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Fighting the BIOS on a Gen8 Proliant Microserver to install XUbuntu


ColinBrough
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My old Proliant Microserver - a N36L running XUbuntu - died recently (PSU issues). I've replaced it with a Gen8 Microserver, but am really struggling to install the OS... Can't find the things I think I want in the BIOS, and since the N36L, there is a whole load of lingo to pick up.... HP Smart Array Controllers, HP Smart Memory, iLO, Intelligent Provisioning...

 

I have 4x HDDs in the server (all different sizes!), and I want to end up with the OS on a partition on one of them, with data on all the rest, and no RAID - and retaining the data that is on at least one of those drives...

 

If I boot from the latest XUbuntu ISO on a memory stick, I can partition the drives OK, and appear to install the OS OK. But then when I try and reboot it doesn't detect the OS on the HDD... so it ends up falling back to trying to boot from the network, failing, then looping...

 

From I've read I think I need to do something to the Smart Array Controller to make it run in dumb/AHCI mode. But how? I can't find the relevant option...

 

Confession: having not realised the complexity when I first powered up the machine, I have no idea what random options I may have inadvertently selected not knowing their name/significance!

 

Is there a step by step to installing a Linux variant on a Gen8 Microserver that doesn't do RAID somewhere? Not found one yet...

 

Links below are to two (slightly shaky, sorry!) videos of where I've got to so far. First is of a successful boot into the XUbuntu installer from a memory stick. Second is a boot showing the failure to find any boot media, then into the HPE Smart Storage administrator - and my lack of ability to find any options to select AHCI mode or similar...

 

https://www.dropbox.com/s/k18fd30k2i7syfg/2017-06-15 21.47.40.mp4?dl=0

 

https://www.dropbox.com/s/7ecd2tth183b6ym/2017-06-15 22.42.20.mp4?dl=0

 

Feels like one of those old text adventures where you are lost in a forest of impenetrable jargon terms, and you can't quite distinguish where you are from where you expected to be, except you can't quite achieve what you want to!! Aaargh.

 

Thanks!

 

Colin

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Wouldn't let me watch your movies. Guess you failed the censor :ph34r: Too much bad language perhaps?

Sounds as if you and I like an easy life, so here's what I did to install Windows.

 

1. If you have a 2TB disk put it in bay 1: The GEN8 is a BIOS machine and so the OS disk is limited to 2TB.

2. Run the GEN8 disk administrator and set each disk to RAID 0. The GEN8 will regard each disk as ... a disk ... no RAID.

3. For Windows I create an OS USB stick with Rufus ... then add a folder with the B120i RAID storage driver. Reboot with your USB stick in a USB 2.0 port.

4. If the boot options don't see the USB then you can interrupt and make it so with a function key. Install the OS to the disk in the first bay, doing whatever XUBUNTU wants for the storage driver.

5. Dunno what happens on XUBUNTU but on Windows each of the disks has to be initialised and partitions created. Here I specify partition types of GPT so that the OS can handle disks larger than 2TB. The 2TB limit only applies to the OS disk.

It is conceivable ... though unlikely ... that 'hard disk' is not in the list of boot options.

Should be OK. Then again XUBUNTU might be different. I seem to remember getting MINT to work once over before I went Windows.

 

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