How To Install WHS 2011 on HP MediaSmart 490/495

We talked about this a few podcasts ago, given that I have an HP EX495 Windows Home Server which is working just fine, but the geek inside me really really really craves the latest and greatest. Plus it helps I have MSDN so it costs me nothing but time. Dare I take this adventure? Guides like this are only adding fuel to the flames within. Think the improvements are worth the effort…just look at what the FIRST step is!

The first step here will be to prepare your media, usually on your client computer.  The image is slightly bigger than 4GB, so I had to step up to an 8GB thumb drive.  I’m actually using the Data Traveller by SanDisk.  First you’ll need to format it and make it bootable.  I already have instructions on how to do that here.  Next up you’ll have to copy the Windows Home Server 2011 DVD to the root of the disk.  This makes the Thumb drive and the DVD look identical in Windows Explorer.  You’re almost there.  As you probably know, the MediaSmart or DataVault server doesn’t have a video input, so you’re going to need to do the install via an “unattend file”.  The unattend file is called cfg.ini, and needs to also be in the root of the thumbdrive with the WHS 2011 DVD image on it.


  • George L. Schmauch Jr.

    No sympathy from me.  That’s

    No sympathy from me.  That’s what you get for buying, rather than building.  Tongue out

    However, IMHO WHS 2011 is a waste of time and money for home users, which is particularly sad given the “home” part of its very name.  I see absolutely no reason at all to move to it.  I’ll probably stick with v1 until I move the server to Windows 7 or maybe even an SBS solution.

  • Go for it, Mike. Who knows,

    Go for it, Mike. Who knows, maybe you’ll find a more optimal process if you try it.