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BSOD issue and new HP Microserver drivers/firmware for Win2012R2


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Hi All,


Im experiencing very frustrating BSODs and I would like to ask you for opinion.

I got HP microserver N54L and I was successfully running Windows 2012 on it  - stable and without any issues. Im running standard config there + I got a Radeon low profile graphic card and 2x8GB RAM.

I did in-place upgrade to Windows 2012 server R2 (used that new modded BIOS to be able to finish the upgrade due to NIC issues) and since then its running fine and stable, but I have occasional BSOD on the boot. It happens every 3rd-4th boot. Normally I would wait for crash dump file to be generated and then analyze it to debug a driver or identify a HW part which is causing it however crash dump is not being generated at all. System is frozen on this message:

".... we will restart the system for you (0% Complete). clock_watchdog_timeout" 

and it stays at 0% forever (8hours) so I have to manually shut it down by power button.

My system settings are set to "Write an event to the system log", "Automatically restart", Small memory dump (256KB), Small dump directory - %SystemRoot%\Minidump (accessible), Overwrite an existing file.

There is 16GB RAM and there is 2GB swap file on C: and system managed on E:. There is 17,3GB free space on disk C:.

I have the latest BIOS (the one which is addressing the problem with windows 2012 R2 installation) and last driver for network and graphic (radeon) card.

When I check the system log there is nothing - no error related to this boot BSOD.

Second problem is that I have now found the new CRITICAL firmware/drivers for SATA/SAS controller HERE on HP site which they uploaded on 18.feb.2014 and which should probably address the issues I got :

Description:This component provides support for the HP Smart Array SAS/SATA Controllers.
Support for Windows 2012 R2
Critical - HP requires users update to this version immediately.
Fixed errors occuring with version which included a possible bluescreen or system hang when running I/O on Windows Server 2012. This issue resolves the customer advisory c03793656 described at the following link:http://h20000.www2.hp.com/bizsupport/TechSupport/Document.jsp?objectID=c03793656

The problem is that when I download the driver and try to install it I got following message: The software will not be installed on this system because the required hardware is not present in the system or the software/firmware doesn't apply to this system. 

So I got a two questions:

1. Any idea why is crash dump file not being created? Anyone experiencing same issue?

2. Any idea why I cant install the driver for SATA/SAS controller?

note: just to mention that I have set up the modded BIOS to allow full disk speed and hot-plug functionality based on THIS GUIDE


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When you say you're using the Modded-BIOS -- is it based on SP54344.exe or SP64420.exe?


I ask because the link you gave describes using the BIOS-Mod based on SP54344 which is the older BIOS which will cause S2012R2 to crash.


You want SP64420.exe.  http://homeservershow.com/hp-proliant-microserver-bios-flash-sp64420.html  I've been running Win 8.1 on it (and know someone else also running Win 8.1 on a N40L after SP64420.exe ) and it is Rock Solid.


I have not tried any of the Modded versions of SP64420 but there are links in the thread http://homeservershow.com/forums/index.php?/topic/3397-modified-bios-for-microserver-n40l-enables-hidden-features/?p=72904 but you use at your own risk.


If you are using one of the Modded versions of SP64420 out there I would suggest first setting optimized defaults and then re-flashing with the HP Stock SP64420.exe and see if that clears your problems.


I believe cp020624.exe is failing to install because you don't have an HP Smart Array Controller installed.


Any HP ProLiant server configured with any of the HP Smart Array SCSI or SAS/SATA Controllers:

  • HP Smart Array P212, HP Smart Array P410, HP Smart Array P410i, HP Smart Array P411, HP Smart Array P711m, HP Smart Array P712m, and HP Smart Array P812 Controllers.

  • HP Smart Array P220i, HP Smart Array P222, HP Smart Array P420, HP Smart Array P420i, HP Smart Array P421, HP Smart Array P721m, and HP Smart Array P822 Controllers.


Hope this helps.

Edited by Joe_Miner
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Hi Joe, thanks for reply. Sorry for confusion, I indeed have the SP64420 modded BIOS without it I was not able to finish Windows 2012 R2 upgrade. Mentioned that guide in the end just to show what settings I have done to the BIOS. Overall the OS is stable for me, running there Hyper-V farm with lab of 7 servers and other stuff and no issues, just those occasional BSODs on boot without crash dump files are bothering me.


Ok I got it - that controller is additional adapter not the one on board - I misunderstood that.


Tried to rollback VGA Radeon driver now as I have updated that one as well in the process - hopefully it will be the root cause.

Edited by Tullkas
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I doubt if it's the Radeon but it's worth a try -- I haven't seen any problems with the 5450 and Win8.1 (I know Win8.1 isn't S2012R2 but they had the same issues that SP64420 fixed)


So much for the easy solutions..........


Every 3rd or 4th post sounds similar to the issue I had with RAM with one of my N40L's with 16GB of G.Skill 16GB F3-1333C9D-16GAO -- every6th or 7th post it would only show 8GB usable instead of the full 16.  A shot in the dark but If you had VM's that in the aggregate expected more than 8GB of RAM at startup then maybe........


Have you tried pulling one stick of RAM (or shutting down all your VM's on that machine) to see what happens with just 8GB on Post?

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