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PostPosted: Sat Jun 15, 2013 9:58 pm 
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I have successfully installed and configured Windows Server 2012 Essentials (WS2012E) on my HP MediaSmart EX495 (EX495). Here are the steps I took.


Preparation
I had done as much reading on WS2012E as I could, but the information was pretty limited for a home server market. Some great resources, especially here, and the process did seem fairly straight forward.
1. Disassemble the server and install the debug board from Charles
2. Ensure all data was refreshed onto my spare Mediasonic JBOD drives
3. Research the deployment and configuration process for WS2012E


Installation
Now that I had the debug board installed I could perform an attended install. I used my Logitech DiNovo Mini wireless keyboard of all things - it's normally plugged into the XBOX 360 but it worked fine for the EX495.
1. Create USB boot drive for WS2012E
2. Plug USB drive into lower rear USB, then realise I didn't install the jumper supplied by Charles to enable access to the BIOS settings
3. Time to be creative - remove the primary boot drive!
4. Boot EX495
5. Enter the WS2012E key and continue until disk management then reinsert the boot drive
6. Remove boot partition and primary partition
7. The installer will not recognise the partition as bootable, so reboot
8. Enter WS2012E key and assign partition size of 60 GB for the system partition
9. Continue with installation and create an "Admin" account


RAID Controller
After the installation my Mediasonic box was not accessible - a quick install of the drivers soon fixed this.
1. Download and install SIL 3531 driver 3531_x64_w7_1.5.20.1_logo.zip
2. Confirm all MediaSonic drives are visible
3. Reboot


Storage Spaces Part One
Now it was time to set up my first Storage Space.
1. Remove RAID-5 array on disks 1, 2, and 3 - this was my WHS2011 configuration
2. Format each internal disk as a simple volume (apart from the boot drive of course)
3. Start Server Manager and select "File and Storage Services"
4. Select "Storage Pools" and click on "New Storage Pool"
5. Add all internal drives, including the 1.3 TB of space left on the boot drive
6. Go to Dashboard | Storage | Hard Drives
7. Select "Advanced: Manage Storage Spaces"
8. Create a storage space called "Data" and use the newly created storage pool
9. Configure the storage space "Data" as "Simple" - no resiliency


Configure Server
The server was running with a fresh storage space, so it was time to configure the server.
1. Get updates for other Microsoft products - Enabled
2. Add user accounts - Skipped, accounts created during installation
3. Add server folders - Created, additional folders for particular data
4. Set up Server Backup - Skipped, need to reclaim the Mediasonic drives
5. Set up Anywhere Access - Configured
6. Set up email alert notification - Configured
7. Set up Media Server - Enabled, which created 4 folders
8. Connect computers - Skipped, connected later


Storage Spaces Part Two
Once the server was configured correctly it was time to copy the data from the JBOD drives, reclaim the drives, and create a backup.
1. Copy saved data from JBOD drives to Server Folders
2. Confirmed data was intact and accessible
3. Format each external disk as a simple volume
4. Go to Dashboard | Storage | Hard Drives
5. Select "Advanced: Manage Storage Spaces"
6. Create a storage space called "Backup" and add external disks 4, 5, and 6
7. Configure the storage space "Backup" as "Simple" - no resiliency
8. Use "ROBOCOPY D:\ServerFolders\ E:\ServerFolders\ /E /COPYALL /Z /R:3 /W:10 /LOG:robolog.txt /QUIT /XO" to make a "quick" backup


Install Add-Ins
Time to try out some of the WS2012E add-ins. For some of the configuration work, especially with Azure, I had to disable the enhanced security in IE.
1. Windows Azure Online Backup - Installed and configured
2. Heath Report for Windows Server 2012 Essentials - Installed and configured
3. Email - Skipped, no Exchange Server or Microsoft Office 365


Client Computers
For each client computer I installed the connector without joining the domain.
1. Used the registry hack to skip the domain join
2. Accessed the server from the client computer to install the connector software
3. Signed in to the connector to test the connection
4. Configured file history for each client computer
5. Installed My Server application for each client computer
6. Configured backup for each client computer


Next Steps
I am researching the following, and any help or direction would be appreciated.
1. Automated copy of D:\ServerFolders to E:\ServerFolders (might have to be a robocopy scheduled task)
2. Install and configure Serviio
3. Install and configure Subsonic
4. Install and configure uTorrent
5. Research server based anti-virus protection
6. Research server based ip camera monitoring software

_________________
Server: HP EX495 | E5200 CPU @ 2.5GHz | 4GB RAM | 4 x Seagate Barracuda 1.5TB 7200RPM
Backup: Mediasonic HF2-SU2S2 | 4 x Seagate Barracuda Green 2.0TB 5900RPM
Operating System: Windows Server 2012 Essentials | Media Server| Anywhere Access


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 19, 2013 4:17 pm 
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Very Cool, I am just finishing up my install onto a icydock raid in Bay1 with 2 ssd in it set to raid1.
http://www.icydock.com/goods.php?id=121
Can't speak to some of the other software, but I will be using serviio, so If I run into any snags I'll shout out.
Goodluck
P.S. Now if somebody could fix the blinking light I would be a happy boy :chicken:

_________________
[X510 CPU/RAM/All 2 TB Red's] [X510 CPU/Sync'ed Backup/All 2 TB Hitachi's]
[X510 /2 in box]
[X710 LIAN LI DIY W2012E] Stablebit Drivepool [EX-503 LIAN LI 5-bay USB3 External]
:twisted: Fear the Cloud :twisted:


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 19, 2013 7:02 pm 
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Hows that Icy Dock working out for you now that you have had it for a while? Have you tested the performance with and without it installed using similar drives? I am thinking of getting one for testing in a MSS to play with and I see it has a Port Multiplier option and was curious how this might work out in an MSS but for this I will have to find out on my own but not sure if I would install WS2012 on an MSS but WHS2011 only because my feeling is that most would opt for that OS only because of the cost.

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Exploring the possibilities!

Migrated from WHS2011 to WS2012E: HIGHLANDER

~ Norco 4220 Enclosure
~ Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD5
~ AMD Phenom II X4 995 3.2 GHz
~ 8 GB Corsair Vengeance DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800)
~ 3 Supermicro AOC-SASLP-MV8


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 19, 2013 8:24 pm 
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Just finished loading W2013E on the ex490 with the icydock with 2 ssd and it is working awesome so far.
I have the raid software setup to email me if anythings goes bad in the raid.
Installed SMART but it does not know what to make of the raid, oh well.
I installed serviio and it seems to be working fine so far, I need to transfer some data, movies and music to see if it really works.
The ssd really makes up for the stock cpu and stock memory. When I get the 5tb reds for storage I will upgrade the cpu and ram just for the extra kick.

Right now I am working on getting the drive lights to work, I found a thread where they have 3 drivers/software that are suppose to get them working, but am lost at the last part.
Will shout back if anything weird happens. At this rate, I could be tempted to switch over the end of this year, just waiting on those new big red drives.
More to come.

_________________
[X510 CPU/RAM/All 2 TB Red's] [X510 CPU/Sync'ed Backup/All 2 TB Hitachi's]
[X510 /2 in box]
[X710 LIAN LI DIY W2012E] Stablebit Drivepool [EX-503 LIAN LI 5-bay USB3 External]
:twisted: Fear the Cloud :twisted:


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 21, 2013 11:48 am 
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I think my approach for installing both Serviio and SubSonic is to install the latest version of Java and then install both products as is. That seemed to work for WHS2011 and I don't see why it won't work for WS2012E.

@Gardian did you find any major issues?

I'm not worried about the drive lights because my unit is tucked away down the side, but I admit a solution would be good.

I also need to create a powershell script to robocopy my D:\ServerFolders to E:\ServerFolders and schedule that, unless there are any other good ideas out there.

_________________
Server: HP EX495 | E5200 CPU @ 2.5GHz | 4GB RAM | 4 x Seagate Barracuda 1.5TB 7200RPM
Backup: Mediasonic HF2-SU2S2 | 4 x Seagate Barracuda Green 2.0TB 5900RPM
Operating System: Windows Server 2012 Essentials | Media Server| Anywhere Access


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 21, 2013 10:41 pm 
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Well, that was fairly straight forward.

Preparation
1. Download Java Windows Offline 32-bit
2. Download Java Windows Offline 64-bit
3. Download Serviio for Windows
4. Download SubSonic for Windows
5. Copy installer files to \\{server}\Company\Software\Server\

Serviio
1. Remote Desktop into Server as an Administrator
2. Open D:\ServerFolders\Company\Software\Server
3. Launch the Java Windows Offline 64-bit installer and complete
4. Launch the Serviio installer and complete
5. Confirm installation was successful

SubSonic
1. Remote Desktop into Server as an Administrator
2. Open D:\ServerFolders\Company\Software\Server
3. Launch the Java Windows Offline 32-bit installer and complete
4. Launch the SubSonic installer and complete
5. Confirm installation was successful and access the web page to change password and configure


Pretty simple. Now to search for a PowerShell scripts for robocopy to adapt.

_________________
Server: HP EX495 | E5200 CPU @ 2.5GHz | 4GB RAM | 4 x Seagate Barracuda 1.5TB 7200RPM
Backup: Mediasonic HF2-SU2S2 | 4 x Seagate Barracuda Green 2.0TB 5900RPM
Operating System: Windows Server 2012 Essentials | Media Server| Anywhere Access


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Gardian
PostPosted: Sat Jun 22, 2013 9:02 am 
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Cool, glad to hear you got them up and running. When I installed serviio it forced a java upgrade and everything went fine after that.
I looked at robocopy and I googled all the options but I have forgotten most on my command line stuff so I just used good old Synctoy and made pairs, but I wasn't moving I was just copying.

I got the lights to stop blinking which is good enough for now, I figure someone down the road will get it working. If not the system will send me emails if anything happens anyway, so the lights are not as needed as they used to be.
Continued good luck and Thanks for your info/experiences as it helps all of us. Till I find a real server hardware I am sticking with these micros for a while.

_________________
[X510 CPU/RAM/All 2 TB Red's] [X510 CPU/Sync'ed Backup/All 2 TB Hitachi's]
[X510 /2 in box]
[X710 LIAN LI DIY W2012E] Stablebit Drivepool [EX-503 LIAN LI 5-bay USB3 External]
:twisted: Fear the Cloud :twisted:


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 24, 2013 6:18 am 
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First: How did you get the light to stop blinking?

Second: Come on get a real server..... Just build one but first you need to join eBay Anonymous and stop searching for used MSS units. Surely by now you like I have enough parts to keep a server functional for years to come.

Third: Answer the first question first

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Exploring the possibilities!

Migrated from WHS2011 to WS2012E: HIGHLANDER

~ Norco 4220 Enclosure
~ Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD5
~ AMD Phenom II X4 995 3.2 GHz
~ 8 GB Corsair Vengeance DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800)
~ 3 Supermicro AOC-SASLP-MV8


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 24, 2013 9:47 am 
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morpheus.dreaming wrote:
Next Steps
I am researching the following, and any help or direction would be appreciated.
1. Automated copy of D:\ServerFolders to E:\ServerFolders (might have to be a robocopy scheduled task)
2. Install and configure Serviio
3. Install and configure Subsonic
4. Install and configure uTorrent
5. Research server based anti-virus protection
6. Research server based ip camera monitoring software


If you have a TechNet subscription, MS ForeFront works well on 2012 Essentials.

TinkeryGuy has a great write-up: [url]http://www.tinkertry.com/antivirus4ws2012e/[/url]


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 25, 2013 2:07 pm 
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More updates to my approach!

After researching the process of joining a domain I realised two key things. Firstly, you can connect your Microsoft Account to your Domain Account. Secondly, you can migrate your files and settings from your previous account to your new Domain Account. With this in mind I did the following:

Client Computers
For each client computer I uninstalled the WS2012E Connector and checked the Registry was clear.
1. Accessed the server from the client computer to install the connector software
2. Entered appropriate Domain Account
3. Rebooted, logged in as Domain Account
4. Connected Microsoft Account to Domain Account
5. Migrated settings and programs from one account to the other
6. Checked File History and Backup
7. Confirmed apps and settings were synched
8. Checked and configured previous programs and settings (basically, reinstall VLC, Chrome, and Trillian)


Automated Backup of ServerFolders
I needed a way to copy my ServerFolders from my internal drives to my external drives.
1. Located example PowerShell script
2. Adjusted script to remove mail functionality and configured for Robocopy settings
3. Tested script using "PowerShell -ExecutionPolicy Bypass -NoLogo -NonInteractive -file {script location}" command
4. Created Basic Task in Task Scheduler specifying "Run whether user is logged on or not" and "Runw with highest privileges"
5. Set Trigger to 0200
6. Tested by selecting the new task and chosing "Run"

I was using SyncToy with Windows Home Server 2011 but decided to use the "baked in" RoboCopy intead. So far I have 5 log files that I can view using the "My Server" application on my Surface RT whilst in a hotel room on business - works like a charm.


Comments and Questions
1. Domain vs Workgroup
I see no problem with joining a domain. What are the pros and cons that people have thought of?

2. MediaSmart Server Lights
@Gardian, how did you get the lights to stop blinking?

3. Server Protection
@steve053 I'll look into Microsoft Forefront but I understand Microsoft have stopped using it and are instead using System Center Endpoint Protection 2012. Looking into this more.

4. uTorrent
Will hopefully install this over the weekend and configure as a start up task.

5. IP Camera Monitoring
Must check out Blue Iris again, and also look at Xeoma.

6.. Remote Access
I'm going to start a new thread on this.

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Server: HP EX495 | E5200 CPU @ 2.5GHz | 4GB RAM | 4 x Seagate Barracuda 1.5TB 7200RPM
Backup: Mediasonic HF2-SU2S2 | 4 x Seagate Barracuda Green 2.0TB 5900RPM
Operating System: Windows Server 2012 Essentials | Media Server| Anywhere Access


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 09, 2013 8:07 pm 
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This is working ok on this hardware, I'm surprised but the ssd drives help a lot, it has been a challenge, why microsoft felt the need to make things harder I have no idea, but one thing for sure, i'm always learning.
This metro is really starting to make me mad, gees ma knees just trying to get the run box, I mean really.
Thank god that light quit blinking loloolol

Here is the write up on the lights and the two links below got my little light to quit blinking, but I am using raid and storage spaces which both will keep the drive lights from working.

http://forum.wegotserved.com/index.php/topic/18458-hp-ex48x-lights-management-driver-for-whs-2011/

http://downloadcenter.intel.com/confirm.aspx?httpDown=http://downloadmirror.intel.com/20768/eng/10.8.0.1003_f6flpy-x64.zip&lang=eng&Dwnldid=20768


http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=14632

_________________
[X510 CPU/RAM/All 2 TB Red's] [X510 CPU/Sync'ed Backup/All 2 TB Hitachi's]
[X510 /2 in box]
[X710 LIAN LI DIY W2012E] Stablebit Drivepool [EX-503 LIAN LI 5-bay USB3 External]
:twisted: Fear the Cloud :twisted:


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 11, 2013 5:12 am 
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Gardian the Service stops the health light from blinking but the correct INTEL RST Driver will cause the drive lights to turn on but they will be blinking because they are in a pool. There is some additional stuff to do to make them work in WS2012E. http://forum.wegotserved.com/index.php/ ... -whs-2011/ a link you also listed but read the INFO in GREEN to see what I mean.

Its a test server your running so now is the time to break it not when you purchase a license and then decide to get the drive lights working. Of course if your using it as a production server that's a different story but if its just a test server then that's the time to muck with things because you can afford to be brave.

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Exploring the possibilities!

Migrated from WHS2011 to WS2012E: HIGHLANDER

~ Norco 4220 Enclosure
~ Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD5
~ AMD Phenom II X4 995 3.2 GHz
~ 8 GB Corsair Vengeance DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800)
~ 3 Supermicro AOC-SASLP-MV8


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 11, 2013 5:26 am 
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Oops sorry I just read the last line about limitations regarding storage spaces which you are running. Here I am trying to encourage you to failure. ](*,) See what happens when you do not sleep well.

_________________
Exploring the possibilities!

Migrated from WHS2011 to WS2012E: HIGHLANDER

~ Norco 4220 Enclosure
~ Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD5
~ AMD Phenom II X4 995 3.2 GHz
~ 8 GB Corsair Vengeance DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800)
~ 3 Supermicro AOC-SASLP-MV8


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 03, 2013 2:21 pm 
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So this setup has been running good now for a while, EX490 stock CPU stock 2gig ram.
The Icydock Raided ssds are doing fine. I was having some heat warnings on my 2 old maxtor pool drives, but that's the old drives.
I did notice however that setting idle the system was using 1.4 gig of the 2 gig memory, so I ordered a 4 gig stick and just put it in. Wow, it seems snappier (doesn't always when you put new hardware in) :-) I checked the system and I brought up a couple of browser windows and clicked in windows update and bang, it jumped right up to two gig used, so I feel like the 4 gig is not going to be wasted as right now it's not doing much, but when it goes online for real it will get more of a workout.
So far so good, still waiting for the 4-5 tb reds to finish it off.

_________________
[X510 CPU/RAM/All 2 TB Red's] [X510 CPU/Sync'ed Backup/All 2 TB Hitachi's]
[X510 /2 in box]
[X710 LIAN LI DIY W2012E] Stablebit Drivepool [EX-503 LIAN LI 5-bay USB3 External]
:twisted: Fear the Cloud :twisted:


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 04, 2013 1:13 pm 
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Did you ever check the BIOS to see if you can set the fan speeds to Full Speed at all times? If you can do that then you can see if those Maxtor Drives will come down in temp and if not then you can always put the settings back where they were.

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Exploring the possibilities!

Migrated from WHS2011 to WS2012E: HIGHLANDER

~ Norco 4220 Enclosure
~ Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD5
~ AMD Phenom II X4 995 3.2 GHz
~ 8 GB Corsair Vengeance DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800)
~ 3 Supermicro AOC-SASLP-MV8


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