HP ProLiant MicroServer Now Officially Supports WHS 2011

by ZimTommy on October 5, 2011 · 9 comments

in News

It’s just a tiny little tick box buried in the HP server certification website but it’s still nice to see that HP is acknowledging that they know WHS 2011 is out there.  According to their website Windows Home Server 2011 is now officially supported on the HP Proliant MicroServer and they go so far as to also indicated that it is categorized as being “HP Supported & OS Partner Certified/Logo”.

HP Server Certification

HP Server Certification Website

I wouldn’t say that this has any hidden meaning but maybe they’ve taken note of how many people are actually using WHS 2011 on these little servers.  Do you think the MicroServer would be a worthy upgrade once someone’s MediaSmart server bites the dust?  Maybe you’ve shelled out the cash on one already and want to tell us what you think of them?

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Hi there, I'm Tommy and I've been messing around with PCs and electronics since before I can remember. I had been running my own WHS "frankenserver" for a good few years before I picked up an ex490 on super special after HP has discontinued them and that's, in turn, how I found this little community of fellow enthusiasts.


clc4912 October 7, 2011 at 10:08 am

I have recently purchases the microserver and installed WHS 2011 an am quite satisfied with the performance thus far. I am still running v1 as I am going to take file transfer slow.

Gachevsky October 13, 2011 at 7:54 am

Has anyone tried video streaming with this server? I’m considering using something like this to stream movies to my Xbox 360 and wondering if it has enough power for that.

shollomon October 18, 2011 at 7:37 am

Streaming works fine, although I’m not transcoding. I run an HP Mini server with Ubuntu 11.10 and MiniDLNA. I have bumped the memory up to 8GB (really cheap) and pretty easy to do. Streams smooth as silk to my Logitech Revue. Have had 3 streams going at once with no problems.

tamoem October 22, 2011 at 8:25 am

I’ve been using for several months now and it’s great compared to the EX485, backups work flawlessly, I can restore both system and clients from usb w/o issue ( I’ve tried several times with spare equipment – EX485 never worked). I stream media to Microsoft (xbox 360,pc’s) and Apple (iPad, iPhone, Apple TV)(Airvideo, convert wtv to mp4) devices flawlessly, store/stream WTV from media center, can support multiple videos stream over 5ghz Wireless, low power consumption about 25 watts in idle mode, all transcoding done on 4 core media center cpu. Configuration: 3GB Ram, 5 – 2TB western digital AV drives, (drive 5 in optical bay with 5.25/3.5 adapter – used as system backup), two Raid 1 partitions. I would never go back to WHS v1 after running this configuration. Note: I haven’t been able to get apple’s time machine working on my Lion server. I have tried the Mac client yet.

If you make the jump to WHS 2011, take some time to experiment before you move all of your production data, that will get you used to installation (if you use workgroups instead of homegroup you’ll need to do a manual install as you can not change workgroup name once whs 2011 is installed).

An off topic comment: iPads, iPhone’s and Apple TV have completely replaced all streaming that used to be done by the xbox 360/PC’s (expect when flash is needed), much easier to use, can use on any device, much quieter, uses much less power. Xbox is now only a gaming device. At least in my family apple has started to displace Microsoft products for many tasks. I didn’t force this change, I just put the devices out and let them decide which device they’d rather use: Media Center PC, Xbox 360, android phones, iPhone, iPad, Apple TV(Air Play/Mirror), Mac. I also get less calls for support when they use the apple products. WHS 2011 is still primary storage as it’s price performance is great, just need to do more work to get it to work as a MAC backup device.

Gachevsky October 24, 2011 at 7:57 am


That’s really great info. Your setup is pretty much what I’m looking to do at home. Thanks for sharing!

Chuck Davis November 16, 2011 at 1:06 pm

There is one significant “gotcha” to be aware of if you use RAID on an HP MicroServer running Windows Home Server.

Having replaced the original OS with WHS 2011 (I never even bothered to boot up the original OS) there are no utilities that might have come with the HP system. You have no visibility into the health of the RAID system and no ability to manage the RAID array.

While working on some changes to my system I happened to have a keyboard and monitor jacked into the MicroServer and noticed during POST that one of the drives had become “disconnected” from the RAID 1 array. (Some forum postings indicate that this is a not uncommon problem with the AMD RAID system on various machines. The drive health is fine, but the RAID controller no longer sees the drive as part of the array.) The “System Health” light on the front of the MicroServer did not indicate any problem. I would have had no clue about this failure if I hadn’t happened to connect the keyboard and monitor during a reboot.

Users of WHS 2011 and RAID on the HP MicroServer (or any other system with an AMD RAID controller) should download and install RAIDXpert from the AMD web site. (http://support.amd.com/us/kbarticles/Pages/CS1-AMDRAIDXpertDriver.aspx). The Login ID and Password are “admin / admin”. This utility lets you monitor and manage your RAID array. You should periodically run RAIDXpert to check the status of your RAID array on your WHS 2011 system. RAIDXpert is a browser app and may not refresh automatically.

Following instructions I found on some forums, rebuilding the RAID array was not difficult. You basically delete and re-link the disconnected drive. Doing this erases the drive, so be careful that you are deleting the correct drive. It took around 4 hours for the RAID controller to mirror the 2TB good drive onto the “new” drive.

Tim November 28, 2011 at 8:49 am

I am seeing this server now on NewEgg with WHS 2011: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16859107052

They had it over the weekend for an additional $100 off but that quickly sold out.

Question: To install WHS 2011, do I need to also add a DVD drive to the server? Or is there another way?

Thanks for any suggestions.

Alex Kuretz November 28, 2011 at 3:42 pm
NeilPeart January 9, 2012 at 3:31 pm

The qualification has been reduced to:

HP Tested: Either the OS or hypervisor was successfully installed on the server

I wonder how this compares to my EX490 with Intel E8400?

I still ordered on at MacMall today for $200. Add 8GB of ECC RAM for $70 and this should be a hefty enough machine to effectively run WHS 2011, perhaps even with Windows 7 Media Center running in a VM. I wonder if the built-in RAID could saturate the GigE interfaced or would it be worth investing in a $150 RAID card for RAID5 card. My plan is to install an SSD or Momentus XT (hybrid drive) in the 5.25″ top bay and load 4 2TB Green drives in the array slots. Any thoughts?

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