HP & LaCie/Axentra Media Servers

Installing and Configuring the LaCie Ethernet Disk mini Home

While earlier reviews of this drive have mentioned install issues, we encountered no unusual difficulties in installing and configuring the LaCie Ethernet Disk mini – Home Edition other than our wrestling matches with our network routers. In that case, we ultimately switched to a newer Netgear model WGT624 because our older FVS124G neither supported UPnP AV, which transforms remote access setup into a single-click affair, nor would it allow us to forward TCP ports 80 (HTTP), 443 (SHTTP) and 4125 (HipServ Service) to the drive’s DHCP assigned IP address (192.168.1.6) as manual setup demands.

Everything else was amazingly easy, if often painfully slow: select a language (English); approve the EULA; assign the server a name (we called ours THGHIPSRV) and create an administrative account and password. After that an automated test checks for blocked ports, then you’re taken to the LaCie site to register your unit and obtain a domain name for remote access (ours was thghipsrv.homelacie.com) via the Internet. After that, you use a Web interface to log into the unit (we used the IP address format URL http://192.168.1.6 to access the unit). From there you can navigate around the various aspects of the HipServ interface by selecting among the tabs at the left of the unit’s “home page.”

  • FamilyLibrary: shared media and other files, categorized as FamilyDocuments, FamilyMusic, FamilyPhotos and FamilyVideos. As the prefix indicates, anyone who can access the drive can access any or all of these files.
  • MyLibrary: personal, password-protected media and other files, categorized as MyDocuments, MyMusic, MyPhotos and MyVideos.
  • MyBackup: permits files and folders to be copied from the user’s PC to the drive, then kept synchronized between the two copies (a simple form of two-way replication, wherein the version with the most recent timestamp always becomes the new master copy).
  • MyContacts: permits address book data from Mozilla or Outlook Express to be copied to the drive, and for email address records and mailing lists to be created and managed on the drive. This information may also be used to apply access controls to files on the drive as well.
  • MySafe (USB): this is where the USB port on the back of the drive finally comes into play. You can attach a drive to that port, then use this tab to copy files from the LaCie Ethernet Disk mini – Home Edition to the USB drive.
  • Settings: provides access to user account features, including display name, password and interface language.

lacie ethernet disk

The HipServ home page offers access to shared and private files, backup, contacts data and more.

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  • Jakt
    The review of the Mediasmart server was good but missed the mark, specifically in failing to mention the community of enthusiasts who continuously develop new software to expand the machine's capabilities. There is so much more to it than just backups and NAS!

    The author also refers to the Mediasmart as having RAID, which it doesn't. It uses a somewhat different system of spanning multiple disks and making them appear as a single drive, but will make critical files redundant on multiple drives if a user wants.

    Sure, it's an expensive machine, but like anything, there are deals to be found if one looks for it.
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  • Interlude
    While this article is an interesting and informative read, it veered off course badly in its conclusion when the author stated “For those with home networks, we think the HP EX475 (or its less powerful and costly EX470 cousin) make sense only for those with lots of PCs and devices to manage”.

    Every network, large or small, needs to provide a backup of important data. The HP MediaSmart Server does this often forgotten task automatically, through its daily backup of Client PC’s and Duplicate Folders on the server. The LaCie Ethernet Disk mini – Home Edition does not provide this capability, because it is an NAS, not a true Server, as evidenced by its lack of hard disk expansion, file redundancy, and Network Health monitoring, etc.

    The old adage, “You get what you pay for” is never more true than when you compare the HP MediaSmart Server to the LaCie Ethernet Disk mini – Home Edition! There is no comparison, and the price reflects that.
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  • Anonymous
    While it might be convenient for basic Windows users to buy a solution like this from HP, an experienced user could get more mileage out of a low-end notebook computer with a decent hard drive and all of the hard disk expansion you might need with either USB, firewire, or eSATA drives externally. Several Linux-based server packages are available for media servers as well as Unison, rsync, or simple SMP or FTP for files and backup. Mac users can use Time Machine for a more elegant automatic backup. Mac & Linux users are not likely to want Windows Home Server packages.
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  • alm
    Good article. I have a LaCie Ethernet Disk Mini Home Edition and I love it. The author made an error though when he said the LaCie has an embedded 900 MHz Marvell processor. In fact it only has a 400 MHz Marvell processor.

    As well, Interlude in his comment above made an error when he said 'The LaCie Ethernet Disk mini – Home Edition does not provide this capability'. The desktop applications which come with the LaCie does provide a Windows and Mac application for automated backups of data on my PCs to the HipServ OS on the LaCie drive. Its based on rsync and it works really well for me. It does folder and file backups, but thats all I need. To boot, the LaCie device fully supports both the Mac and Windows which I love. The Windows Home Server does not provide this capability - Microsoft says Windows Home Server supports the Mac, but when you read the fine print it only supports the Mac if you install Vista on it. That is NOT supporting the Mac. As well, Interlude was incorrect when he said that the LaCie is not a true server - the LaCie drive runs HipServ which uses as its base the RedHat Linus Enterprise Server 4 OS. The same server OS that many banks around the world depend on.

    The LaCie device even allows me to make a secondary backup to an attached USB hard drive through the HipServ MySafe feature. The LaCie may not have multiple drives, but it least that it will not corrupt my data... unlike the Windows Home Server does.
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