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Gen8 2.5" HDD in the ODD bay discussion

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marat_n

OK – I’ve put together some instructions for the board.  Note that (1) these have not been tested, although I did use this approach on my MicroServer successfully, and (2) by using these instructions you agree that I take no responsibility (nor liability in perpetuity) for the effect your usage of these instructions may have on your data – you’re on your own and if it all goes horribly wrong, please do not be surprised!  I would strongly recommend you do not have any data on the server at this stage…

 

Before you start, you need the following:

  • A copy of Windows installed (Windows Server 2008 R2 or later will do, any edition – this may work on Windows Server 2008 too, but earlier editions have a different method that these instructions do not cover) on the MicroServer and booting successfully.  Note that if you've installed Windows onto a drive in the ODD, you will need to physically remove all the hard drives from the trays (just pulling them out 1/2" will do to be able to boot the server from the ODD), otherwise the MicroServer will try and boot from one of the non-ODD hard drives first.  There is no way to specifically prioritize the ODD drive above the others.
  • Insert the MicroSD (or USB key) into the internal slot before you boot.  If you are unable to boot, go into the Setup Utility (BIOS) and ensure that the boot order has USB set to lowest priority.
  • Boot the MicroServer into your copy of Windows.
  • Mount the Windows setup ISO.  Windows Server 2012 and later has an ISO mounter built in - but if you're running another version, you can use something like Virtual CloneDrive, available at http://www.slysoft.com/en/virtual-clonedrive.html Make a note of the drive letter.
  • Go to "My Computer" or similar in Explorer and make a note of the drive letter and size of your MicroSD card or USB key.  If you cannot see it here, then there are a couple of reasons - if the drive is not formatted properly you may be able to get it working by consulting the Disk Management MMC snap-in and formatting it there.  Also, if you didn't use Intelligent Provisioning, and you're using the MicroSD card, you may not have the right drivers installed - in which case go and grab them from the HP site and install.

Now for the fun stuff:

 

  1. Start an elevated command prompt. Start | type cmd | Right-click cmd (top of menu) | Run as Administrator.  Note that you can just run a command prompt if you have UAC turned off (standard for Windows Server installs).
  2. Next, run Diskpart to prepare the disk.  Enter each of the commands in order.  Be very careful as a mistake here can have serious consequences! Note that the question mark “?” below should be replaced with the disk number of the drive you are using:

diskpart

list disk

select disk ?

clean

create partition primary

select partition 1

active

format fs=ntfs quick

label=”<YOUR LABEL GOES HERE>”

exit

 

  1. Now copy the boot sector to the MicroSD card or USB key.  You should still be in the command prompt window.  Replace $ below with the drive letter of your mounted ISO image, and ? with the drive letter of your newly formatted MicroSD card or USB key.

C:\Windows\system32>$:

$:\>cd boot

$:\boot>bootsect /nt60 ?:

   Target volumes will be updated with BOOTMGR compatible bootcode.

   Bootcode was successfully updated on all targeted volumes.

$:\boot>exit

Note that if you get an error message here, normally you can fix this by closing any open windows with that drive and try again.  You could also use the /force switch for bootsect if you prefer.

 

  1. Now we need to copy critical boot files to the MicroSD card/USB key.  Using Windows Explorer, copy the following directories and files to the MicroSD card/USB key:

bootmgr (file)

bootmgr.efi (file)

boot (directory)

efi (directory)

Nothing else is required.

 

  1. Delete the file "bcd" from the directory "boot" on the MicroSD card/USB Key - we'll be recreating it shortly.
  1. Start another elevated command prompt. Start | type cmd | Right-click cmd (top of menu) | Run as Administrator.  Note that you can just run a command prompt if you have UAC turned off (standard for Windows Server installs).
  1. Replace ? in the following BCDEDIT commands with the current drive letter of your MicroSD card or USB key:

 

bcdedit /createstore ?:\boot\bcd

bcdedit /store ?:\boot\bcd /create {bootmgr}

bcdedit /store ?:\boot\bcd /set {bootmgr} device boot

bcdedit /store ?:\boot\bcd /timeout 30

bcdedit /store ?:\boot\bcd /create /d "<Your OS Name Here>" /application osloader

That returns a new GUID that you should plug into this next command:

bcdedit /store ?:\boot\bcd /default {<GUID>}

For the next commands where I've denoted *:, replace it with the drive letter of your current Windows boot drive.  So if I'm booted on my MicroServer into the OS I am looking to boot from my MicroSD/USB Key and it's C:, that's what you need to enter here.  It doesn't matter what the drive will be when you boot - it matters what the OS you're currently executing the bcdedit command sees!

bcdedit /store ?:\boot\bcd /set {default} device partition=*:

bcdedit /store ?:\boot\bcd /set {default} path \windows\system32\boot\winload.exe

bcdedit /store ?:\boot\bcd /set {default} osdevice partition=*:

bcdedit /store ?:\boot\bcd /set {default} systemroot \Windows

bcdedit /store ?:\boot\bcd /set {default} detecthal yes

bcdedit /store ?:\boot\bcd /set {default} nx optin

bcdedit /store ?:\boot\bcd /displayorder {default} /addlast

Finally...  If you want to run Hyper-V (and have a capable edition of Windows Server, and have installed the role), you must enter the following command (otherwise the Hypervisor won't start and Hyper-V Manager will throw up all sorts of errors):

bcdedit /store ?:\boot\bcd /set hypervisorlaunchtype auto

 

  1. Boot into the Setup Utility (BIOS) on your MicroServer and prioritize USB boot as the first item (MicroSD comes under the USB boot order too).  I have not been able to find a way to prioritize within the USB boot devices.  Therefore, you will need to remove all other storage devices from the USB2 ports (the two USB3 ports on the back of the server are fine as they aren't seen by the BIOS and aren't active until you get into a compatible OS).
  1. OK - your MicroSD card or USB key should be all setup.  At this point you can install drives into the drive trays and you should be good.

I welcome comments from my fellow board members.

I hope this is helpful!

 

thanks a lot for your detailed manual!

it worked like a charm for me!

I successfully booted Windows Server 2016 from microSD/USB and SSD in ODD SATA port.

Edited by marat_n

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andreidam

I want to move my ssd from bay1 to ODD bay.

Until now I have an ODD caddy link this :https://www.lindy.co.uk/components-tools-c7/drive-caddies-raid-c321/ultra-slim-odd-caddy-for-2-5-sata-hdd-9-5mm-height-p6605.

 

I was thinking to buy an adapter like this to connect existing fdd cable to caddy :

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/StarTech-SLSATACDADAP-Slimline-SATA-to-SATA-Adapter-with-SP4-Power-Screw-Mount/32703726801.html

 

DO you think it will work? O should I search for something else?

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erzulie

Hi all,

 

I have been using the technique described by TheBiggerMan for a couple of years now with great success to boot from a 2.5 inch HDD in the optical bay.

I have now upgraded to an SSD and I thought that I should be able to clone the HDD to my new SSD drive and it would just work. I did this using the the clone function of Acronis True Image but when I try and boot with the new SSD it fails saying there is a missing file: \windows\system32\boot\winload.exe. Please see attachment.

Can anyone suggest what the reason might be for this and how I can fix it please?

 

Thanks!

ScreenClip.png

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Adooni

hi I was fighting with ODD SDD booting (AHCI) for few days :) I am using Proxmox bare-metal and I have 2 solutions:

 

1. if you are OK just every power down to manually load SDD boot.

- download (https://www.supergrubdisk.org/category/download/supergrub2diskdownload/super-grub2-disk-stable/) and make boot USB/SD card as DD image for example using rufus-2.12p.

- boot from USB and from Super grub menu go to manual boot - disk and partitions - and chose correct disk (in my case it was the last one). Do not click on partitions just on disk. And Proxmox was booted.

 

2. solution with grub fallow below tutorial

http://jarrodla.blogspot.com/2014/04/hp-microserver-gen8-boot-from-5th-sata.html

few notes:

- you do not need to disconnect HDD - you can boot as from method 1 and then in linux or Proxmox fallow abouve tutorial

- in my case step 3 (Update the grub config, outputting to the USB. update-grub --output=/tmp/myusb/boot/grub/grub.cfg)

was giving error no such file or directory. I went manually to folder using cd comment and they used update-grub --output=grub.cfg

- after reboot is automatically boot Proxmox

 

3. When I asked on Proxmox forum looks like there is 3rd way - boot as UEFi do not know how to make it

" UEFI - The USB is a standard one-partition GPT disk with vfat and I just copied rEFInd, the PVE-Kernel and -Initrd to the disk and use it to boot. "

If some1 know how to make it please prepare short tutorial and definitely I will try it. It should be the easiest way.

Edited by Adooni

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PHo
2 hours ago, Adooni said:

hi I was fighting with ODD SDD booting (AHCI) for few days :) I am using Proxmox bare-metal and I have 2 solutions:

 

1. if you are OK just every power down to manually load SDD boot.

- download (https://www.supergrubdisk.org/category/download/supergrub2diskdownload/super-grub2-disk-stable/) and make boot USB/SD card as DD image for example using rufus-2.12p.

- boot from USB and from Super grub menu go to manual boot - disk and partitions - and chose correct disk (in my case it was the last one). Do not click on partitions just on disk. And Proxmox was booted.

 

2. solution with grub fallow below tutorial

http://jarrodla.blogspot.com/2014/04/hp-microserver-gen8-boot-from-5th-sata.html

few notes:

- you do not need to disconnect HDD - you can boot as from method 1 and then in linux or Proxmox fallow abouve tutorial

- in my case step 3 (Update the grub config, outputting to the USB. update-grub --output=/tmp/myusb/boot/grub/grub.cfg)

was giving error no such file or directory. I went manually to folder using cd comment and they used update-grub --output=grub.cfg

- after reboot is automatically boot Proxmox

 

3. When I asked on Proxmox forum looks like there is 3rd way - boot as UEFi do not know how to make it

" UEFI - The USB is a standard one-partition GPT disk with vfat and I just copied rEFInd, the PVE-Kernel and -Initrd to the disk and use it to boot. "

If some1 know how to make it please prepare short tutorial and definitely I will try it. It should be the easiest way.

Hey  I do this method with Proxmox. I do number 2 fine but I did set it up a couple of years ago now. What I do is once Proxmox is installed have the USB automount to a directory (make sure to use the UUID in your FSTAB) and then when you upgrade Proxmox you have to do an extra bit if there's a kernel update. You have to tell the USB there is a newer kernel to boot. Essentially just run ''grub2-mkconfig <usb_mountpoint> and that should be it. It should then update the grub file on the USB. You probably had a problem because the mountpoint changed maybe?

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Adooni

thx for info what to do after kernel update. Looks like people know this solution for long time it is a pity it was not posted here and I see same people are buying special adapter USB2.0 to SATA/eSATA (very bad transfer) or boot from Legacy IDE or even made mechanical modification removing bay1 connector and put there bay 5 :(.

 

I did not month as UUID if I will have challenge I will do - what is good method 1 is working always therefore if MS will have challenge to boot I can start Proxmox and modify grub.

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