HP Microserver N40L Build and Bios Modification

By Guest Blogger:  John V. Stutsman

I recently completed setting up my new HP ProLiant N40L MicroServer that  I purchased at Newegg.com.  It was a special combo deal that included the MicroServer and a copy of Windows Home Server 2011.

N40L

Ram Installation

At this site, HP MicroServer Self Repair Videos there are repair videos from HP that show how to disassemble the MicroServer and among other things install new or additional RAM onto the motherboard. These videos are a must watch in my opinion before you attempt any DIY work on the MicroServer. I ordered and installed the Kingston Model KVR1333D3E9SK2/8G which is two 4GB sticks of ECC memory.

Flashing the BIOS

A refresh of this Posting is available at HP ProLiant N40L MicroServer Build and BIOS Modification Revisited that provides more detail and a Step-By-Step Guide of the BIOS Modification Process.  (2/3/2013)

I then flashed the modified BIOS from BIOS-MODS to my MicroServer using John Zajdler’s, @DieHarder on twitter, Diehard in the HomeServershow.com forums,  guide and suggestions.

I would just like to note that DieHard is a rock star! I followed his notes and suggestions and I had no problems getting BIOS-MODS modified BIOS that would unlock many of the hidden features on the MicroServer – especially enabling me to set SATA port 4 (the mother board port for the ODD (Optical Disk Drive) if installed and port 5 (the eSATA port on the back of the case to AHCI and at a higher port speed than it’s default.
Set up the Flash and it almost immediately took me to a C:\ prompt after the BIOS had successfully been flashed.
I then rebooted and hit F10 to get into the BIOS — Realized I made a mistake not checking the BIOS before flashing it but as I poked around I found many new options that people had written about so I knew I had the modified BIOS.
It Looked like all ports 0-5 are set for AHCI in the Advanced Menu – which is correct but you need to make additional changes to get ports 4 & 5 to AHCI and high speed.
Under IDE Configuration in the advanced Menu it has the option of setting AHCI speed to Auto, 1.5, & 3 – initially I left it on Auto but later on DieHard’s suggestion I changed it to 3.

 

At the Southbridge menu part of the BIOS I saw at this location http://forums.overcl…8216324&page=41 that says:

In bios under Chipset / SouthBridge Configuration / SB Sata Configuration

· Disable “SATA IDE Combined Mode” – sets port 5 and 6 to use AHCI

· Enable “SATA ESP on all PORT” – sets all ports to be external SATA ports

The SATA ESP on all PORT makes all SATA ports hot swappable.

 

At http://terabyt.es/20…exenta-napp-it/
I found the following instructions/recommendations:

· Enter BIOS with F10

· Go to the Chipset Menu > Southbridge Configuration > SB SATA Configuration (New Menu!)

· Enable OnChip Sata Channel, OnChip IDE Type to IDE, Sata ID Combined Mode to Disabled and SATA ESP and SATA Power on all PORT to Enabled.

In the Chipset menu you’ll find the SouthBridge Menu:

clip_image002
From the SouthBridge Menu you’ll want to go to the SATA Menu and set it up like below:
clip_image004

I set my AHCI speed to 3 also:

clip_image006

Installing the SSD
Then I installed a Crucial M4 128GB SSD as my OS drive located in the space above the 4 drive bay and below the ODD bay in the MicroServer after clearing out the power cables there by re-routing them in the cable run on the side above the power supply. See pictures here of the SSD location. The SSD is running from Port 5.

SSD Location: I installed the SSD in the open space below the ODD (Optical Disk Drive) bay and above the main 4 drive bay. This is actually be an excellent space for a floppy drive installation except for the “HP” lighted logo in front.

clip_image008clip_image010

clip_image012clip_image014

clip_image016

Note: in the last picture the book “Windows Server 2008 R2 – Unleashed” is opened to Chapter 3 “Installing Window’s Server 2008 R2”. This is a great book for reference in my opinion.

Installing Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise
After installing the SSD I loaded Server 2008-R2 Enterprise onto the MicroServer. That installation went very quick and surprisingly smooth.

I burned the iso for Server 2008 R2 to a DVD and used a USB DVD drive (pictured above) to install Server 2008 R2 Enterprise. I installed my OS onto the SSD drive.

I didn’t set up role’s right away but I went through all of the Windows updates and loaded Microsoft Forefront Endpoint Protection 2010 via the instructions at http://technet.micro…y/ff823774.aspx

Testing Hard Drive performance in the MicroServer
Later I formatted the Original 250GB Segate drive (in Port 0 or the left most port of the main 4 bay) that came with the Server and I looked forward to the process of adding more drives and adding the Hyper-V role to Server 2008 R2

I used ATTO Benchmark to test my SSD and the original stock 250GB Seagate drive.

clip_image018 clip_image020

And like a proud grandfather – here are some pictures from my build of the MicroServer:

clip_image022

The only glitch was taking out the SAS cable connector from the MB when I was installing the RAM — there were two hooks that would NOT release when I pressed the connector release — I finally utilized the screwdriver shown above to bend the connector housing very slightly so that when I pressed on the release the hooks would actually release. The SAS connector in the picture is released and is mostly out of the MB housing. MB SATA port 5 connector is clearly visible just right of the battery and the MB USB connector is left of the battery.

clip_image024

in the photo above the 8GB of RAM is now installed —

clip_image026

I thought this photo (above) would be interesting — you can see the SATA cable run as well as the other cables — it’s not necessary to unplug the MB power cable so I didn’t.

I decided to try some additional drives I had to see how they perform in the MicroServer.

First I checked out the old Seagate 750GB System Drive that I had removed from my EX-487 last fall and a Western Digital WD20EADS that I am holding as a spare for my EX-487:

clip_image028clip_image030

The performance of the stock Seagate 750GB drive wasn’t as good as the 250GB Seagate that came with the MicroServer while the performance of the WD20EADS wasn’t that bad.

I then tried a WD20FAEX — a 2TB Black drive that is actually a SATA 6G/s though in the MicroServer it’s connected to a SATA 3G/s:

clip_image032

Nice! For future tests I decided to use the WD20FAEX as my drive for my VHD’s and Hyper-V snapshots and the WD20EADS as my Server backup drive.

Wish I had a SATA 6G/s VR to test — I suspect it’s performance would be even better that the WD20FAEX since it’s about 20% faster (10,000 RPM vs 7,200 RPM) so that should mean read/writes around 180 if it’s truly scalable. But then it may not be when noting that the VR’s have only a 32MB buffer whereas the WD20FAEX has a 64MB buffer.

Installing a Drive in the ODD Bay

Well, I couldn’t leave good enough alone — I decided to see if I could move a drive into my open ODD Bay on top of the MicroServer and tie it into Port 4 (the eSATA port). My OS SSD is still tied to Port 5 and is in the space between the ODD bay and the main 4 Bay (SATA Ports 0, 1, 2, 3) below.
I decided I’d put my WD20EADS into the ODD bay and try it out as a Server back-up disk — I wanted a green drive up there because the ODD is closed in and I wanted a drive that normally ran cool in that space. I think long term the enclosed nature of this bay could be a detriment to a higher performance drive that generates a significant amount of heat.

The WD20EADS Drive installed without a hitch — I used a splitter so that it shares it’s power feed with the SSD below it.
It’s performance is as follows while running off of the eSATA (port4):
clip_image034
Pretty much the same as before when it was located in the main 4 drive bay.
Here is it’s location:
clip_image036clip_image038

You can just make out the SSD OS drive below it (See the blue SATA cable and the blue Tape)

The 2TB green in the ODD bay is plugged into Port5 which is the eSATA port — so I had to run an eSATA to SATA cable from the back of the case into a hole at the expansion slot and up the inside of the case next to the Power Supply to the ODD bay — it’s the Red cable:
clip_image040clip_image042

clip_image044

I used the Tripp Lite 18’ eSATA to SATA cable for this run – you can see it disappearing into a blank old low profile NIC plate.

NIC Installation

Originally I planned to install an old PCI D-Link NIC I had been saving for an occasion such as this – that’s when I realized a PCI card would not fit into a modern PCI-express slot. I ended up going with an Intel EXPI9402PTBLK Two Gigabit NIC that I could use in a future server build.

3TB Drive Installation

Now came the really fun part of the evening. In a weak moment earlier in the week I had purchased a Seagate 3TB 7200 6GPS drive that was on sale at Newegg — I was needing another 3TB so this fit the bill.
I installed the 3TB drive in the 4th drive bay (far right) in the main 4 bay which meant it was attached to SATA port3. The performance of this drive is SIMPLY AMAZING!

Shortly after this I installed the Hyper-V role in the Server 2008 R2 Enterprise and then installed Windows Home Server 2011 without a single hitch. In order to have a safe testing environment I installed Microsoft Forefront via the method described by Tinkererguy and Joe_Miner

Later I successfully passed through the ST3000DM01 to WHS 2011 running in Hyper-V and did another disk test. While there’s a slight change in the performance of the Seagate 3TB drive it is still very good any way you cut it.

clip_image046 clip_image048

That is some drive! and this performance is with it attached to a SATA II or 3Gbps port!!!!! I decided I needed to pull a 3TB WD drive out of my main Client to do a comparison. So that’s what I did.

The drive I pulled from my main Client is a Western Digital WD30EZRX 3TB drive that’s a SATA III or 6GBPS. It’s performance was markedly worse than the Seagate ST3000DM01 when tested attached to Server 2008 R2 and when passed directly thru Hyper-V to the VM of WHS 2011.

clip_image050 clip_image052

 

Power Requirements

The MicroServer Owners Club on the OverClockers Australia Forum member Doodz has a comprehensive write-up on the power useage of the MicroServer.

In my own configuration of the MicroServer with:

· 8 GB RAM

· Crucial M4 128GB SSD

· WD20FAEX 2TB Black Drive

· WD20EADS 2TB Green Drive

· WD30EZRX 3TB Green Drive

· ST3000DM01 Barracuda 3TB Drive

· Intel EXP19402PTBLK 2-port NIC

I found that the MicroServer had a start-up peak of about 101VA (Volt-Amps) ran idled at about 61VA.

In the above configuration I still had one slot open in my 4-bay for another 3.5” spindle drive so in the interest of science I re-installed the original Seagate 250GB drive:

· ST325318AS Barracuda 250GB Drive

In this “filled” configuration I found that the MicroServer had a start-up peak of about 111VA and ran idled at about 66VA.

 

Final Thoughts

I plan to do a lot more testing with my MicroServer. I’ve found the MicroServer to be an excellent learning tool and have been using it to try things out as I work my way through some of TechNET’s eLearning courses. Being able to easily set up a virtual machine on the MicroServer greatly expands its versatility and usefulness. Check out the links to the variety of user groups (below) for lots of great ideas on the possibilities with this MicroServer.

This is also a great little file server for the small business and the home. I’ve found it to be very reliable and easy (and fun!) to work on.

 

Acknowledgements

Many people in the Home Server Community were very instrumental in helping me figure out this fun machine. I’d like to thank everyone in the forums for their helpful suggestions and insights.

Some Useful MicroServer links: (For a more Current list of links see: Useful MicroServer Links & References 2-3-2013)
HP business page for HP ProLiant N40L 1P 2GB-U Emb SATA NHP 250GB LFF 150W PS MicroServer
HP MicroServer Self Repair Videos <= These are a MUST View IMHO
HP ProLiant MicroServer Owners Club (Dieharder gave us this link earlier)
ROM Firmware Upgrade from HP
HP Operating System and Virtualization on ProLiant Servers Info Page the official HP position – check out the MicroServers and see what officially supported under Server Matrices
Windows Server Certification
HP MicroServer Series Overview
MicroServer Driver & Support Info
Andy’s World – check out his posts on the MicroServers. For something really interesting read about his Cluster of MicroServers running ESXi 5.0
A nice write-up on specs and ideas on what the MicroServer can do
AMD Turion II Neo N40L
The MicroServer and ESXi
ESXi 5 Part 1
ESXi 5 Part 2
The MicroServer vSphere Lab
MicroServer and vSphere compatability
An interesting way to install 2008 R2 onto the MicroServer
A microserver with USB 3.0 and 3TB drives
Diehard’s live on air tear-down of N40L <= Must view — if you’re in a hurry start at the 23 min mark (Home Server Show 167 pre-show) — but take the time to listen to Christian’s discussion (starting around 50 minutes) of the BIOS and how to upgrade the BIOS – the upgrade BIOS is available at BIOS-MODS

Here is a YouTube of the teardown.
N40L Owners Thread

And of course the Home Server Show’s MicroServer Forum

You may also like...

57 Responses

  1. Paul says:

    Hi, can this BIOS mod be applied to a N36L Microserver?

  2. Joe_Miner says:

    I don't know. I've only applied it to the N40L. You can check with the OverClockers HP ProLiant MicroServer Owners Club at http://forums.overclockers.com.au/showthread.php?… or you could go to the forums at Bios-Mods and ask there.

  3. Justin says:

    Awesome job! What did you use (as in card type brand and model) for the 2 NICs on PCI slot? that obvious enhance the network transfer speed?

  4. FiLiNuN says:

    WOW! I am constantly looking for new ideas and new ways that I would like to use to expand my new N40L and this was spot on!!

    Thanks!

  5. Sam says:

    Hi John,

    Thanks for sharing your work; it's a really helpful write-up.

    I'm banging my head against the wall with something — I'm using the smaller version of your Seagate drives ( three or the ST2000DM001 HDDs) with the modified BIOS set to your specifications, but the absolute best write speed I can get to any of them is 55 MBps. It usually sits at around 15-20 … I've tried the following installations:
    1. ESXi 5.0 Hypervisor with Server 2008 x64 Standard (ESXi installed on the Seagate 250GB drive comes with the N40L)
    2. ESXi 5.0 Hypervisor with Windows 7 x64 Ultimate (ESXi installed on the Seagate 250GB drive comes with the N40L) Note: I've also tried these Windows OSs without VMware
    3. The same as above, but with ESXi running off a USB 2 thumb drive
    4. FreeNAS 8 and 7 with ZFS and RAIDZ (installed on the 250 GB drive)
    5. Linux Mint 11 running from the USB 2 thumb drive
    6. Linux Mint 11 installed on the 250 GB HDD
    7. Ubuntu 11.10 running from the USB 2 thumb drive
    8. Ubuntu 11.10 installed on the 250 GB HDD

  6. Sam says:

    CONTD.

    For each trial above, where installed on the HDD, I've also installed to one of the 2TB drives.

    Read/write from VMFS datastores in vSphere is no better than noted above; however, the speed between virtual drives on the Windows Server 2008 VM is double … and the virtual drives are on separate physical drives; i.e., (C:) is on the 250 GB drive, and (D: data) is on the 2 TB drive. Results with Windows 7 were much the same, but it took over an hour to expand the installation files from the mounted ISO in VMware during the install.

  7. Sam says:

    CONTD.

    Linux Mint 11 has been the best performer BY FAR, from both the USB and HDD.

    I'm about to pick up a 128GB SSD for my Hypervisor and or operating system(s), which will obviously speed up that side of things, but I'm running out of ideas with regard to the painful disk speeds. All reviews I've read on the Seagate 2TB drives report great results. Also, I'm running 6 GB of RAM, so I'll get rid of the 2GB and throw in another 4GB, but I'm not convinced that it will make any difference, other than improving FreeNAS's ZFS (if I go down that road again). The CPU appears to get hit very hard regardless of the installation, and the poor disk performance is crippling any paged memory, which is probably partly responsible for the CPU hammering.

    Any words of wisdom would be greatly appreciated at this point.

    Cheers

  8. Sam says:

    CONCLUSION (Resolved)

    I've answered my own question — the hard disk was the culprit. I added a Kingston HyperX 120GB SSD and move my OS to it. Average disk write speed (writing to the 2TB Seagate) went from 20MBps to 125MBps, with a maximum of 185Mbps. Read speed maximum topped 200.

    Your instructions, and DieHard's BIOS, turned it all 'round. Thanks guys.

    • Joh Stutsman says:

      Thanks Sam!

      I appreciate your write-up. I didn't the SSD for the OS would such a difference with access for other drivers also — this is good to know. It might explain why I'm doing OK after switching out my WD Black for a older WD 1.5TB Green as my VHD drive without a noticable issue.

  9. Karen says:

    Hi there,
    well I have got mine as it looked really cool the N40L installed 8GB ram and 4 2TBs WD Green disks, my problem is for some reason it can only see 1 drive. Also the Ethernet only shows up as 100Mbs not 1G.bits speed.
    Sees the 8GBs of Ram the video card I can install software to the first drive and I have moved them around but it still can only see 1 drive. What do I need to do??
    Some help would be greatly appreciated.
    I installed Mint12 happily on a USB and the 2Tbs it could see and alls fine but nothing can see the other drives.
    I have checked all cables and can't see anything that seems to be amiss.
    Any help would be greatly appreciated. Running original fimrware 401 as don't need anything special for what I want to do. 4 drives with movies/lifestyle/photos/tv shows so don't need raid or anything else……..so frustrating.
    Where did I go wrong.
    Bios can also only seee 1 usb drive and one WDears drive.

    • Joh Stutsman says:

      Are they new drives? Have you gone to drive management and initialized the drives?

      Beyond that I'm not sure what the problem could be — you should post your problem in the Home Server Show Forums — there are a lot of people there would could possibly help with more experience than me.
      http://homeservershow.com/forums/

  10. freestyler says:

    thanks great post!!!!!

    i will definitely be trying some of this!

    thanks

  11. Great job, John!

    I've installed 60GB SSD as described and also updated BIOS. SSD works fine with 250 MB/s (before updating appr. 150 MB/s), OS Ubuntu 11.04

  12. cw-kid says:

    Do any of these BIOS mods for the N40L Microserver enabled S3 Sleep mode? Thanks

  13. Andyi says:

    I just tried the BIOS, even though there are options for S3 (and S5) no still no sleep mode

  14. Frederick Briggs says:

    Thanks for the great info here which I used to successfully mod my server.

    I now have two mirrored pairs of 1.5TB giving 3TB of mirrored storage in total. I installed my IcyBox SATA drive housing into the CD-ROM slot and have two 2TB drives which are dedicated as backup drives and which I alternate.
    I was lucky in that these 2TB Samsung drives do 512k sector emulation. I can't believe that Microsoft are apparently only going to fix 4k sector support for backup in Windows 8/Server 2012.

    My boot disk was cloned from the original HD onto a 32GB SSD which I've found sits nicely on top of the IcyBox housing held with velcro – no need to use the space under this which is cluttered with cables.

    My other tip is that the eSata cable can be taken out via the card slot locking mechanism with no need to use up an expansion slot. You just need to bend the vertical left hand end of the locking flap up away from the rear panel by a few mm.

  15. rkl says:

    An interesting write-up on the microserver but I was wondering how noisy these machines can be (e.g. could you sleep in the same room as one that's switched on overnight?). I guess if you hide them away in a room you don't regularly use, noise would be less of an issue.

    I set myself up two custom PCs to act as media servers to record all of the Olympics (yes, that's 24 HD channels here in the UK) and the one I have in my bedroom was deliberately bought with quiet/silent components and I paid extra to get soundproofing inside the case too. And, yes, I can sleep in the same room as that one when its running 🙂 I hate loud machines and I bet the microservers have noisy fans by default.

    I bought 7 of the 3TB Seagates you mentioned and they are totally great drives. In Linux, I got 225 Mbytes/sec sequential read speed with them, plus they're very quiet too. Avoid the 3TB WD Caviar Green drives though – half the performance of the Seagate and actually more expensive too.

    Here's my spec: i7 2600, 12/16GB RAM, Intel 520/Force GT SSD (240GB), 8 * 3TB HDD's (7 Seagate, 1 WD), LG combo HDD/Blu-Ray drive, Asus P8Z68-V LX motherboard, dual boot between 64-bit CentOS 6.3 (for serious desktop work) and 64-bit Ubuntu 12.04 (for recording using tvheadend, with XBMC as a front-end for viewing on an Acer Revo 3700).

  16. Daniel says:

    I've got a problem with my N40L and three WD20EARX harddisks. It looks like they are not really recognised by the server while booting.

    401-AHCI Port1 Device Error

    Maybe you've got an idea how to fix it. Is there a general problem mit SATAIII harddisks?
    Thanks!

    • Joe_Miner says:

      Hi Daniel! I've been using mostly SATA III drives even though all 6 SATA ports (including the eSATA port) are SATA II in the MicroServer. Haven't experienced any problems.

  17. raf says:

    i need a power cable for the n40l microserver i recently purchased, it didnt come with one in the box, how can i get hold of one, i dont want to return the item… can anyone help?

  18. Liliacul says:

    I flashed the mod bios. I am confused what woul be the best configuration with my existing HDD's. Any suggestions are more than welcome.
    180 gb SSd
    2tb wd black fass 7200 rpm
    2tb hitachi 7200 rpm
    2 tb seagate barr 7200 rpm
    3 tb wd red nas 7200 rpm
    I have looked in the bios and try to figure out how to setup a raid and I got lost.

  19. I've posted my solution to installing the SSD here: http://scriptimus.wordpress.com/2012/09/04/testla

    Much easier IMO

    • Andy says:

      Easier, but uses up a drive bay! For us data hogs with 5 x 3tb HDDs and an SSD with O/S in the N40L the OP's layout works best. The only other option would be to have the O/S on a USB and free up yet another drive bay!
      Great first name btw
      Cheers,
      Andy

    • Joe_Miner says:

      Thanks Andrew!

  20. gigel says:

    Hi,
    Can you sleep in the same room with it? What noise does it make?
    What are the temperatures of the hard drives?
    Thanks.

  21. francesco says:

    It's very, very quiet. I sleep in the same room and I can hardly hear it. But I have the simplest config, with only one HD. I doubt you can find a quieter server.

  22. gigel says:

    thanks. can you check the drive temperature, too? would be interesting to see!

    • francesco says:

      [email protected]:~$ sudo hddtemp /dev/sda
      /dev/sda: VB0250EAVER: 27°C

      This is the original Seagate Barracuda, 250 GB, 7200 RMP

      I'm using Debian Squeeze

  23. Jason says:

    Without SATA 3, I would have to pass.

    • _lj_ says:

      Given that no hard disk can saturate a SATA-II link that's a silly reason to pass.
      SATA-II is specified at 300MB/s and most hard disks average a maximum of 150MB/s.
      SSD's might be able saturate the link (since some can manage >400MB/s sequential) but you'd have a bottleneck in the Southbridge or CPU before then on a right like the N40L.

  24. LoneWolf says:

    Note: I have discovered that if you have an HP Smart Array P410 hardware RAID controller, and disable SATA IDE Combined mode with this BIOS, the Microserver will suddenly fail to see your RAID controller. You will no longer be able to boot from the controller OR see any drives in the array itself until you enable Combined mode again.

    I would assume the same applies if you have a P212 or P411 controller.

  25. Matt says:

    Hi. I have just installed a SAPPHIRE AMD Radeon 5450 graphics card in my HP N40L Proliant MicroServer, running Windows Home Server 2011 SP1. I'm getting video over HDMI but no audio. Control Panel sound says "No audio device is installed". The Windows Audio Service wasn't started, but I've fixed that and no change.

    Wondering if I need to disable the onboard audio in order to get the 5450 recognised as an output audio device, but I can't see how to do this with the existing BIOS, so might have to flash the BIOS. Not something I've done before, but will have a go if needed.

    Anyone got any experience of this? Hoping so, given it seems the N40L + AMD 5450 is a popular combination out there. Been battling this one for days, so any help greatly appreciated!

    Thanks,
    Matt

    • Andy says:

      Hi Matt, I'm pretty sure the N40L does not have any on board audio to disable – got one myself, nice bit of kit 🙂
      Have you checked the 5450 drivers are the most recent? I have read there is a sound processor on the 5450 card to put audio through the HDMI out…
      Noticed this in a thread that you might be of use:
      http://hardforum.com/showthread.php?t=1602713

      Good luck,

      Andy

  26. Joe_Miner says:

    Hi Matt! I've tested the MicroServer mostly with Server OS's but I have little hands on experience with video cards in the MicroServer that might help but if you would like to post your question{s} in the Forums there are many highly experienced folks who would be able to help with your MicroServer and other builds. http://homeservershow.com/forums/index.php?/forumhttp://homeservershow.com/forums/

  27. DumbMarine says:

    I have a number of questions for Joe and others.
    Why install a separate 2 port NIC when one is built-in?
    Where and what is the link to the community recommended bios update? I am assuming this will invalidate the HP warranty?
    Can the accessible drive of a raid 1 drive pairs be partitioned? My N40L (arrived today) came with a DVD writer! but without a system drive! May use a pair of larger drives in Raid 1 hence the question.
    Does upgrading the memory give any benefits? It has 4gb and I can get another 4gb for £12 delivered.
    Also pointing me at other recommended mods etc would be appreciated
    Thanks
    Ian

  28. DumbMarine says:

    A ps to my earlier post.

    I propose to install two WD RED 2tb drives in addition to whatever I put my OS on (WHS2011). Is it worth making these a RAID1 set?

  29. DumbMarine says:

    Thanks John for the informed replies (and apologies for calling you Joe – I picked the wrong name at the top of the thread).. As you can guess I am a server newbie though I have extensive experience of building PC's. I will indeed read though all the threads.

  30. John Stutsman says:

    Hi Ian: Please see my response at http://homeservershow.com/forums/index.php?/topic

  31. Josh says:

    Hi guys,

    So this is my plan:

    HP N40L – Windows 7 (For now)
    8GB RAM
    HD 5450
    RocketRaid 2680SGL RAID 5
    4×2/3TB WD RED's RAID 5
    250GB Seagate for OS

    How does that look to everyone? I'll need to mod the BIOS for the 5th drive, but in terms of power draw, an issues with that? It's just going to be running XBMC and have all of my movies stored locally.

  32. John Stutsman says:

    Hi Josh! While your plan looks fine I don't have hands on experience with 2680's or other RAID cards — I'd suggest you post your plans in the Forums at http://homeservershow.com/forums/index.php?/forum… and see what kind of feedback you get there. There are many folks who are familiar with the RocketRaid cards as well as many other brands. There are also a few also using the HP 410 in their MicroServer's with great success. Check it out and also let us know there how your build goes.

  33. Tasos says:

    Hi John,

    have been busting my head most of the day with this… I also have a N40L with the same modded bios, and today I installed an HP NC360T dual gigabit network card (same with your Intel card). For some reason that so far I am failing to identify, if the onboard nic is not disabled, then the only devices I can select in "Boot Device Priority" to boot from are the 3 network interfaces (2 from NC360T plus the onboard nic), and there is no "Hard Disk Drives" under "Boot Device Priority". When I disable the onbard nic and reboot then I do get the "Hard Disk Drives" submenu, and in "Boot Device Priority" I get a selection of the hard disks and the NC360T. So if the onbard nic can coexist, why the HDDs disappear from the selection??? Is there something in the bios that I need to enable/disable?

  34. Joe_Miner says:

    Short answer: I don't know. I don't recall any problems with the Intel Dual Nic in the MicroServer. Post your problem in the Forums http://homeservershow.com/forums/index.php?/forum… — as soon as I can I'll move the Dual NIC to one of my MicroServers and see if I can find anything but it could be a few days — I've been using it for NIC teaming in my Z77.

  35. iced says:

    Hey, i just bought a N40L and flashed the BIOS Mod. My problem is, that if i set the SATA IDE Combined Mode to false the N40L wont see my SSD pluged in the ODD Port 🙁 If i reenable it, the Drive is detected.
    What am i doing wrong?