How To's & GuidesHow To Install Windows Home Server 2011 on to...

How To Install Windows Home Server 2011 on to a Tranquil PC SQA-5H


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If you already have a Tranquil PC SQA-5H Windows Home Server you might be considering how you would run Windows Home Server 2011 on it. In this guide we will show you just how to do that.

UWHS - SQA-5H WHS 2011 Installation Guide

Remember there is no possible way to upgrade a Windows Home Server V1 installation to Windows Home Server 2011 because 2011 is 64-bit and you just cant upgrade!


Before you start the process, you will need to have done the following:

  • either copied / moved off all your data from your existing WHS installation to a temporary location, OR you have put in a new System hard drive and have pulled out all the data drives
  • obtained a copy of Windows Home Server 2011 (at the time of writing this article you can only get it from MSDN or TechNet – the System Builder channel will have it at a later time, but remember it is not a retail product)
  • the latest SIL 3124 drives (more on that later)
  • Tranquil SQA-5H front panel drivers for WHS 2011 – these control the lights (more on that later too)
  • you have made a note of the user account details you will need to set up again and a note of any add-ins you had so that you can check if there are any WHS 2011 versions available as the V1 versions will not work with 2011
  • a few hours of time
  • and in honour of Tim – a few beers (or in my case soft drinks!)

This process works perfectly well if you use either a normal hard drive as your system drive or a Tranquil PC SAFE drive. I have tried it on both, with the SAFE drive being my main system drive.

If you don’t want to do this yourself, or you are unsure, Tranquil are offering an upgrade service, which includes the cost of a WHS 2011 licence and moving all your data for you.

Tranquil PC’s Windows Home Server 2011 Upgrade Service

Step 1 – Preparing the SQA-5H

Once you have performed all the pre-requisites, its time to start the actual installation.

For this step, the easiest way of installing Windows Home Server 2011 is to connect a mouse, keyboard and monitor and perform it that way, although most Windows Home Server’s from OEMs don’t have a monitor port.

As you probably know if you look at the back of the SQA-5H there is no visible monitor port. Fortunately Tranquil provided a monitor port, but it is hidden under a small Service plate.

So, do the following to be able to access the monitor port:

Unplug everything from your SQA-5H.

Turn it around so that the back is facing you.

UWHS - SQA-5H WHS 2011 Installation Guide

Unscrew the four screws on the Service plate to access the monitor port.

UWHS - SQA-5H WHS 2011 Installation Guide

Step 2 – Installing Windows Home Server 2011

Install Windows Home Server 2011, either from DVD using a USB connected DVD reader, or from a USB stick.

How to install Windows Home Server from a USB stick Windows Home Server 2011 Installation Overview video
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.


  1. This are my favorite types of how to’s, thanks Andrew.

    I wanted to say that I am pleased to see how Tranquil supports their WHS v1 hardware users by suppling them with a free front panel driver upgrade for WHS2011. Since I am a MediaSmart owner, I know that HP will not supply the same for it’s users since it has dropped the product.

    So thanks Tranquil for supporting your WHS v1 boxes to upgrade to WHS2011. 🙂

  2. Hi Andrew,
    Thanks for the guide. I have been thinking of doing exactly this when 2011 becomes properly available. I was wondering what would happen to the front panel lights – great to be able to get drivers for them.
    I notice that Tranquil are also offering to upgrade the SQA-5H to a Leo HS4. I had also been wondering if it would be possible to upgrade the hardware myself fromthe Atom to something more powerful to take advantage of all the features of 2011. I noticed that the Leo appears to have the same chasis, so concluded that it must be possible. A guide on how to do that would be awesome!

    • thanks Richard 🙂

      Once I get my hands on a Leo, which should be very soon now I can have a look at just how different it is, however I think its going to be fair to say that its going to be a pain and probably costly to do.

      My gut feeling would be that if you were not planning on doing media streaming you should be ok with the Atom.

      But watch this space 🙂

  3. Thanks for that Andrew. I am slowly coming around to the idea that I will upgrade to WHS 2011. As a very happy SQA-5H owner this helps a whole lot. I currently serve all my DVD & BD movies from my WHS V1 with ease, so will be keen to see how the V2 installation will perform.

  4. Hi Andrew thanks for producing this fantastic guide. I have had a series 1 SQA-5H for some time now and currently trying the install WHS 2011 downloaded using my TechNet subscription.

    The install progresses exactly in accordance with your guide (including front panel LED drivers) except the PCI SATA controller shows up in Device Manager as a RAID controller rather than a SCSI controller and consequently the Silicon Image SATALink Controller drivers are not recognised and will not install.

    BIOS version is LF94510J.86A.0103.2008.0814.1910 and when selecting F4 to enter the RAID Utility it reports “No device detected, Utility disabled! Press any key to continue”. Motherboard shows as Intel D945GCLF2 Version AAE46416-103.

    If I revert back to WHS V1 all drives are detected and operate normally which kind of discounts a hardware failure.

    I’m not quite sure where to go from here and would really appreciate any advice you can offer.
    Alan 🙂

  5. Hi Andrew, once again thank you for your help, it looks like you have built a very good working relationship with the guys at Tranquil PC.

    I chose the latter of the two options you suggested, update the PCI SATA adaptor firmware and then install Sil 3124 64-bit Windows BASE Driver for Windows 7 (

    Although I followed the Tranquil Knowledgebase Article to the letter, I did have a couple of issues which took me some time to work out what was going on.

    Firstly on running the “HP Disk Storage Format Tool”, used to create the required bootable USB, the application was completely greyed out. Solution was to install the FormatTool.exe directly on the root drive, after that the application worked perfectly. I’m running Windows 7 Professional, not sure if the same would apply to Windows XP, I’ll try it on a virtual XP machine when I get chance.

    Secondly when booting the SQA-5H from the bootable USB, the machine would hang and not shutdown as expected. I checked the SQA-5A was correctly booting from USB by using the Tranquil Home Server RECOVERY USB key, which worked perfectly. I tried different makes of USB stick, Kingston, Transcend and Integral which made no difference.Finally I decided to format the USB as FAT32 rather than FAT (16-bit) as indicated in the Tranquil Article, this worked absolutely perfect.

    I did have to install the new 64-bit driver manually via Windows Update site selecting install the drivers automatically all of which is exactly as described in the Tranquil Article.

    Installation of the SQA-5H Front Panel Drivers was an absolute breeze following the instructions in your post.

    Sorry for the long post, it may be useful to other SQA-5H owners (particularly those with older series 1 machines) looking to install WHS 2011.

    Alan 🙂

  6. Hi im just on the process of upgrading my SQA-5H which seems to be a series one to whs2011 and came across the same issues as Alan.
    Just wanted to say thanks for your instructions they helped me get through the process easily and without any problems.
    Also thanks for the article it has made upgrading nice and easy, except for the bugger of data transfers 😉

    • Hi Martin, Nice to hear your WHS 2011 install went well (data transfer aside). The SQA-5H is a fantastic box and all I can say is WHS 2011 has made it even better – the remote access is great. I just need to get my UPS sorted and would really like to see a WHS 2001 version of Gridjunction – fantastic addin!!

  7. Hi Alan,

    Great site, great article.

    I also have a fairly new SQA-5H, and I’m thinking about upgrading to WHS2011.

    My main concern is around the amount of data I have in the SQA-5H (about 2.5GB)

    I have 10TB in the SQA-5H (five 2TB drives). I was wondering – would it be possible to remove 2 of the drives from the storage pool, copy all my stuff to them, update to WHS2011, and then copy them back? I don’t have any drive replication going on.

    2nd question: when all this is done, I will of course lose Drive Extender functionality. What would be your advice on what to do about that?

  8. Hi Lanre

    To answer your questions:

    1 – yes, as long as you can fit your data onto those two drives you can do that – just remember to connect the drives back onto the WHS 2011 box after the installation, then copy or move the data to your WHS 2011 box, then do whatever you want with the drives.

    2 – depends on if you think you need Drive Extender functionality. For me I am just using a couple of drives that are spanned (and thats for machine backup purposes as I dont store data on my WHS).

    All three of the DE replacement add-ins are still in beta so I cant really recommend any of the as yet. Keep reading UWHS to learn more about them over the coming weeks and months.


  9. Updated my SQA-5H today with WHS 2011, and appart from locating the right SIL driver and the front-panel driver, everything has been smooth and easy.

    The selection of 2011-plugins is a bit thin (I am in particular dissapoiunted that Logitec has chosen not to make a 2011-version of SqueezeBox Server) but hopefully time will solve that.

    The SQA-5H is a great little box, although I am missing RAID1 on the first to SATA chanels, and the option to increase the RAM to more than 2 GB (which the chipset does not support).

    Rather than paying for an expensive upgrade (Leo), I’ll probably end up getting an additional box for media functionality, and keep the current one for the simple always-on stuff like backups, remote access, etc.

  10. Hello,
    hoping somebody could help me. I have installed the driver for the panel lights and when restarted everything was fine. Now it no longer works no matter how many times i install and does not show up in the device manager any ideas? thanks

  11. Hi,

    I am trying to install the whs 2011 on to my series 2 sqa5h but can’t even get the whs 2011 install to boot, I have copied the dvd software to 3 different pen sticks/hard drives (following the format disk tutorial 6 times) and the sqa5h won’t boot from the drive (tried the whs1 tranqil recovery key which works so i know it can boot)

    any ideas of known issues?

  12. Hi Lee,
    I had a similar problem. Have you tried formatting the USB stick as FAT32 rather than FAT16?

  13. Great how-to Andrew, thanks very much! I will be carrying this out myself in the next couple of weeks as I have been mulling over the Tranquil full-on Leo upgrade but I just can’t justify the cost when a license is under £40 and I have time on my hands.

    One question for you – I have the same setup with the SAFE drive and as far as I know there is no data on my SAFE, it’s all on the other drives. Can I just eject the other drives, install WHS2011 onto the SAFE and then reinstall the data drives? Or is there anything special I need to do to the data drives before nuking WHSv1? I didn’t totally follow the answer to Lanre above – why not just reinsert the drives instead of having to copy data between them?

  14. Cheers – I’m going to do this on Friday this week; next step is choosing the right drive extender addin…

  15. Thx alot for this good description. Sadly I am encountering 2 problems. First off all in my device list the scsi or SATA controller you are talking about is named raid controller and your driver is not accepted and second I can t install the client software on my pcs, because when they are establishing the connection to the server, I get the error message that the server seems to be in a reboot or installation process. I think it is because of the driver problem. Login over internet works. Media sharing too. Can anyone help me?

  16. Create article, only thig is the PANEL LIGHTS HHHHHHUURUURURURR!

  17. the front panel driver download link isn’t working atm. Any chance you could fix it please?

    Thanks, John.

  18. Hi, This guide was brilliant, followed each step, no problems at all, and after subscribing I was able to download the front panel drivers, this worked first time, I now have a fully activated and fully running windows server 2011 on my Tranquil server and it is running lovely, Thank you for your great guide, now all I need is a itunes server to put on it, after searching for this im confused as to how itunes should be set up, but will get there in the end, thank you

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