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PostPosted: Mon Aug 05, 2019 5:30 pm 
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I have been a long time member of this forum and its been an amazing help to me over the years and like a lot of your die hards have quite a few of these boxes running at home. Some are for my amusement and some are workhorses driving my VTEN popcorn and YAMJ. So a little old school you might say.

I have been looking at alternatives going forward so that I can move on and gain some support and after having v1, WHS2011 and an Ubuntu version of the Ex470, EX490 and a X510 (aka EX490) I thought I would give Windows another chance. I did try Win 2012 Essentials but it was horrible so didn't last long. The last Win 10 1903 update I had on my primary desktop also broke the WHS2011 Launchpad which I was unhappy about so although the Dashboard works, my Lights-Out client install and client backups don't work. I haven't been able to fix that.

Now I am trying Windows server 2016 Essentials and I am beginning to fall in love again the the little EX490. Windows 2019 Essentials is a dead loss as they removed the Remote Web access and Client Backup functions so don't use that. OK so its not perfect and there are workarounds but I think I may have my new OS. I wont detail everything here because I am not sure who reads these forums but this is what I have done so far. The assumption is that you have a VGA cable as its pretty impossible to do without it.

I have already upgraded the CPU and Memory in all my boxes but this one is running a Xeon L5430 and a 4GB DDR2 stick of RAM. I have an L3360 on order which is quicker and should work just fine as its a low voltage version of the X3360 and big brother to the L5430. I have already done the LGA 775 mod so no worries there.

Download the ISO for Windows 2016 Essentials on an evaluation license. Its 4.7GB :)
I first tried booting with a DVD but after several attempts couldn't get that to work past 94% files loaded. I think its a dual layer issue so moved over to a bootable USB drive and that installed.
Just set up a simple domain and create a new admin account as it requests as it disables the "administrator" account after it completes.
Assign a fixed IP address
The only device driver you need to add is the SiL 3531 Sata controller. You should have this 64 bit driver already from previous incarnations of your boxes.
You will need to change the standard IDE ATA/ATAPI driver to the Intel specific RST ICH9R driver otherwise the light support from the old HP LED driver update wont work but more on that later
You will need to add the 2010 C++ deployables in order to get the LED lights to work as well as the above driver.
At this stage you have a working box with a C drive. I used a 2TB red and partitioned it as 1TB C and 1TB D.
Now before you do anything else you will need to patch it. This is where the fun starts and I have read about so many people having issues with patching Win 2016 servers, here is no exception.

Now the worst part :-
The downloads and installations take a HUGE amount of time and are very large in some cases. There is a problem as it appears to be downloading thousands of tiny manifest files and then deleting older ones from the SoftwareDistribution folders in the Windows directory. We are talking almost 50,000 files in one case. I almost gave up as the machine was very slow and wasn't really very well at all. I persevered and eventually after a few days it completed all its updates and actually its now a very nice machine. I have to say its much quicker than my WHS2011 on a comparable EX490. For some reason there is one service that has trouble starting and I don't know why, the Windows Server Essentials Management Service.

I also installed the trial license version of DrivePool which works just fine. I then added another 2TB drive and created a Drive pool.

I ran the HP 1.0.6 HP HpMssServiceSetup.msi setup and the flashing system light went solid aqua and the 2TB disk light came on. Yay!!!

So that's where I am... its working, the drive lights still have the same issue with drives bigger than 2TB as they are GPT formatted and not MBR. I have shared a folder and connected from my Win 10 machine (although different credentials will be required to the logged on client), connected from my Popcorn VTEN, streamed a movie, joined a client, done a client backup, done a server backup and so far so good. If you join a client and install the connector software you should use the registry hack to avoid the joining domain issue.

That's all for now and I am still learning stuff on Windows 2016 Essentials. I haven't turned off any services yet so a lot of the domain based stuff is still running but it hasn't complained. Any obvious omissions or errors are my own :)

There is my little update for now :cheers:
Rip.

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X510, Xeon Quad L3360 2.86GHz WHS 2011,SANS DIGITAL TR5M
EX490, Core 2 Duo E8600 3.3GHz Windows Server 2016 Essentials
EX490, Core 2 Duo E8400 3.1GHz, Ubuntu server 16.04
EX475 Athlon BE-2350 2.1GHz WHS v1


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 18, 2019 3:32 pm 
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I'm in a similar boat, Ripstop. I migrated to Server 2016 Essentials last year (well a fresh install, of course) and things are working quite well, though the updates do seem to take forever to install (still the overall maintenance & performance are improved compared to Server 2012 R2 Essentials). I tried Windows Server 2019 Standard on a different machine and found it runs much better than 2016, but the issue is MS unfortunately neutered Server 2019 Essentials. I found a site that describes installing the 2016 Essentials Role on top of Server 2019 Standard, and it works very well! More information about my system:

HP EX490
E8400 3.0GHz
4GB Mushkin DDR2-800
250GB Samsung 850 EVO system drive
3x WD Red 2TB (client backups)
5x WD Red 2TB via eSATA Sans Digital TR5M (critical data/photos)
HP MediaSmart Server VGA/PS2/Serial Debug Board (Gen 4)

WHS v1>WHS 2011>Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials>Windows Server 2016 Essentials>Windows Server 2019 Standard w/Essentials 2016 Role

Website referenced: https://www.theofficemaven.com/news/ins ... erver-2019


Last edited by MusicLover2112 on Tue Aug 20, 2019 2:02 am, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 20, 2019 1:56 am 
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OK I did it and it works very well! Server 2019 Standard runs MUCH better than 2016 and updates no longer take hours. In fact, the 2016 Essentials Dashboard runs better on 2019 Server than on 2016! It's really too bad that MS decided to neuter the Essential features for Server 2019. At this point my EX490 has had 5 operating systems on it and is a decade old! I plan to keep it around for client backups until Windows Server 2019 is no longer supported in 2029. If my little EX490 makes it that long that means it will have been in service for 20 years! Pretty impressive for a $350 server I picked up from NewEgg after HP discontinued it! I also have an HP N40L I use with FreeNAS as a Plex Server (upgraded RAM to 16GB ECC and installed 4 WD Red 6TB for ZFS RAIDz).


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 20, 2019 1:22 pm 
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Oooo now that's very interesting because I have just struggled for 2 days trying to get the damn updates to work properly on my second attempt at a 2016 Essentials box. Yes the updates are a real PIA but it looks like when it does a cumulative update it downloads everything in every language, decides what it wants and then makes a diff patch file and then installs. The problem is the whole process takes anything from an hour to many hours. I have had to leave it and go do something else. You usually have to play with the SoftwareDistribution folder under C:\Windows. When you view the progress it either looks stuck at some percentage or doesn't do anything other than cause CPU load while it thinks :)

So I also went the SSD route with a test build on another EX490 (I have 4 of them plus an original AMD EX470) and although it builds quicker the patching process is completely knackered, so badly so that I was debating whether to try something else. Now that you have discovered you can load the essentials components on a Win 2019 I am going to give that a try.

By the way if you want your lights to work you need the 2010 C++ Redistributable and the hacked HpMssService 1.0.6. They work with any disk up to 2TB

My current main is WHS2011 on another EX490 which has an external Sans Digital TR5M just like you. I mix 2TB, 3TB and 4TB disks in that installation. I have also lots of the boxes running high end Core 2 Duo's and Low voltage Xeons in LGA 771 and LGA 775 format. Quite a collection really. The really hard part is finding 4GB DDR2 RAM sticks in either 333MHz or 400MHz.

I wonder if Alex the Admin can create a new section for Windows 2016 and 2019 Essentials <Hint> :)

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X510, Xeon Quad L3360 2.86GHz WHS 2011,SANS DIGITAL TR5M
EX490, Core 2 Duo E8600 3.3GHz Windows Server 2016 Essentials
EX490, Core 2 Duo E8400 3.1GHz, Ubuntu server 16.04
EX475 Athlon BE-2350 2.1GHz WHS v1


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 22, 2019 12:33 am 
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The only negative aspect of 2019 Standard with the Essentials add-on is that I can't get the HpMssService to work with the lights - this did work fine on 2016 but not 2019. Perhaps my version of HpMssService is not "hacked?" However, since I don't care that much about the lights I'm ok with that since 2019 performs noticeably faster than 2016 and is a bit more responsive. I would appreciate any tips for the lights, however. I think 8-16GB of RAM would be preferred, however (though I understand that is not possible with these systems). I am operating my drive-pool Storage Space with the ReFS rather than NTFS and there is no performance hit. I also replaced my old Red 2TB drives in my EX490 with 3 new WD Red 2TB that support NASware 3.0 and feature 256MB cache rather than 64MB - they were still working and had no SMART errors but were from 2012 so I moved them to another less-critical system.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 22, 2019 8:24 am 
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I too was disappointed in the neuter. Haven't yet tried the newer server versions myself. But know that ultimately I'd be stuck on w10 with all my terminals and a server that had the potential of loosing functionality as time marches forward. Seeing the results you guys are getting makes me want to start playing with the newer server versions.

Before you give up entirely on 2016e, try doing the updating with WSUS off-line. The v11.8 has both server 16 & 19 updates on it.

http://download.wsusoffline.net/

All the current updates & language packs for W10, S16, & S19 are already built into the off-line program. I'm thinking it might resolve the problem your experiencing because when I've used it to update older OS's, it seems to only drop into the OS the updates that apply to the system being updated. This instead of working like how your seeing the on-line updater work by installing everything in every language, then letting the OS decide what it wants and making the patch file.

@ripstop, if you have a chance, Id sure appreciate it if you'd PM me a copy of the hacked HpMssService 1.0.6.

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EX-495 w/ WHS v1
VGA / PS2 Keyboard_Mouse debug board
Q8200s CPU w/ two 30mm cooling fans
4gb G.Skill CL5 Ram
7200 RPM WD Gold
Rear Case Cover Mod

Plus a Few Spare EX490's to Tinker With


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 22, 2019 8:28 am 
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MusicLover2112 wrote:
I tried Windows Server 2019 Standard on a different machine and found it runs much better than 2016, but the issue is MS unfortunately neutered Server 2019 Essentials. I found a site that describes installing the 2016 Essentials Role on top of Server 2019 Standard, and it works very well!


@MusicLover2112 Any way you can locate a link to this site you referenced?

_________________
EX-495 w/ WHS v1
VGA / PS2 Keyboard_Mouse debug board
Q8200s CPU w/ two 30mm cooling fans
4gb G.Skill CL5 Ram
7200 RPM WD Gold
Rear Case Cover Mod

Plus a Few Spare EX490's to Tinker With


Last edited by lioninstreet on Thu Aug 22, 2019 1:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 22, 2019 1:40 pm 
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Apologies but it seems I was mistaken about getting the lights driver working on 2019... for some reason the installer cannot create the required service. So I need to do some work on that :) I tried manually to create using SC but its proving a challenge.

I also tried the WSUS offline installation on 2016 without much success too. Its patched now and seems happy but boy what a journey to get this far.

I have put the HPMss service install and required Intel RST Sata AHCI driver in HERE to download. Perhaps you have better luck than me.

The location for the instructions for 2016 Essentials on 2019 is HERE

Let me know if you get these and let us know how you get on :)

_________________
X510, Xeon Quad L3360 2.86GHz WHS 2011,SANS DIGITAL TR5M
EX490, Core 2 Duo E8600 3.3GHz Windows Server 2016 Essentials
EX490, Core 2 Duo E8400 3.1GHz, Ubuntu server 16.04
EX475 Athlon BE-2350 2.1GHz WHS v1


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 22, 2019 2:04 pm 
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Ripstop wrote:
The location for the instructions for 2016 Essentials on 2019 is HERE


This article leads me to think that if I have the functionality of the S16e dashboard on Server 2019 Standard, I should bypass attempting the setup of s16e altogether. Especially if WSUS Off-Line didn't help the situation with the update issues you.

Now I just have to get past the $$$ it will cost to get the license once the trial expires....

As an aside did you try THIS to fix the Launchpad?

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EX-495 w/ WHS v1
VGA / PS2 Keyboard_Mouse debug board
Q8200s CPU w/ two 30mm cooling fans
4gb G.Skill CL5 Ram
7200 RPM WD Gold
Rear Case Cover Mod

Plus a Few Spare EX490's to Tinker With


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 22, 2019 4:29 pm 
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Yes essentially (no pun intended) you fully patch 2019 but do not perform any server configuration. You then load all the essentials components from a 2016 Essentials ISO and make a large number of config changes plus copy several directories that 2016 essentials requires onto the 2019 server. The create a load of services and then boot into the 2016 Essentials Dashboard configuration which runs from the Wss-ConfigurationService cmdlet. Its actually a very lengthy process which the kind people of "officemaven" have done for you as an install but wont give you unless you buy one of their products :)

I struggled with this part as for some strange reason I could't copy and paste any of the instructions on the web page as I think they have locked it out :( so manually typed everything.

Quote:
As an aside did you try THIS to fix the Launchpad?

Yes unfortunately I did try every way I could to reinstall the WHS2011 connector and found that it has something to do with certificates and security when Launchpad starts. Dashboard works fine but Launchpad nope.

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X510, Xeon Quad L3360 2.86GHz WHS 2011,SANS DIGITAL TR5M
EX490, Core 2 Duo E8600 3.3GHz Windows Server 2016 Essentials
EX490, Core 2 Duo E8400 3.1GHz, Ubuntu server 16.04
EX475 Athlon BE-2350 2.1GHz WHS v1


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 22, 2019 7:40 pm 
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Ripstop wrote:
I struggled with this part as for some strange reason I could't copy and paste any of the instructions on the web page as I think they have locked it out :( so manually typed everything.

Yea I noticed that. I've done literally nothing with the full server OS's so trying to setup S19 with the s16e dashboard might take some trial & error(s). Without a simpletons step by step instruction, Id be ](*,) Maybe that $50 to officemaven for their installer would be well spent...

i'm still running 1803 on my sole w10 terminal but my MSS has v1. Maybe I'll get lucky when I finally pull the trigger on 1903. While rooting around I ALSO FOUND THIS. It seems the issue not only effects s2k8 but also s2k12.

_________________
EX-495 w/ WHS v1
VGA / PS2 Keyboard_Mouse debug board
Q8200s CPU w/ two 30mm cooling fans
4gb G.Skill CL5 Ram
7200 RPM WD Gold
Rear Case Cover Mod

Plus a Few Spare EX490's to Tinker With


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2019 2:30 am 
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Quote:
Maybe that $50 to officemaven for their installer would be well spent...


I am thinking the same :) Although it was fun trying.

_________________
X510, Xeon Quad L3360 2.86GHz WHS 2011,SANS DIGITAL TR5M
EX490, Core 2 Duo E8600 3.3GHz Windows Server 2016 Essentials
EX490, Core 2 Duo E8400 3.1GHz, Ubuntu server 16.04
EX475 Athlon BE-2350 2.1GHz WHS v1


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