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New Gen8, first server, lots of questions!


paradox
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Hi everyone,

 

I got my Gen8 today and found this place, glad such a resource exists and there's a lot of info about but there are just a few specific questions I was hoping I could get some quick and easy answers to.

This post might get big as I'll need to specify things like my setup, usage requirements, etc in order for you to help me properly, but if you can even help answer just one question I'd really appreciate it so thanks in advance.

 

So to start with what I intend to use my Gen8 for is as a general LAN 'Hub' / Media Server / File Server, for starters - I'm sure there's lots of other useful things I can do with it that I'll find out about later on, but for now that's what I want to get working.

 

I have yet to even power it up because I'm not finished fiddling with the interior etc, but;

 

My current setup is as follows:

 

1) This came with 2 cables, one of them connects directly to the SATA port on the motherboard and then plugs into the rear of the ODD, taking up both the SATA and power port, however it also came with another cable, which has, on both ends, male SATA+SATA Power connectors - what is this for? There are no more ports on the ODD and I can't think what it could be for.

  • RAM: Upgraded to Kingston Technology ValueRam DDR3 1600MHz DIMM - 16 GB Non ECC Memory Kit (2 x 8 GB)

 

 

2) I have yet to install this, I have MX-4 Thermal Paste available, and also Coollaboratory Liquid Ultra (really high-end stuff), should I use the CLU or MX-4?

 

3) I picked up an Akasa K25 Low Profile Heatsink/Fan Cooler, the fan cable is 3-pin and as most of you probably know the motherboard fan header is some weird 6-pin cable, and people need to splice cables to get extra fans to work etc, but I found this 5vUSB-to-5vMolex cable, and combined with a 5vMolex-to-3-pin-Fan cable, we should be able to power the 12v Akasa K25 from the internal USB port this way, right? But perhaps not fullspeed as it is a 12v fan and USB 2.0 being 5v? Possibly other fans or even bling it out with LEDs/Cathodes? Will this work?

 

  • HDDs: 2x WD Red 6TB

 

4) I believe this means I have reached the maximum storage capacity limit? Is there anything I can do with the 2 empty bays, if I can't increase the storage capacity any more?

 

  • Internal MicroSD Card: SanDisk Extreme Micro SDXC Card 64GB UHS-I 60MB/s U3

 

5) I am planning to run the operating system from this card, is that possible / advisable? If so, is it a simple process of sticking the OS I want to install on a disc and installing it onto the SD card like I would install the OS normally?

 

6) On the topic of the OS, what do you recommend that I actually use? My friends are telling me to install FreeNAS, but I am seeing threads in this forum something about firmware updates and package updates specifically for the Gen8, but they seem to require that you be running Windows Server 2012 or something like that? Could someone advise me on OSs please? This is the most confusing aspect for me right now.

 

  • GPU Added: Sapphire Radeon HD6450 2GB DDR3

7) I saw in another post that the HD6450 worked well so I picked that up, it fits in perfectly with the supplied low-profile bracket, and the heatsink is passive. Would I even be able to use this using FreeNAS or some kind of non-Windows server OS? I mean, in terms of there not being any drivers for it?

 

Thanks in advance guys.

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It needs to be non-registered ECC memory.

 

That's ECC Memory that's non registered

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It needs to be non-registered ECC memory.

 

That's ECC Memory that's non registered

It's not just me that is confused by the wording there? Oh well. I tried them any it boot looped at 90%, so I'll send them back tomorrow.

 

http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B008LMNXS0/ This will work fine right? (some reviewers claim to have it working in their Gen8, but so did a reviewer of the previous pair I bought..)

 

I stuck the stock stick back in and now at the initial loading phase, at 70% the screen goes blank and nothing happens - any ideas anyone? This is like, the very first run.

Edited by paradox
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Can't seem to edit my post - time limit?

 

~anyway, I figured it out - it was loading the PCI-E GPU drivers and then switching the video output to the card. So that's solved.

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Wow! First server and it's fully upgraded?! I'm impressed!

What OS are you putting? Mine is still in the box - I don't know how to use it! Hah!

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Well for the moment it still has the stock cpu and ram while I wait for some ram that actually works and that USB-to-molex cable for the cpu heatsink fan.

 

I managed to get FreeNAS installed on the internal MicroSD card and boot from it fine and for now I'm just playing around in that.

 

Can anyone tell me if I use more than 2x 6TB WD Reds it will be able to 'see' more than 12gig?

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You should always power up a rig with the stock CPU just to make sure it works before you start swapping components out anyway so you've kinda done yourself a favour by ordering the wrong RAM ;)

Not sure why you think that adding more drives wont let you see the available space..

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My understanding on HDD size limits is:

 

1. A system with BIOS (the old HP MicroServers) cannot boot to disks larger than 2GB. The Gen8 servers are UEFI so that limitation is removed and booting to 6GB is potentially OK. (I haven't tried it and would be interested to have someone confirm it works.)

 

2. When initialising a disk in WINDOWS ... those declared with GPT partition types can exceed 2TB, even if the system boots with BIOS. I have old and new MicroServers, both with 6TB disks.

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