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Experiences and Issues Upgrading to the HP MediaSmart Server 3.0 Software Release


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This week saw the long anticipated and promised release of the HP MediaSmart Server 3.0 software update for Windows Home Server. I upgraded both my EX475 and my EX487 to see how easy it was.

And I had some really annoying problems that you might want to be aware of!


I needed a set of the upgrade DVDs for both my EX475 and my EX487 – each set of DVDs will only work on that series, so if you have both, you will need both DVD sets.

I also needed the most important tool of all to assist with the restore process:

HP Recovery Process Start Tool

Plus I had the manuals for the upgrades – which you can read here: HP MediaSmart Server 3.0 Software Update Manuals for Windows Home Server


The whole process was very quick and smooth, and I didn’t have any problems (unlike with the EX475, but I am getting ahead of myself).

As you can see, after the installation completed I was now running version 3.0 of the software.

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I did spot an odd quirk when performing the PP3 updates – notice the amount downloaded! Having spoken with Microsoft about it last night, they confirmed its a known issue and that it is just a reporting error that seems to happen on occasion, so nothing to be worried about.

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And that was it – I had to perform the PP3 update, along with some other Windows updates, and also recreate my user accounts, and reinstall any add-ins, but that wasn’t too much of an onerous task.


The first thing you should do, if you haven’t done so already is to upgrade the RAM on this box, as it just won’t cope. I won’t go into details here as I know that Tim is planning to go through this in his article soon.

I started the upgrade process in exactly the same way as the EX487 and it found the server.

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Then the server was rebuilt:

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Andrew Edney
Andrew Edney
I am the owner and editor of this site. I have been interested in gadgets and tech since I was a little kid. I have also written a number of books on various tech subjects. I also blog for The Huffington Post and for FHM. And I am honoured to be a Microsoft MVP since January 2008 - again this year as an Xbox MVP.


    • I tried that – I tried just about everything.

      It might be that your DVDs work fine – but certainly the ones I have here didn't for the EX475 but worked perfectly on the EX487!

      I even tried repeating it on the original drive and the new drive but no joy!

      let us know how you get on.


  1. Oh Andrew, giving up Photo Web sharing?

    that is going to be a big one for me as it is able to use password sharing unlike the 3.0 photo program i.e can you guess the name of my private pictures folder anyone?

    great GUI just really lacking in security.

    although if i cant work out the explorer 8 conflics with it i may jump onboard anyway

    • Yeah, I know what you mean. But for those not using it then it is an easier decision, and for those who do use it they need to decide if the features they are gaining outway the features they are losing.

      Im still not sure why HP keep removing features with all of their updates though!


    • thanks Tim – its weird, but I just couldnt get it to work for the EX475 but it was no problem on the EX487.

      I have asked HP to comment….


  2. On one hand,I'm not happy that you ran into a problem with the EX475 install, on the other I am. Goes to show you that problems can occur and posting your experience make it easier for others to give it a try and see what might happen.

    Imagine, you even did it the right way and still had an issue. With a lot of people having their precious data on their servers, this would freak them out.

    • Well I am hoping that for whatever reason the problem was me – although as I tried it on 3 different Windows 7 machines in the end and couldnt get it worked, but the 1st attempt on a Vista machine worked (and I did it on 2 different drives) I certain 7 was the culprit.

      And yes, I was worried because it looked like the rebuild hadnt worked – when I looked on my network it couldnt see a machine called HPSTORAGE, but there was a machine called init…. or something like that, so I figured it hadnt finished! I even left it sitting there for a few hours on the off chance it was taking a while, but that didnt help either!

      So if this is a problem and otheres will have it, I am glad I found a solution.

      As soon as I hear back from HP I will post the response….

      I await your next challenge old buddy 🙂 I think…..


  3. Andrew, Andrew, your looking for more punishment.:-)

    I didn't want to spring this one on you so soon, give you a break, but your challenging me now. 😉

    I just so happen to have one up my sleeve, I was wondering if Drive Balancer would work with the v3 update?

    The method here is effective if you have enough free space to enable Folder Duplication on ALL share. This might be difficult if you have a large video collection and not enough space to duplicate.

    Using Drive Balancer would not require Folder Dupication turned on, and could force data off the system drive but will reinstalling the v3 OS work ?

    Good Luck , hehe (devil grin).

  4. Finally got my HP disk and watched your install videos. Made both my backups and started the recovery. Constantly hung up on Cannot find server! Used 4 different Windows 7 machines (both 32 and 64 bit). Disabled firewall, opened recommended ports, run as administrator, different cat 5 hookup options, nothing worked. Any other things to try while I try to get my hands on an old XP machine?

    • Ross

      To be honest, the answer is no, I cant suggest anything else because I tried for nearly 2 days to get it to work and then could only do it via Vista an not 7.

      I spoke to HP who claimed they had no problems at all and it must have been me and my network setup!



  5. I spent about 3 hours with HP trying to upgrade my EX470 – nothing worked! I tried Windows 7 64 bit and Windows XP. Couldn't find the server once it's in the recovery mode. If anyone has a solution please let me know. Thank you.

    • I am in the same boat. Have a 470 and once the update installs, the health light flashes blue on off. have spent the entire day trying to install, to no avail on both Win 7 32 and 64 machines. will try on old XP laptop in the AM. AAAAARRRRGGGG.

      • Will

        Sorry to report but HP still wont recognise the problem and claim that it isnt happening, even though it obviously is!

        how did you get on with running it via XP?

        I have tried it numerous times since I wrote the article and each time its the same…..


        • No luck on the XP, the program kept crashing. Tried on both 32 abd 64. Also, just finished trying on Vista 64 and now the server is flashing red/purple health?? No idea what this means

          • great 🙁

            at what point is it flashing purple/red?

            One thing I also noticed a few times is after it did the intial work and then rebooted, I had to wait sometimes upwards of 15 minutes before it found it!


            • So I found I work around. I used Win 7 Pro with XP virtualization. Had to turn off all the firewalls, and installed in XP mode. Now for the bad news, I had folder duplication turned on, but still seem to have lost all of my data. I am also getting an error that says "The Drive Extender Migrator Service is not running"

              • Murphy's law. I am pretty sure one of my WD 1TB Green drives failed. It was registering as healthy prior to the update. Trying to recover, but I think I may be SOL. 3TB of movies and shows may be gone. Why did I every start this update?

                • man that is not good!

                  have you tried plugging the drives into your normal PC and seeing if you can read the data?

                  the upgrade process should not have touched the data drives, even if one failed. that said, it should have worked perfectly the first time but we all know it doesnt!


  6. Andrew,

    My disks shipped 3/16 and they arrived today USPS. I did some research before the disks arrived and on twitter, one user reported that he had to add HPSTORAGE to the hosts file (I did not do this) and turn windows firewall off (my win firewall is off & I use another AV firewall in its place) before his system would find the server. He did not say what OS he is using.

    I am using XPPro 32 bit. My EX470 already had the 2Gb RAM installed and I followed your instructions a few weeks ago to dup my folders and let my system balance in preparation to replace the 500Gb drive with a 1.5Tb. My install is currently rebuilding the server and so far, so good.

    My question is, once this install is complete with updates and everything is installed, can I take the old system drive and place it in an empty bay and just add it to the system as usual OR do I need to connect it to another PC and do a format or low level format before adding it to the system?


  7. where can I find info on what typeof ram and directions on replacing my ram on the media smart server 475

  8. Just had the same error using an old XP laptop. Finally managed to get past this error and continue the setup by turning off my firewall and I also had to make sure the date/time was set correctly (it was still set at 2005).

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