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malaugh

Windows 8.1 OS on HP Microserver?

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malaugh

My trusty HP MediaSmart Server just died.  I am looking for a replacement.  I use the smartserver to play music through my squeezebox player, and watch TV shows and pictures on my TV using Plex.  I also use it for general backup of my imporant files. I am a software engineer, and also run a Subversion repository.

 

A am disappionted that I cannot find an updated version of my old server.  The small 4 bay HP microserver seems the closest match, but Microsoft no longer sells WHS.

 

I was wondering whether windows 8.1 would be a good substitute OS.  I read that the OS includes the same type of drive pooling and mirroring software as the old WHS. 

 

Do you think this a good choice?

 

My HP MediaSmart came with the OS installed.  It also had this feaure wher you could use a DVD drive on any of your networked computers to install or recover the OS.  How do you install the OS on the Microserver?  It seems a waste to buy a DVD drive for one install, and I would prefer to reserve that for a solid state system drive. 

 

Can you install via a USB?  I read something about Integrated lights out.  Can that be used?

 

Any comments or suggestions woule be appreciated.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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ikon

A am disappionted that I cannot find an updated version of my old server.  The small 4 bay HP microserver seems the closest match, but Microsoft no longer sells WHS.

 

MS sells Windows Server 2012 Essentials and Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials. These are the replacements for WHS2011. They do cost more than their predecessors however.

 

I was wondering whether windows 8.1 would be a good substitute OS.  I read that the OS includes the same type of drive pooling and mirroring software as the old WHS. 

 

You can use Win8 (.1). I believe you will have to make some adjustments to get it to install. I don't believe Win8(.1) includes drive pooling software anything like Drive Extender from WHSv1. Even WHS2011 didn't have anything like Drive Extender. Many people (me included) are using 3re party pooling programs like StableBit DrivePool and DriveBender. I think they're even better than Drive Extender.

 

My HP MediaSmart came with the OS installed.  It also had this feaure wher you could use a DVD drive on any of your networked computers to install or recover the OS.  How do you install the OS on the Microserver?  It seems a waste to buy a DVD drive for one install, and I would prefer to reserve that for a solid state system drive. 

 

You can install from an external DVD drive, a USB flash drive, or something like a Zalman VE200 or VE300, which is what I do.

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oj88

Storage Spaces seems like a good idea on paper but as many have or would eventually find out, it's nowhere near as reliable and versatile as 3rd-party drive pooling solutions.

 

To burn a Windows ISO image into a USB thumbdrive, you can use ISO to USB (http://www.isotousb.com)

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schoondoggy

but, I really want Storage Spaces to work, I keep hoping and dreaming,,,,,

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malaugh

Thanks for everyones help. 

 

I know I can use Windows Server 2012, but at $400 a copy it hardly a replacement.  My whole bugdet was $400.  I planned on getting the cheap model, and re-using the drives from the mediasmart server. I need to research StableBit DrivePool and DriveBender. which do you recommend?  Does either of these programs include drive mirroring, or are they just pooling?  Can I add these after I install the OS?

 

So you are saying that if I use isotousb, I can copy the whole Windows 8 install DVD to a USB drive, plug it into the server, and it will run?  The problem I can see is how do I interact with the install, will I need to plug in a keybaord and mouse?  With my old Smartserver, everythng was done from the remote PC, the DVD drive, Keyboard and mouse were all remote.  Can you do that with the microserver?  Would ILO be a better choice or are there problems going this way?

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ikon

Personally, I use DrivePool. Besides really good tech support, it works really well with another CoveCube product: StableBit Scanner, which monitors and checks your hard drives, and will alert you to upcoming problems. I believe DrivePool and DriveBender both allow for Folder Mirroring. I know for sure DrivePool does. You can pick a folder and ask for it to be mirrored (duplicated) on another drive. DrivePool will take care of it.

 

You don't use ISO2USB to copy the Win8 Install to a USB flash drive... at least, not exactly. You need an ISO file of the Win8 Install, either from download or by ripping the DVD to one. Then you run ISO2USB, point it to the ISO file on the Win8 Install and ISO2USB takes care of prepping the USB flash drive and copying the installation files to it.

 

I prefer to attach a monitor and keyboard to install the OS on MicroServers. For me, the VGA port and keyboard capability are 2 of the nicest features of the MicroServer Line.

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Joe_Miner

My trusty HP MediaSmart Server just died.  I am looking for a replacement.  I use the smartserver to play music through my squeezebox player, and watch TV shows and pictures on my TV using Plex.  I also use it for general backup of my imporant files. I am a software engineer, and also run a Subversion repository.

 

A am disappionted that I cannot find an updated version of my old server.  The small 4 bay HP microserver seems the closest match, but Microsoft no longer sells WHS.

 

I was wondering whether windows 8.1 would be a good substitute OS.  I read that the OS includes the same type of drive pooling and mirroring software as the old WHS. 

 

Do you think this a good choice?

 

My HP MediaSmart came with the OS installed.  It also had this feaure wher you could use a DVD drive on any of your networked computers to install or recover the OS.  How do you install the OS on the Microserver?  It seems a waste to buy a DVD drive for one install, and I would prefer to reserve that for a solid state system drive. 

 

Can you install via a USB?  I read something about Integrated lights out.  Can that be used?

 

Any comments or suggestions woule be appreciated.

 

Some have used Win8.1 successfully on the Gen8 -- Psikey was one of the first but there are many others........

 

Storage Spaces in Server 2012 R2 and Windows 8.1 is improving and many do use it but I don't trust it yet and wouldn't recommend it -- you can learn more by going to Google and searching for "homeservershow storage spaces"

 

The Gen8 has the B120i controller so RAID1 or RAID10 to protect your data is an option or if you set your BIOS to AHCI (thus disabling the B120i) you could use something like a Software RAID1 or a pooling package like Stablebit DrivePool -- lots of possibilities actually

 

There's a lot of information to be had in the CSKenney Gen8 links page at http://homeservershow.com/forums/index.php?/topic/5639-proliant-microserver-gen8-links/

 

For Windows 8.1 you will want to download drivers and firmware updates from HP's site for Server 2012 R2.

 

You can install your OS via a Flash Drive, USB portable Optical Drive, or iLO.  iLO4 is probably the easiest/convenient in my opinion but you would want an advance licence for it -- see links about it in CSKenney's Gen8 Links page. 

Edited by Joe_Miner

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ikon

I concur; I would not use Storage Spaces. It has proven to be not ready for prime time from what I've read. Actually, part of my rejection of SS is because I'm ticked at MS for releasing a file system that is so obviously not fully baked.

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schoondoggy

My testing so far with Storage Spaces has been good.

I will try to write it up before the end of the month.

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