If you’re a HP MediaSmart Server user and enjoy using your server then have you considered what you would do if your LAN port failed to work? Oh man that’s one nightmare that I would not wish upon anyone and yet it does happen and so this prompted me to figure a way to restore LAN connectivity back to the HP MediaSmart Servers.
A few months back I purchased an EX470 motherboard with a known blown LAN port. The purpose of that purchase was to allow me to compare its functions against another functional but misbehaving motherboard. It was then when I thought of ways to restore LAN function to this motherboard which I did do and actually I ran it for a few weeks without issue. I even posted a message about what I had done but it received very little attention.
If you have been on this site a while you know I am very active assisting forum members with various server related issues. Recently I started to assist MSS4me with his server issue for which he thought he needed the SMI files for the EX470. As it turns out the reality is that his LAN Port was not functioning and so the thought process of installing a USB-LAN Adapter on his server came into play.
So I began to wonder how can you install a USB-LAN Adapter into a server without Network Connectivity since you cannot RDP your server and so I began to work on a viable solution to doing just that and within a couple hours I came up with a solution to installing a USB-LAN Adapter using a USB Flash Drive, USB Keyboard and of course a USB-LAN Adapter.
If you have purchased a debug cable then installing a USB-LAN Adapter will be much easier since you have a video connection. If you would like to add video to your server you can purchase a debug cable from VOV Technologies.
So if you’re interested then please read on and if not then please read this because one day you may find yourself in need of this information.
Installing a USB-LAN Adapter Guide:
Things you need before you can begin!
The USB-LAN Adapter I used is a Sabrent USB 2.0 10/100/1000 Mpbs which can be purchased at Frys Electronics for $29.99 at the time of this writing.
The first thing you need to do is copy the entire Sabrant Instalation CD to the USB Flash Drive. Then copy the file WinXP2K_32Bit_v188.8.131.52_WHQL_setup to the root directory of the USB Flash Drive so your USB Flash Drive will have a directory that looks like the following:
Next select the file WinXP2K_32Bit_v184.108.40.206_WHQL_setup and rename it to setup so your directory will look like this:
You will also need a USB Keyboard connected to the front USB Port of your server. It’s important to note that the USB Keyboard must be connected before you attempt to use this process.
You will need an available USB Port on your server. I do not recommend using the Front or bottom Rear USB Ports because we will need them to install the adapter.
Performing a BLIND INSTALL of the USB-LAN Adapter
Please be patient and follow these instructions carefully. You may want to print them out and check off each step as you complete it. I have placed instructions to wait for various time frames this is to allow your server to seek out drivers and install them. The wait times are there to ensure you have allowed enough time for the drivers to be loaded so the devices we are about the use will work properly.
- Copy the necessary files mentioned above to your USB FLASH Drive.
- Remove connected USB Devices from the Front and Bottom Rear USB Ports and one additional USB Port where we will install the Sabrent USB-LAN Adapter. Also disconnect ALL unmanaged USB connected Hard Drives as they will interfear with the installation process and connected drive letters!
- Plug in the USB Keyboard into the front USB Port
- Turn on the server and wait for all the Hard Drive Lights to turn on. This is an indication that your server has completed its boot process.
- Press CTRL-ALT-DELETE
- Type in the Server Password and press enter
- Insert the USB Flash Drive with the LAN Drivers for the Sabrent USB-LAN Adapter into the bottom rear USB Port.
- Wait 5 Minutes for the USB Flash Drive Drivers to be found and loaded.
- Connect the Network Cable to the Sabrent USB-LAN Adapter
- Plug in the Sabrent USB-LAN adapter into an available rear USB Port.
- Carefully follow the key strokes listed below. Please take your time and enter them as they are listed.
- Press WINDOWS KEY
- Press UP ARROW 3 times (This brings you to the RUN Command)
- Press ENTER
- Type in E:\setup.exe
- Press ENTER
- Wait 30 seconds!
- Press ENTER
If all has gone well you should now have connectivity restored to your server!
To log off from your server:
Press WINDOWS KEY
Press UP ARROW 2 times
Press ENTER 2 times
Now you can remove your keyboard and USB Flash Drive from your server and connect the USB Devices you had previously connected if any. Below are some pictures to show the Drivers and the USB-LAN Adapter connected to my test server.
First thing you need to do after installing the Sabrent USB-LAN Adapter
Your new LAN port should be fully functional and your server should regain its connectivity to your network. However you may need to now reload your Client Connector Software on each of your clients for the process to be fully completed.
To reinstall the Client Software simply obtain it from your server using the link example below:
When the web page loads just download and run the Windows Home Server Connector Setup. This will first remove the existing Client Software and then replace it. If you had special configurations set in your router for your server you will need to correct the settings to reflect the new IP and MAC Address in the router. You may also need to check your Remote Access Setup to make certain its working which may require you to release and reacquire your domain.
For those who have working LAN ports but would like to install the Sabrent LAN Adapter:
If you are fortunate like many of us your LAN port is functioning perfectly but if you want to prepare for the event that your LAN port fails in the future you can install this adapter now and not have to do it blind or if you have video you can install it now or in the event your LAN Port Fails. I would like to refer to this as an insurance policy that will keep your server online when you need it most.
Setup using RDP or if you have a Keyboard, Video , Mouse connected you can logon.
- Copy the Windows XP2K_32 Bit Drivers to a USB Flash Drive
- RDP your server
- Connect the USB Flash Drive to an available USB Port
- Connect the Sabrent USB-LAN Adapter to an available USB Port
- Follow the prompts and guide Windows Home Server to the location of your drivers
- You will get a warning about the drivers just allow their use
- When Windows Home Server Reports your device is ready to use you’re done.
- Remove the Sabrent USB-LAN Adapter and make a note which port it was installed on which will make installation bulletproof in the event you need it.
If you desire to verify the installation just leave the adapter connected and check the device manager.
Please keep one thing in mind that should the day come to actually use this device you will need to remember what I mentioned above about reinstalling the Client Connector Software, reconfiguring your router and release and reacquiring your domain in remote access.
It’s my hope that you have found this guide useful and that you print it out for future reference. Should you know of someone with a failed LAN port on their MediaSmart Server please point them to this guide.
This procedure may also work with other servers not manufactured by HP but I can only confirm that I have tested it many times to ensure it works including testing it without video assistance.
I would greatly appreciate it if you have used this procedure that you do come back and let us know especially if it’s on a server other than an HP MediaSmart Server.
If something goes wrong or you need assistance:
Should something go wrong and your in need of assistance please do not hesitate to contact me. I will help you resolve the issue. Recently a forum member installed 64 bit drivers and I was able to assist him in correcting the problem an today his server is back online!
Follow up Guide Comming!
I will follow up with another Guide on how to perform a Server Recovery using the same USB-LAN Adapter on an EX47x MSS. In the near future its my desire to also include Server Recovery Procedures for the other Servers which will need to be tested and refined by others.