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So, I currently have an HP Media Smart Home Server. I'm wondering what the process is to upgrade it to WHS2011? It has no video out nor any optical dirve. I realize that with out Drive Extender I will need to backup my data and re-recover it to the new WHS build, but I'm struggling with how to even get the OS upgraded or re-installed to the new version.

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perhaps not your first choice, but can you install a cheap video card and an optical drive? also, depending on the age of your Server you might need to first confirm that it meets the minimum requirements listed here – Xantec Jun 7 '11 at 22:20
I haven't cracked the case, but its basically an HP Media Smart EX495 -- so not sure if there is room for any PCI/E slots. I do beleive it meets those requirements though. – Nate Jun 7 '11 at 22:36
up vote 0 down vote accepted

I have installed WHS2011 to my HP EX487. Find the dedicated forum that instructs how to create a bootable USB disk, with a cfg.ini file on it. Installation will start if the current system disk is wiped out. I installed the Intel chipset driver, updated realtek NIC driver, intel rapid storage management and HP MSS management for LED driver. Only features I am missing are auto sleep and temp monitoring. Without the drive extender, you will have to do the load shifting between the drives manually.

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