Saturday 8 May 2010

Installing Windows Home Server “Vail” Beta On An Intel SS4200-EHW NAS box

The new version of Windows Home Server is now a public Beta and can be downloaded from the Microsoft Connect site:

Since we are dealing with Server 2008 R2 code, we can mount the ISO and copy its contents onto a high speed USB flash drive and run the install from there.

We are currently doing that on a hacked apart Intel SS4200-EHW NAS device:


The primary drive is a 500GB Seagate ES.2 drive. Note that in the image below the SMART status of the drive is BAD. We replaced it with another drive out of that pile of project drives before running the OS install. We will install additional drives once we see that things are settled in with the OS.

The SS4200-EHW comes with an Intel Celeron 420 CPU that is EMT64 capable.


But, it only has a 512MB PC2-5300 stick of RAM which is half of the minimum required 1GB of RAM. So, we dug around the parts bin and found a 2GB Kingston KVR667D2N5/2G stick. Once installed, we booted into the BIOS and found 2048MB of RAM available to us.

Since the SS4200-EHW is headless with no VGA connectors whatsoever, we needed to find a PCI-E 1x video card as that is the only slot available to us on the motherboard.

Again, in the parts bin we happened to have an ATI FireMV 2200 quad port PCI-E 1x video card. The card can be seen without its mounting bracket in the above image.

Once installed, we will be copying our multimedia archive onto the unit as well as configuring the PC backup with some of our workstations here in the shop. We will then crash one of them and use the restore disk to see how the recovery goes.

Philip Elder
Microsoft Small Business Specialists
Co-Author: SBS 2008 Blueprint Book

*Our original iMac was stolen (previous blog post). We now have a new MacBook Pro courtesy of Vlad Mazek, owner of OWN.

Windows Live Writer


Unknown said...

Excellent! I have this exact model and would love to upgrade to Vail. Where did you get the drivers? There are no 2008 drivers available on the Intel website.

thank you,


Unknown said...

Most things will work out of the box, you need a driver for eSata, though. How to make Win7x64 driver work, see here:
As this model is discontinued, there will most likely be no newer drivers from Intel. Questions are likely to find an answer at


Philip Elder Cluster MVP said...


The eSATA driver was the hang-up for us!

Thank you _very_ much for taking the time to point that out.


Unknown said...

Thanks to both of you. I'm going to give this a go as soon as the RTM comes out.

Unknown said...

I put a Core2Duo E4500 in my SS4200-EHW and added 2GB RAM, this is the max. supported amount. Installed Vail preview, using Intel Win7 drivers fpr LAN, Chipset and Storage. Modified eSata driver as mentioned.
Running fine with stock cooler for now.
WAN Miniport issue was solved following this guide:

Everything ok now, no exclamation marks in device manager anymore!

Anonymous said...

Did you all ever get your installatin working. I just installed WHS 2011 RTM on my intel ss4200. Seems to be working ok. I tried the storage controller driver update posted by Wolfgang. Upon installing the system seems the sil3132 controller but shortly afterwards or upon re-boot the system once again reports an unknown storage controller