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Yesterday I received my HP Media Smart Windows Home Server in the mail. I've been using WHS since Beta2 and was ready to tidy up my Frankenserver, which was largely a DIY (Do It Yourself) and I'd been having some hard drives go belly up lately. You have to remote into it with the Home Server Software, which is really no big deal. Mine came with bays 3 and 4 filled with two 500 gig Seagates, so I added some other SATA drives I had lying around. Just shutdown, seat the drives, push them in, boot up and tell the admin console that the drives are cool to use.Fortunately I hadn't lost any data, since Home Server makes copies, but I was getting nervous with my existing hardware. Even better, the lights on the outside of the case turn Red if a drive is failing, Purple if there's a drive but it's not configured and Blue if it's configured, so I watch the lights go blue as I added each drive. It defaults to the name "HPSERVER" and you get one opportunity to change it so I made it just "SERVER" so we've got \server\software and \server\users\scott, etc. I robocopy'ed over about 70 gigs of data then backed up all the machines in the house. Then I installed Sync Back SE on the Home Server itself (you're not supposed to install stuff on it that wasn't written for it, but Sync Back was a natural thing to want on it and it works great as long as you only refer to your Home Server by UNC path like \server\foo.It's designed for home theater or media PCs, in that it has decent performance while producing less heat and using less energy than some other conventional chips.There aren't a whole lot of new socket AM2 chips available these days, as they aren't really manufactured anymore.I suspect it's the socket type I care about, but I worry that there's more to it.CPU-Z gives me (excerpt): Processors Information ------------------------------------------------------------------------- Processor 1 ID = 0 Number of cores 1 (max 1) Number of threads 1 (max 1) Name AMD Sempron LE-1150 Codename Sparta Specification AMD Sempron(tm) Processor LE-1150 Package Socket AM2 (940) CPUID F.It doesn't run a domain, so we have to keep our password synchronized, but the Home Server Connector software warns you if they are out of sync and handles it.

SPECIFICATION The actual specification of the EX48x series is as follows: PROCESSOR Intel Celeron 2.0 GHZ 64-bit processor MEMORY 2GB of DDR2 DRAM NETWORK SUPPORT Built in 10/100/1000 RJ45 Ethernet INTERFACES 4 USB 2.0 ports (1 on the front, 3 on the back) 1 e SATA port (on the back) INTERNAL HARD DRIVES 1 SATA 7200 RPM 750 GB drive (the EX485 model) 2 SATA 7200 RPM 750 GG drives (the EX487 models) SIZE 14 cm (W) x 25 cm (H) x 23 cm (D) It is very good to see that HP have used a 64-processor in the EX48x series.Currently Windows Home Server is NOT 64-bit enabled, however way back when Microsoft first announced and then released Windows Home Server they stated that future versions of WHS may only be 64-bit, in which case this hardware would enable you to be able to upgrade to a future 64-bit version.It is also good to see that HP have opted for 2GB of memory this time around, instead of the small, and frankly under resourced amounts the previous models had.I've been an unabashed fan of HP's Media Smart Servers since the first one appeared a few years back and I use their latest server here as the center of my own network, and recommend it to others.HP's take on Windows Home Server hits all the right notes, and they've done a fantastic job of taking the solid foundation of WHS and extending it with their own, smarter, out of box setup experience, an accomplished collection of add-ins, and some of the best-looking hardware I've ever seen.

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