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N40L - some quick questions


Edward
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Hi

 

I have a N40L which has been undertaking brilliant service as an HTPC for ages.

 

In addition to an HDMI card all I have is the original sata drive for OS (win7) and program (mainly Jriver MC) duties. All necessary data is pulled from another Microserver (N36) in a different room via a gigabit ethernet connection.

 

I want to reduce the noise further on the N40L and will replace the main 120mm fan and the PSU 40mm fan with NoiseBlocker fans.

 

I also want to chuck out the sata drive replacing it with a SSD drive.

 

Questions:

 

1. Can I simply attach the SSD drive to the existing internal sata connection in the N40L (using duck tape if necessary to secure the drive)?

2. If so will I get full SATA AHCI throughput and are there any other considerations I need to take care of?

3. If not then I guess I will have to install the SSD via the sata5 and flash the BIOS to enable AHCI?

4. If so then are these instructions still the most current?

 

cheers

Edward

 

 

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1. Yes. Duct tape shouldn’t be necessary – I’ve plugged SSD’s directly into the backplane and the friction from the connector held it in place – I’ve also used Icy Dock’s EZConvert SSD Caddy MB882SP-1S-1B in the N40L, N54L, and Gen8 successfully without issue (and it’s more securely mounted IMHO)

 

Check out the ODD Mods & Other MODs section of:

 

http://homeservershow.com/forums/index.php?/topic/5190-microserver-hardware-links/

 

and for demo of EZConvert see:

 

 

 

 

2. You’ll get SATA II (3Gb/s) speeds – the top speed that the system board will support

 

3. That’s not necessary

 

4. The instructions at “HP ProLiant N40L MicroServer Build and BIOS Modification Revisited” that you highlighted are the most complete – there is a new BIOS out that you would need for Win8.1 or Server 2012-R2 – instructions for it’s installation would be essentially the same

 

http://homeservershow.com/hp-proliant-n40l-microserver-build-and-bios-modification-revisited.html

 

Check out NEW BIOS 2013.10.01(A)(15 NOV 2013) related info at

 

http://homeservershow.com/forums/index.php?/topic/5190-microserver-hardware-links/

 

also check out postings linked to from

 

http://homeservershow.com/forums/index.php?/topic/3506-more-interesting-microserver-links/?p=35009

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Yes, you will NOT be able to take full advantage of the SSD's throughput capability, but many people have posted that they do see a significant difference in throughput despite this.

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Thanks all for your hints, direction and suggestions. I'm pleased to to report 100% success.

 

Regarding the SSD Drive. As suggested I installed via the Microserver backplane  and that worked just fine. 20 minutes later and I had a win7 desktop (after installing via a USB win7 install iso) together with my fav program, (Jriver Media Centre), a quick install of a necessary DAC driver and I was back home listening to streamed music in high definition. :P

 

I was using quite an old Win7 ISO and the update process took for ever, but got there eventually (about 90 minutes).

 

Having the microserver without any spinning drives reduced the noise quite a lot, but the PSU and main fan still quite evident.

 

So today a couple of hours dedicated to replacing the PSU and main fans with noiseblocker fans.  Had to go off board for the PSU fan power using a Molex-fan connector which was easy.

 

So mission achieved - I have to be really close up to the microserver and in a quite room with nothing else on to hear anything - and then just the sound of air being circulated.

 

Next project - upgrade the N36L

 

thanks again

Edward

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So today a couple of hours dedicated to replacing the PSU and main fans with noiseblocker fans.  Had to go off board for the PSU fan power using a Molex-fan connector which was easy.

 

What kind of fan are you replaced the PSU fan?
You connected the main and PSU fan with molex adapter?
Thank you.
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Hi Zenon

 

Thanks for your questions.

 

I took a short cut and used someone else's ideas. ;)

 

For the main fan I routed the cable back down to the motherboard and used the fan header there.  The fan I purchased was a non-pwm fan so I had to shave one of the small ridges on the fan cable connector to fit the mb fan header.  This means I don't get fan speed control, but given that the new fan is silent this is not a problem.

 

For the PSU fan I was hoping to install via the fan header within the PSU itself.  However that was glued down so I simply cut the wire and threw away the old PSU fan. I routed the new fan cable upwards (there is plenty of room) and connectred that via a fan-molex adapter (widely available for next to nothing cost - I had several lying around).

 

Before I installed things I tested all connections to ensure fans all working etc via a spare machine.

 

Hope the above clarifies.

 

By the way, attached is a snip of my temps.  Could be lower but generally acceptable.

 

cheers

Edward

 

 

 

 

N40L_temps_edward.PNG

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Thanks for posting your results Edward.  Look like nice temps to me!  Sounds like you put together a pretty interesting set-up!

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