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Upgrade to E5300 in EX487?


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I installed an E5300 in my EX487 yesterday, replacing the stock Celeron, and was met only by failure. After double-checking some facts on the processor, which is Intel model SLB9U, I found that a BIOS hack was required. Per Dan's article at http://www.mediasmarthome.com/article/14459/Upgrading-the-HP-EX485-487-MediaSmart-Server-Processor-Removing-the-Smoke-and-Mirrors/?textpage=4, he said he was working with an E5200 processor, not an E5300. However, he said that two models were stepping M0, while the SLB9T was stepping R0. The stepping R0 required the BIOS update (PECI, and optionally SpeedStep).


The E5300 SLB9U is also stepping R0, so I downloaded AFUWIN and AMIBCP, made a backup copy of the BIOS, changed the PECI (old value 00 00, new value 01 01), disabled speedstep (old value 00 01, new value 00 00), saved to a new BIOS file, flashed the BIOS with the edited BIOS file (including initialization of the CMOS to Optimal settings). BIOS update applied and verified, so I rebooted. Server rebooted flawlessly and WHS 2011 came back up.


So I powered down, took the server apart, put the E5300 back in and fired it up. Fail. Drives spun up, LAN light flashes as expected, but otherwise the health light just blinks blue at me. I never hear disk activity indicating it's attempting to load the OS. When the Celeron was in there, the external eSATA would spin up during POST, but with the E5300 in there, this does not happen.


I checked the specs of the E5300 against the E5200...not much difference. Voltages and TDP are the same, both are 45nm...


Interestingly, I've not seen one posting by anyone who has reported success with the E5300 in an EX48x. But to the contrary, I've not found any failures either. Does that make me the first?



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It sounds like you're doing everything right -- I bet DieHard has some good insight in this.


I do recall reading posts in other places where people have tried the E5300 but I didn’t recall any successes with an EX-48x – my recollection was that many gave up and went out and found a E5200 -- but I do remember reading about success installing in a EX-490 though I don’t remember where it was at.


You’ve probably already seen it but I did write up my story with an E5200 upgrade. The chip was difficult to find – the first two vendors gave me an out-of-stock/backorder after I had placed an order thru their web sites @#$%&^. The third vendor I tried, Code Micro, had a E5200 Slay 7 on their web site and I got my chip with no problem 4 business days later. http://homeservershow.com/forums/index.php?/topic/2814-replacing-cpu-on-ex-487/


StarNet (Dan) has a great write-up on upgrading the EX-48x at http://www.mediasmarthome.com/article/14459/Upgrading-the-HP-EX485-487-MediaSmart-Server-Processor-Removing-the-Smoke-and-Mirrors/

  • “...Some of CPU's reported to work are the: E3300, E3400, E4400, E6300, E6420, E8200, L3110 Xeon's and a few others. …”

but he doesn’t mention success with the E5300.


The 32 page thread starting at http://www.mediasmarthome.com/forum/thread/11977/HP-EX-485-CPU-upgrade-sucessful/ has a lot of information – some very good and some quite worthless.


In one of the Q&A’s at http://www.mediasmartserver.net/2010/03/12/upgrading-the-hp-ex485487-mediasmart-server-removing-the-smoke-and-mirrors/ Dan responds to a query about the E5300:

  • “…Couple of things I would like to mention that might help, this cpu upgrade procedure takes a couple of things for granted, they are: EX485/7 with BIOS Date: 09/23/08 13:45:28 Ver: HPMSS017 running Ver 2.5 software and 2GB of ram. If your configuration is different your results may change as well. Two full reboots are required for the CMOS to be updated and for the software to recognize the 2nd core. The QFQH sSpec will also work for those having problems finding the SLAY7 E5200′s. The E5300 processor will also work but you will have the same operational issues the SLB9T. If you are testing without the CPU heatsync strictly keep this to a minimum. I know someone who cooked their CPU attempting this, they heat up and burn out fast! Also use Artic Silver 5 for the best heat conduction. (I also have an easy CPU fan upgrade to share with you as soon as I complete the testing and am sure it has no drawbacks) Finally, for those having problems if I might suggest, keep the original upgrade process as simple as possible. If you have a system that is in trouble put back everything as it was originally. Perform the CPU upgrade, then once your satisified with the results perform the RAM upgrade. Again verify your results before moving to the 3.0 upgrade. I am finishing up my I7 865x project. Once that has been completed I think I need to revisit and check out what effect 3.0 as well as the memory upgrade might be doing to complicate the process. Finally, for those who are experimenting with other processors other than the E5200 if you could share your results it whould be of great service for those looking for alternatives to the E5200. …”

Hope some of this helps.

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