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Gen8 2.5" HDD in the ODD bay discussion


wwindowwss
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I've finally gotten around to setting up an SSD in the top bay. The ODD caddy I ordered didn't come with a faceplate, so I had to resort to alternative methods while I wait for one to come in.

 

I ended up sticking some rubber feet, the kind you can get at home depot, on the bottom of the SSD. With the added height, I was then able to use the ODD guide brackets to hold the drive in place. At first, I thought this would be a temporary solution, but I might just keep it this way, since I rather like the look of the HP supplied ODD blank. As far as how secure the drive is with this solution, trust me, it isn't going anywhere.

 

I then used the small Dell power adapter I mentioned in my previous post, and a standard SATA cable to make a connection.

 

<rant>

Now, onto the issues: Apparently HP decided they wouldn't make it easy to boot off the ODD port for my usage case. I don't really care for the B120i's RAID capabilities, and just want the drives to be reported individually to the OS as I will be using ZFS. So, the first thing I did was to put the SATA controller in AHCI mode, which will let you boot off of that port as long as you don't have anything in the regular drive bays (it becomes invisible at boot otherwise).

 

Things become a little more manageable in SATA legacy mode, you will then see 2 controllers (the second one of these containing only the ODD port) and can configure the system to boot from the SDD. This really isn't ideal, specially when using an SSD...

 

I was planning on using an HBA to have an external mini-SAS connection to a TowerRAID. After all of this, I'll likely end up getting one with an internal connection as well and use that instead of the motherboard port (similar to: http://b3n.org/m1015-hba-in-the-hp-gen8-microserver/) - leaving the ODD as the only connected device in AHCI mode.

</rant>

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Now, onto the issues: Apparently HP decided they wouldn't make it easy to boot off the ODD port for my usage case. I don't really care for the B120i's RAID capabilities, and just want the drives to be reported individually to the OS as I will be using ZFS. So, the first thing I did was to put the SATA controller in AHCI mode, which will let you boot off of that port as long as you don't have anything in the regular drive bays (it becomes invisible at boot otherwise).

 

Ran into the same issue.  The way I got around it in my case (Windows Server 2012 Std, although I guess this would work with any Windows OS of Win7 vintage or newer) was to create a special MicroSD card and using BCDEDIT and some trial and error create a new BCD store pointing to the drive in the ODD bay - this allowed me to keep the controller on AHCI mode.  This works using the "USB" boot option in the BIOS, but means you cannot have any other bootable USB devices connected (because seemingly they take priority).  But there's a way around that too - as the USB3 port is not supported at boot time, if you have any such USB devices, just make sure they're on one of the USB3 ports and as long as you don't need them until you're booted into your OS, you're good to go.

 

Appreciate that this isn't quite the same scenario, but thought it might help others on the board.

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Ran into the same issue.  The way I got around it in my case (Windows Server 2012 Std, although I guess this would work with any Windows OS of Win7 vintage or newer) was to create a special MicroSD card and using BCDEDIT and some trial and error create a new BCD store pointing to the drive in the ODD bay - this allowed me to keep the controller on AHCI mode.  This works using the "USB" boot option in the BIOS, but means you cannot have any other bootable USB devices connected (because seemingly they take priority).  But there's a way around that too - as the USB3 port is not supported at boot time, if you have any such USB devices, just make sure they're on one of the USB3 ports and as long as you don't need them until you're booted into your OS, you're good to go.

 

Appreciate that this isn't quite the same scenario, but thought it might help others on the board.

 

That is pretty clever, thanks for sharing!

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This is of course not "supported", but it worked fine for me :)

 

I used a 9.5mm caddy i got off ebay for under $12.. shows up as 5th HDD on the B120i w/o any modifications.   If you don't already have the HP DVD for this unit, then you will be missing the small metal bracket that latches the caddy in place (duct tape to the rescue).  

 

I also tested it on a P222 and created RAID 5.  But you mostly likely will use small SSD here and larger SATA in the main bays, so the including this bay into the RAID 5 is not really as big of an issue.

 

pic1.jpg

pic2.jpg

pic4.PNG

 

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This is of course not "supported", but it worked fine for me  :)

 

I used a 9.5mm caddy i got off ebay for under $12.. shows up as 5th HDD on the B120i w/o any modifications.   If you don't already have the HP DVD for this unit, then you will be missing the small metal bracket that latches the caddy in place (duct tape to the rescue).  

 

I also tested it on a P222 and created RAID 5.  But you mostly likely will use small SSD here and larger SATA in the main bays, so the including this bay into the RAID 5 is not really as big of an issue.

 

attachicon.gifpic1.jpg

attachicon.gifpic2.jpg

attachicon.gifpic4.PNG

 

Thanks Greg! & welcome to the Forums.

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Double excellent: we have an inside source to help keep us on the right track and resolve issues without having to guess so much or do so much experimenting. Hopefully, we can provide feedback that will help HP.

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Double excellent: we have an inside source to help keep us on the right track and resolve issues without having to guess so much or do so much experimenting. Hopefully, we can provide feedback that will help HP.

I think our expectations need to be tempered a little bit and assume that GStarks is here as a home server enthusiast.  Any help he can provide to our discussions will be valuable but we have to respect his relationship with his employer too.

 

Not trying to start a debate.  Simply trying to keep expectations in check.

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