HP MediaSmart Home Server EX475 - £394.94 delivered
HP MediaSmart Home Server EX475 - £394.94 delivered

HP MediaSmart Home Server EX475 - £394.94 delivered

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These usually go for about £450 - an HP Windows Home Server with 1TB (2 x 500GB) of storage

The unit itself isn't another PC - you can't plug in a keyboard, mouse or monitor. This is a dedicated file server for storing your pictures, videos and music.

More details at h40059.www4.hp.com/mss/


Original Poster

Sorry, it looks like the direct link doesn't work because of the way the Dixons site handles sessions. From the front page, search for 'EX475' to find the item. If anyone has a better way of linking, please let me know!

I could really use one of these... I wish I had £400 kicking it's heels!!!

Original Poster

Thanks for that Kommunist, link amended

sorry dude but £400 for a basic 512 semperon and a copy of smoothwall(or similar) installed will never be worth £300 (- avg disk costs)

Original Poster

Smoothwall? Sorry bud, but that's a routing solution, it's not designed to be a file server. I understand that most enthusiasts will want to build their own machine but for me, this is the perfect form factor to hide in a cupboard (next to my smoothwall box) and forget about, so I can keep my main machine for surfing, playing games or whatever without having to keep it on so I can stream my music to my Media Centre or 360. Anyway, if anyone else out there has been waiting for these to dip below £400, I hope this helps them out. And that they check out smoothwall.org

Stone cold. You're not really getting a lot for your money.

Worth noting that there is a serious data corruption bug in Windows Home Server, that has yet to be fixed.

Thanks to mediasmartserver.net :

On December 21st, Microsoft announced that in some situations, customers … On December 21st, Microsoft announced that in some situations, customers could experience data corruption/loss when using Windows Home Server. While this issue occurs only during specific simultaneous combinations of activities under specific circumstances, HP and Microsoft are taking this issue very seriously. MS is working hard on a fix, and HP will make sure that this fix gets pushed to all MediaSmart Server owners through the automated software update mechanism. We will also communicate additional information updates to our user base through MediaSmart user communities and Home Sever blogs. MS is now able to reproduce the problem, and we expect that the fix will be tested and delivered in the coming weeks. Here are a couple key things to be aware of: *If you are operating the HP MediaSmart Server with a single HDD, then this issue should not impact you. *This issue does not impact the data on the server from PC backups. You can continue to be confident in your automatic PC backups. Until the final fix is available, HP is making the following suggestions to current multi-Hard Disk Drive MediaSmart Server owners: * You should not directly open and/or edit files that are stored on the MediaSmart Server while doing any other activity such as large data transfers or media streaming. If you are doing a large data transfer or streaming and need to edit a file on the server, you should first copy the file over to a PC and then open it for editing. ** There are a few key applications that Microsoft has identified that can cause this issue when files are opened and edited directly from the server. However to be safe, HP recommends that you not open/edit files directly from the server until this fix is delivered. ** A known list of offending applications can be found on the URL below.* HP recommends that frequently-edited and frequently-opened files be stored on both your PC drives and the server until a fix to this issue has been delivered.More background information can be found on Microsoft’s support site on the following link: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/946676/en-us

There are also issues with Smsung F1 drives.

Still a hot from me. :thumbsup:

I have had one of these things since November......and its amazing....I even spent another £350 quid on 3TB more of storage....and its brilliant.

If like me you have converted your DVD collected into files on your network, this wil allow you to stream you music, video and photo collection around your home either wirelessly or on a wired network. Anyone who votes this cold either doesnt understand what they are looking at or think they can build a better on cheaper..and on the second point, that is their perrogative....

Me personally, Ive had no problems at all with the data corruption issue, and I believe for those that have, their is a fix being released immenentally.

On a final note, about 5 or the people who work for thr IT team in my company all have one of these and these are all technically minded people that could easily build a mini server...but they have decided to go this way as it just makes things easier

Hot hot hot

i built my own for half the price and twice the power. These are great ideas but it will always be cheaper to build your own. Also if like me you want it to do more than just store files/make backups, these aren't really up to the job. There is a whole community out there (wegotserved is just one) full of extended features. Just depends on what you want and how far you want to go with it!

removing cost (if you are unable to build your own) then these HP systems work great, good cases and serve the job as promised.

The data corruption bug has been fixed and there is a beta out on it atm that anyone can join...

Cold from me however due to the price/performance but a hot product for anyone wanting a dabble in the home server market.

doesn't really matter if u can build your own, at this price you will get some local hobbyist building a box at better spec for less money,let's face it here u are paying £200+for the os
remember people, tis is a good way to go green and recycle older machines
personally i use my htpc as a server no network lag and it acts as a tv server as well


There are also issues with Smsung F1 drives.

Glad I saw that... Was just about to order a 500 or 750!

What are the issues?

I think that this machine should be compared to other similar NAS solutions and not PCs. Sure, if you position it against HP Proliant ML115 (cheap server, currently sold in a region of 110 quid) then this device is stone cold. However, the HP ML115 machine comes with no software whatsoever, so user must be proficient in server software installation and management (not everyone is able to do so). Whether WHS is better/worse than ClarkConnect/FreeNAS/Ubuntu Server is a good question, but I don't want to start holywar here.
My personal opinion is such: if all you want is to get maintenance-free (sort of) NAS with expansion capabilties and good throughput then go for it. If you know your SMB from NFS then go for home-built machine or try HP ML115.
Voted hot as the price is good.

A good review is here: smallnetbuilder.com/con…75/


Glad I saw that... Was just about to order a 500 or 750!What are the … Glad I saw that... Was just about to order a 500 or 750!What are the issues?

Junp over HERE to check out a thread on the issue.

It's a shame as I have a number of Samsung drives sitting around here that I'd like to throw into one of these servers.

Original Poster

Cheers for the info Hyperdrive, I believe the patch for the data corruption issue is pegged to be out of beta in June, but knowing Microsoft that might slip to July. I wasn't aware of the Samsung drive problem but will bear that in mind.

I fully appreciate what most people are saying - you can build a more powerful box for less money, but I think that the HP machine is a great box for 99% of the population who wouldn't know where to start building their own machine. I'm a network admin and I've been working on PC's for the last 15-odd years but I'd be hard pushed to get the hardware this small (14 cm (W) x 25 cm (H) x 23 cm (D)) with hot-swappable bays and as good aesthetics for that price. I ran a beta WHS box and loved it, but the size of a mid-tower and the noise that the cooling a normal ATX rig requires pushed me towards the OEM solutions. That and the fact that after building so many boxes, I'm more than happy to let someone else do the work for me!
As for comparing the machine to a NAS box, don't forget that you have many added functionality with a WHS solution, such as automated backups of connected machines through an agent, with single-instance storage for those backups and the ability to restore a machine from a boot CD. The server also allows you to choose what to give fault-tolerance - you don't waste a disk on a RAID array when you don't really care about protecting everything; I intend to not care about my ripped music, if a disk dies I can rip it again but I want to know that my documents and photo's will be protected. It also presents a simple set of access points (music, documents, photos, etc.) and the server takes care of distributing those over the disks - no need to re-partition when you run out of room for your videos, all available space is usable for each folder. You also get access through the 'net to your files and any machine that supports remote desktop. Finally, it's running Windows 2003 - admittedly it won't connect to a domain and you can't use it as a domain controller but you can install WSUS, SQL or even Exchange on a WHS without having to buy SBS or a full Windows 2003 server license for your custom-built machine.

That said, I don't want to start a war either, everyone's entitled to their own choice, I only post the deals I think are worth mentioning (And I don't get commission from HP or Microsoft for pushing their products!)

I've been looking so long and hard at a choice of NAS or Server, still undecided. I've looked at this one in particular before and been very tempted. My one question for now is, as I can't seem to find charts on it anywhere, what is the power consumption like compared to other alternatives (both servers and NAS).

I think tomshardware has a NAS/Server chart that compares power consumption but for the love of god I can not get to it.

Well... if you read the SmallNetBuilder review (see my post above) then you would get all the info you need. The EX475 got 200W PSU and with 2 drives it was taking 55W.

BTW, SmallNetBuilder was part of Tom's Hardware - they split some time ago. Maybe that's why you couldn't find the review.

I read through SmallNetBuilder alot, especially for the charts, I've never noticed anything in the charts about power before, thanks though because you drew my attention to it. Is comparing 4 products the best way to compare the power consumption or is there a way to see the chart for all products on there?

I don't think they have charts on power consumption.

BTW, there is a very interesting article on 1TB drives consumption and performance. It is in Russian and I can't get either Babelfish or Google to translate it in full (it is VERY long). So just skip the text and look at graphs (charts are in English).

From these charts, it looks like WD Green Power is the best. But those guys uncovered WD secret there - despite claims that the drive spins at 7200 rpm, they measured (IOMeter) only 5400 rpm.

Review of the mediasmartServer :]http//ww…ew/


Worth noting that there is a serious data corruption bug in Windows Home … Worth noting that there is a serious data corruption bug in Windows Home Server, that has yet to be fixed. Thanks to mediasmartserver.net :There are also issues with Smsung F1 drives.Still a hot from me. :thumbsup:

Just to let you know that the corruption problem has already been addressed in the Power Pack 1 (beta) that just came out this month.

Or you could buy this neat standalone box for the same money.


Price has gone up now... So am expiring.

However... you can get Dixons to pricematch (]http//ww…tml) and get it for a good price.

PS: The brother of this server and info on it here...

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