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Strange WHS2012 and ODD boot problem (it booted)


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Thank you to all the contributors in this Gen 8 section of the forum. I have spent many hours reading through posts on here over the last week as I am sorting out a Gen 8 I picked up to sort out my research data and home data. 


This is the first modern PC I have built as I gre up with IDE HDDs and AGP graphics cards so this has been a learning curve. Originally I was going to run freenas on the Gen8 but have now opted for Server 2012 Essentials with Drivepool. I have opted for a Samsung 850 Evo 250gb ssd on the ODD for the OS and pinched a connector off an old floppy drive and used cheap £5 twin SSD tray off Amazon mounted to the top of the chassis with some foam tape where it sits against the side of the PSU (photo below for anyone who is interested, especially UK members who want something similar). 


My main reason for posting is I was made aware of the ODD boot problem thanks to this forum but thought I would see how it went and left the 3x4TB WD reds hooked up in the bays (still need to get one more) while I installed the OS. All went okay and slotted the 3 storage drives back in expecting the boot to fail but to my surprise it worked. When I went to set up the drives I noticed that the 4TB drive on port 0 had been partitioned into a 350MB "reserved for system" partition with 322MB of data, a 2TB unused partition and a 1.64TB unused partition.  


I didn't want this as it seemed messy but the drive was formatted as an MBR and with system files in the 350MB part Windows would not let me delete it. I shut down and pulled the drives and reinstalled to just the SSD. With the drives out it booted fine. Put the WD drives back in and to my surprise it still booted but I still had the drive with the MBR and system files which I could not delete so, not having any other way like a USB-SATA caddy, I had to enter windows set up again in iLO and delete the WD drive partitions from the first install. On reboot it just entered the loop which I guess many of you have experienced with OS drives on the ODD port but with the data drives pulled it booted fine.  


I am just about to try the "fix" using an old USB stick before I pick up a uSD card to do it permanently but wondered if anyone could explain the behaviour I had with files and partitions on the first data drive enabling the machine to boot. I wondered if I replicating this onto a uSD card would be an alternative to the "fix" for ODD booting. One concern I did have with this was I might put a lot of read/writes onto the uSD card compared to the "fix" posted on here. 



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