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Modified BIOS for Microserver N40L enables hidden features


diehard
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Thanks Joe,

 

here's what I've done so far in trying to get my SSD speeds to an acceptable level.

  1. i upgraded the BIOS to the Russian MOD that you posted about and followed all the instructions regarding the southbridge and SATA max speeds (3Gb/s) settings in the new and existing menu options.
  2. no change to read or write speeds.
  3. i then found some other posts in other forums that suggested that i should make a change to the registry (2 changes to the ahci settings)
  4. still no change.
  5. some research suggested that i should make the BIOS changes and only after that should i install windows onto the SSD, and further to that, that i should perform a clean install and no a restore from image.
  6. i then performed a clean install with all the BIOS updates already present, tested (no change), updated the registry, tested (no change)...
  7. using Crystal Disk Mark (64bit) i am still getting read speeds of about 190 MB/s and write speeds of 65 MB/s

could my SSD be faulty (would it work at all if it was faulty) ?

 

Thanks for the help

 

I’ve only used the BIOS Modifications from BIOS-MODS so I have no idea on what the Russian MOD has or does. Christian from BIOS-MODS described how they only opened up for view what was hidden by HP in their Stock BIOS in the After Show Discussions in the Home Server Show (“HSS”) Podcast 167.

 

I don’t know why you would change the registry –

 

If you did a clean install (i.e. delete all of the old partitions on the SSD before or during the install), after all the BIOS changes I can think of no reason to hack the registry.

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I’ve only used the BIOS Modifications from BIOS-MODS so I have no idea on what the Russian MOD has or does. Christian from BIOS-MODS described how they only opened up for view what was hidden by HP in their Stock BIOS in the After Show Discussions in the Home Server Show (“HSS”) Podcast 167.

 

I don’t know why you would change the registry –

 

If you did a clean install (i.e. delete all of the old partitions on the SSD before or during the install), after all the BIOS changes I can think of no reason to hack the registry.

 

-snip-

using Crystal Disk Mark (64bit) i am still getting read speeds of about 190 MB/s and write speeds of 65 MB/s

could my SSD be faulty (would it work at all if it was faulty) ?

 

Thanks for the help

 

When I looked at the CDM's I was getting for my Corsair Force 3 60GB SSD when I had it as my OS Drive in a MicroServer with WHS-2011 I was getting an ATTO reading of:

 

gallery_1229_27_64851.jpg

 

-- which is about 25-40% better than I could get with my fastest HDD's -- but the CDM performance looked quite different:

 

gallery_1229_27_8989.jpg

 

Which sounds similar to what you are seeing with your OCZ. Which OCZ are you using? What's your OS? Have you tried ATTO?

 

It may very well be that your SSD is performing correctly.

Edited by Joe_Miner
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Which OCZ are you using? What's your OS? Have you tried ATTO?

 

It may very well be that your SSD is performing correctly.

 

Thanks Joe, I will try out ATTO and see what I get. I'm using and OCZ Agility 60GB. Running windows 7 Ultimate. I have turned off a lot of the standard windows features like media center, print services, games etc...

 

I will let you know what I find.

 

--edit : 10 minutes later...

 

Downloaded ATTO. And I'm getting stats almost identical to your screenshots, Joe. Around 275MB/s, so it looks like my drive and BIOS updates are good.

 

Thanks for all the help.

Edited by MichaelMaven
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The HP ProLiant MicroServer -- Spare Parts list does show three system boards with part numbers but they are for the N36L N40L and N54L -- if you get the parts number for the boards they were telling you about we'd all appreciate it.

 

Hi Jo....the part number on the faulty board I have is SP#661787-001

 

More info about these. Apparently HP in the UK know nothing about the HP BIOS USB recovery key .Offical documentation comes with the server in a little yellow form advising you to make one. I made one but it made no difference. On the yellow form it actually explains the reason why you need to make the key and that is a potential power problem on boot up.

 

On the advisory note is says you can download the files needed and it gives an official HP website address. Problem is that the page has been taken down and it redirects to another with details on how to make a key. Problem with that is you are expected to do that with an O. S already running and they also helpfully don't give you the files to download to put on the key!. However US cutomers only can request the files when they phone ring HP and they will happily give them out..

 

UK customers are stuffed....there is a point blank denial that you can recover the BIOS with this method. As they deny there is a way of rescuing the BIOS using this method they 100% will not offer you the files but will offer a system board replacement if its under warranty. So effectively you are back to square one. I now believe if you are a UK customer and you do want to have a mess around with this server, the best way now is to utilise its full capacity by using an add on suitable SATA 3 raid card and leave the BIOS well alone. Obviously I have no doubt at all that this BIOS mod works on a certain system board....and its a great option for those that can make that USB Recovery key and get it to work, but I also believe there is some reason for HP to lock these boards down, although I can't see any justification at all. It appears to be dependent on where your location is as to what info and files HP are prepared to give you.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm a new owner of a N40L (product number: 664447-425) and have read this entire topic about modifying the BIOS in order to unlock hidden features. I have also read the topic "More Interesting MicroServer Links"

 

I wonder if we in somehow could summarize the experiences and knowledge we have, or am I the only one who have a hard time to be exactly sure how to do this BIOS modification?

 

- What manufacturers are recommended to use for the USB-sticks containing modifed BIOS rom? Is this even important?

 

- Have HP released newer factory/stock BIOS? Have the hardware for the N40L changed over time? Will the modified BIOS version work on a newer N40L?

 

- Does the HP solution with a BIOS recovery USB-stick work if the modified BIOS version f*ups my N40L?

 

- Is it required to create the BIOS recovery USB-stick on the N40L server, or can this be done on another PC which have an installed/running operative system?

 

- Which of the solutions beneath do I need to do?

HP Support Document – Advisory: HP MicroServer G7 – System May Fail to Boot After Updating the System BIOS

HP Support Document – Notice: HP ProLiant MicroServer – BIOS RECOVERY KEY CREATION RECOMMENDED to Prevent Loss of System BIOS if Server Unexpectedly Encounters Any BIOS Corruption ISSUES – Best Practice

 

 

Regards,

Micco

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USB Sticks. If you stick (no pun intended) with a brand name, you should have no issues. The off branded ones are know to cause issues. You would create this on a secondary machine.

 

The HP site would hold the info for the N40L BIOS versions and yes I would have the current one ready to go just in case of a "Charlie Foxtrot".

 

This is the download page for the Microserver Line.

 

http://h20566.www2.hp.com/portal/site/hpsc/template.PAGE/public/psi/swdHome/?sp4ts.oid=4310887&spf_p.tpst=swdMain&spf_p.prp_swdMain=wsrp-navigationalState%3DswEnvOID%253D4064%257CswLang%253D%257Caction%253DlistDriver&javax.portlet.begCacheTok=com.vignette.cachetoken&javax.portlet.endCacheTok=com.vignette.cachetoken#BIOS%20-%20System%20ROM

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