 pm

Just got my discs today, ordered Monday I think, so quick. And my discs do not appear to be mislabeled. Would have been nice if these were on a torrent . . . but at least I have the weekend to work on the update.

Daniel Baird March 27, 2010 at 7:57 am

My discs were also mislabeled.
Knock up job, HP…

Jon March 27, 2010 at 8:36 am

Has anyone done the 3.0 while replacing the Main Drive and with USB external drives attached using Win 7 64x ? I failed horribly last night .. For one thing with my 4 external hard drives attached it would not let me use the paperclip to do the restore instead of going purple/red it just went red solid .. so when i removed all 4 ex USB drives it let me do the restore but had issues finding the server during console install once it did and got to the naming part it never finished at the end it where it was collecting back ups would always have a error .. so when i went into the folder nothing was there but when i RD in i could see all my drives were attached … nothing but trouble : ( so i just stuck my old drive back in and gave up .. luckily nothing was lost

Scott March 27, 2010 at 9:33 am

Our disks must be from the same batch… mine were mis-labeled as well. Too bad mine took over a month to get to me.

Matthew Ray March 29, 2010 at 7:35 am

I upgraded my EX485 to v3 at the weekend. It went well, although I can’t seem to register my domain name for remote access. I used to have a TZO HP domain name (eg but it lost this setting during the upgrade. Now I only have the option to register a new domain name – if I try to enter my existing name it says it’s not available. Any ideas how I can use my existing domain name?

Also, the media collector for the Mac doesn’t seem to pick up my main iPhoto library which is stored under the ‘shared’ folder. It only picks up individual users’ iPhoto libraries.



Michael March 29, 2010 at 7:17 pm

Has anyone found the new S3 online backup software after upgrading to the 3.0 version? I tried redownloading from the EX475 page but it says I need Server 1.3.1 to run. The HP upgrade guide said I could find it by the Add Software button in the console but it only shows a paid version and not the HP Online backup free version.

Peter April 20, 2010 at 3:57 pm

Alex’s guidance – “Try completely unconfiguring and reconfiguring your Remote Access URL” – worked for me, thanks Alex!

I clicked the Configure button on the Remote Access tab, and with some trepidation, selected “release your current domain name”. I then clicked the Configure button again, logged in with my Windows Live ID, and selected my original domain name (the only choice in the “Choose a registered name” dropdown). I went back to the Remote Access tab, it automatically went through the Repair process, and everything worked again.

Alex Kuretz April 20, 2010 at 4:11 pm

Glad to hear that worked for you, Peter, thanks for sharing your results.

Matthew Ray April 20, 2010 at 4:29 pm

An update to my earlier comment about my TZO domain name not working. I called HP and they said they were aware of an issue and that I should call TZO to resolve it. TZO support were helpful and made a change to my domain name while I was on the phone – this fixed it and I was able to re-register my domain name again. They said it’s due to a problem with HP’s upgrade and that HP should be fixing it. When that will happen I don’t know…

I couldn’t get the media collector to correctly pick up my iPhoto library which was stored in the ‘Shared’ folder. I checked permissions and everything looked ok. When I moved it to my own folder it picked it up immediately. It works well, except that the collector splits the photos into ‘original’ and ‘modified’ folders. It would be nice if the tool had some intelligence and only collected original if there was no corresponding modified version.

Dave Adams June 19, 2010 at 7:12 pm

I just attempted upgrading my EX475 from version to 3.0 Patch 1 using the Server Recovery Disc I purchased from HP. The process seemed to go smoothly and only took about 20 minutes over my 1GB network. However, after it got to the “Downloading software from your home server ____ , 100% complete step, it presented my the old style set of dialogs to install and configure the connector software on my client computer. I went through that as normal. None of the new looking dialogs you show above after the “downloading 100%” step ever showed up. The steps above and the instructions document mention that the server should reboot itself more than once during the process. It only rebooted once. I used the connector app on the client PC to connect to the server console and it looks identical to the original. Nothing new and the version still shows as I tried the process again all over from the start, but now the Windows Home Server application will not uninstall from my client PC. No errors, just doesn’t uninstall. What do I do now?

Comp1962 June 20, 2010 at 9:10 am

@ Dave Adams ~ Is it possible for you to post your issue in the forums where you can display some screen shots so I and others can better understand your issue and try to work out a solution for you. The forums offer abit more editing tools then the comment section here. I look forward to helping you anyway I can.

ni444 June 26, 2010 at 8:29 am

I am planning on performing the upgrade to 3.0 this weekend. I will be installing a new hard drive for the system drive (current system drive is exhibiting errors). I have no data on the system drive, all data is on 4 additional drives (3 in the MSS and 1 in a Sans Digital eSata box). Will all my data that is not duplicated and all client backups be rebuilt or will that be lost?

Also, if something goes wrong, I assume I could just install the original system drive and I should be back up and running.

Alex Kuretz June 28, 2010 at 8:44 am

ni444, any data that resides on the system drive will be lost unless it is duplicated. If you’re certain nothing is on it then you should be safe. It’s not as simple as reinstalling the system drive, you’d need to perform a Server Recovery again.

Ameer July 9, 2010 at 6:15 pm

Help!!! The 3.0 upgrade on my EX475 has been running for close to two hours now, and it isn’t even halfway there!

There is nothing else running on the computer, and the task manager shows that the WHSRECOVERY.EXE process is using barely 2% CPU. I am in a quandary about touching anything… wonder if I can just abort the process and restart. Am scared of losing my kids’ childhood photos (not all have been backed up!).

What options do I have if the upgrade does not finish, or aborts midway due to whatever reason (power failure, DVD drive crashing, etc)!

Comp1962 July 9, 2010 at 7:00 pm

@ Ameer ~ The recovery process only overwrites the OS Partition on your servers System Drive which is a 20GB Partition as it reinstalls the WHS OS and of course the HP software your upgrading too. Your data is perfectly safe but once you get through this you may want to back up those precious pictures and other things you value most thats stored on your server.

You can try to let it run its course or restart the recovery process which by the way only takes about 1 hour then of course you need to spend time getting all the updates and then time reconfiguring your server so about 2 hours in total. Longer if you type with 1 finger.

If you find yourself in a real jam please post a request for help in the forums and myself or others will be more then happy to help you.

Q August 8, 2010 at 5:51 pm

The upgrade seems to have broken my permissions – I can see lists of directories, but am unable to open any file, except when I RDP in as the administrator. When logged into the console, both of my two users have “full” shared folder access on every share. Checking on shared folder properties from the shared folders area also shows that users have “full” access.

I have tried a 2nd full recovery. And I have tried multiple reboot sequences. My last resort just failed: I gave the guest account full access to all shared folders. still cannot open a file. Any suggestions?

Thank you very much for this excellent writeup.

Alex Kuretz August 8, 2010 at 9:59 pm

Are you sure all your files are available via Remote Desktop? It sounds like you may have a drive issue and WHS isn’t able to provide access to your files. I recommend you post in the forums so we can more easily help you troubleshoot, perhaps with some screenshots of what you are seeing.

TPP October 5, 2010 at 1:06 am

I have two concerns that kept me away from purchasing the 3.0 update:

The larger concern is that I believe when Vail becomes RTM, I will want it, and while the period between now and then might be enjoyable, not purchasing the 3.0 update will be like getting a $30 discount on Vail.

The other concern is that I have not seen it definitively stated that the 3.0 update comes on 64-bit media. (Having to borrow a family member’s XP machine for a day or two gets really old for me, and every time I install an Add-in that requires a server restore leaves me begging for a 64-bit install as well as a little regret that I thought the extra memory that 64-bit Windows 7 could utilize was worth it. So far, it has been much more pain than pleasure!)

Alex Kuretz October 5, 2010 at 8:37 am

This guide was performed on my Vista Ultimate 64-bit system, the 3.0 upgrade works fine with 64 bit systems. Plus they have been supported by Windows Home Server since Power Pack 1 released in late 2008.

TPP October 5, 2010 at 11:17 am

Understood, but the three CDs that come with the server have to be initiated from a 32-bit system, so my point was that if the 3.0 update comes on media that can be initiated from either a 32-bit OR 64-bit system, it would be worth having.

I just did a full reset and had to borrow my brother’s laptop 2 times to complete it.

I am still a bit disappointed that there was no 64-bit CD that I could download for free, since there were 64-bit XP and Vista machines out when WHS shipped.

I guess I can check the rumor mill to see approximately when Vail will go RTM, but my guess is, it will not happen in early 2011, huh?

Alex Kuretz October 5, 2010 at 11:23 am

Understood, but the three CDs that come with the server have to be initiated from a 32-bit system, so my point was that if the 3.0 update comes on media that can be initiated from either a 32-bit OR 64-bit system, it would be worth having.

This isn’t exactly accurate, the Client Install CD that originally shipped with the EX47x servers did not work with 64-bit systems. The Server Recovery disk works fine (through the Server Recovery process, you do still need a 32-bit system to do the initial setup via the Client Install CD), and the Client Restore CD is OS agnostic. Also, EX48x and EX49x servers worked with 64-bit clients out of the box.

Unfortunately Microsoft has released no info on when Vail will be released.

Brian December 7, 2010 at 9:35 pm

What is the current/latest version of HP Software for the MediaSmart servers; i.e. Settings > MediaSmart Server > HP Update.

I upgraded to v3.0 (I thought), but now when I look, I see a server version of Is this correct? This doesn’t seem right. Am I crazy?

The client software shows 3.0 Update 1 (

HP MediaSmart EX485

Wayne December 15, 2010 at 11:05 am

Does Hp still offer this disc, I can’t find it on website? Shoot me the link…


Alex Kuretz December 15, 2010 at 11:24 am

Unfortunately no, HP is no longer offering the upgrade disks.

Chris August 5, 2011 at 2:58 pm

So if they no longer offer the upgrade disks is there any way to upgrade anymore?

Comp1962 August 5, 2011 at 4:10 pm

Sometimes the 3.0 upgrade disks show up on eBay but keep in mind they are server specific.

Mike April 3, 2011 at 10:57 pm

Thanks Alex for the great review and tips. Keep them coming…

I completed upgrading my EX485 Server this weekend. CPU upgrade first, Intel Dual Core 2.5GHz E5200 SLAY7 from eBay, $56. Stayed wth 2GB of RAM. A few reboots and everything worked as planned. Next day I performed the HP Mediasmart 3.0 Software update. I missed out on ordering the CD’s (as many others) so I contacted HP Customer Care and was told the software was not longer available due to third party licensing arrangements. I found a reliable source, created a DVD, and installed the update.

I found the new processor and software updates make a big difference over the stock EX485 running version 2.5. The Server is more responsive, streaming media is smooth not choppy, Macintosh support and integration is greatly enhanced.

Highly recommend performing both updates. Keep it simple with the processor upgrade find a used Intel E5200 near perfect compatibility no BIOS Flash required in my case.

MMS EX485 (enhanced to EX495)

Paul Albrecht August 26, 2012 at 5:02 pm

I have an EX480 that lost the system disk. Unfortunately I no longer have the Server Recovery disk, so I tried to use a 3.0 Server Recovery disk that I downloaded from the web (SHA verified) and a V1.1 from a colleague. The 3.0 almost worked, but came up with Home Server services not configured/working correctly.

Is there a V2.0 Server Recovery disk that someone could make available to me?

Thanks, Paul Albrecht

Paul Albrecht September 28, 2012 at 1:49 pm

I have acquired a V2 Server Recovery Disc if someone needs to borrow it.

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