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PostPosted: Fri Sep 07, 2012 2:41 pm 
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Starting a new thread dedicated to the HP MediaSmart EX495 hardware.

Hardware:
HP MediaSmart EX495
- Q9550S processor upgrade
- 4 GB RAM
- VGA Debug Card - connected to a Sewell HDMI converter
- JMicron Raid 1 Disk enclosure (2 laptops disks)
- 3 1.5 TB Seagate Disks

Windows 8 Pro
Windows 8 installed without any problems. In fact it found all the necessary drivers via Windows update. The only issue still outstanding is the Intel RST drivers which are specifically needed for the HP MediaSmart Disk Lights utility. The standard drivers work just fine for Storage Spaces, and everything else however. However since I am a bit OC, I need to figure out how to get the Intel drivers installed.

Windows 2012 Essentials RC
Wow this took a lot longer to install (4x longer) than Windows 8 due to the setup / config of Server Essentials. The fact that it must be a Domain Controller is part of the delay. Also it didn't find the Mass Storage Controller by default. The marvel 6_xxxx driver is not the right one either. Also the Video Adapter was not found. Needless to say, this is not going to be as easy as installing Windows 8 RTM :-)

- Update1: Had to install Silicon Image drivers for Mass Controller* SiI 3531 64-bit Windows SATARAID5 Driver for Windows 7 6/4/2009 version 1.5.20.1. Now I can see my eSata drives. Note that after each reboot, the sata drives are lost until I cycle the power???
- Had to install the Intel G33/G31 Windows 7 x64 graphics driver. Yipee- I now have 1920x1080 resolution on my local vga to hdmi adapter. Also I noticed that Windows 8 is using a G33/G31 WDDM graphics driver- 8.15.10.2697- I should have used that one.

- Update 2. Was able to get an older version of Intels RST / IA Store installed - 8.9.0.1023 / 6/4/2009. While this now allows me to start the install of the HP MediaSmart disk lights tool, there is a dependency in the tool for HpMssIO.dll, which it cant find. I will need to followup with the developer.
If this cant be fixed, I am not sure that changing from the MS IDE ATA/ATAPI controller is of much benefit. After reading the developers links, this tool appears to not work on Server 2008 R2 therefore it wont work on Server 2012. It was written specifically for WHS 2011 :-( Maybe an update can be made??

* Cool Note:
I configured Windows 8 Storage Spaces to use my 3 1.5 TB disks as a Parity Space. Then I rebooted and installed a Clean Copy of Server 2012 Essentials. Guess what? My Storage space is seen via the new OS. This definatley did not happen with software Raid 5 when I rebuilt WHS 2011 to Windows 8. I am really digging this new Storage Spaces.


Last edited by jasperkins on Fri Sep 07, 2012 9:07 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 07, 2012 8:25 pm 
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OK- The overhead on Windows Essentials 2012 needing to be a Domain controller, DNS, extra features..... its just more than I need from a network file server. I am going back to Windows 8 Pro, as all the drivers seem to function better from the install, and its just much more responsive as an OS given the hardware which the mediasmart is. Overkill comes to mind when I think of Server 2012 Essentials for home use.

I am just not sure what I am really going to miss by going to Windows 8 Pro vs Server Essentials for my home - which has ~5 systems. I can put Windows 8 into a HomeGroup mode, install more apps on it than server, use media center, configure dlna.....

So what are the pros again of going Server 2012 Essentials for home :-)


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2012 11:03 am 
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Hi Jasperkins,
I have a MediaSmart EX495 server with all the standard fixin's: 2GB RAM, E5200 CPU, no video.

I was wondering if you could provide directions on how to install Windows 8.

Also, I haven't seen the insides of this hardware, so I'm not sure how easy it is to upgrade the RAM or the CPU, which I think I might need if I install Windows 8 and a development instance of SQL Server 2012. If you could provide me some pointers on RAM/CPU upgrade I'd really appreciate that as well.

Thanks for your continued support on this old, mostly-unsupported hardware. Guys like me who still have them hanging around really appreciate it!


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2012 11:05 am 
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If you don't have the debug cable, you can always install Windows Vista/08, 7/08 R2, or 8/Server 12 on another computer (Intel to Intel or AMD to AMD would be best) and then just slide the drive right into Port 1. I did this using Hyper-V in Windows 8 and used the physical drive as the "virtual" drive for the VM.

Microsoft changed how the HAL layer works in Vista which made imaging computers, or in this case, moving from one hardware setup to another, worlds easier than it would be in XP/03 days.

That is how I got Server 2012 Essentials installed on my EX490 (with e8500 CPU upgrade) without a VGA cable. Didn't even need to mess around with an unintended setup file.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 19, 2013 12:12 pm 
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First of all thanks for the thoughts I think on balence I agree that windows 8 Pro at only £50-£60 is a far better option for a home server than £270 on windows server 2012 essentials.

So I'm going to put my order in and do the redbuild to windows 8 pro.

Can I ask I see you have done a cpu upgrade but the high spec Q9550s you have is a good £275. When you did your research did you find any other processor options that maybe had a better performance vs price ratio? and could just go straight into the existing CPU board / fan etc so the upgrade is nice and simple ?

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HP EX490 with External VGA + Keyboard + Mouse Unit (still original Celeron 450 & 2Gb RAM for now!!)
Windows 8 Pro
House Has:
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4 Dell Laptops
2 Samsung Smart TV's
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 19, 2013 3:31 pm 
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Before using storage spaces for long term, I suggest you read up on it. It doesn't do automatic rebalancing on the drives at all.

http://social.technet.microsoft.com/For ... 7fd73e85b/

There are various long time issues that will arise because MS's failure in implementing storage spaces.


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PostPosted: Thu May 30, 2013 1:56 pm 
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I just installed Server 2012 Essentials into my EX495 and I need to add some new drives. Does anyone know if you can use 4TB drives?

thanks!

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Stock EX495 2.5TB running Server Essentials 2012


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PostPosted: Fri May 31, 2013 12:50 pm 
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I put in 3 TBs in my EX495 with Server 2012 Essentials and they were recognized just fine so I do not see why 4 TB drives would be any different. Good luck!


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 14, 2013 6:38 pm 
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Just for those going down this road, I am testing the ICY dock Raid setup for bay 1.
http://www.icydock.com/goods.php?id=121
I did this because I wanted to harden my 2012E OS with raid1 but didn't want to take more then 1 bay, I also wanted to be able to use SSD drives for this raid1 to make up for the short comings of the 490/5 series.
So far I have tested it with 2 160gig WD blue laptop drives and all is well. I loaded up 2012E on this raid that fit into bay1 and have ordered 2 ssd to replace the blues.
I contacted Icydock to see how I would handle a drive failure and they emailed me back. I have to admit it sounds really easy.

Installed the raid software from Icydock on the server with no problems. And this is what they said:
The rebuild process is fairly straightforward to do if one of the drives died in a raid 1 mirror setup.

Quote:
Find out which slot you will need to replace the drive with. Disk 1 (HDD1) refers to the bottom slot and Disk 2 (HDD2) is the top slot from a top view of the MB982SPR-2S.
If the HDD1 failed - power off the computer, remove the converter from the case, take out the failed drive from HDD1 bay, leave the bay empty then power on the computer. Open the RAID software, the chipset will now make the HDD 2 as source drive. Turn off the power; put the new drive to the HDD1 slot, power on the PC again, open the RAID software to start the rebuilding.

If the HDD2 failed – same as above but with HDD2 will be removed instead.


I think I will buy an extra raid dock just for a spare.
So, raid1 in one bay, Yah!!!

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 07, 2014 10:51 pm 
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jasperkins wrote:
Starting a new thread dedicated to the HP MediaSmart EX495 hardware.

Hardware:
HP MediaSmart EX495
- Q9550S processor upgrade
- 4 GB RAM
- VGA Debug Card - connected to a Sewell HDMI converter
- JMicron Raid 1 Disk enclosure (2 laptops disks)
- 3 1.5 TB Seagate Disks



Windows 2012 Essentials RC
Wow this took a lot longer to install (4x longer) than Windows 8 due to the setup / config of Server Essentials. The fact that it must be a Domain Controller is part of the delay. Also it didn't find the Mass Storage Controller by default. The marvel 6_xxxx driver is not the right one either. Also the Video Adapter was not found. Needless to say, this is not going to be as easy as installing Windows 8 RTM :-)

- Update1: Had to install Silicon Image drivers for Mass Controller* SiI 3531 64-bit Windows SATARAID5 Driver for Windows 7 6/4/2009 version 1.5.20.1. Now I can see my eSata drives. Note that after each reboot, the sata drives are lost until I cycle the power???
- Had to install the Intel G33/G31 Windows 7 x64 graphics driver. Yipee- I now have 1920x1080 resolution on my local vga to hdmi adapter. Also I noticed that Windows 8 is using a G33/G31 WDDM graphics driver- 8.15.10.2697- I should have used that one.

- Update 2. Was able to get an older version of Intels RST / IA Store installed - 8.9.0.1023 / 6/4/2009. While this now allows me to start the install of the HP MediaSmart disk lights tool, there is a dependency in the tool for HpMssIO.dll, which it cant find. I will need to followup with the developer.
If this cant be fixed, I am not sure that changing from the MS IDE ATA/ATAPI controller is of much benefit. After reading the developers links, this tool appears to not work on Server 2008 R2 therefore it wont work on Server 2012. It was written specifically for WHS 2011 :-( Maybe an update can be made??


So our setups are similar hardware wise. I have a EX495 with a Q9550s processor. how did the driver issues work out given some time. I was installing the Intels RST 8.9 but it looks to be 32 bit. and the version 12 wont install on my system. did you ever upgrade the video driver? is there an updated network driver?


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