Hot Deals on the Last of the MediaSmart Server and Data Vault

by Alex Kuretz on December 14, 2010 · 10 comments

in News

Now that HP has announced that they are no longer making the MediaSmart Server or Data Vault products, it doesn’t take much thought to realize that there is a finite supply of these servers remaining for purchase. While the future of Windows Home Server Vail is still up in the air after the removal of Drive Extender and subsequent silence from Microsoft about what it will be replaced with, Windows Home Server v1 is still very much alive, kicking, and enthusiastically embraced here at

The community here largely agrees that now is a great time to purchase one of these last HP Home Servers, and several forum members have stepped up to share the best deals on the Internet. If you’ve been sitting on the fence waiting to buy a Windows Home Server, now may be one of the best times to do it.

Forum member “TechVet” is maintaining a thread in the forums listing all the known sources of the MediaSmart Server and Data Vault and the best prices, while other forum members are posting in the Hot Deals forum. For example, just moments ago forum member Scottj let us know that has refurbished EX495 models for $392. I’m sure these won’t last long.

If you find these deals helpful and make a purchase, please let us know in the comments or forums. Also be sure to post and let us know if you come across good deals so that others in the community can benefit.

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.


Not so Sure December 14, 2010 at 8:43 am

I don’t know. I’m not totally convinced. The Server works well enough … but it’s still a dead technology. Perhaps it would be best to take that same $400 and invest in a self build server? I mean, it’s not like it’s really that cheap.

Alex Kuretz December 14, 2010 at 8:47 am

We’ve got an active DIY forum if you are interested in WHS on your own hardware.

byronomo December 14, 2010 at 10:53 am

quick question…..what are the distinct advantages of one of the newer models over my EX475 (upgraded to 2GB RAM)?

As it stands, my EX475 has been working well and I hope that it can continue to do so for a long time. However, if there is a good reason to upgrade while I can, I’d be willing to do so, as I really like the WHS product and the MSS brand.

Techvet December 14, 2010 at 7:43 pm

The EX475 is a fine machine, I still have mine (although it is heading to a new home soon.) The biggest advantage of the EX495 is the faster processor and greater amounts of memory, but thruthfully the EX475 can be upgraded to close to these specs as you have partially done. However, CPU upgrades on the EX475 can be hit or miss, but then again most users have found it successful. Some EX475s are nearing three years of age now, so wear and tear on things like the power supply and hard drives start to creep in, but we have a suppliers for both. For many the EX475 meets all their needs, so pushing you to upgrade is not my calling. The bottom line is only you can justify a new server.

As for me, I bought an EX475, skipped the EX48x series, then went for the EX495 when it was launched. I recently bought a X510 (the EX495′s twin bother) simply because I wanted a source of spares (you can bet HP isn’t going to offer any) and decided a fresh 3 year warranty wasn’t a bad idea either. A co-worker is buying the EX475 off me.

byronomo December 15, 2010 at 4:21 am

Thanks for your reply. Exactly the type of info I’d hoped for. One last follow-up:

What types of benefits should I realize with the faster processor of the EX495? My server just kind of sits there and when my PCs need something, they just “grab” it from the server and it appears. I did notice a dramatic improvement in the console when I upgraded the RAM. Will the effect be similar—basically faster console operations or is there some noticeable benefit to the interaction with client PCs?

Techvet December 15, 2010 at 5:11 am

The biggest benefit of the faster processor for the average user will probably be the transcoding of video files. The catch here is that not all folks transcode on the server – I myself transcode using Handbrake on one of my client PCs. I suppose remote streaming might benefit as well, but again that is not someting that everyone does. Other background server functions will undoubtedly run faster, but you’re not likely to really see and appreciate the speed increase. Sure the console will load faster and will seem much snappier, but you have to ask youselve if a few nanoseconds of time really matter that much. The bottom line is that there will always be lots of empty clock cycles on these servers and they will ‘sit idle’ a large percentage of the time. In my mind, the larger processor is really more of a mindset that you have the processing power if you need it. Sort of like having a 400 hp engine in your car – you rarely need nor can you really use that much power but, when you want to pass someone in a tight space, it is nice to have.

My advice is to decide soon. I updated availability last night and the remaining stocks of servers are fading fast.

Andrew Swihart December 15, 2010 at 3:54 pm

I briefly saw the EX490 new on NewEgg for $349 with free shipping last week, but I didn’t need one. Later I checked and it was $399, then $449, and now the price is back to $499. They must have been selling them pretty quickly.

Steve Friedland December 26, 2010 at 9:45 pm

I just purchased an ex490 with an additional 1TB drive from Costco for 399.

Thomas Loehrer December 27, 2010 at 1:19 pm

The least they could do is release the V3.0 software to public domain. I have been trying to get the version 3 disks for months without success. Are there any other sources for the software upgrade?

Alex Kuretz December 27, 2010 at 1:52 pm

Unfortunately HP can’t release the Server Recovery image due to licensing restrictions from Microsoft.

Comments are closed, visit the forums to continue the discussion.

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