Forum Spotlight: HP 3.0 Update User Experience Review

by Stephen Bruce on April 8, 2010 · 11 comments

in Forum Spotlight

The long awaited HP 3.0 upgrade for the EX47x and EX48x has now made its way to the proud and loyal MediaSmart Server users.  We’ve been reading in the forums about the many different experiences members have had with the upgrade process, and thought we’d compile your stories, the successes, the problems and solutions within this article. 

First I think it’s prudent to point out that with the diverse user base also means diversity in configurations of the MediaSmart Server.  This alone might explain why some were able to install the 3.0 without issue while others ran into difficulties.  If you have not yet installed the 3.0 update this article may provide you with some useful information as we can all learn and benefit from the experience of others who have already gone through the 3.0 upgrade process.

Before I begin I would like to recommend the following links:

Our Guide on How To Perform the 3.0 Software Upgrade

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

One of the very first things that many customers in North America started to report was with the disks being mislabeled between the PC and Server Recovery Discs.  HP quickly corrected the issue and soon properly labeled discs began being shipped.

IN THE BEGINNING WAS THE SERVER RECOVERY PROCESS.

It was not long before the server recovery reports started to trickle in.  Many recoveries were reported to be smooth and favorable while others were not.  This is where I believe the configuration diversity played its hand in some cases.  To keep this article manageable I have linked the posts with the user names listed so that you can read their experiences as they appeared on this site.

WillieJohn  and Bad Wolf reported good experience installing the update but were not pleased when they found that the HP Online Backup (using Amazon S3) was not part of the update, contrary to the 3.0 upgrade documentation.

Helrazr also had good results but mentioned the Twonky issue pegging his CPU 100% which turned out to be some movies he had on the server.  Once he removed them, his servers CPU settled down. If you are experiencing this issue be sure to check out Alex’s guide on how to determine what files are causing Twonky to get stuck and consume high amounts of CPU.

Ern wrote about the recovery process crashing on him.  He then chose to directly connect his server to his client.   Neil also direct connected his server to a client to perform the recovery but he could not install the update with a Win 7 64 bit computer so he used a netbook running XP.

Phil had difficulty getting the recovery process running.  This was due to a connected USB device in the lower rear USB port.  Once that device was removed his recovery was able to run properly.

Some users had to make up to 3 recovery attempts to install the update,  Yowzer and Gonzer were just a couple of such users.  Msdcinfo had to perform two updates but he mentioned the first attempt was his fault in not putting the server in recovery mode properly.

Some reported they could not run the server recovery with one client but could on another but the most interesting example I could find of this was with UpgradeManiac who also was one to report more than 3 server failed recovery attempts from an XP client.  He did get it installed and persistence pays off but how he did it is the interesting part.  He use his MAC Mini running XP via the utility Boot Camp.

NOW THAT THE 3.O UPDATE WAS INSTALLED ITS TIME TO UPDATE IT BEFORE YOU PLAY WITH IT.

It’s important to mention here that once the 3.0 update has been installed you should install all the HP and Microsoft updates to bring your server up to date before attempting to configure anything.  This will avoid many headaches experienced by your fellow users as I will soon point out.  Most of the headaches have to do with the server reporting THE BACKUP DATA BASE HAS ERROR.   This is most often because the server is not up to the same patch level as before the Server Recovery.  Performing manual update checks should eliminate this message in most cases.  Do not attempt to repair the Windows Home Server Backup Database, again just run the updates and you will be fine.  This is also the case should you want to restore your client data using the BDBB Add-In.

The next thing I want to mention is that many users reported Remote Access configuration issues.  This is most commonly corrected by fully releasing your domain and reconfiguring it.

The best place to start is with tumsk who experienced both the issues I just mentioned.  His post was followed by Texas-Hansen who posted the solution to the problem.  Hawkmeister had a similar but slightly different pre-update experience.  Lothan also mentions this near the end of his post.

MEDIA FUNCTIONS AND TWEAKING THEM INTO SUBMISSION.

Some users reported issues with Twonky, Media Collector and Video Converter with high CPU utilization.  Also mentioned was PhotoViewer not working.  Alex wrote a guide on how to fix Twonky that is well worth reviewing. I personally experienced an issue with the Photo Viewer not working because of a missing file after I performed the 3.0 upgrade. Fortunately, the solution can be found here.

In Alex’s 3.0 software upgrade guide he mentions to give your server some time to settle in before turning on the media functions.  Personally I did not run into issues with Twonky, or the Media Collector but I can say the Video Converter does have high CPU utilization so much so that after a few days of running it I actually turned it off.

SUMMARY:

Read the guides as they are there to help you.  Information is the key to success.  If you have a USB device connected to the bottom rear port of your MSS remove it before starting the recovery process.  If your server can not be found during the recovery process then try directly connecting the computer you’re using to the server.  Avoid using a computer for the recovery process with a known bad DVD drive.  After the update is complete run all HP and Microsoft Updates.  If you have issues with an eSATA device then consider upgrading the Marvell eSATA Driver.  After the updates are done go to the Remote Access Settings and release then reconfigure Remote Access.  Most of all be patient and do not turn all the features and functions on right away give your server some time to settle down.  Most of all have fun, this is truly a wonderful upgrade that you will enjoy very much.





Article by

By day I am a Plant Engineer running a food container manufacturing facility which supplies containers to the Chinese Restaurant Industry. By night I spend my time helping others with their Windows Home Servers, working on various server projects. My other interests are animals, photography, media streaming, cultural history and linguistics. You can find me in the MediaSmartServer.net forums as Comp1962


{ 11 comments }

Diehard April 9, 2010 at 8:45 am

Nice writeup, all in one place. I’ll have to reference it when people ask me about issues with the 3.0 upgrade.

JL April 9, 2010 at 1:32 pm

Very helpful. I am another user who would not have done the upgrade if I understood the HP online backup program which I was using with Amazon S3 wasn’t going to work. I now have 50G on S3 and a server that isn’t being backed up. I am looking at CloudBerry as I think this option is critical.

Also, was disappointed that AFTER the conversion, many of my backups, some for computers that I only backed up 1-time to have a fresh “reinstall” available, were so corrupt they were deleted during the backup rebuild process. Now I have lost confidence in the integrity of my system backups!

Dave April 9, 2010 at 3:49 pm

Has anyone had any problems with the auto sleep function? I had mediasmart 2.5 with an e5200 cpu in the EX485 and it would go to sleep every night without skipping a beat. Now after the 3.0 upgrade it does not sleep a lot of times.

Alex Kuretz April 9, 2010 at 8:07 pm

@Dave – Some users are indeed having issues with the sleep function on the EX49x servers. This forum topic has more details and some ideas.

Comp1962 April 9, 2010 at 5:10 pm

@ JL ~ I recall reading somewhere but do not recall where about writting down information about Amazon S3 before performing the 3.0 upgrade and its driving me crazy as to where I read. Thing is I did not take much notice in because I never used Amazon S3. If I come accross it I will forward it to you. I have no issues with my client backups on my server but to be safe I made a fresh backup using BDBB. The real problem has to do with getting the servers software current and ignoring the server messages about the backup data base and if done that way I am certain your client data would of been perfect.

@ Diehard ~ Thanks it was and interesting article when Alex asked me to write it. I honestly hope it provides some help and guidance for those about to do the upgrade as well as for those who already have.

@ Dave ~ I wonder if your server doesn’t sleep at times because it might be busy performing a task. I don’t have an EX48x to test this theory out and the EX47x doesn’t make use of the sleep function as I understand it.

Diehard April 9, 2010 at 5:55 pm
Comp1962 April 9, 2010 at 6:32 pm

@ JL ~ I found this post on the Amazon Site that might be of interest for you to continue using the Amazon S3 service using your MSS after the 3.0 update. Check it out and let me know if it helps. The Link is below:

http://developer.amazonwebservices.com/connect/thread.jspa?messageID=172382&#172382

JL April 10, 2010 at 9:36 am

Thanks all for the helpful comments to my post.

Diehard – the link you provided to the HP site is what I tried to install. Would not install on this version. Have read elsewhere HP has acknowledged this will not install and aren’t planning on upgrading.

Comp1962/Diehard – Amazon S3. I will continue to use this – and did have my S3 information saved outside of HP Online backup. I have used Cloudberry Explorer to delete unneeded backup files – very intuitive and you can start with a free version. Also, on my backups, I am kicking myself for not taking the time to use BDBB. That was also when I learned they can ONLY be backup up with this type of process – BDDB makes that MUCH easier.

Also, thanks to all input – great user community here!

diehard April 10, 2010 at 9:54 am

JL,
I did some digging, your right, this addin won’t install. It verifies that you have HP 1.3 update. I was able to open the installer with ORCA and remove the launch conditions to install the addin. It worked, sort off. The addin will install into the C:\program files\Windows Home Server folder and the HP Online Backup will appear in the toolbar, however, if I click on the configure link which open the Setting. But there is nothing there to configure. Something is missing. So it’s broken. I wouldn’t use it.

Anyway I believe the functionality was limited and therfor going with Cloudberry is a better choice.

JL April 10, 2010 at 11:47 am

Diehard – Actually the HP online worked fine for my purpose – backed files that were important enough to be backed up to WHS offsite. That had always been a cumbersome and not very disciplined process for me. As we run a small business on quickbooks I was happy to know those files were being backed up automatically offsite every night. Disappointing that HP said it would install and now on top of the upgrade will need to spend another $50 to replicate that functionality.

You are right – Clouberry Backup has some additional functionality and features and seems to be maintained and updated regularly so I am thinking it will be an improvement. I had previously downloaded Clouberry Explorer when I realized that storage on S3 was cumulative and if I deleted on WHS it didn’t get deleted at S3.

Thanks again to all – obviously knowledgable and involved users on this site! I feel like I found a new resource for WHS.

Comp1962 April 10, 2010 at 11:51 am

@ JL ~ I can stress how well BDBB actually works. I have used it to restore my client data base and it just works well.

For anyone not yet using WHS Backup Database-Backup (BDBB)
you can get it at the link below:

http://www.mediasmartserver.net/add-ins/#WHSBDBB

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