Installing Windows Home Server 2011 on HP MediaSmart EX470 or EX475

This article provides steps to assist you with the installation of Windows Home Server 2011 on an HP MediaSmart EX470 or EX475. Please note that the minimum RAM requirement of this OS is 2GB.

There are several useful guides out there explaining how to install Windows Home Server 2011 on an HP MediaSmart using a flash drive; including Sean Daniel’s in-depth post here. However, if you have a desktop PC handy, this is an alternative method which lets you to prepare the drive in another system and avoid the USB approach altogether. Since the MediaSmart doesn’t have a display, I found this method preferable.

What you’ll need:

  • A desktop system with a SATA drive connector
  • Windows Home Server 2011 installation CD

How to do it:

  • Remove the hard disk from your MediaSmart and connect it to your desktop PC’s SATA connector. Make sure the drive is greater than 160GB in capacity.
  • Insert your Windows Home Server 2011 DVD and boot the PC
  • Use the appropriate key to enter boot device selection and select the CD/DVD drive
  • Once the installer has loaded, select “New Install” and proceed with the default options.
  • Agree to the EULA and start the installation.
  • Switch off this PC during the first reboot – Very important.
  • Remove this drive from your desktop PC and place it into the MediaSmart server in the bottom bay.
  • Boot the server and wait between 5 and 15 minutes
  • Check your “Network” view on your local PC and the MediaSmart should appear as “SERVER”
  • If you’re using Windows 7, right click SERVER and select “Go to administration website”, alternatively, navigate your browser to http://server/connect
  • Follow the rest of the installation instructions until your server is ready to use.

Additional notes:

Make sure your disable the SMI USB Disk in your computer management > diagnostics > devices or else you’ll be harassed with “low disk space” warnings.

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