Saturday, January 9, 2010

How to create an external bootable USB Server Recovery Thumb Drive for a easier Server Recovery of your EX490/5

Ok, so you love your EX470/5 but you want to move on to the new EX490/5, it’s time. Everything has been improved, right, WRONG.
The HP EX490/5 so far has been HP’s best home servers yet. However I find that removing the internal 256 MB flash is a mistake. Now you must have a direct connection between your server and the PC that will run the Server Recovery DVD. You also have to turn off your firewall and anti-virus software. Then you must have the correct timing to press the reset pin. All this without a VGA connection on your server. So your doing this in the dark. I’m not happy about that because it was easier on the EX470/5 and I was spoiled. I want it back.
If you have a EX470/5 and a EX490/5 then you already have most of what you need.
So I’ll show how to create a bootable USB thumb drive to use on your EX490/5 so that you can restore your server pretty much just like it’s done on the EX470/5.
The software you will need can be found on the EX470 hidden flash, the EX470/5 Server Recovery Disk, the EX490/5 Server Recovery Disk and the EX490/5 network drivers from Realtek’s website.
First off, not all USB thumb drives are equal. This is important to know because you might have done everything right and it still doesn’t work. So you will have to test the thumb drive, more on this later.
I tried this on a Gizmo Jr. 2 GB stick, but you can start with a 256MB stick, use whatever costs less. For simplicity, follow this link to format the thumb drive. Thanks Donavon.
Next, you need the boot software from the hidden partition on the EX470/5. Since it’s a hidden partition you need to unhide it. RDC into your EX470, right click My Computer, properties, hardware, device manager, open up System devices, disable the MediaSmart Server device, reboot. Thanks Teknmage. After the reboot RDC back in. Now open My Computer you should see the hidden partition and copy those file to your PC where you will work with them. Now go back and enable that MediaSmart Server device.
The folder should look like this;
USB flash
 Next, since the EX490/5 has a different NIC card, you need the drivers from Realtek. Choose WinXP and WinServer 2003 Driver. 5.742 Replace the drivers in the \drivers folder with the new ones.
Next, open up the SOURCES folder and replace the boot.wim file with the boot.wim file from your EX490/5 Server Restore DVD. It is in the \PXE\Boot folder. The size should be 120,038 KB.
Now your external USB Bootable Server Recovery Thumb Drive is ready. Test it on your PC and boot from it to see if the Server recovery software starts, if it does, shut down your PC and remove it. Now you know it boots. BSRTD
Now for the PC side;
If you use the EX490/5 Server Recovery DVD as is, it will try and run the PXE boot stuff. We don’t want that. What you need to do is create a DVD using the EX470/5 DVD boot stuff but replace the server image in “\Recovery Image\volume.image” with the server image from the EX490/5 DVD.  You can also replace the Home Server Connector Software with the one from the EX490/5 Software Installation Disk.
This is the EX470/5 Server Recovery Disk. Copy this disk to your desktop, then replace the Recovery Image folder with the same folder from the EX490/5 Disk. Then burn a new Disk.
EX470 boot DVD
That’s it.
Now to recover the server. Power off the server. Install the bootable USB key into the bottom rear USB port. Pull the system drive out 1 inch so that it does not make contact with the rear back plate. ( this is so you don’t have to fiddle with the reset pin). Power on. Wait 5 seconds then push the system drive back in. Run the newly created Server Recovery DVD. It should find the server. Now go ahead and Restore your EX490 while it’s still connected to the network. Server Recoveries will be a lot easier now.
Just so you don’t mess things up, I recommend that you have your server shares backed up. Or pull all your drives out and try it on a spare system drive.



  1. Hi,

    I tried downloading the first file and got this error on rapdishare:

    "To download this file, the uploader either needs to transfer this file into his/her Collector's Account, or upload the file again. The file can later be moved to a Collector's Account. The uploader just needs to click the delete link of the file to get further information."

    the second file was removed for lack of access.

    could you please upload them again?

  2. Do you think your USB Boot Drive is secure , as security is the major issue in today's world, Only secure USB flash drives that properly supports the functionality required to boot from a USB flash drive is one that uses hardware authentication.

  3. I have an ex495 with all restore disks, but
    I do not have a ex470. Do the 2 rapid share links at the bottom contain all of the needed files from the ex470? I would love to restore from USB rather than silly PXE restore.

  4. Diehard, would you be able to provide the file links again? This is a great solution! Thanks and regards.

  5. The screen captures show as white triangles with an exclamation ponit inside and on a black background. Can you reupload the screen captures?