I have an HP Mediasmart EX485 Windows Home Server, and I will sometimes find it stuck in the morning with a blinking blue server light. (Power is solid, network is off, server is blinking). Some investigation suggested that it is hanging on a reboot. Hard power cycling the unit recovers it.

This is problematic as I use the unit remotely, and having it take itself offline from time to time renders it useless until I can get back home and power cycle it.


  • The only external symptom is that is appears to hang with blinking server light after rebooting some of the time.
  • The event logs on the system show it shutting down after updates at around 2AM, and then nothing until I rebooted it at 7:40 PM. None of the error are very suggestive about any kind of problem.

I called HP support and we worked through he following with no success:

  • Disabling the "Enhanced Security Configuration" windows component (re-enabled after)
  • Downloading the executable for the HP patch and running it (Rolled back to 2.1, updated forward to patch, no change)

After doing some research I tried this:

  • Installed Windows Script 5.7 (Worked, no change)

I did further research but nothing interesting really came up. One theory I had was a hanging update, although both windows update and HP updates are currently empty, no new update. After the latest issue windows did pop up the 'recent updates' message and such. Nothing really clear about that. I believe it has happened on 'clean' reboots as well, but it doesn't get rebooted often, so I am not sure. Either way it is a problem.

Does anyone have futher leads or suggestions? I can do any testing or answer any questions if needed. This is a very big problem me, and I would greatly appreciate any help.


It turns out it was a bad disk. A HP support rep had me remove both additional disks that I had added (2 extra 1 TB drives). After that the problem could not be reproduced, until I put them back in. His theory was that the system was running chkdsk, which was taking a long time, as well as possibly stopping to ask a question, which would have hung, given the headless scenario.

This fixed my issue.

Check for bad drives.


I have an EX470 which had a similar issue (Sudden Reboots with no valuable information in the Event Log apart from "The last shutdown was unexpected" and sometimes inability to boot), and in my case it was a faulty RAM Stick.

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    +1 my initial thought as well. re-seat the memory modules and run MemTest86+, give it at least 3 passes. memtest.org – Molly7244 Sep 12 '09 at 2:03
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    Running Memtest maybe a problem though as the MediaSmart does not have any Monitor Output, no serial console and no other way to get it's video output without soldering in a VGA Socket. But yes, if you have another PC to test the RAM in, that would be an option for sure (that's how I found my error) – Michael Stum Sep 12 '09 at 3:10
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    This appears to only happen during scheduled reboots, generally when updates happen. I could see random restarts being ram related, but how likely would that be if its always for scheduled restarts? The logs so far have shown that is is restarting as planned, but not comming back until hard-powered off. – Colin Dabritz Sep 12 '09 at 4:07

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