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I have one of the HP Mediasmart Windows Home Server v1 boxes. It's network port appears to have died a few days ago but the system is not giving any other sign of failure:

No activity lights activate on either side of the cable when connected to my gigabit switch; when connected to one of my routers 100 megabit ports the lights turn on but it remains unreachable over the network and my router never lists it as among DHCP clients.

I bought a USB-ethernet adapter to temporarily get it back online; but the adapter needs a driver to work which I can't install because the system is headless by design (no video out, no PCI/PCIe slots) with admin access only available via the WHS client or remote desktop. Both of those options require network connectivity and are consequently unavailable.

I tried copying the drivers to a flash drive; but Windows either didn't look there or none of the drivers provided were suitable (Win8, Win7, or combined XP and Vista).

I've been told that a USB WiFi adapter would have the same driver problem.

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HP MediaSmart Server EX470 and EX475?? – Logman Dec 19 '12 at 1:16
@Logman more or less. I can't find the exact model number on any of the labels. – Dan Neely Dec 19 '12 at 1:26

There have been people who have hacked a rgb monitor onto the mobo of a HP MediaSmart Server EX470 and EX475. Here. Which is for uber-geekers.

This link shows where you can buy a cable and how to install: HP MediaSmart Server VGA/PS2/Serial Cables For Sale

You might be able to pick up a cable online somewhere

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I'm aware of those; they're more money than I want to sink into it at this time. WHSv1 goes out of support next month; and while I wanted to keep my old system running in parallel to the new one for a bit longer as insurance tossing at least $80 or more if I got rid of my ps2 keyboard the last time I cleaned out my parts closet is too much. WHS is supposed to allow full data recovery if you swap the drives into a new computer and reinstall it; that's my current fallback option to finish evacuating data. – Dan Neely Dec 19 '12 at 1:32
Recovery disk or factory reset. OTherwise swapping the hdd out... or maybe putting a good hd in with another OS (linux) to see if its a driver problem or hardware. – Logman Dec 19 '12 at 1:38
IIRC the only option for triggering the reinstall and doing initial setup on the media smart requires a CD drive available over the network. – Dan Neely Dec 19 '12 at 1:44
take the servers boot/system hdd out and mount the hdd in another comp and put/install the usb network driver. You can not just put the drivers in the systm32 dir or system32/drivers folder.... you wouls still need to modify...not easy – Logman Dec 19 '12 at 3:34

Take the servers boot/system HDD out and mount the HDD in another computer and install the USB network driver.

You can not just put the drivers in the system32 directory or system32/drivers folder, you would still need to modify.

This will not be easy.

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