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Rear view of HP's MediaSmart Home Server  (Source: Hewlett-Packard)
Online retailers leak two HP's EX470, EX475 MediaSmart Home Servers

Microsoft's Windows Home Server (WHS) platform has gotten a lot of praise from the online community in the past few months. Microsoft dished out a Release Candidate version of the software to testers in early June and went gold in mid-July.

Since that time, we've gotten a glimpse at Velocity Micro's entry into the WHS market. Velocity's Micro's system can be mounted vertically or horizontally and will feature a Conroe-based processor. Other features include PCIe-based GbE, 3.0Gbps SATA and an eSATA port for external storage expansion.

Hewlett-Packard's offering has been shown in pictures ever since WHS was first announced in January, but specifications and release details have finally be revealed. According to leaks from online retailers and, HP's MediaSmart Home Server will begin shipping on September 15.

The system will be priced at $599 for the EX470 (500GB) and $749 for the EX475 (1TB). The servers are powered by a 1.8GHz AMD Sempron processor and come equipped with four drive bays for internal storage expansion (one bay is filled in the 500GB model, two in the 1TB model), four USB 2.0 ports and one eSATA port for external expansion.

Each measures 5.5" x 9.7" x 5.5" with system weight coming in a 14.92 pounds.

As we come closer to the official launch of Windows Home Server, we are sure to see more product leaks and announcement from other key partners including Fujitsu-Siemens, Gateway, Iomega LaCie and Medion.

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very nice
By Moishe on 8/22/2007 3:18:01 PM , Rating: 4
Now we are getting to the point where a digital home and a media hub in the living room is starting to make sense.

I've had a basic NAS for quite some time and almost cannot live without it, but these things really up the ante.

Decent price too.

RE: very nice
By Screwballl on 8/22/2007 3:25:06 PM , Rating: 3
and for those that can build their own systems, hopefully Newegg and other online retailers will be selling the OEM version of WHS. As we can build ours out of older parts, the only real suggestion is 1GHz+ CPU, 1GB RAM, 80GB hard drive. This can easily be built for $200-400 by the end user or if they have an older system that meets these requirements, just buy the OEM WHS.

RE: very nice
By ObscureCaucasian on 8/22/2007 3:31:50 PM , Rating: 2
That's really the best way to go, it would be a great use for a PC once it gets replaced.

RE: very nice
By Oregonian2 on 8/22/2007 6:11:33 PM , Rating: 2
My current "backup server" is exactly that. When I upgrade my wife's computer gets first dibs if it's something needed there, and if not the "backup server" gets it .

RE: very nice
By omnicronx on 8/22/2007 4:20:45 PM , Rating: 1
I think it will only be available preinstalled, like MCE was when it first came out. Thats at least what i understand, from the forum for beta testers. (i was one)

RE: very nice
By ObscureCaucasian on 8/22/2007 4:26:22 PM , Rating: 2
I'm pretty sure it will come eventually, or at least I vaguely remember reading something like that back when it was announced.

RE: very nice
By deeznuts on 8/22/2007 5:52:23 PM , Rating: 2
No it has been confirmed they will sell builder versions.

Windows Home Server for System Builders

Microsoft also announced that Windows Home Server will be available to the system builder channel, further broadening the scope of the home server product category. Using this version of the software, system builders worldwide will have the resources and flexibility to provide customized, targeted Windows Home Server products to meet the needs of a wide array of customer segments.

RE: very nice
By imaheadcase on 8/22/2007 10:39:40 PM , Rating: 2
WHS system builders is coming out later is the whole point they are making. WHS itself won't be available at launch by itself, it will be delayed till Late sep or oct.

RE: very nice
By imaheadcase on 8/22/2007 10:44:55 PM , Rating: 2
As we can build ours out of older parts, the only real suggestion is 1GHz+ CPU, 1GB RAM, 80GB hard drive. This can easily be built for $200-400 by the end user or if they have an older system that meets these requirements, just buy the OEM WHS.

Well the most cost is coming from the hard drives. No one will use the 80gig hard drive you mentioned. Majority would use 500gigs MIN to start with. I would venture to bet most won't even use anything less than 500gig hard drive in setup.

Heck I got 160gigs of movies and almost 16gigs of movies that would fill up my first one rather quickly if i include OS backup from 2 computers also.

RE: very nice
By therealnickdanger on 8/22/2007 3:29:57 PM , Rating: 2
Agreed. Upgrade that sucker to 1TB RAID-6 for under a grand and I'll buy. I'm too lazy to build one.

RE: very nice
By wien on 8/22/2007 4:25:43 PM , Rating: 2
It does RAID (or at least redundant storage) in software. Just plug in a few hard drives, select the data you want redundancy on, and sit back.

RE: very nice
By Micronite on 8/22/2007 4:32:49 PM , Rating: 5
Actually, the OS doesn't need RAID. They us a smart file backup which maintains data integrity and actually lets you use more of your precious space.

There's a great writeup about it here:

So umm,
By ObscureCaucasian on 8/22/2007 3:37:12 PM , Rating: 1
Where do you plug a monitor into this thing? I know most of the time you won't need one, but it's gotta have the option right?

RE: So umm,
By MrBungle123 on 8/22/2007 3:41:50 PM , Rating: 1
I think the port next to the ethernet jack is HDMI.

RE: So umm,
By Brandon Hill on 8/22/2007 3:44:59 PM , Rating: 2
No, it's eSATA.

AFAIK, the system is accessed over the network via a web interface.

RE: So umm,
By ObscureCaucasian on 8/22/2007 3:47:31 PM , Rating: 1
I was starting to figure that, but they better put some huge sticker on the thing saying that or 50% of consumers are going to be calling HP tech support complaining they forgot to put a video card in.

RE: So umm,
By omnicronx on 8/22/2007 4:18:09 PM , Rating: 2
it has a remote interface somewhat like RDP, the only time a monitor is needed would be to install the OS.. which isnt a problem because the o/s is only available in preinstalled oem configurations.

RE: So umm,
By deeznuts on 8/22/2007 5:53:45 PM , Rating: 2
There is a standalone product available as I mentioned above (or below who knows the dang thing moves around!)

RE: So umm,
By pattycake0147 on 8/22/2007 3:45:10 PM , Rating: 2
Nope it's the e-sata port. I wonder whats on the back side as far a ports go.

RE: So umm,
By Brandon Hill on 8/22/2007 3:47:05 PM , Rating: 2
You're looking at the back side ;)

You can see the front side here:

RE: So umm,
By MrBungle123 on 8/22/2007 3:43:17 PM , Rating: 2
No idea

RE: So umm,
By MrBungle123 on 8/22/2007 3:44:23 PM , Rating: 2
God I'm an Idiot, I just looked at the larger pic and its eSATA.

RE: So umm,
By TomZ on 8/22/2007 3:50:34 PM , Rating: 2
Where do you plug a monitor into this thing? I know most of the time you won't need one, but it's gotta have the option right?

I don't think that WHS needs a monitor for anything. They probably thrifted video out of the design entirely to keep costs down. Think "appliance," not "computer."

Wonderful Wonderful OS
By Homerboy on 8/22/2007 5:31:32 PM , Rating: 2
Been testing it for sometime now, and MS has a winner here. Hopefully the market sustains it and tech-home users "get it" and buy it.

The Add-in community is already thriving too.

Its a brilliant OS in the new "multi-media" home that has been shoved down our throats for a decade now. FINALLY somebody gets it that a home with several IP enabled media devices needs a central server.... just like an office. Central storage (and backup) is the key.

Can't wait to finally install the RTM!!!

RE: Wonderful Wonderful OS
By afkrotch on 8/22/2007 6:29:19 PM , Rating: 2
I wonder how it compares to simply have a full running OS. I personally have a 3TB file server at home. I simply have it running Win2k. My friend keeps bothering me to put Linux on it, but I've already got it running.

It for the most part just sits there, but there will be times when I connect an external hdd to pull data off. That or pop in a dvd and burn items.

Will options like this be accessible through the web interface? If the OS is lightweight and has some of the features of a regular Windows OS, that'd be great.

Guess I'll read up about it on Paul Thurrott's site.

RE: Wonderful Wonderful OS
By TomZ on 8/22/2007 7:14:55 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, you should read up on it - it has a bunch of features that are pretty nice. You could probably do most of the same things with Windows or Linux, it's just easier with WHS since it is focused on home server functionality.

RE: Wonderful Wonderful OS
By afkrotch on 8/22/2007 7:58:37 PM , Rating: 2
Been reading up on it. WHS sounds like a phenomenal product. Especially for backup purposes.

It sounds like it doesn't run like a regular fileserver. Instead you'll be using Windows Media Connect. I'm not keen on that.

The online features sounds very nice, but I'd prefer my home network to not have any accessibility through the internet. Hopefully you can turn that off.

The backup features sounds extremely promising. I may just setup a WHS box just to backup my PCs and fileserver. I'm running RAID 5, but having a complete backup would definitely be more worthwhile.

Looks like they'll bundle WHS with new hardware and be selling it by itself. According to Paul Thurrott's site. More functionality than a NAS, but less hassle than a full fileserver.

What happens when a hard drive dies?
By cjc1103 on 8/23/2007 9:00:43 AM , Rating: 2
WHS seems very cool, except what happens when a hard drive dies on your WHS box?? Hah! You should have backed up your backup! NOT. Where is the capability to mirror or RAID drives? Also the UI is "dumbed down" everything is in bold just in case you need glasses and can't read or something. Eye candy abounds, maybe Joe User will think the product is better if it looks nice? Kind of insulting.

By thecoolnessrune on 8/23/2007 10:24:05 AM , Rating: 2
Why is it that elitists think that something has to look like ass to perform well and not be user friendly in any respect?

I've been using WHS for some time now and will definitely be purchasing a copy.

By NesuD on 8/23/2007 12:26:42 PM , Rating: 2
what happens when a hard drive dies on your WHS box?? Hah! You should have backed up your backup! NOT

You should have read some of the previous posts. you can select specific folders to mirror on a different drive. It isn't typical raid but does provide similar fault tolerence for the data you designate.
Also the UI is "dumbed down"

Typical for the target market. You don't need a handfull of certs to use this product.
Eye candy abounds, maybe Joe User will think the product is better if it looks nice? Kind of insulting.

That is kind of an overstatement if there ever was one. It is a consumer oriented product thus it should be pleasing to the eye and easy to understand. Not one of your complaints make any sense given the type of product and the target market. Some of your assertions are flat out wrong. I find your negativity suspect. I have been a tester for this for 5 months now. Certainly it isn't server 2003 enterprise like I work with everyday at the office but for it's stated purpose It is a very nicely done and user friendly lite server providing all of the most useful features the Everyday Joe may need.

By NARC4457 on 8/23/2007 2:06:25 PM , Rating: 2
WHS automatically spans disks, so all you do is replace the busted drive, and WHS goes about formatting it and mirroring your data.

You don't have a WHS box with only one drive, of course.

By tygrus on 8/22/2007 7:27:20 PM , Rating: 2
Interesting thing about slow vista network speed
my switch and nics will tranfer at about 950mbit then when an audio is playing it drops to 115mbit.

By TomZ on 8/22/2007 7:45:13 PM , Rating: 2
How does this relate to Windows Home Server?

By Pirks on 8/23/2007 12:09:14 PM , Rating: 1
The relation is obvious here, it's strange that noone gets it. You connect your Vista to WHS, start transferring data to or from WHS, then decide to listen to some music on Vista while transfer to/from WHS is in background. You run your music player, WMP, WinAMP, whaterver - and WHOOOSH the network transfer drops down from 1Gbit to 100Mbit. Haha, everyone welcome Vista :-)

By imaheadcase on 8/22/2007 10:49:32 PM , Rating: 2
Interesting thing about slow vista network speed

my switch and nics will tranfer at about 950mbit then when an audio is playing it drops to 115mbit.

tygrus do you even read the internet or just copy and paste bad stuff to posts that have nothing to do with one another?

WHS does not run Vista you whelp.

By noirsoft on 8/22/2007 11:06:43 PM , Rating: 2
It would have been nice to see a Firewire connection on this for more external drives, but I guess if you're ethernet-bound, the slight streaming speed advantage of Firewire isn't going to help any.

It might have been nice for mass copying of files to/from the server, though.

RE: Firewire
By Treckin on 8/23/2007 1:32:52 AM , Rating: 2
eSATA raid card?
just thinking...

can anyone tell me if
By S3anister on 8/23/2007 12:31:39 AM , Rating: 2
this new OS would AT ALL be suitable to replace win xp 64bit on my main machine?

cause... i don't want to upgrade to vista

RE: can anyone tell me if
By afkrotch on 8/23/2007 12:51:44 AM , Rating: 2
This OS isn't meant to replace WinXP, Win2k, WinVista, Win2k3, Win98SE, or any of those.

It's pretty much a very lightweight OS, meant to provide more capabilities to a NAS.

By WHSuser on 8/24/2007 2:55:21 AM , Rating: 2
WHS is really a great idea, and I think it will be a real winner : Check out what these guys are doing - a WHS unit that runs with no fans , and a very low power footprint - 24W - possible ?

Thanks guys !

By NARC4457 on 8/27/2007 12:26:23 PM , Rating: 2
Great link, thanks!

/Sarcasm here, it looks like spam

By iwod on 8/23/2007 4:00:29 AM , Rating: 2
Am i the only one who thinks this is expensive. Apart from the special casing this is all common component available. 599 is abit steep.

Do they mention power usage for these as well?

"We shipped it on Saturday. Then on Sunday, we rested." -- Steve Jobs on the iPad launch

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