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ODD in AHCI booting via GRUB2 on internal USB


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Just quick post for anyone wanting to do what I did: Having server in AHCI, not using B120i RAID at all and booting OS on ODD Sata drive.

In practise it's quite easy to setup, despite many posts warning against it.


In existing Linux OS (probably also possible from any OS on any computer for that matter), I connected the USB drive, removed all partitions and created a new basic bootable one with fdisk.

Than installed grub by using sudo grub-install /dev/sdX (where X is the letter for the pendrive).

All done, after rebooting, provided that the boot order in server's BIOS is properly set to put USB key a s number 1 - all went smoothly, GRUB2 detected the OS (Ubuntu) in ODD SATA and it's working as a charm. The HDDs spin down, for the SDD trim works, transfer speeds are good, the only downside is the fan - stuck at 15% :)

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@woocash Have you got all four of the main drive bays populated, then?  I would like to try something very similar to this, perhaps with GRUB on the external USB flash drive.  Another option that I just found out about is installing GRUB in the internal SD drive and having that link to the SSD in the optical drive slot.  I'm glad to hear it's possible to do all this AND have AHCI.

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  • 1 month later...

Yep, all 4 bays were populated plus ODD of course. Now went down to three, due to drive upgrade via shucking some WD Element drives :)

Basically no problems, and in case flash drive fail, i have a second cheap one with same boot loader on it, so it is just a case of switching them. I wonder whether a backup could be made on sdcard to automatically boot from it, or in case of flash drive failure.

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