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Hyram

Gen8 - How to use 4 main bays as single non-RAID drives?

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Hyram

They don't make things simple on this damn box, do they.

 

How do I set the Gen8 up so that the four main bays behave like ordinary drive bays, the way the NxxL Gen7's used to?

 

It is important that once they're configured to be 'normal' drive bays, that the drives can be changed at will and the next time it is turned on, Windows will spot them automatically, the way the Gen7 did.

 

I've already got Windows 7 on an SSD bootable (as per Joe's guide).

 

(This is an HTPC upgrade for a friend after his Gen7 croaked, and he is used to swapping a drive over to add new content to his Kodi library.)

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schoondoggy

Are you using the B120i or AHCI?

 

Sent from my LG-H910 using Tapatalk

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Hyram

Following Joe's instructions, I must be using the B120, as I wanted a bootable SSD on the internal ODD port, so its a logical single-drive array. Is it possible to leave it like that and make the four main bays be AHCI? Or should I forego the whole B120 thing and turn on AHCI? I'd still need the ODD/SSD to be the bootable, and in my forum-searching that appears to be a sticking-point - I don't mind re-doing the SSD)

 

(I've always avoided RAID, and have always considered it an optional extra (which I'd happily let others bother with). First time I've ever ancountered a box which insists everything has to be part of a RAID.)

Edited by Hyram

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Hyram

Hmm, looks like the only tenable solution is that drive-cable-swap trick. I don't trust microSD cards or USB-sticks to last long to try the bootload-redirect method.

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schoondoggy

AHCI is the best way to get the swappable bays to work like the older Micro servers, but to boot from the ODD in AHCI you need to setup a bootloader. The B120i supports boot from the ODD port, but you would need to set each drive as a single drive RAID0. Be sure to have all of your data backed up. Install the drives one at a time and set them up as a single drive RAID0's

The MS Gen8 is a real Proliant server so it is quite different from the older MicroServers.

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Hyram

Yeah, bugger that, sorry - not going to mess with the restrictions of a 'real' server when it's not intended to be a server and there's no way to un-stupid it.

 

The Gen8 I made the mistake of getting last year promptly went on Gumtree and there's five N54L's in storage for future builds, but my frend wants this Gen8 because (get this) it is shorter and fits into his TV cabinet where the ol' Gen7 wouldn't, so I'm going the AHCI-and-re-wire route.

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schoondoggy

The Gen8 tends to be louder, fan noise, than the N54l's. This can be an issue using it in a cabinet. He may want to consider finding a case that fits his needs and building a system.

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JackoUK

"They don't make things simple on this damn box, do they ....​"

The function of enterprise designs is to force enterprise customers into buying expensive vendor-specific kit, capiche?

Our job as dumb consumers is to provide cost-effective  workarounds for enterprise restrictions ;-)

 

You don't like RAID. Me too/neither.

You don't need an SSD for fast boot and application acceleration ... you're just storing and streaming media.

Heck even wireless bandwidth to the next room  would work!

 

So:

 

1. Take out the SSD ... and use it on a machine that actually needs fast storage or a fast OS/APP drive.

 

2.  Install W7 on a AHCI BIOS 2TB drive. Why 2TB? Because that's the maximum BIOS boot will allow. (Acquire 5x2TB  disks for your stored N54L's.)

 

3. Partition the 2TB boot drive with 0.032TB for the OS and KODI ... and 1.68TB for music/videos: Data1.

 

4. Slap in 3 more AHCI 2TB drives in bays 2, 3 and 4 for six more TB of data ... or 3x {3,4,5,6,8,10} TB drives in the remaining 3 bays according to taste ... but initilialise any over 2TB as GPT disks under W7. We're saved! GPT disks can exceed the 2TB BIOS boot drive limitation if they only contain data. Giving Data2, Data3, Data4.

Sounds like a max of 1.68+10+10+10 = 31.68 TB to me.

 

5. <Your backup policy here>. Did I hear you had FIVE more older microservers in store? ******* cheapskate ... a man after my own heart!

 

HOWEVER

 

Schoondoggy (genius) 's method of having an SSD and 4 GPT disks would give you 10+10+10+10 with more work.

 

Your choice.

 

PS Let's not diss the HP Microserver, of any generation from the earliest to the GEN8 ... I have long since regarded it as arguably the best value enterprise device for repurposing in a home context available.

Edited by JackoUK

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Hyram

Sorry mate, but for HTPC purposes, the Gen8 is a disaster. My friend spent two days with "Windows is performing slowly" alerts popping up over his videos and has thankfully given up - put all his original drives into one of my N54L's (I'd wisely kept his old Gen7's HDD), turned it on, double-checked the remote configuration was in place and he's a happy couch-potato once more. And he's still got room for expansion (he's a sensible media consumer, he doesn't keep much of what he watches) should he need to.

 

They might be a great server, but for the application I use them for ... not a chance.

 

(It doesn't help that the PCI-e securing plate obscures the top half of the video-card, making it impossible to plug in an HDMI cable without cutting off a bunch of plastic from one end of the cable, either :))

Edited by Hyram

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