MyHomeServer Tutorials – Setting a Static LAN IP on your HP MediaSmart Server

HP MediaSmart ServerLinksys WRT300N router
Setting a Static LAN IP on your HP MediaSmart is a simple way to avoid networking hassles with DHCP and port forwarding. This tutorial is designed for the folks who have to manually forward ports in their router to run the HP MediaSmart. If the MS router tool didn’t work with your router, manual port forwarding is the only way to get to your server remotely. Note: This tutorial can also be applied to any server running Windows Home Server, it’s not specific to the MediaSmart server.

Why is setting a Static IP on your HP MediaSmart server so important?
If you used manual port forwarding and you leave the server on DHCP, you are asking for trouble down the road. Eventually your MediaSmart server LAN IP address (the internal IP) will change due to a power outage or server reboot, etc. This means your server could get a new LAN IP when you restart it….and then your manual port forwarding for remote access would be broken. This means no remote access or web/photo sharing for anyone until you fix it!

IMPORTANT: This tutorial uses the most common home networking setup – 192.168.1.1 is the router IP address. Most Linksys routers are setup in this way. Our goal is to setup a static LAN IP address on this network which is out of the way of the DHCP address range. If you DO NOT have a good working knowledge of Home IP networking, Stop and DON’T DO THIS. You need to be sure of the network layout and IP range and it needs to match our tutorial or you can lock yourself out of your server. Again, we are not responsible!

Step 1 – Check the Subnet using IPCONFIG - Using a laptop/desktop running Windows XP (on the same network that the MediaSmart is on) do the following:

  • Click on the Start menu, then Run, In the “Run” window, next to Open: type in the word CMD (see example below)

    Opening a DOS Prompt Window
  • When Command Prompt (“the DOS box”) opens, type IPCONFIG and then press ENTER. This will show the IP CONFIGURATION on that PC/Desktop. This shows the network setup. In most cases, if you know you have a Linksys router, and/or you see the gateway IP and it says 192.168.1.1 as shown circled below, you can proceed with the tutorial. If your network uses a different configuration, adjust accordingly or stop and do not proceed if you are unsure of what you are doing!IPConfig


Step 2 – Check & Verify the IP address you want to use is available
- It’s important to avoid setting two computers, servers, laptops, etc to the same IP address – otherwise there will be an address conflict. On a LAN (internal) network, you can “ping” an IP address to see if another server is already running at that IP. Be sure you do this first to make sure the MediaSmart can be set properly on the network. In most cases, if you have a Linksys router, the IP of 192.168.1.200 is not taken. Using the same laptop/desktop running Windows XP (on the same network that the MediaSmart is on) do the following:

  • Click on the Start menu, then Run, In the “Run” window, next to Open: type in the word CMD (see example below)

    Opening a DOS Prompt Window
  • When Command Prompt (“the DOS box”) opens, type PING 192.168.1.200. Press ENTER as shown below. If you see the desired message “REQUEST TIMED OUT” then there is no current device in use using this IP (so it is a safe IP to use). If you get a reply to Ping , something already has that IP address. Try a different IP such as 192.168.1.201, .202, etc. Close the Command Prompt window by typing “exit” (press Enter), or click the X in the corner.IPConfig

STEP 3 – Using Remote Desktop to login to your MediaSmart Server - Now that we have identified that the network setup and found a static LAN IP that is unused, we can login to the server to set the static LAN IP. In order to login, you need to start a remote desktop session. Using the same laptop/desktop you used in previous steps, click Start, Program files, Accessories, Communications and select REMOTE DESKTOP CONNECTION and you will see a screenshot similar to the one shown below:

Remote Desktop Connection
Using the internal IP to connect to the MediaSmart with Remote Desktop

STEP 4 – Connecting to the Server using Remote Desktop - You now need to know either the internal LAN IP address of the MediaSmart server, or the server name such as HPServer, or in our case, we called it MyMediaSmart. Using either the LAN IP or the server name, enter that into the remote desktop connection dialog as shown in one of the two screenshots below:

Remote Desktop Connection
Using the internal IP to connect to the MediaSmart with Remote Desktop

Remote Desktop Connection
Using the server name to connect to the MediaSmart with Remote Desktop

STEP 5 – Logging into the Server using Remote Desktop - You should be see the login for the MediaSmart server using remote desktop as shown in the screenshot below. Use the administrator account and password for the MediaSmart server and it will log you into the desktop of the MediaSmart

Remote Desktop Login
Logging into the HP MediaSmart server with Remote Desktop using the administrator account

STEP 6 – Setting the Static IP address on the server – Now you should be logged into the desktop of the MediaSmart server. CAUTION: You can really screw things up here if you don’t know what you are doing! We are not responsible for you screwing up your server! Click the Start button, Control Panel, Network Connections, and then Local Area Connection as shown in the screenshot below. Leave your mouse hovering over the Local Area Connection, right-click your mouse and select properties as shown:

Getting to the MediaSmart Network Properties
Getting to the Network|Local Area Connection properties to set the static LAN IP

STEP 7 – This will bring up all settings for your MediaSmart LAN network device as shown below. After your PC’s network device properties are open, you should see a dialog similar to the example image below. Underneath “This connection uses the following items”, click once on Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) then press the button “Properties” as shown circled below.

Helpful Tip: Before you click properties, you can select “show icon in notification area…” which makes it easier to get access to network properties in the future. See checkbox circled in the screenshot below to activate this feature.

Set IP address
The Local Area Connection properties for the HP MediaSmart server

Step 8 – We now need to change the IP options from DHCP to use a Static IP. You’ll only have to do this once. Inside the “Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) Properties” window (see example below), You should now change “Obtain an IP address automatically” to “Use the following IP address” as shown in the screenshot below:

Set IP address
Setting a Static IP on your MediaSmart server

Set the options “Use the following IP address” and “Use the following DNS server addresses“, as shown in the example screen above. Values used for this tutorial (your network might differ, adjust accordingly):

IP address: IP: 192.168.1.200
Subnet Mask: 255.255.255.0

Default Gateway: 192.168.1.1

Preferred DNS server: 192.168.1.1

Step 9 – DOUBLE CHECK YOUR SETTINGS! Make sure everything is set accordingly and click OK to close. Close the additional windows and then your Remote Desktop Connection WILL STOP RESPONDING – this is normal. Your Server is changing IP’s so the Remote Desktop connection will stop responding. Close remote desktop (you may have to wait for it to timeout) and then reconnect using the new Static LAN IP address of 192.168.1.200 (or other IP if your network is different)

You should now be connected to your MediaSmart server. You can now adjust your port forwarding to the new LAN IP address of your server and you will no longer have any issues or concerns about breaking your port forwarding rules! If you ever need to access your MediaSmart IP and Network properties again you can right click on the network icon in the system tray and select properties. (This is only if you followed our tip in step 7)

We hope this tutorial helped you…..Happy Home Serving!