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PostPosted: Wed Oct 07, 2015 8:33 pm 

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I just bought a 490 at Goodwill with no drives in it. How can I make it work? The power light comes on. Windows 10 shows it as a wired network connection. I put a drive in bay 1 that has data on it. But no change. Do I need to get a clean drive? And where will I get an OS?


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 08, 2015 12:06 pm 
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Hi there and welcome to!

You say your server came with no drives. Did it at least come with drive trays? Hopefully the answer to that question is yes. Otherwise adding more than one drive to your server is going to be awfully tricky.

Several Christmases ago my wife bought me an EX490. This shipped with a Celeron single-core processor (don't recall the exact model), 2GB of RAM and a 1TB hard drive. HP made a big brother, called the EX495, which shipped with an Intel E5200 dual-core CPU, 2GB of RAM and a 1.5TB hard drive. So the servers are pretty much identical hardware wise, save for the processor and hard drive. In my case, I now have three MediaSmart Servers -- an EX487, EX490 and EX495, all of which have been upgraded to 4GB RAM, have upgraded CPUs (E5300 in the 487 and 490, Q8200 in the 495) and have SSDs as the system drive.

I will say that the single-core Celeron CPU sucked. The MediaSmart EX490 is a great server, but I ditched that CPU after a couple weeks of ownership. I strongly recommend you consider replacing the CPU if that's what's in there now. You can get an E5300 off of eBay for just a few bucks--tons of them available! ... 0&_sacat=0 You can also get a Q8200S for about $50 ... s&_sacat=0 -- you can get a Q8200 for less than that, but the S model runs cooler and the MediaSmart Server only has passive cooling. The EX495 I have came with a Q8200, not an S, and it doesn't run too hot but I monitor it closely to be safe.

OK sorry for the TL;DR boring stuff above. Just wanted to give you a heads-up on some of your options to consider.

I've got Windows Server 2012 R2 running on my EX487 and EX490, and Windows 10 running on my EX495. Now this is an important consideration. Both Windows Server 2012 R2 (and therefore Windows 8.1) and Windows 10 require any CPU support a certain set of features. Those are PAE, NX, SSE2, PrefetchW, CMPXCHG16b and LAHF/SAHF. Windows will throw a STOP error if your CPU doesn't support all six of these. So I can attest to the E5300 and Q8200 supporting these, because I'm running 2012 R2 and Windows 10 on them. If your EX490 still has the Celeron processor, the highest you'll be able to run is likely Windows Server 2012 or Windows 8 (and not 2012 R2, 8.1 or 10).

You can download Windows 10 here, from Microsoft. You'll need a large enough flash drive, I think at least 4GB. ... /windows10 That page has instructions on how to buy a product key. I don't know if you can install Windows 10 without the key; it may let you install and run in an evaluation mode. I haven't tried it, as I always had a key available.

Windows 10 runs quite nicely on my EX495 with the Q8200 and 4GB. It's not the fastest, but it's not slow either. I've got Visual Studio 2015 and Office 2016 running on there, and I must say it performs quite nicely. I'm very happy with it. The fact that I use solid state disks (SSDs) is a big help. I use SSDs for the system drive, which hosts the operating system and application binaries. I use a program called Profile Relocator to put user data on hard drives. This keeps the system speed nice and fast. Since SSDs are 2.5" drives, you'd need a 3.5"-to-2.5" converter; I use the ICY DOCK converter.

Once you've got a system drive, whether an SSD or hard drive, it needs to go in the BOTTOM drive bay. You'll need Windows on a flash drive, which the Windows 10 media creator above would create for you. From there, you insert the flash drive in the BOTTOM USB slot on the back of the server and power it on.

That brings up the next item...did the server come with a debug cable? This allows you to hook up at least a monitor to the server, and optionally a PS/2 keyboard and mouse.

Matt Sawyer
Owner, Dojo North Software, LLC

HP EX490, 4GB, E5300, 15TB - Server 2012 - Sharing and Streaming
HP EX487, 4GB, E5300, 13TB - Server 2012 Essentials - Backups

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