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ak88

Suddenly unable to boot AHCI SSD in ODD bay

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ak88

I can't figure out what has happened here. Last week I upgraded from my N40l to a used Gen8 Micro, I upgraded to a Xeon, moved my P212 controller over, ran the SPP to update all BIOS/FW, manually updated the iLO firmware to latest etc. I put an SSD in the ODD bay and connected to the internal SATA port, I booted to Windows install media and installed Windows 10 no problem. My BIOS setup is SATA AHCI with the Intel chipset being above the P212 in boot order (my RAID array is not bootable anyway) and C drive being first in the boot order.

 

Windows 10 booted fine, I installed the Hyper-V role and set up a VM, I rebooted the server loads of times during this and it booted fine each time. It has been working flawlessly all week, including this morning, but this afternoon I tried to access a network share and it failed so I hooked up a monitor and the server is failing to boot. I pulled the plug and discharged, powered up - same. I removed the SSD and connected to a docking bay and it reads fine so doesn't look like a failed SSD.

 

Any ideas why all of a sudden this is being a pain? I know others have had to load from an SD/USB but I wasn't sure if mine worked because I was using a proper RAID card rather than the integrated chipset therefore I didn't need to use this method. Or was AHCI always intermittent and I have been lucky this past week? 

 

I think the NAND is bad on this server too as I am getting a POST error relating to the SD being write protected even though there is no SD installed and I can't seem to reinstall Intelligent Provisioning after formatting the NAND whereas my other Gen8 had no issues with this. 

 

Many thanks

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schoondoggy

The Microserver Gen8 has issues booting form the ODD port. If you are using the onboard SATA controller for the front bay drives, the ODD SATA port will only be bootable if the B120i controller is enabled, not AHCI. In your case it sounds like you have the front bays connected to your P212, so this should not be an issue. I would recommend using a SFF-8087 break out cable, connect it to the SFF-8087 connector on the system board and use the first SATA port from that connection. Of the four SATA ports on the SFF-8087 connector the first two are SATA III 6Gb/s so you will get the best performance from your SSD. Also there are no boot issues using the SFF-8087 SATA ports.

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ak88

Thanks schoon, I have a breakout cable that isn’t in use in my other Gen8 so will try that, would be good to get SATA3 speeds.

 

Is it normal that it was working fine but now isn’t? I wasn’t sure if it was temperamental like SD card booting, although usually pulling the power cord and then powering back up fixes quirks like that but this is being really stubborn. 
 

Will AHCI work on port 1 with the breakout cable? Will try it today. 
 

Thanks again! 

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ak88

Quick update, I installed the breakout cable, connected the SSD to port1 and the server booted correctly without any BIOS changes. Thanks again for the advice!

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TomP
On 1/17/2020 at 7:01 PM, schoondoggy said:

The Microserver Gen8 has issues booting form the ODD port. If you are using the onboard SATA controller for the front bay drives, the ODD SATA port will only be bootable if the B120i controller is enabled, not AHCI. In your case it sounds like you have the front bays connected to your P212, so this should not be an issue. I would recommend using a SFF-8087 break out cable, connect it to the SFF-8087 connector on the system board and use the first SATA port from that connection. Of the four SATA ports on the SFF-8087 connector the first two are SATA III 6Gb/s so you will get the best performance from your SSD. Also there are no boot issues using the SFF-8087 SATA ports.

Is it possible to have an identical second SSD on port 2 and setup an AHCI RAID 1 array with the other  already on port 1? If not, are there any other possible uses for this second 6Gig port?

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schoondoggy
2 hours ago, TomP said:

Is it possible to have an identical second SSD on port 2 and setup an AHCI RAID 1 array with the other  already on port 1? If not, are there any other possible uses for this second 6Gig port?

What OS are you using?

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TomP
4 hours ago, schoondoggy said:

What OS are you using?

Windows 10

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schoondoggy
4 minutes ago, TomP said:

Windows 10

You could put an identical SSD on SATA port 2 and set up a RAID1 mirror in Windows:

https://www.wintips.org/how-to-mirror-boot-hard-drive-on-windows-10-legacy-or-uefi/

You could also use SATA ports 3 and 4 for other 2.5" disks.

or

You could put an identical SSD on SATA port 2 and enable the B120i RAID and setup a RAID1 mirror.

 

 

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TomP
2 hours ago, schoondoggy said:

You could put an identical SSD on SATA port 2 and set up a RAID1 mirror in Windows:

https://www.wintips.org/how-to-mirror-boot-hard-drive-on-windows-10-legacy-or-uefi/

You could also use SATA ports 3 and 4 for other 2.5" disks.

or

You could put an identical SSD on SATA port 2 and enable the B120i RAID and setup a RAID1 mirror.

 

 

Really interesting, thanks !!

 

The only part I do not understand is the case where disk 1 fails and disk 2 does not boot, so how can his break mirror / fix BCD procedure be implemented when neither disk boots - or do I miss something entirely obvious?

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schoondoggy
21 minutes ago, TomP said:

Really interesting, thanks !!

 

The only part I do not understand is the case where disk 1 fails and disk 2 does not boot, so how can his break mirror / fix BCD procedure be implemented when neither disk boots - or do I miss something entirely obvious?

RAID1 is designed to failover. If you have two SSDs in RAID1 they are a mirror image. If SSD1 fails, the system will/should boot from SSD2.. I am not sure what BCD is? It is unlikely that both disks would fail at the same time.

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