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Can someone help me save my Gen8?


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Before I throw the thing out of the window.....


OK. Short story - I bought it to teach myself about servers, maybe set up a small home network, learn about firewalls (I have a pfsense box as well), set up a print server etc. I had thought about just getting a NAS but decided to go with the Microserver.


Now I'm just getting myself frustrated though.


I have a SSD in the vacant optical drive bay at the top of the machine and 2 x 3TB WD Red drives in bays 1&2, I have 2 further drives ready to go in bays 3 & 4 but they are not fitted yet. I've done my reading on the built in B221 RAID controller and booting from another drive so I have installed an Adaptec 3405 RAID controller as well.


Something I hadnt really done my homework on was the fairly limited supported OS's - so I've been playing with Ubuntu server and have obtained a spare RHEL 6 disk as well from a friend in the industry.


What I can do:

Install the OS onto my SSD and boot the thing


What I cannot do:

Get the Adaptec 3405 RAID controller working, and then to recognise the 2 x 3TB drives - I want them RAID 1 for backups/redundancy. I'd like to add 2 other drives for media - although non-raided.


I know a little about IT, and that knowledge has proved to be dangerous....I though it would be easier than I'm making it.


Could someone oblige with a fairly simple to follow guide to getting the server to configure my Adaptec 3405 RAID card (I presume there's a BIOS setting I need to sort?) and then a wee bit help on setting the RAID 1 settings for bays 1&2 and non-raid on 3&4? Also, your recommendation on an OS for a newbie (but who wants to learn) would be welcome.


Thanks in advance



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BIOS - yes, it shows up but when I hit 'CTRL + A' to configure, it seems to ignore it and continue the boot.

OS - not sure, havent got that far... 

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Are you running the SSD from the ODD SATA port?

Did you disconnect the cable from the motherboard for the 4 drives in the bays and connect it to the 3405?

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I would suggest start piecemeal

- first just get everything + odd ssd working with built in raid

- above step will get you familiar with hardware

- then install the other raid controller and try it, check the drivers for you adaptec card for both red hat and ubuntu

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Before you throw the thing out of the window ... let me know which window and I'll be prepared to catch a perfect experimental server ;-)


Microserver ... much better than a NAS!


Frustration = 'having no one else to blame but yourself'.


"Limited OS support" - Gen8 runs all versions of Windows from 7 up ... what more do you need ? ;-)


I'm learning too, so I can only offer suggestions of things that worked for me:


1. Take out the Adaptec RAID card. Gen8 Microservers come with a B120i RAID card (don't know where you got the B221 idea from?).

Plug the hard drive cable back where it was on the factory setup.


2. Download the ISO for the Windows 10 Enterprise 90 day trial from Microsoft.


3. Download the Windows B120i driver from HP's support website (you will have to select the equivalent server version e.g. Windows 8 = Server 2012 R2 will probably do for W10 too).


4. Create a bootable USB drive from the W10 ISO using e.g. Rufus. Add a folder with the B120i driver to this USB drive.


5. Put the 2 additional disks you have into bays 3 and 4.


6. Power on the server and enter the Disk Administrator component (which operates on the B120i RAID card).

a. Delete then recreate the SSD drive as a RAID 0 single disk.

b. Create a RAID 1 volume for the two 3TB drives.

c. Create a RAID 0 disk for bay 3.

d. Create a RAID 0 disk for bay 4.


7. Restart with the W10 USB drive in a USB 2.0 port. Select 'boot from USB'.


8. W10 installation will begin ... select the advanced option and 'add driver' which will allow you to point to the folder with the B120i driver and put the OS on the SSD.

It requires some close examination but there are options to install W10 without a Microsoft email account.


9. Once W10 is up ... go through Windows Update lots of times to bring it up to the latest release.

Alcohol and/or pizza recommended at all stages of Windows installation (combined with the elaborate but slow Gen8 booting performance).


10. Open Disk Management in Windows. You should see 4 volumes ... 3 may require initialisation (if the disks were blank originally) and the assignment of a drive letter.

I like to change the machine name to something recognisable here too e.g. HPMSERVER<TEST|1|2...>.


It would be a good idea to look at this excellent detailed post first before beginning.





You don't have to use iLo ... just boot from USB.

And you don't need drivers for graphics and the like if you intend to operate the server headless and remotely.​​

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Very grateful for the comments - I think I have sorted it. I took the drives out, re-formatted them, installed the Adaptec Storage Manager which saw them - and I'm all set. Finally!


And yes, the B120i (not the one I referenced...!)


Now to set up file & print sharing, and RDP.


Back to the books. 


Thanks all. 

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