Uninstalling Twonky and HP Software from MediaSmart Home Server

What do you do to convert a barely useful system into a completely broken system? You release a patch! And so HP set to work to develop and release the long awaited Update 2 for the MediaSmart 3.0 software, providing large parts of the customer base with a whole new level of psychological terror.

Tags: infrastructure mediasmart subsonic whs


If you’re lucky enough to see TwonkyMedia re-index your entire media collection without crashing in the process, you will be rewarded with related error pop-ups and a dysfunctional HP tab in the Home Server Console, a sloppy and bug infested media browser, high CPU utilization and literally hundreds of errors and warnings in the Windows event log.

Like many other users, I have previously spent a lot of time with getting the home server to work somewhat reliably for more than a few days in a row, and I have decided that it’s time to stop playing this game and pull the trigger on uninstalling TwonkyMedia and the HP software alltogether. Despite temporarily losing support for the system health LED, which I haven’t looked into yet, my quality of life improved instantly, and I have not yet regretted my decision.

This article describes the steps for getting rid of the factory malware that ships with the HP home servers. I hope I can encourage others to liberate themselves as well.


Use Remote Desktop to connect to your home server and perform the following steps:

  1. Click Start → Control Panel → Add or Remove Programs
  2. Locate and uninstall TwonkyMedia Server
  3. Locate and uninstall HP MediaSmart/Data Vault Update (if you have it installed)
  4. Locate and uninstall HP MediaSmart Server
  5. Restart your home server to finalize the uninstall.

Fixing up WHS Start Page

When you first connect to your home server with a web browser it shows the WHS start page. Since HP customized this page, you will be redirected to /HPHome and get a 404 Not Found error, because you uninstalled the HP software. Remote desktop into your home server and follow the steps below to fix it up:

  1. Open Windows Explorer and navigate to c:\Inetpub\home\
  2. Open the file WebSites.xml in a text editor

    By default the file contents look like this:

    <?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8" standalone="yes"?>
    <WebSites default="HP MediaSmart Server Home Page">
       <WebSite name="HP MediaSmart Server Home Page" uri="/HPHome" imageUrl="/HPHome/images/server.gif" absolute="false" />

    You can either remove the <WebSite> entry or add one or more of your own relative or absolute web site URLs. For example, I added Subsonic as one of the pages as follows:

    <?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8" standalone="yes"?>
    <WebSites default="HP MediaSmart Server Home Page">
       <WebSite name="Subsonic Media Server" uri="" imageUrl="images/subsoniclogo.png" absolute="true" />

Note the subsoniclogo.png image that I created and placed into c:\Inetpub\home\images*. It will be shown next to the link. Replace* with your server’s domain name or public IP address and port number.

Fixing up WHS Remote Page

After logging on to the WHS page, the server will redirect you to the WHS remote page that displays additional options for authenticated users. This page needs to be fixed up in the same way as the start page. Please note that this time the corresponding XML file is located in the remote directory:

  1. Open Windows Explorer and navigate to c:\Inetpub\remote\
  2. Open the file WebSites.xml in a text editor

    By default the file contents look like this:

    <?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8" standalone="yes"?>
      <!– This is a Sample Template
      <WebSite name="An internal Website" uri="/OEM" imageUrl="/OEM/icon.png" absolute="false">
      <WebSite name="An external Website" uri="" imageUrl="" absolute="true">
      <WebSite name="HP MediaSmart Server Home Page" uri="/HPHome" imageUrl="/HPHome/images/websites_xml/server.gif" absolute="false" />
      <WebSite name="HP Photo Viewer" uri="/PhotoViewer" imageUrl="/HPHome/images/websites_xml/photo_view.gif" absolute="false" />
      <WebSite name="HP Photo Publisher" uri="/PhotoPublisher" imageUrl="/HPHome/images/websites_xml/photo_publish.gif" absolute="false" />
      <WebSite name="Media Streamer" uri="/MediaStreamer" imageUrl="/HPHome/images/websites_xml/media_streaming.gif" absolute="false" />

Make sure to remove and/or replace the existing web sites since they no longer exist.


Since Backup, Media Center, Media Sharing and Remote Access are provided by Windows Home Server, these features will not be impacted by uninstalling the HP bundled software and continue to function properly.

As a replacement for TwonkyMedia audio streaming I highly recommend the free Subsonic Music Streamer. I was concerned about it being written in Java, but once you have it installed, you’ll ask yourself why you tortured yourself with Twonky. The server is super fast, supports bit-rate transcoding, indexes thousands of MP3s in seconds, includes user account management, has a lot of cool features and simply looks and works great. I wrote a reverse proxy for clean integration into IIS and your WHS home page.

For iTunes support you can continue to use Firefly, which should still be installed. You will have to reinstall Apple’s Bonjour service for Firefly to work properly.