Organized Chaos

Upgrading HP Mediasmart EX485 Server CPU
I acquired an HP Mediasmart Server EX475 a few years ago. Its quite a handy little server sporting an AMD 1.8 with (upgraded) 2gigs of ram and, *knock on wood*, it has done everything I have asked it to do - including run some virtual machines. 

Recently, I started obsessing for another one and took to Craigslist where I found another 475. I had to drive all the way to Boulder for it (about 40 min. away) but it was MINE! Well, to my surprise come to find out, It wasn't a 475 like the lister had it up for.. its a 485. Subtle, I know in the number change but hardware is a bit different. The 485 sports a Celeron with 2 gigs of ram out of the gate as opposed to the 512MB my 475 had when I first got it. 

I did a bit of research and have always heard of people hacking these. I never have been too much of a fan of celeron's, I mean, they get the job done but I wanted a bit more *uumph* behind it. I had a spare Dual-core 2.6 Ghz (E5300 - SLGTL) chip laying around so I got to doing it. The only problem, I had to modify the BIOS to get it to accept the new CPU

First and foremost - 
Modifying your machine can potentially BRICK it. Its not my fault if you do. I am merely sharing my experience with doing this. I followed these steps when I did it. I'm quoting most of it so hopefully I'm helpful. 

KVM Adapter - http://www.mediasmartserver.net/forums/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=14074
Upgrade howto - www.mediasmartserver.net/....
BETTER Upgrade howto: www.mediasmartserver.net... (got to give credit where credit is due)

What you'll need - 
Small baby screwdriver for tiny screws
Small regular screwdriver for 2 not-so-small screws
Download AFUWIN 4.48 (to backup and restore new BIOS ROM)
Download Modified BIOS Flash file
Download AMIBCP 3.37 (if you want to go the modify route)
Your choice of CPU

Links above are NOT my software. I am NOT responsible for your use of them. These worked for me and I am only attaching them because they were a PITA to find when I wanted them. they are copyright their owners.

Video -

Motherboard/Power supply out, new CPU in:

Mocked up with video adapter

Verify it works before putting it back together!

Looks good next to its older brother

Update: I did notice a few things that kind've bugged me. The machine doesnt fully power-down when you attempt to "shutdown" the front indicators stay on and the power supply keeps running. It IS off, or rather ready be unplugged, when the power light is on and the health light is flashing. the network indicator turns off.

Update: I did a bit more research about the machine not powering down.. it still bugged me a bit so I found a solution. on mediaserver.net there is a Modified BIOS you can download and upload via the AFUWIN, It worked like a charm and was SUPER easy to do. modified bios attached above

Update: Worth noting, and i forgot to add this.... depending on the CPU, you might get a beefier Power Supply. Mine did eventually crap out. The NIC would drop out when the server was under any load. I ended up getting this http://www.ebay.com/itm/330W-HP-MediaSmart-Server-replace-power-supply-EX470-475-480-485-487-490-495-etc-/261894047352?hash=item3cfa1a0678 (well, something like it) the standard PSU is a 200(ish), this one fit perfect.


0 Comments on this article

20151004-112414 afuwin-4.48.zip
20151004-112414 AMIBCP V3.37.exe
20151007-203653 EX48X 2011 02 20.zip

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