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FAQ: HP MediaSmart Server ex470 and ex475

Welcome to the HP MediaSmart Server FAQ!

This FAQ is intended to answer many of the common questions about the HP MediaSmart Server. Please check here, and in other articles and threads on the site to see if your question has been answered before posting in the MediaSmartHome Forums.




What is the HP MediaSmart Server?

HP MediaSmart Server is a home server from Hewlett-Packard that runs the Windows Home Server operating system. Read HP MediaSmart Server Overview and Specifications and Getting to Know the HP MediaSmart Server - Overview From a New Owner for more.

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Does the HP MediaSmart Server offer wireless networking?

Although the HP MediaSmart Server needs to be wired to your network through an Ethernet cable, it supports both wired and wireless devices via your wireless router

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Does the HP MediaSmart Server allow for file sharing beyond the immediate LAN via FTP or other methods?

You can remotely access files from the server and individual PC’s on your home network. For example, you might want to access a document on the server while traveling on business. Or, you might want to remotely access a contact from Outlook or an invoice amount from QuickBooks running on your PC. (For remote computer access, the network computer must be running Windows® XP Professional, Media Center Edition 2005 or Windows® Vista Ultimate.) You can also easily share photos with selected friends and relatives with HP’s Photo Webshare feature. You can also setup a Guest account for your HP MediaSmart Server and allow selected visitors to access files from your HP MediaSmart Server.

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What are the details of the HP MediaSmart Server’s Photo Webshare feature?

HP’s Photo Webshare feature is an easy, secure way to share photos and video clips with friends, relatives or clients directly from the HP MediaSmart Server. Set up separate groups for viewing different photo albums. An email containing a link to your server, including authentication, can automatically be sent to visitors each time you add new photos. Visitors can view the photos, save the photos to their own PC, and/or send photos to Snapfish for printing. Selected visitors can also be given permission to add their own photos for sharing (e.g. a ski club Group could be setup that allowed each member to add their own photos to the album).

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Is there a RAID option on the HP MediaSmart Server?

The HP MediaSmart Server uses a sophisticated technology in the Microsoft Windows Home Server software called “folder duplication.” For extra protection, selected shared folders can be duplicated on a separate hard drive on the HP MediaSmart Server.

Selected folder duplication works with both internal and external hard disk drives. Selected folder duplication is superior to RAID in that you don’t have to duplicate those folders that don’t need duplication – for instance, TV shows and PC backups. This utilizes hard disk drive space more efficiently. This technology allows you to add different or higher capacity hard drives as they become available without sacrificing space on the new drive for RAID. As you add hard disk drives to the system your overall storage capacity simply grows larger by that amount.

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Does the HP MediaSmart Server work as a media server (use, for example, UPnP protocol to serve files to a digital media receiver hooked up in your entertainment center)?

Yes. The HP MediaSmart Server uses Windows Media Connect media streaming protocol, a superset of UPnP AV 2.0. The HP MediaSmart Server provides media streaming for downloaded “Hollywood” movies. What this means is that you can order a movie from your PC or TV that is connected to your network, and the movie can be downloaded to the server and streamed to your TV without having to keep the notebook powered up

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Does the HP MediaSmart Server work with Apple and Linux-based systems?

The HP MediaSmart Server can be used as a file server for Mac and Linux computers. You can backup to the HP MediaSmart Server from these systems with your own backup software that runs on Mac and Linux systems.

The HP MediaSmart Server has a “Server for iTunes” feature whereby you can automatically copy iTunes music from family members’ PCs to the HP MediaSmart Server to be easily shared around your home network. The Server for iTunes feature even preserves playlists from each user’s PC. The Server for iTunes feature will synchronize new music to the server as that music is added to individual PCs. Music on the server can then be accessed from each individual PC’s iTunes library. Note that the MediaSmart Server does not count as one of the five playback devices in iTunes. The Server for iTunes feature is designed for sharing music across the local network only.

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Does HP’s MediaSmart Server offer hot-swapping of drives?

You can remove a hard drive (both SATA and external USB drives) without powering down the system, but first you must “remove it” via the Home Server Console. Content is migrated off the hard disk drive to be removed; you will get adequate warnings if there’s not enough room on other hard disk drives for the content. The hard disk drive indicator on the unit glows purple, telling you it’s ok to remove the hard disk drive. You insert a new hard disk drive, then go to the Home Server Console to “add it” to your volume. The overall capacity increases, and the LED glows blue to indicate that the storage has been added.

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What is the maximum storage capacity of HP MediaSmart Server?

Expanding the capacity is extremely easy. Maximum capacity is only limited by hard disk drive capacities and number of bays (4), USB ports (4) and eSATA ports (1) on the HP MediaSmart Server. Once 1 Terabyte drives are widely available, the user could conceivably have 9 Terabytes of capacity in the HP MediaSmart Server. Disc drive capacities will continue to grow. Thus, the HP MediaSmart Server grows as your data needs grow.

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If my hard drive crashes, would it be possible to re-image a new hard drive for my computer using the HP MediaSmart Server?

Yes, The HP MediaSmart Server automatically backs up your hard disk drive image and can save multiple versions. It also comes with a PC Restore CD that you merely insert into your PC (after replacing the hard drive in event that the hard disk drive failure), and pull your desired hard disk drive image from the HP MediaSmart Server. If your computer has merely been corrupted by a virus, malware, spyware etc., you can re-image your hard disk drive from a known good state by bringing back an older version of the hard disk drive image from the HP MediaSmart Server.

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If I lost my notebook, would it be possible to re-image my new computer using the HP MediaSmart Server?

It is not possible to re-image the new computer simply due to third party license restrictions. However, you will be able to restore your data as individual folders and files from the HP MediaSmart Server just like you had them in your old computer.

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What type of security does the HP MediaSmart Server have?

The HP MediaSmart Server includes several security measures. In particular, since it’s remotely accessible, security is applied in several ways for remote access and sharing via the photo webshare feature.

• The HP MediaSmart Server administrator assigns a user name and password for up to 10 users plus an additional pre-defined Guest user account. Remote access is disabled by default and must be enabled for each of the user accounts. The Guest account is not enabled or given access to any shared folders by default.

• Remote access to the HP MediaSmart Server and HP Photo Webshare is handled through 128 bit https only. Users must login and authenticate to access the HP MediaSmart Server or PC applications through the HP MediaSmart Server. Webshare visitors are sent a secure link to the HP MediaSmart Server that includes authentication. Also, any users with special Webshare permissions such as uploading photos will always be required to login and authenticate themselves.

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Will everyone be able to see all files?

The HP MediaSmart Server administrator can set Read/Write, Read Only or No Access privileges for each user. Access privileges are set at the shared folder level. The HP MediaSmart Server administrator also controls the remote access privilege for each user.

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What types of hard disk drives can be added inside the HP MediaSmart Server?

Any off-the-shelf internal SATA drive will work in the HP MediaSmart Server. Any external USB drive will work with the four USB ports. If the drive is not formatted NTFS, it will warn the user, then reformat the drive to NTFS. Most new drives ship pre-formatted in NTFS

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Can the drives be partitioned?

No. The storage appears as one large volume. When you add a hard drive to the HP MediaSmart Server, it merely increases the size of the volume. You don’t have to deal with volumes or partitions.

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Can you load a program on the HP MediaSmart Server and share that program among multiple PCs?

No. The HP MediaSmart Server is not intended to be a general purpose application server. However, applications are being written specifically for the HP MediaSmart Server.

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How many computers can the HP MediaSmart Server handle?

Maximum of 10 users plus a guest.

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Does the HP MediaSmart Server discover all computers on a network and automatically back them up?

Once you install the Control Center software on a computer, it will automatically be backed up to the HP MediaSmart Server. You can also customize the backup. This Control Center software must be installed on each PC that you wish to include in the backup operation.

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Can the HP MediaSmart Server back up a computer connected remotely?

No. PCs must be on the local network (wired or wirelessly) to be backed up.

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How do you backup the HP MediaSmart Server itself?

You can selectively backup files to a backup device such as an external hard drive, CD/DVD or tape that is connected to one of the PCs on the network. Folder duplicates provide a form of “internal” backup of the HP MediaSmart Server since the shared folder with duplication enabled is mirrored on a second drive in the HP MediaSmart Server.

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How do I turn off the HP MediaSmart Server

Read: How To Turn Off Your HP MediaSmart Server

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How do I turn off the HP MediaSmart Server

At some point in the future, HP will be release an update to the 48x line of HP MediaSmart Servers that will add the OS X compatibility features and the Amazon S3 online backup feature. No other features, like the MediaCollector, have been announced.

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