So you're ready to get serious about storage but you've maxed out the 4 internal drive bays in your HP EX470 MediaSmart Windows Home Server. The next logical step would be to add another 4 drives via USB. But if you've already done that (or you're thinking USB is so last year) what do you do then?
Luckily, the HP EX470 has an eSATA port (external serial ATA). Normally that will give you one extra drive. However, there is a product called the eSATA Terrabox+, a 4 bay external SATA drive enclosure with integrated port multiplier. It's only $222 from the good people at Newegg (of course). **NOTE** the black one is currently out of stock, but they have a white one for $259.
***** Both the Blacj and White Terrabox units have been discontinued on NewEgg. BUT... I found this unit which appears to be the same thing but sold under another name. Yay!
In this tutorial, I'll be adding 2 x 500 GB drives, but you can use any SATA drives that you'd like (FYI, it accepts the same drives that the EX470 does). If you use 1 TB drives, you can add up to 4 TB of storage using this external enclosure. (See the sidebar to the right of this blog for great deals on hard drives). For this type of application, you should see little or no speed degradation having 4 drives attached to the same eSATA cable.
Setting up the Terrabox
- To be on the safe side, we'll begin by shutting down your HP EX470.
- Remove the 3 screws on the back of the Terrabox and life off the case. The screws are "toolless" but mine were torqued on pretty good from the factory so I needed to use a screwdriver.
- Install the new hard drives in the Terrabox starting from the bottom and filling upwards. Simply slide each drive in (printed side up and connectors at the back) until you feel the connectors seat. You will have to use a little force but be careful.
- Use the toolless screws to secure the drive(s) in place (two per drive, one on each side of each drive).
- Replace the cover and tighten the 3 screws that you removed earlier. Be aware that it is easier to remove the cover than replace it. Hold both sides tightly against the machine as you slide the case forward.
- Using the eSATA cable provided, connect one end to the HP EX470. Note that there is no click or snapping into place. It's not the most stable connection so don't go pulling your EX470 for a walk by this cord. If you have to move the EX470 later, be sure the eSATA connection is solid when it gets to it's uplit marble pedestal (or wherever you keep yours).
- Connect the other end to the Terrabox. Again, be sure that the connectors on both ends are firmly in place.
- Attach the AC power cord to the Terrabox and turn on the power switch.
- Power on the HP EX470.
- On the Terrabox, you should see the power LED turn orange, the Host LED turn green and each drive LED should turn green as well. This may take up to a minute as the EX470 goes through it's boot up procedure.
That's all for the physical connections. You will now need to add the drives to the system storage pool. Follow the instructions (starting at step 9) in my previous article titled "Don't Throw that Old Hard Drive Away!".
Note: Each drive that you add to the Terrabox will appear separately to the Windows Home Server (i.e. they do NOT appear as one JDOB or RAID drive). This is a good thing as we want WHS to manage each drive individually. In fact, WHS marks each drive as "SCSI (Internal)" just as though it were a real internal drive (which is a bit odd, but I can understand why).
Here is a picture of my setup with 3 x 500GB drives in the EX470, 2 external USB drives (300 GB and 400 GB) and 2 x 500GB drives in the Terrabox.
So what are *you* waiting for? Run out and get this sweet addition for your EX470 right away. Think about it... would you rather have another 4 terabytes to impress your friends or would you rather eat? I though so.