Jump to content
RESET Forums (homeservershow.com)
diehard

Modified BIOS for Microserver N40L enables hidden features

Recommended Posts

karmantyu

Well, I have SATA III HDD's on all of the six ports. Made a test to be sure.

 

IDE
Combined mode disable
Non-destructive benchmark
ZFSguru 0.2.0-beta9 (11.0-001) pool benchmark
Pool            : TANK (10.9T, 75% full)
Test size       : 8 GiB
normal read    : 2 GB/s
normal write    : 265 MB/s
I/O bandwidth    : 2 GB/s

 

IDE
Combined enable
Non-destructive benchmark
ZFSguru 0.2.0-beta9 (11.0-001) pool benchmark
Pool            : TANK (10.9T, 75% full)
Test size       : 8 GiB
normal read    : 2 GB/s
normal write    : 247 MB/s
I/O bandwidth    : 2 GB/s

 

Since 8GiB is a small dataset to test real performance it means the server's (HDD's) performance is not noticeably impaired with normal SATA III drivers. They can not go beyond 150MB/s yet!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Joe_Miner

Thanks karmantyu!  I love your testing and of course your test results.

 

You make a very good point and in the Blog posting you quoted I should have emphasized more the value of Disabling SATA IDE Combined Mode – otherwise if SATA IDE Combined Mode is left on the default Enable the machine is limited to transfer rates of roughly that of a SATA I port for (for ports 4 & 5 – i.e. the eSATA and ODD SATA ports) whereas with the SATA IDE Combined Mode set to Disable then it’s possible to get SATA II speeds off of those two ports (bringing them up to speed with the other 4 SATA II ports in the machine). 

 

I did do a proof of the value of setting SATA IDE Combined Mode to Disable using ST3000DM001’s at Performance Improvement on ODD SATA Port Contributed by BIOS-MOD http://homeservershow.com/forums/index.php?/topic/5752-performance-improvement-on-odd-sata-port-contributed-by-bios-mod/

 

gallery_1229_27_450383.jpg

 

gallery_1229_27_6938.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ikon

I'm a little confused. How do those test results, which do show a 7% improvement in throughput with Combined Mode disabled, relate to 150MB/s?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
karmantyu

I'm a little confused. How do those test results, which do show a 7% improvement in throughput with Combined Mode disabled, relate to 150MB/s?

 

As you can see from Joe_Miner's test results the performance of a standard (or high-end) HDD may be slightly better with Combined Mode disabled setting in BIOS. If you set Combined Mode disabled the eSATA and ODD ports could perform on SATA 2. standard (along with the other four SATA ports) allowing 300MB/s throughput.

If you set Combined Mode enabled you will have ATA (UDMA-133 or SATA 1.x) standards on the eSATA and ODD ports which peaks about 150MB/s.

The performance differences are not very high between enable or disable when using HDDs because their peak outside world transfer rate are about 150MB/s.

The real difference feels if you are using SSD for example. Their transfer performances could suffer seriously from ATA transfer limitations.

In my fast test results you can see that if you would have a 6HDD RAID5 pool it won't really matter if Combined Mode is enabled or disabled because the writing and reading tasks are divided to multiple HDDs. If you look further you realize that the transfer from server is limited to the gigabit LAN well below 100MB/s.

So my suggestion is that if you don't disable Combined Mode in BIOS then don't use SSD on either eSATA or ODD ports.

 

(With Combined Mode disabled we have SATA 2. 300MB/s on all 6 ports but I think HP had not limited these ports capabilities to mess with the system integrators but to protect systems from possible failures. May be the chipset is not fully capable to handle 6 SATA 2. throughput? I had some serious system failures when recalculating – putting immense stress on the 6 HDD 10,9TB data pool. I will test further with different settings and report back if I have clear results for you.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ikon

I absolutely agree about the LAN bottleneck. It's real and people are trying to find ways to get around it without going to fibre. I put the modest improvement when disabling Combined Mode down more to the MicroServer hardware than the HDDs. I've seen situations with other computers where there was quite a bit bigger difference between SATA I, II, and III; where SATA III HDDs did do better than on SATA II. Nothing like what SSDs do of course -- hard to beat solid state :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
adobo

total noob here!... just downloaded and updated my bios 041 to the latest (041,...2013 i think)...

I'm using it to switch between my esxi lab (HDD bays 1&2) and my 2012R2 HyperV lab (HDD bays 3&4) - ESXi boots off a USB which i disconnect when i don't want to boot to it.

I purchased this as a second N40L but this one had a modified bios (that allows for a hot swap). this is good but for what I'm using it for it does get powered down quite frequently, and of course my RAM capacity reads either 8GB or 16GB. How can i set the bios so it reads 16GB all the time (it doesn't matter if i loose my hot swap feature)? the RAM installed is 2x 8GB Patriot G2 non-ecc

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
karmantyu

total noob here!... just downloaded and updated my bios 041 to the latest (041,...2013 i think)...

I'm using it to switch between my esxi lab (HDD bays 1&2) and my 2012R2 HyperV lab (HDD bays 3&4) - ESXi boots off a USB which i disconnect when i don't want to boot to it.

I purchased this as a second N40L but this one had a modified bios (that allows for a hot swap). this is good but for what I'm using it for it does get powered down quite frequently, and of course my RAM capacity reads either 8GB or 16GB. How can i set the bios so it reads 16GB all the time (it doesn't matter if i loose my hot swap feature)? the RAM installed is 2x 8GB Patriot G2 non-ecc

 

As far as I know there is no possibility to set RAM compatibility in BIOS. So you need copatible RAM modules to work correctly.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
karmantyu

As you can see from Joe_Miner's test results the performance of a standard (or high-end) HDD may be slightly better with Combined Mode disabled setting in BIOS. If you set Combined Mode disabled the eSATA and ODD ports could perform on SATA 2. standard (along with the other four SATA ports) allowing 300MB/s throughput.

If you set Combined Mode enabled you will have ATA (UDMA-133 or SATA 1.x) standards on the eSATA and ODD ports which peaks about 150MB/s.

The performance differences are not very high between enable or disable when using HDDs because their peak outside world transfer rate are about 150MB/s.

The real difference feels if you are using SSD for example. Their transfer performances could suffer seriously from ATA transfer limitations.

In my fast test results you can see that if you would have a 6HDD RAID5 pool it won't really matter if Combined Mode is enabled or disabled because the writing and reading tasks are divided to multiple HDDs. If you look further you realize that the transfer from server is limited to the gigabit LAN well below 100MB/s.

So my suggestion is that if you don't disable Combined Mode in BIOS then don't use SSD on either eSATA or ODD ports.

 

(With Combined Mode disabled we have SATA 2. 300MB/s on all 6 ports but I think HP had not limited these ports capabilities to mess with the system integrators but to protect systems from possible failures. May be the chipset is not fully capable to handle 6 SATA 2. throughput? I had some serious system failures when recalculating – putting immense stress on the 6 HDD 10,9TB data pool. I will test further with different settings and report back if I have clear results for you.)

I've made it sure there is no problem setting all six ports to SATA 2. 300MB/s. AMD's southbridge can handle the workload and providing enough bandwidth for 6x300MB/s. My server had experienced I/O failures and NCQ timeouts because of faulty UNIX kernel AHCI handling. So everything is all right using the unlocked capabilities.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
cskenney

total noob here!... just downloaded and updated my bios 041 to the latest (041,...2013 i think)...

I'm using it to switch between my esxi lab (HDD bays 1&2) and my 2012R2 HyperV lab (HDD bays 3&4) - ESXi boots off a USB which i disconnect when i don't want to boot to it.

I purchased this as a second N40L but this one had a modified bios (that allows for a hot swap). this is good but for what I'm using it for it does get powered down quite frequently, and of course my RAM capacity reads either 8GB or 16GB. How can i set the bios so it reads 16GB all the time (it doesn't matter if i loose my hot swap feature)? the RAM installed is 2x 8GB Patriot G2 non-ecc

We have discussed this many times. The N40L was only made for 8GB of RAM. Some have been successful getting 16GB to be recognized but others have had mixed results (like you). There is nothing to set to force it.
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ikon

^^ What he said. People do get N40Ls to work reliably with 16GB, but you have to install truly compatible RAM. There is a thread in these forums that lists some compatible RAM. FWIW, it seems that N54Ls are more forgiving about the make & model of RAM used, but that's not to say just any old RAM will work.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Similar Content

    • AnthonyB
      By AnthonyB
      New BIOS for Gen 8 Server now available that resolves Spectre vulnerability. My server is out of warranty. Anyone able to download and share?
       
      ** CRITICAL ** Online ROM Flash Component for Windows x64 - HP ProLiant MicroServer Gen8 (J06) Servers
      https://support.hpe.com/hpsc/swd/public/detail?sp4ts.oid=5390291&swItemId=MTX_13916b9b87d642bc91029439b8&swEnvOid=4184
       
      Version:2018.01.22 (5 Mar 2018)
      Fixes Upgrade Requirement:
      Critical - HPE requires users update to this version immediately.
       
      Important Notes:
      This revision of the System ROM includes the latest revision of the Intel microcode which, in combination with operating system updates, provides mitigation for Variant 2 of the Side Channel Analysis vulnerability, also known as Spectre. The revision of the microcode included in this System ROM does NOT have issues with more frequent reboots and unpredictable system behavior which impacted the previous Intel microcode which was part of the Spectre Variant 2 mitigation. Additional information is available from Intel’s Security Exploit Newsroom, https://newsroom.intel.com/press-kits/security-exploits-intel-products/.
      Firmware Dependencies:
      None
      Problems Fixed:
      Updated the Intel processor microcode to the latest version.
      Known Issues:
      None
    • Phil Croxford
      By Phil Croxford
      Hi,
       
      Not sure if this is a taboo subject?? but delete if needed.
      I have bought a Gen 10 Micro Server for my home so i can run a Plex Server in house. i have all the drivers and updates that i need from the HP website
      but gone and noticed that the Bios update i need from what i can gather i need a contract? I'm not sure what to do?
      how do i get the bios update for this server?
       
      when i bought this server its running on 5.12 version with a build date of 05/25/2017 so my bios is well out of date.
       
      can any one guide me in the right direction to get the update?
       
      thanks
    • DaMenace
      By DaMenace
      I have a simple question about my BIOS from iLo4. Look at the picture and you will see a difference in the System ROM and Backup ROM dates.

    • bennybennybenny
      By bennybennybenny
      Hey guys,
      Not sure if this is the correct section to post this, but in a bit of a pickle after attempting to flash my HP Microserver N40L to the modified bios last night.
       
      The story goes - I've had myN40L microserver for the past few years running Windows 8.1 and acting as a media server for the house. I recently upgraded a laptop I have so had a spare Samsung 840 EVO 120gb SSD that I thought I'd throw in the microserver as the boot drive. 
       
      I ghosted the existing windows install (which was on a 250gb mechanical hard drive) over to the SSD, rebooted the computer and everything was working file. When I checked the performance of the SSD using the Samsung Magician software it indicated thatt the SSD wasn't running at full speed due to AHCI being disabled. I then did a bit of research and found that SATA port 5 (normally meant for an optical drive) that the SSD was connected to doesn't run at full speed and in IDE mode. I read that the modified bios that's floating around for Microserver's can fix this.
       
      So I flashed the bios to my machine however now when I boot up it gets to the loading screen for windows and then errors and reboots. This boot loop just continues constantly with no way to get into windows.
       
      I've tried setting the hard drive mode to both IDE and AHCI in BIOS with no success, I've reverted the BIOS back to default settings, took out the CMOS battery overnight, tried to re-flash back to default HP firmware, re-flashed the modded BIOS with no drives in the server and even run the windows 8 startup repair with no success whatsoever, it just continues to error and boot loop.
       
      I did leave all 4 of my other SATA hard drives in the machine when flashing the modded bios originally so don't know if this affected it. I wish I'd just left the original BIOS on there now.
       
      Is there anything I can try to fix this? I'd really prefer not to have to reinstall windows 8 as it took me awhile to set everything up for media (Sonarr, CouchPotato, iTunes, Serviio etc).
       
      Any help is greatly appreciated.
       
      Cheers Benny
    • felt
      By felt
      Bought this ML10v2 a few months ago and have been hitting wall after wall, frustrated- putting it away for a few weeks, and then trying again. I can not get it to boot from a USB and have not figured out how to recognize and identify drives!
       
      I have gotten iLO4 working with a valid key, I have updated the SPP, registered on who knows how many HP/HPE pages, looked through the documentation- but still can't get the machine to boot to my Linux USB for installation.
       
      This seems like a basic step, but I've kind of lost my objectivity at this point and wanted to ask for help. Is there something I need to do in iLO4 to have it recognize the install media or my drives? I can't seem to make sense of the Virtual Media field.
       
      I want to install Ubuntu 16.04 Server- HP/SPP says it supports Canonical. How do I get the machine to 1) open into BIOS? is it F2/F9/F10/F11 during boot? My POST sequence never seems to get past 10%, and then 2) recognize my hard drives, no matter what number SATA cable, it doesn't see them. I can only open the iLO4 manager from another computer on my network, so I can't open it on local host like the (very helpful) Joe Stutsman videos and instruction guides suggest.
       
      Anyhow, any input on this configuration would be appreciated. I know I'm missing something, but want to exhaust all options before I return this.
       


×
×
  • Create New...