Computers, Mac OS X, News, Windows Home Server

OSX Lion Update Breaks HP MediaSmart Server Mac Backup


We’re hearing reports from Mac OSX Lion beta testers that Apple’s all new operating system update breaks the HP MediaSmart Server’s ability to back up the Mac.

Once you’ve updated your Mac to the new release, you’ll find the HP MediaSmart Server client can still detect the home server on the network, but is unable to remount the drive – leaving you to work through the same manual workarounds as other Windows Home Server v1 owners.

With the MediaSmart Server team at HP now disbanded to work on webOS devices, we’d be surprised to see a compatibility patch released by the company. Windows Home Server 2011 is due to support Mac backups courtesy of a (still unreleased) third party add-in. HP MediaSmart Server owners currently backing up their Macs will now be faced with the dilemna of holding fire on their OSX Lion updates later this month, or plumping for a WHS 2011 upgrade.

Thanks to Gatsby Assassin for the tip.

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Terry Walsh is the founder of We Got Served. He started the community in February 2007 with a mission to help families, tech enthusiasts everywhere figure out the technology needed to run the modern home and small business. He's the author of a number of guides to Windows, Windows Server and OS X Server and runs his own successful publishing business. Born and raised in Liverpool, England, Terry has been awarded Microsoft's prestigious Most Valuable Professional Award each year since 2008 for his work on We Got Served.
  • Bebop

    It never worked in 64bit, even in Snow Leopard. If one boots into 64bit, the backup doesn't work.

    Lion also killed the HP MSS Client.

    • Paula

      Yes, I can't even get into the console anymore.

  • Paulsto

    I've been using Crashplan for a while now as I found that it was unreliable… the backup drive becoming corrupt etc… Where as I can't use time machine, I'm happy with what CrashPlan Offers…

  • paulsto

    *it* – Mac backup to WHS was unreliable, not crashplan…

  • Andrew Edney

    Is this really a surprise though given that Lion is a different version of the Mac OS rather than just a minor update? To be fair on HP, its not like they said it the MediaSmart client would back up future versions of the OS.

    At least there is the manual workaround.

    • Steven

      Yes they did: Page 267 of the EX490 manual clearly states that "Automatic backup of computers running….." and there's a big "X" under the column which says "Mac OS X 10,5 or later!.
      OS X 10.6….10.7….10.8….11…..12
      These are all later!
      HP, crack out the programmers, you have customers to look after under your current contractural obligations.

    • Sam Wagner

      what is the manual workaround?!

  • Tim

    I’m missing the workaround. It does indeed NOT work on the Lion GM. It keeps trying to make the backup disk but never completes regardless of size or prior backup drives.

  • NicolasDR

    Apple and compatibility are just two words that don't go well together. I guess that's what you get for buying into an ecosystem: either stay completely in it and update at all times, or get burned. Luckily at least HP is looking at opening up webOS to others.

  • JazJon

    Time to update your MediaSmart to WHS 2011! (I did my EX495last week, love it)

    • Del Thibodeaux

      JazJon, I upgraded to WHS 2011 also. It worked great for several weeks. Now when I try to use Launchpad, it says my server is off line and would you like to use offline mode. also a problem with I don't know how to get past that except to reinstall the connector software in my PC. WHS 2011Has not been smooth running for me on my EX495!

  • RunnerFL

    It isn't just an upgrade to Lion that breaks it. I just updated to Snow Leopard 10.6.8 and backup stopped working for me.

    • Paula

      I had no problem with Snow Leopard. Re-install it. I believe that's what I had to do.

  • EricE

    @JazJon –

    Yup! I upgraded mine to WHS 2011 and consider it an extremely worthy upgrade. No sense living in the past – HP has made their intentions quite clear :p

  • I am using WHS2011 now with my EX510 but it does currently not help Mac backups at all – MS did only half heartly support OSX and the 3rd party timemachine extension is still outstanding.

    So any critical backups have to be done using something else (e.g. SuperDuper)

  • GPKing

    After you update to Snow Leopard 10.6.8, unfortunately you need to delete and recreate the TM sparsefile. With the MSS that is quite easy to do but with WHS 2011 it is a different story. After you have recreated the sparsefile, TM backup works will again on the MSS with WHS v1.
    WHS 2011 is a different story though. It is partially reliable at best. However that seems to be more of a software issue there – don’t know – don’t care on which side.
    So far I stick with my MSS for TM backups.

    Have not tried Lion GM yet but the problems are not surprising since Apple fizzled with SMB. So far (and again that comes from a diehard Apple user and fan) I do not see a need to upgrade to Lion. Well but I said that about Snow Leopard as well and three SPs into the OS I did upgrade and love it.

    • NewToThis

      GPKIng – How does one delete and recreate the TM sparsefile? Thanks.

  • Alastair

    Looks like it's time to switch from WHS and move fully into the apple camp then…

  • ggr

    The answer is to just stop using dedicated hardware. I've got my WHS instance running under VirtualBox, on ZFS. I can extend the number of drives and how the media is visible to WHS while allowing ZFS to manage the integrity of my data much better than WHS could natively.

    This also allows me to share large drive spaces via SMB or NFS for easy access and have the same physical media supporting all of this without the hassle of having multiple machines turned on. Once place to watch…

    I also, do have a second machine that I use for a second physical copy of my data. With ZFS, I can copy just the changed blocks between machines, so that the VirtualBox file system files are not always copied in entirety.

  • James

    annoying yes… but not so much of a problem for the upgrading option – with whs2011 prices slashed!

  • Ludvig

    I'm a complete noob to MSS, and bought one just a few weeks ago. I've never, ever set up a Windows server, and have been running Macs at home since about 1989. Of course I hadn't heard about the problems of running Snow Leopard in 64-bit mode, since that information isn't to be found anywhere near the claims that the MSS works fine with Mac. ūüôĀ As you can guess, I'm a bit annoyed. Well, I'm probably the one to blame since I didn't do my homework and read up on the possible problems with the MSS and modern Mac operatives.

    I really want this to be simple, smooth, easy and any other word that describes a hasslefree "modus operandi" . Please, could anyone help me find an easily understandable walkthrough how to work around the problems of running a 64-bit version of Snow Leopard with HP MSS. It simply seems a bit silly to sell it unused just a few weeks after buying it.

    Lots of thanks to anyone who can help!

    • Ola

      Try booting the mac up with 32 bit enabled. Lion defaults to 64 bit. Restart the mac and leave pressed the 3 and 2 keys (32 bit) after it boots up try to make a backup.

    • Martin

      Get a Time Capsule. That’s the hassle free solution for a mac. WHS is not.

  • Paula

    Snow Leopard was no problem for me. Until now, the only thing that killed Time Machine was when I swapped out drives on WHS. Then I had to re-create the Mac partition.

    Lion killed it for real. I would to know what the workaround is.

  • Chile

    I believe I have found a workaround.
    follow the instructions to fix time machine not working on a NAS due to afp and also apply the work around to show time machine unsupported drives. Not sure if both are needed but I now have time machine backups and the HP mss client working again on lion. I’ll try and validate the steps and post a better explanation on the forum ASAP.

    • Mansa

      @Chile Great Work. Eagerly awaiting your write up. Please post forum link when you do. Thanks.

  • Mansa

    @Chile Great Work. Eagerly awaiting your write up. Please post forum link when you do. Thanks.

  • chile

    I followed the instructions here

    then followed the instructions to set TMShowUnsupportedNetworkVolumes = 1

    problem is, it appears to be reset each reboot so it's not a permanent fix but it might be a start

    • empewu

      chile – i followed up both instruction with no result – I even manually recreated sparsefile iwth no luck. It looks that LION requires new AFP version on server side and MSS does not support it.

      Is it different with WHS2011 ? Was anybody successful with setting up TM on LION with WHS2011 ?

    • Thomas

      It also, unfortunately, didn't work for me. I don't know what I was doing wrong :-/

  • Cremachine

    Did not work for me either. The Mediasmart preferences found and authenticated the Mediasmart EX485 fine, but I could ot successfully start the backup drive.

  • Orlando

    Start Lion in 32 bit mode. I backing my macbook pro as we speak.

    • GatsbyAssassin

      Have you tested doing a restore and what version of Media smart are you using?

  • chiledog

    It seems to be very temperamental.
    If you cannot start the backup drive, try rebooting
    I had to perform multiple reboots before it finally was able to start the disk and backup completely.
    I haven't tried to get it to work in 64 bit mode as most people had already mentioned it didn't work.

  • simon

    I too have tried the '32' bit boot and nothing works. It now appears the back up has been unmounted too so its not showing, albeit it in orange, on the desktop at all now. ;-(

    So my guess is install WHS2011 or re install snow leopard. Lion looked piss anyway lol

  • simon

    I called HP tech support, (a real chore to speak to someone relevant) and was told by a very nice man that they were aware of the fact that lion brakes the time machine backup, and assured me that there would 'probably be a fix from a software update sometime' No timescales etc but somewhat reassuring i guess.. I'm going back to snow leopard until there is a fix…

  • SMRR

    I bought a new iMac and was pissed off to see the my media smart 485 not working with it. HP says the media smart server is no longer on the shelf so they had no commitment towards supporting lion os-x.
    Chile – can u pls post instructions on your solution?

  • Chiledog


    I’m afraid I have not managed to get it stable at all.
    It seems I have actually made it worse as it no longer starts the backup disk from snow leopard.
    I’ll probably wipe the backup files and start again and if I manage to get it working I’ll let everyone know.

  • Paula

    Please do post here. I've subscribed to the thread, so I'll get it via email.

  • Jayson

    Hoping someone finds a fix for this soon. I've had no luck to date. Will post back should I find a stable fix.

  • Steve L

    Someone please post a working fix for this =(

  • Mauricio

    Any update???

  • wat

    Boot up holding down 32, forces lion into 32 bit mode and you can back up. It's annoying but at least you can backup or use time machine when you need it.

  • Jon

    Here is the solution. 1 TB USB drive connected to airport extreme = new time machine backups. Parallels 6 allows mediasmart client to "run" on a mac in XP mode.

    • GatsbyAssassin

      Thanks Jon but that wont help us folks that have over 8 terabytes of had drives installed in our HP mediasmart servers.

      This is poor form HP for not responding to this. You have damaged our trust and your reputation. Support on less than 3 years in a product lifecycle is not good enough.

  • Tony G

    I’m afraid I’ve given up, and moved to a ReadyNAS-best move too as it’s a lovely machine.

  • Martin

    No update from HP ?

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