MSS Fan Control Add-In
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Author:  yakuza [ Wed Jul 02, 2008 10:50 pm ]
Post subject:  MSS Fan Control Add-In

Updated 3/21/2010 to version

THIS ADD-IN ONLY WORKS ON THE EX470 and EX475 MediaSmart Servers

The .zip file containing the .msi installer and Readme is available here:

And here's the full Readme:
Title: MSS Fan Control
Date: 3/21/2010
Author: Alex "Big Al" Kuretz

Copyright (c) 2010 Alex Kuretz

WHAT IS MSS Fan Control
MSS Fan Control is an Add-In for the Microsoft Windows Home Server
Operating System. It is designed to work exclusively with the HP
MediaSmart Server EX47x models, and will not work with any other WHS systems.

MSS Fan Control allows the user to easily control the speed of the
upper and lower exhaust fans of the MediaSmart Server. It also allows
the user to configure the speed and temperature thresholds that determine
how the fan speed should increase as the CPU temperature rises.

MSS Fan Control was born from a discussion on the forums,
which can be found at:

It is possible for you to set the fan speeds too low and potentially cause
damage to your MediaSmart Server by overheating.

I have tried to prevent this by adding in a safeguard mechanism that
should force the fans to spin at full speed if the CPU reaches a dangerous

When making changes using MSS Fan Control, you should monitor your system
temperatures before setting and forgetting it.

Please, don't abuse your server.

First, I have to thank all the users at for their
enthusiasm, ingenuity, and friendly helpfulness.

Special thanks to ymboc for documenting the registry keys used by MSS
Fan Control.

Thanks to Cougar, JohnBick, and JRock, for advice, feedback, and testing.
Thanks to erail, ymboc, and cavediver for additional feedback and testing.

Thanks to Mall Ninja for making the world a safer place.

Thanks to the Flying Spaghetti Monster for making all this possible! :)

MSS Fan Control is protected by copyright law.

MSS Fan Control is free for personal use but may not be redistributed
without written permission from the author. Commercial users, distributors,
or manufacturers should contact me for a license.

This software is provided "as is" with no implied or expressed warranties.

Install MSS Fan Control by copying the MSSFanControl.msi file to the
Software\Addins share of your Windows Home Server.

Start the Windows Home Server Console, select Settings, then Add-Ins. Select
MSS Fan Control from the Available tab, and click "Install".

To upgrade from a previous version of MSS Fan Control, please uninstall
the previous version via the Add-Ins settings tab of the WHS Console, then
follow the normal Installation instructions.

Your settings will have been saved in the registry, simply review that they
are accurate, then apply your changes.

To use MSS Fan Control, simply move the sliders or select the button
appropriate to accomplishing your desired fan behavior, and then click
"Apply". The WHS Console will freeze for a few seconds, and the MSS
LED indicators will blink. You should observe the changes in fan speed
within a few seconds.

Optimized is a great place to start for increased cooling with a minimal
increase in fan noise.

MSS Fan Control provides two main configuration modes which are mutually
exclusive. The first mode allows the user to hard-code the upper and lower
fan speeds to a specific percentage of max speed via the Constant Fan Speed
slider. The second (aka Advanced) mode is activated via the Advanced checkbox
and allows the user to individually change the speed and temperature thresholds
of the system via the Fan Speed Adjustment and Threshold Temp Adjustment

There are 9 Fan Speed levels and 8 Threshold Temperatures defined in the MSS.
This means that for a given temperature, the fan will operate at a
specified speed. The Fan Speed Adjustment slider adjusts the Fan Speed levels
by the configured amount, so that instead of spinning at 1200rpm when the CPU
is 50C, the User can configure the fans to spin at 1400rpm by increasing
the Fan Speed slider to +200. By adjusting the Threshold Temp slider, the
user can configure the system to move from Fan State 0 to Fan State 1 when
the CPU is 31C instead of 51C by setting the slider to -20C. This is exactly
what the Optimize button does.

MSS Fan Control also provides buttons for two default configurations -
Factory and Optimized. Factory Defaults reverts the system to the
configuration that the MSS shipped with from HP. Optimized is a good
compromise between increased fan speed for better cooling while keeping
the system quiet, and is achieved by setting the Threshold Temp to -20
degrees C.

MSS Fan Control consists of a WHS Settings tab for configuration and this
README file. Any errors are written to the Application Event Log
on the Server; you'll need to use Remote Desktop to view these entries.

The following are some items that might be of interest about how MSS Fan
Control works.
* All changes are made by registry keys accessed by the MSS management driver.
* Limits have been hard-coded for safety. The top two Fan Speeds and top Temp
threshold cannot be overridden by the user, ensuring that should the system
get extremely hot the fan speeds will increase sufficiently to cool the system.
In short, I don't want you blaming me if you cook your server! :)
* All controls are the default WHS controls, thank you .Net for providing
visibility! :D

* WHS Console freezes while applying changes. This should not last longer than
about 10 seconds or so.
* English is currently the only supported language, though MSS Fan Control
should install and work correctly on non-English versions of WHS.

- Updated to work with the HP 3.0 Software Update on the EX47x
- Added a "Busy" dialog, displays while settings changes are applied.
- Resolve issue where advanced controls lost their settings when the
server was rebooted or Server Console reset (Thanks cavediver!)
- Initial release

* Unsure, perhaps include some more configuration of the options available
in the system registry after we figure out what they do. :)

File comment: MSS Fan Control Screenshot
MSSFanControlScreenshot1.jpg [ 56.99 KiB | Viewed 88443 times ]

Author:  JesD [ Thu Jul 03, 2008 8:44 am ]
Post subject: 

Nice YAK!!!!

I tried Speedfan but I found it to be inconsistent...I would bring it up and make the changes....the fans would blow at 1900 but then Id minimize it...and back to 1500 so I thank you

Author:  yakuza [ Thu Jul 03, 2008 8:47 am ]
Post subject: 

JesD wrote:
Nice YAK!!!!

I tried Speedfan but I found it to be inconsistent...I would bring it up and make the changes....the fans would blow at 1900 but then Id minimize it...and back to 1500 so I thank you

Cool, let me know how well this works out for you. 8)

Author:  FrostByte [ Fri Jul 04, 2008 11:10 am ]
Post subject:  Re: MSS Fan Control Add-In

yakuza wrote:
Please, don't abuse your server.

I wonder im Pamela and her PETA friends would come after us if we did :) Anyhow, this looks good. I'll give it a try now.


Author:  JohnBick [ Fri Jul 04, 2008 1:36 pm ]
Post subject: 

Since I have sort of led the charge in the temperature arena with the SpeedFan thread It's probably appropriate for me to comment here.

Yakuza has done a fine job on this Fan Control. SpeedFan and other tools have a problem because they are controlling the fans directly. As a result, when the HP software on the MSS determines that a temperature threshold has been crossed (either increasing or decreasing temperature) it asserts it's control and sets the fan speed as dictated by the MSS registry values -- overriding SpeedFan (et al). If, for example, uou use SpeedFan to force a 100% (2500rpm) fan speed and the CPU temperature gors up to 55C anyway, the fans will slow down as the default MSS settings issue new commands. SpeedFan (et al) is unaware of this and cannot adjust accordingly.

Yakuza's Add-In changes the registry values associated with the MSS fan controls and then allows the HP logic to control the fan speeds as it has all along. Now if you set the fan speed to be "fixed" at 100% that speed will be applied for the entire temperature range. If you set it for 75% then it will remain at 75% -- with one caveat: if the temperature exceeds the upper bounds of the HP controls then the HP speeds are left in place to prevent damage to your unit. (I.e., if you really need that 100% you get it! There may be some changes in this logic going forward so I am not going to try to explain the current logic, only point out that there is a safety net there.)

This is a much better approach that the alternative approaches and certainly easier than computing values, manually editing the registry and then restarting the MSS. I highly recommend this approach over all the others I have seen.

Author:  raaaaaa [ Fri Jul 04, 2008 8:25 pm ]
Post subject: 

I have been waiting for this app....

P.S. can V2 controll the PSU fan, that puppy is the anoying one

Author:  smwoodward [ Fri Jul 04, 2008 11:33 pm ]
Post subject: 

the PSU's isn't connected to the motherboard and is not controlled by the BIOS of the MSS, so there is no way that it will ever control that fan.

Author:  cavediver [ Tue Jul 08, 2008 9:17 pm ]
Post subject: 

I've been using the Fan Control add-in for awhile now and I wanted to report some observations. I first tried the constant fan speed sliders which work similar to Speed Fan. I just set the fan speed to 85% and the fans ran at a constant speed no matter what the temps. Speed Fan quit working after I installed ymboc's registry edit, but the MSS Fan Control add-in worked from the start and didn't stop even when the temps changed.

After a couple of days running at constant speed I decided to try the Advanced Controls which work similar to ymboc's registry edit only the Fan Control add-in lets me, in effect, edit the registry without having to actually go into the registry. I've settled on the following settings:
Fan Speed Adjustment: +200 rpm

Theshold Temp Adjustments: Upper: -30 deg C; Lower: -30 deg C.

With these settings I'm seeing consistant low temps and fan speeds as follows:

Upper fan speed: 2136 rpm & 36 deg C System temp
Lower fan speed: 2083 rpm & 31 deg C CPU temp

Since I've implemented the above settings, I've not seen the temp go above 40 deg C even with the CPU at 100%

I'm very happy with this add-in. I believe that I now have control of my MSS's temps and I have a much better understanding of what it takes to balance the temps, fan speeds and fan noise. If I want the box cooler or quiter, I know what to do to accomplish the state of affairs that I want.

Thanks Yakuza! You did a good job on this add-in.

Author:  JohnBick [ Fri Jul 11, 2008 2:32 pm ]
Post subject: 

Hot darn...! MSS Fan Control made the "big time" in one week! Both a mention by Phil Churchill and onto the home-server show:

Author:  JohnBick [ Fri Jul 11, 2008 2:52 pm ]
Post subject: 

Hot darn...! MSS Fan Control made the "big time" in one week! Both a mention by Phil Churchill and onto the home-server show:

And remember, you saw it here first!

Author:  Greybeard [ Fri Jul 11, 2008 6:44 pm ]
Post subject: 

I added this in on/about 5 July. It has been great. I didn't fiddle with it much, and set it on auto. I am very pleased. Nice job, Yak!!

Author:  GPKing [ Tue Jul 15, 2008 12:59 pm ]
Post subject:  Alex YOU ARE THE MAN

Great add-in.
Every MSS user should do the following:

Author:  Mach1 [ Tue Jul 15, 2008 5:01 pm ]
Post subject: 

Awesome!!!! :D :D :D

Nice job, Alex, and thank you! I too was using Speedfan (with complete dissatisfaction I might add) to control temps on my MSS. I had the same trouble as everyone else. At some point, the HP software would over-ride Speedfan.

This add-in beats messing with Speedfan any day of the week!!!

Author:  yakuza [ Tue Jul 15, 2008 6:07 pm ]
Post subject: 

Thanks for all the great feedback, everybody! I really enjoy making the add-ins, and it's good to hear that it's working well for everyone. 8)

Author:  JOCKTHEGLIDE [ Sun Jul 20, 2008 8:18 pm ]
Post subject: 

NICE thanks...

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