Installing Windows 7 on my HP ProLiant Gen8 MicroServer
Figure 1 — HP ProLiant Gen8 MicroServer with 256GB Samsung 840 Pro SSD attached to ODD SATA (SATA II 3Gbps) Port 5 and powered from 4-pin FDD connector. My MicroServer also has four 3TB Seagate ST3000DM001s in Bays 1 & 2 (SATA III 6bps) and Bays 3 & 4 (SATA II 3Gbps).
Instead of installing a Server OS on my MicroServer this time I chose to see how a Windows 7 installation would go installed on a single drive RAID0 SSD attached to the ODD SATA Port (SATA II 3Gbps) on the System Board and four 3TB Seagate HDD’s in RAID10 located at the main drive bays (Bays 1 & 2 are SATA III 6Gbps ports while Bays 3 & 4 are SATA II 3Gbps ports). It went very well!
The first thing I did, after clearing out my Gen8 MicroServer to near stock condition, was attach a Samsung 840 Pro 256GB SSD to the SATA ODD Port (SATA II 3Gbps) while also installing four 3TB Seagate ST3000DM001’s in drive Bays 1 through 4 of my HP ProLiant Gen8 MicroServer. (WARNING: I used desktop Seagate drives for my data array in this test setup because that was all I had available at the time – in my long term production environment I ONLY use NAS rated drives. Of course YMMV.)
See blog posting: Attaching a SSD to the ODD SATA Port in my HP ProLiant Gen8 MicroServer.
Next I use HP’s Smart Storage Administrator to create a single disk RAID0 Logical Drive 01 on the Dynamic Smart Array B120i in my HP ProLiant Gen8 MicroServer as shown in Video 2. I left the four Seagate drives unallocated at this time.
Video 1 – I use HP’s Smart Storage Administrator to create a single disk RAID0 Logical Drive 01 on the Dynamic Smart Array B120i in my HP ProLiant Gen8 MicroServer. The single disk is a 256GB Samsung 840 Pro SSD that is attached to the ODD SATA Port (identified in iLO as Port 5|Bay 5).
Figure 2 – The new Logical Drive 01 created with a single drive RAID0 by the HP Dynamic Smart Array B120i Controller can be seen derived from the single physical drive, Port 5|Bay 5, 256GB Samsung 840 Pro SSD.
Figure 3 — Firmware Versions on my Gen8
Using iLO4, I manually installed Windows 7 onto Logical Drive 01 of the HP ProLiant Gen8 MicroServer using the following Step-By-Step Guideline – also see Video 2.
Step-By-Step Windows 7
- I checked that all of my firmware was up to date before attempt to load the OS (use iLO4) – Figure 3.
In the HSS Forums GotNoTime posted a useful cross-reference of which HP Server Drivers to use for the various Windows OS’s at http://homeservershow.com/forums/index.php?/topic/9358-windows-81-drivers/?p=100968 where he wrote:
“Ever since XP, Microsoft uses the same core APIs and the kernel in the desktop and server editions of Windows. It is just tuned differently on the various versions to handle foreground or background tasks and will have a different set of services enabled. The Windows 2012 R2 drivers would be what HP would have released for Windows 8.1 if they supported it as a configuration on the G8 Microserver.
Windows 8.1 = Windows Server 2012 R2
Windows 8 = Windows Server 2012
Windows 7 = Windows Server 2008 R2
Windows Vista = Windows Server 2008
Windows XP = Windows Server 2003”
So I began my search for drivers in the HP Support Center at: http://h20565.www2.hp.com/hpsc/swd/public/readIndex?sp4ts.oid=5387585&swEnvOID=4064&action=listDriver&swLang=
MicroSoft Windows Server 2008 R2 Downloads: http://h20565.www2.hp.com/hpsc/swd/public/readIndex?sp4ts.oid=5387585&swLangOid=8&swEnvOid=4064
- I collected the following Drivers in one over-arching-folder for Windows 7
RAID (B120i) Drivers (2008 R2)
HP Dynamic Smart Array B120i/B320i SATA RAID Controller Driver for Windows Server 2008 x64 Editions 188.8.131.52 (30 MAR 2015) cp024078.exe
184.108.40.206 (30 MAR 2015) HP Broadcom 1Gb Driver for Windows Server x64 Editions cp023987.exe
- I extracted the B120i RAID drivers using 7-zip, to separate folder (I would copy to USB flash for a non-iLO installation)
Boot from the Windows 7 iso (I was doing my installation via iLO4 – this could also be done with the Windows 7 installer on a bootable USB flash drive or a DVD in a USB Optical drive) to start installation.
I was asked for RAID drivers, point the installer to the appropriate folder for the B120i in iLO4’s folder (or on USB/DVD drive/disk).
Select OS or Primary disk and continue with Windows 7 installation – Since I had only initialized the drive in SSA that I wanted to load the OS on there was only one drive to pick.
Once Windows 7’s installation was complete I had no internet access.
With Windows Explorer I went to “iLO Folder (D)” and copied the Network Driver file cp023987.exe to the downloads folder on the MicroServer and executed it from that downloads folder (I also copied the driver files cp019317.exe and cp024845.exe to my downloads folder)
Figure 4 — System information and Device Manager after NIC drivers installed
Once installation of Windows 7 is complete, go to Device Manager – See Figure 4. I saw two devices remaining with Yellow Triangles/Exclamation Marks: 1) one is the USB 3 driver and 2) under Other Devices I also saw “Base System Device” which is a System Management Driver (the first one of two I saw under System Management at HP’s site)
- Install USB 3.0 Driver
Renesas Electronics USB 3.0 Drivers for Windows Server 2008R2 220.127.116.11 (10 Sep 2013) cp019317.exe
- Install Base System Device which is the System Management iLO Drivers
Driver — System Management
18.104.22.168 (H)(30 MAR 2015) HP ProLiant iLO 3/4 Channel Interface Driver for Windows X64 cp024845.exe
Device Manager should now be good but there’s MORE if you want.
Don’t forget to download and install MicroSoft Security Essentials or Other Security Software!!
Continue with installation of Windows 7 updates.
Finally! There are More Drivers from 2008R2 and if I was using my P222 then I would also go to P222 for 2008R2 for more drivers to potentially load – YMMV! A word of caution, I would suggest adding additional drivers slowly over time incase one should cause problems you have a chance to identify that problem driver and remove it as discussed at HSS Thread BSOD with Matrox Drivers and Windows 7 Pro on Gen 8.
Video 2 – Using iLO4, I manually installed Windows 7 onto Logical Drive 01 of an HP ProLiant Gen8 MicroServer. I downloaded cp024078.exe from HPs Driver download web site for the MicroServer and used the 7-Zip utility to remove the B120i drivers from the exe and place into a folder that I linked via iLO4 to the Windows 7 installer when asked for the storage drivers and did the same with the Network Drivers cp023987.exe. After Windows 7 was installed I loaded the drivers for USB3 & iLO.
After I installed the USB 3.0 Driver, the Base System Device (iLO Driver), and had finished all of my Windows 7 updates (approximately 200 of them) – I restarted the Gen8 and during Post I hit F5 and went into HP’s Smart Storage Administrator to create a RAID10 Logical Drive 02 on the Dynamic Smart Array B120i using four ST3000DM001’s located in Bays 1 through 4. After exiting the SSA I again restarted the Gen8 and at the Windows 7 desktop I use Computer/Disk Management in Windows 7 to initialize Logical Drive 02 as GPT then I formatted it with the name BigRAID10. Later I planned to do some performance testing.
Video 3 – After installing Windows 7 on Logical Drive 01 of a HP ProLiant Gen8 MicroServer I use HP’s Smart Storage Administrator to create a RAID10 Logical Drive 02 on the Dynamic Smart Array B120i using four ST3000DM001’s in Bays 1 through 4.
Figure 5 – The new Logical Drive 02 created with four physical ST3000DM001’s in RAID10 by the HP Dynamic Smart Array B120i Controller can be seen below the single drive RAID0 Logical Drive 01
Figure 6 – The view within HP’s Smart Storage Administrator of the 2 Arrays on the Dynamic Smart Array B120i Controller
I measured the performance of the Logical Drives 01 and 02 made with the Dynamic Smart Array B120i Controller in my HP ProLiant Gen8 MicroServer using HDTune, ATTO, and CrystalDiskMark (“CDM”). I also ran the Windows 7 Performance Experience Index.
Figure 7 – Performance of Logical Drive 01 which is the OS Drive 256GB Samsung 840 Pro SSD set up as a single drive RAID0 in the Dynamic Smart Array B120i Controller running Windows 7. As can been seen particularly in CDM while the sustained transfer rates are capped at SATA II speeds the random read and write rates are excellent — substantially better than a typical HDD.
Figure 8 – Performance of Logical Drive 02 which is the RAID10 Data Drive made from 4 ST3000DM001’s set up in the Dynamic Smart Array B120i Controller
Figure 9 — Windows 7 Performance Experience Index
Current As-Built: Machine
- HP ProLiant Gen8 MicroServer Xeon E3-1265LV2
- 16GB ECC RAM (Kingston KVR1333D3E9SK2/16)
- OS: MicroSoft Windows 7 Pro x64
- OS Drive C: 256GB Logical Drive 01 made of 1 x Samsung 840 Pro 256GB SSD’s in RAID0 on HP Dynamic Smart Array B120i RAID Controller (NOTE: this is attached to the ODD SATA Port – SATA II or 3 Gbps)
- Dell MX714 FDD to SATA Power Converter Cable
- Standard SATA cable 180 degrees (straight) both ends
- Data Drive: 6TB Logical Drive 02 made of 4 x 3TB ST3000DM001 in RAID10 on HP Dynamic Smart Array B120i RAID Controller (NOTE: two drives are in Bays 1 & 2 – SATA III or 6 Gbps; and two drives are in Bays 3 & 4 – SATA II or 3 Gbps – With HDD’s the difference in speeds doesn’t appear relevant to me)
Please join us in the HSS Gen8 Forums with any question and/or comments on the above and other threads.
Attaching a SSD to the ODD SATA Port in my HP ProLiant Gen8 MicroServer http://homeservershow.com/attaching-a-ssd-to-the-odd-sata-port-in-my-hp-proliant-gen8-microserver.html
BSOD with Matrox Drivers and Windows 7 Pro on Gen8 MicroServer http://homeservershow.com/forums/index.php?/topic/9501-bsod-with-matrox-drivers-and-windows-7-pro-on-gen-8/
GotNoTime’s List of Which Server Drivers to use for Desktop Windows Installs http://homeservershow.com/forums/index.php?/topic/9358-windows-81-drivers/?p=100968
Installing WHS2011 on the HP ProLiant Gen8 MicroServer Using the B120i and P222 http://homeservershow.com/installing-whs2011-hp-proliant-gen8-microserver-using-b120i-p222.html
Windows 8.1 with RAID0 SSD on the ODD SATA Port in a ProLiant DL320e Gen8 V2 http://homeservershow.com/windows-8-1-with-raid0-ssd-on-the-odd-sata-port-in-a-proliant-dl320e-gen8-v2.html
Attaching a HDD to the ODD SATA Port in a HP ProLiant DL320e Gen8 v2 http://homeservershow.com/attaching-a-hdd-to-the-odd-sata-port-in-a-hp-proliant-dl320e-gen8-v2.html
Dell MX714 Floppy FDD to SATA Power Converter Cable http://www.ebay.com/itm/New-OEM-Dell-MX714-Floppy-FDD-to-Sata-Power-Converter-Cable-/400298253923?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item5d33a29e63
Schoondoggy Drive Mount (“SDM-R2”) an Introduction http://homeservershow.com/sdm-r2-review-introduction-hp-proliant-gen8-microserver.html
Check out CSKenney’s Gen8 links thread in the HomeServerShow forums: http://homeservershow.com/forums/index.php?/topic/5639-proliant-microserver-gen8-links/
Check out the Gen8 Blog postings: http://homeservershow.com/tag/gen-8
Check out the MicroServer Blog postings: http://homeservershow.com/tag/microserver