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PostPosted: Sat Aug 28, 2010 12:00 pm 
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For reasons I won't go into detail, I want to install a stock version of Windows Home Server on my HP MSS LX195. I am using a stock retail version of WHS (that is, without any HP mod) I got from Newegg.

I have removed the 640GB stock hard drive from my LX195 and replaced it with a pre-formatted NTFS new and blank 2TB hard drive.

Ok, I don't know how to proceed from this point. Obviously, there is nothing to run from my LX195, so powering it on will do nothing.

i have connected the LX195 to my Linksys router, and I have connected my desktop computers (running Windows Vista and Windows 7).

My question is: What do I do next? Sorry for the newbie question. Is there somewhere where I can read or view a tutorial for this type of "stock" reinstall.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 28, 2010 1:43 pm 
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The easiest way to get WHS-OEM what you call the retail version on your LX195 is to purchase a DEBUG Cable from VOV Technologies. Here is a link to the GEN3 version thread with another LX195 users post but he opted to install XP on his unit.

viewtopic.php?p=69853#p69853

Once you have the debug cable then just connect up an external DVD Player, keyboard and mouse then boot the WHS Install disc to install WHS. VOV Technologies sells various version of their Gen 3 debug cable where if you just want the VGA Connection you can get just that or if you want the full version with all the available ports including PS2 ports for Keyboad, Mouse Connections and a Serial port.

What the Debug Cable will do for you is open up a world of possibilities for you to make installing things easier to your LX195. There are ways to do a blind install and it can be tricky but adding a video output to your server will make installing WHS much easier for you.

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 28, 2010 4:53 pm 
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Thank you for the tip. I appreciate this very much.

I am, however, looking for an alternative "software" solution.

I have read, in other forum posts (with limited understanding), that I can "restore" a server recovery install from a desktop computer that is connected to the same router as the now-blank HP LX195. Is this possible? In some ways, is it the same as a server restore/recovery after someone upgrade from the stock hard drive to a higher capacity one? The only difference is that I am do this "recovery" using stock Microsoft WHS disks instead of HP disks. Or is this completely different? This is where I have difficulty understanding. ;)


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 28, 2010 7:23 pm 
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This I am not certain of because the only WHS software I have installed has been using the method HP provides or using a Debug Cable and USB connect CD/DVD Drive. You can try to place your server into its recovery mode and see if you can load the software in using a client.

As a precaution I would recommend that if your server has a hidden SMI partition that you expose it and backup the files stored on it as I belive it does have this. Its actually Win PE and if you lose it and want to put back what you had before you will need it. That area also contains the drivers used to boot your LX195 into its recovery mode.

Now I do not have an LX195 here to check what I believe out otherwise I would do it for you here first. I my opinion the best way to approach the install is to use the Debug Cable and external CD/DVD Drive as it will elliminate all the guess work out of installing WHS OEM.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 29, 2010 1:28 pm 
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If I were to using HP recovery disk method to "reinstall" the server software, can I use this method to just "upgrade" from the stock hard disk to my new 2TB hard disk. Can I just remove the 640GB stock hard disk, put the new hard disk in, boot up the machine, put the recovery disk onto a desktop computer that is connector to the shared router with the LX195, and "reinstall" the server software?

I read from other forum posts that I need to edit some drive ID for this to work? Is this true? Or is this only necessary if I use Acronis to clone the 640GB stock hard disk to the 2TB hard disk?


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 29, 2010 2:13 pm 
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Here is a guide on how to properly clone a system drive http://www.mediasmartserver.net/2010/01 ... tem-drive/

Just change out the drive and see if you can perform the Server Software. I am not certain if it will work or not but what I do know will work is adding a debug cabe and an external CD/DVD Drive. For sure the are some added costs involved but is the easiest way I can see to accomplish your task.

While your free to try the HP Method to install WHS OEM I am not certain it will work or not. I can try it on my test server but it will be sometime before I am able to get to it.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 29, 2010 3:56 pm 
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I'm not aware of the specific configuration needed for an unattended install for WHS, which is what you would need in order to perform a headless install. The HP additions are only loosely coupled to WHS, you can disable and remove any components that you don't want if you find them to be problematic.

If you want to replace the drive in your LX195 and don't need the data off the drive, then simply swap the existing drive with your new drive and perform a Factory Reset to wipe the new drive and install a fresh OS.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 29, 2010 5:02 pm 
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Your second comment is close to what I had in mind. I have yet to have new hard drive to try it out. Are you saying that I need do this "factory reset" using the HP disc only? or can you do a "factory reset" with only an OEM stock version of WHS?

Lastly, I read the forum post about the cloning the drive. If I am going with your recommended method to do a "factory reset", do I still need to do the clone step in preparation?



yakuza wrote:
I'm not aware of the specific configuration needed for an unattended install for WHS, which is what you would need in order to perform a headless install. The HP additions are only loosely coupled to WHS, you can disable and remove any components that you don't want if you find them to be problematic.

If you want to replace the drive in your LX195 and don't need the data off the drive, then simply swap the existing drive with your new drive and perform a Factory Reset to wipe the new drive and install a fresh OS.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 29, 2010 6:29 pm 
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to1337ca wrote:
Are you saying that I need do this "factory reset" using the HP disc only?

Yes.
to1337ca wrote:
or can you do a "factory reset" with only an OEM stock version of WHS?

No, there is no unattended Recovery functionality built in to stock WHS, it is for system builders and as such they are expected to have a display connected, plus there is no way to include all possible drivers needed on the install media.

to1337ca wrote:
Lastly, I read the forum post about the cloning the drive. If I am going with your recommended method to do a "factory reset", do I still need to do the clone step in preparation?

You aren't cloning a drive, so you don't need to worry about it. Please see the "Server Recovery" documentation that came with your LX195, or the Wiki article on this site that explains it in more detail.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 29, 2010 9:26 pm 
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I have read through the wiki and the HP documentation.

Here is what I understood.

1. My plan (now) is to remove the stock 640GB hard disk, insert a pre-formatted NTFS (otherwise completely blank) 2TG new hard disk.
2. Put the server into recovery mode. Use the HP recovery disc on a desktop PC to start the server recovery. Since this will be a BRAND NEW INSTALL (I have no other data to save; the machine is new, and there are no removable hard disk storage attached it), there is no need to clone or to change the device ID of the new hard drive.
3. Once I completed the server recovery, I can run windows update to update to PowerPack 3.

May I ask you to check if this is correct?

Here are my remaining questions:

1. During the server recovery, is there any way to tell the recovery NOT to install any HP mod?
2. Is there some easy way to identify which mod/add-in's are HP's? Further, how do I turn OFF ALL HP mod so that the install will be as close as possible to stock WHS?
3. When I run Windows update, will it attempt to update the HP mod (i.e., HP MSS)? If do, how do I disable it?


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 30, 2010 9:19 am 
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to1337ca wrote:
I have read through the wiki and the HP documentation.

Here is what I understood.

1. My plan (now) is to remove the stock 640GB hard disk, insert a pre-formatted NTFS (otherwise completely blank) 2TG new hard disk.
2. Put the server into recovery mode. Use the HP recovery disc on a desktop PC to start the server recovery. Since this will be a BRAND NEW INSTALL (I have no other data to save; the machine is new, and there are no removable hard disk storage attached it), there is no need to clone or to change the device ID of the new hard drive.
3. Once I completed the server recovery, I can run windows update to update to PowerPack 3.

May I ask you to check if this is correct?

Yes, correct.

to1337ca wrote:
1. During the server recovery, is there any way to tell the recovery NOT to install any HP mod?

No
to1337ca wrote:
2. Is there some easy way to identify which mod/add-in's are HP's? Further, how do I turn OFF ALL HP mod so that the install will be as close as possible to stock WHS?

Get your box reset, and then we can help you turn off the HP stuff that you don't like. Make a list of the things you don't like once the system is up and running and we'll tell you how to turn them off.
to1337ca wrote:
3. When I run Windows update, will it attempt to update the HP mod (i.e., HP MSS)? If do, how do I disable it?

Sort of. Windows Update is independent from HP Update, however HP will check for updates upon first install. I do recommend updating to the latest HP updates, though, because they fix known issues in previous versions.

If you insist, the way to avoid that is to leave the internet disconnected during initial setup of the server. Once you've got access to the Server Console, go to the HP Settings tab and turn off Automatic Updates. Then connect the internet, go to the General Settings tab, and perform all the Windows Updates.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 01, 2010 9:26 am 
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Ok, I have successfully upgraded the hard drive and reinstalled the stock HP MSS and HP-branded version of WHS.

Can you help me to figure out some of the remaining customization issues?

1. Is it possible to install the WHS Connector software WITHOUT installing the HP MSS software? The stock connector software and the updated connector software that I download from hxxp://<myservername>:55000 has an install of the HP MSS that cannot be skipped? Can I just download the connector software from elsewhere or microsoft directly? I understand that I can "remove" the HP MSS after it has been installed, but I prefer NOT to install them in the first place.

2. Is it possible to set up back up on ONLY certain folders on each client computer? I do not see such an option. The only choice I was given was which whole disk or partition to back up.

3. I have set up remote access to use only Windows Home Server Home Page (instead of the HP MediaSmart Server Home Page). However, on that page, there is a link to the HP MediaSmart Server Home Page. Is there anyway to REMOVE that link at all?

4. What is classistatic.com? My firewall is detecting that WHS is trying to connect it. I cannot find much information about this website online.

Thanks in advance for your advice.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 01, 2010 9:38 am 
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to1337ca wrote:
1. Is it possible to install the WHS Connector software WITHOUT installing the HP MSS software? The stock connector software and the updated connector software that I download from hxxp://<myservername>:55000 has an install of the HP MSS that cannot be skipped? Can I just download the connector software from elsewhere or microsoft directly? I understand that I can "remove" the HP MSS after it has been installed, but I prefer NOT to install them in the first place.

Just uninstall the HP client software after the fact. You could go onto the Server Software share and move/delete the files in the Home Server Connector Software\OEM directory if you insist on not having the HP software install.

to1337ca wrote:
2. Is it possible to set up back up on ONLY certain folders on each client computer? I do not see such an option. The only choice I was given was which whole disk or partition to back up.

Sure, pick your PC in the Clients and Backups tab of the Server Console, right-click and select "Configure Backup".

to1337ca wrote:
3. I have set up remote access to use only Windows Home Server Home Page (instead of the HP MediaSmart Server Home Page). However, on that page, there is a link to the HP MediaSmart Server Home Page. Is there anyway to REMOVE that link at all?

Log on to the server via Remote Desktop and remove that entry from C:\inetpub\home\WebSites.xml

to1337ca wrote:
4. What is classistatic.com? My firewall is detecting that WHS is trying to connect it. I cannot find much information about this website online.

No clue, I've not heard of any home server contacting a server by that name, I'd suspect Malware on your PC.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 01, 2010 10:09 am 
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 01, 2010 10:17 am 
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Thanks. I have looked into the options you suggested.

1. For backup, I have clicked on the configure backup. Again, the only option I was given is to pick which drives I can backup. There is a screen to "exclude" certain directories, but no screen to "select in" certain directories. Am I suppose to set up a selective backup by "excluding" rather than "selecting" what I want to backup?

2. Are you saying that if I remove or rename oem.msi and oem_x64.msi, the next time I download the "connector" install, it will proceed directly to WHS connector install without forcing me to install the HP MSS first?

Good tip about the XML edit.


yakuza wrote:
Just uninstall the HP client software after the fact. You could go onto the Server Software share and move/delete the files in the Home Server Connector Software\OEM directory if you insist on not having the HP software install.

Sure, pick your PC in the Clients and Backups tab of the Server Console, right-click and select "Configure Backup".

Log on to the server via Remote Desktop and remove that entry from C:\inetpub\home\WebSites.xml


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