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HP N36L/N40L/N54L Microserver Updated AHCI BIOS Support.

Discussion in 'Networking & NAS' started by TheBay, Sep 29, 2011.

  1. coolamasta

    coolamasta Member

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    I can quite happily add and remove drives on other PC's using ACHI HDD's while they are switched on, OK you cant just pull the drive out and you have to "stop" the drive in removable devices first.

    I know they are not true Hot Swap drives like SAS or SCSI but I've still be able to do it with other Motherboards, normally with Intel chipsets, maybe AMD do not support it at all...
  2. jzaw

    jzaw Member

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  3. challengedavid

    challengedavid Member

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    with the modded bios and altered settings the pc will not reboot properly it just hangs on shutdown, but if you shutdown and dont reboot its fine

    put back on the hp bios and it all preforms fine

    edit, its whs2011
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2012
  4. mr-b

    mr-b Member

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    I don't know WHS but if it's anything like Windows (or Win Server) then have you checked the Event Log and compared the events for Shutdown vs "reboot".

    Can you try the SSD drive on a SATA port? I know the eSATA port on the HP is sensitive to cables.
    Have you tried the modded BIOS without changing settings? Which settings are you changing?
  5. hawky525

    hawky525 Member

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    With the 6th/eSata port, how can you using another drive? I have a few spare drives lying around, but understand that a drive and one of the eSata to sata cables wouldn't power the drive (as the sata cable is only data not power, right?).
    Would you need an 3.5" enclosure for the drive and then plug it in to a wall socket or am I missing something?
  6. mr-b

    mr-b Member

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  7. lowmans100

    lowmans100 Member

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    To use the eSata port for an internal HDD you will need an eSata to Sata cable which you run inside the server via the little trap door on the back of the unit, you also need a Molex IDE to 2 SATA Serial Power Cable like this. I got one from ebay.

    Both available here for less than £6.50
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2012
  8. mg82

    mg82 New Member

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    Hi,

    I bought HP Microserver N40L in Nov 2011 and It has BIOS version (04/02/2011) installed.

    By default it had AHCI model enabled for SATA drives but on boot it lists them as IDE.

    I have installed WHS 2011 on it and Device Manager list all drives as ATA using IDE channel.

    1. UDMA mode supported by Sata HDDs are udma6 but driving runs only on udma2 and gives write speed of 97 mb/s. Don’t know why it is not running on udma6 mode?

    2. Bought an 128 GB Crucial SSD and attached it to ODD SATA port, this one also listed as ATA drive in Device Manager but runs on UDMA6 although it support UDMA5 and gives right speed of 1 gb/s.

    3. Some blog users have pointed out that if drives run in AHCI mode they should be listed in same place as USB in windows explorer but that’s not the case in my scenario.

    Am I missing any setting or drive? How to use SATA drives effectively?

    Thanks

    Attached Files:

  9. jzaw

    jzaw Member

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    I bought the N40L in January this year (2012)

    have you looked to use the modified bios as per head of this thread?

    I reflashed my bios with TheBay's O41072911.ROM and most certainly have 6 ports all fully AHCI fulls 6Gb/s speed and (for me at least) hotpluggable

    NOTE the bios still reports them as PATA .... but debian wheezy most definitely sees them as sata drives

    see here my dmesg BEFORE and AFTER flashing

    N40L microserver sata ide ahci - Pastebin.com

    notice that before flashing the esata and the internal odd sata port are seen as pata ports but the other 4 are sata

    where as after flashing all 6 are fully capable full speed ahci ports

    see my post about how easy it is to flash the bios in linux
    you could even do it with a live cd of ubuntu or something

    hope this helps
  10. ahhyes

    ahhyes Member

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    Anyone try out the new fan function? Can you slow it down?
  11. mr-b

    mr-b Member

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    I'm running a Scythe SY1225SL12HPVC - Slip Stream 120 PWM Adjustable which has a manual fan speed control as per HP Proliant MicroServer | silentpcreview.com, but I tried disabling the BIOS fan control option anyway to see it it made any difference.

    I manually turned down the fan speed to 500k and the health LED (HP badge) went from blue to red, and it shut down soon after that, so no change in behaviour from normal.
    Then I removed the fan plug completely, booted and it displayed a POST error and shut down.

    So changing the fan control BIOS option doesn't seem to do anything for me.
  12. rdoddy

    rdoddy Member

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    this is all completely new to me so i have two questions...
    i have downloaded the .rar file... what opens that type of file?
    and i cant seem to find the txt file, how do i get it?
    if its not too much can someone paste that on to the forum?

    .... just tried google and its a zip file which makes sense...
    i will try again tomoz when i have had less wine.
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2012
  13. rdoddy

    rdoddy Member

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    i put the wine down and manged this over the w/e... really straight forward in the end.
    i have no idea technically what i have done but i am very thankful.
    either way i now have a N40L 12TB homeserver running WHS for £650...
    with the bios update does this now mean i could attach another hard drive to the rear SATA drive and increas it up to 15TB?
    now to start loading it up with movies and buy a popcorn hour.
    thanks again to all on here and especially TheBay.
    Finally, should i be weary of updating any software now as could this affect the new bios?
  14. Lleyton

    Lleyton Member

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    Looking for help,

    I have flashed my BIOS as followed in post 1 but my drives still show as IDE in BIOS and the WHS console. I set sata controller to ACHI mode before installing whs. I have 2 drives setup in the ODD bay (Main OS spare sata connection, extra HD on a sata card) and 4 drives in the lower bays.

    Anyone have any ideas?

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
  15. wyerd

    wyerd Member

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    I have used this BIOS update so I can use the eSATA port with my external SATA drive for the daily backup task and hot swap it with another in a rotation scheme. However, one morning I found that the server was down and when I power cycled it, it didn't load the OS (WHS 2011). It's headless, so I couldn't see what was going on. On a hunch, I powered down the external backup drive and it then booted OK.

    What was happpening is that with the external drive powered on, it was completely missing the HP P410 RAID card in the boot sequence and trying to boot off the external drive. I later found that it rebooted in the night after applying some MS updates.

    @ The Bay - Is this something that can be fixed in the updated BIOS?

    Thanks.
  16. somecoolpc

    somecoolpc New Member

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    Hi ya all,
    I am also having the problem that challengedavid (post #123) is having with reboots and it is only hitting me on windows.
    from my quick testing it is the rom, if I use the HP standard rom the machine reboots fine on 2008 R2 server, however if I use the thebay's rom it just hangs by the looks of it as it is about to reboot (the disks get safely stopped etc)
    Any one got any suggestions?
  17. SeattleStokie

    SeattleStokie Member

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    I'm having the same issue where a shutdown is fine, but a restart hangs. I'm running WHS2011.
  18. EMM386

    EMM386 Member

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    Is the hard drive that server 2008 is installed on in the odd bay?

    is it not cause when you installed the os the sata port was in ata emulation mode and now it's in ahci mode

    windows hates being changed modes after its been installed
  19. somecoolpc

    somecoolpc New Member

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    the hdd is in the odd bay indeed :) (I want to use the 4 disks in the other bays for data)

    Its a fresh install of windows (does it even during the install) and I have not changed the mode during install :p
  20. EMM386

    EMM386 Member

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    You've not changed the mode but The Bays BIOS has. That's what its designed to do. Change the sata port from ATA emulation to AHCI so the port runs at full speed

    Hmmmmmm unsure why your having this problem during a fresh instal. It's common afterwards. Is it Server 2008 R2? Or just Server 2008. Maybe if it's the older version it may be a driver issue in which case you prob need to feed it a driver from CD or USB during install
  21. geoff.sim

    geoff.sim Member

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    FYI I am running WHS 2011 with the latest modified ROM, and I can reboot just fine with the supplied 250GB disk in the top slot, and one drive (currently) in the 4-bay area. The 250 is the boot disk.
  22. aws1971

    aws1971 Member

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    can someone explain me what the settings in the bios mean in the part:
    south bridge > chipset > "SATA PORT 4/5 IDE Mode"

    must it be on disabled or enabled for AHCI mode ?
  23. richardb70

    richardb70 Active Member

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    Hoping someone who's recently flashed their BIOS with the recent "hack" (N36L/N40L) can confirm for me how to check it's all good from WHS2011's perspective.

    The reason I'm asking is that mine's all headless after I flashed and it's hassle for me to hook up a monitor again.

    I'm looking in Device Manager and can see "IDE ATA/ATAPI controllers", with:
    - ATA Channel 0 to
    - ATA Channel 5
    - Standard AHCI 1.0 Serial ATA Controller

    The driver dates for all of these are MS ones from 2006 (!). Is this OK?

    Installed my SSD up in the optical bay, if I right-click on it it's saying it's Channel 5, and ATA Channel 5 is reporting an ATA Disk, UDMA Mode 5 under it's Advanced Settings.

    The reason I'm curious is my SSD seems a little sluggish (using a Crucial 64Gb), especially when coming out of hibernation. All suggestions welcome!
  24. reevesy

    reevesy Active Member

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    does anyone know how to update the network drivers...

    i've win 7

    Ethernet NIC NetXtreme Server Driver Downloads | Broadcom

    clicking on the zip file just brings up the licence agreement

    my current one is :
    'broadcom netxtreme gigabit ethernet properties' in device manager...it says microsoft driver ver 10.100.4.0....dated 2009

    was hoping this could cure some hd streaming problems

    cheers
  25. jimbosis

    jimbosis New Member

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    Just wanted to note that RAID 10 now appears to work as a result of the BIOS update which pleases me greatly.

    I activated RAID 10 from RaidXpert a while back but the array failed on reboot since the original BIOS was 1 or 0 only. I ended up turning BIOS RAID off and mirroring the drives in software. When I updated the BIOS I decided to go back to BIOS RAID and after rebooting the RAID interface showed the 4 drives in RAID 10 as set up in RAIDXpert. As my kids say - w00t. I've crash-tested the array and, indeed, it functions just the way a RAID 10 array should.

    Much appreciated.
  26. ahmavfahm

    ahmavfahm Member

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    Just a quick 'thanks' to all in this thread.

    I have an old N36L (so old I didn't get the cash back!) with the original BIOS.

    I used TheBAY's patched BIOS image, and jzaw's suggestion of flashrom, to update the BIOS. Although I could have done it right inside CentOS (which the box is running - and which can get flashrom easily via EPEL), instead I just made a bootable SystemRescueCD USB flash drive, which already includes flashrom, copied the image to it, booted, and ran flashrom fine.

    On first reboot, I had to disable the IDE mode on ports 5 and 6, and also change the hard drive boot order to have disc 5 at the top of the list, in the BIOS, and then everything worked. My system drive happens to contain two (degraded) mdadm RAID 1 mirrors for /boot and /, so grub and fstab refer to the md devices instead of hdb. During boot, CentOS correctly restarted these arrays, now on /dev/sde instead of /dev/hdb as-was, and all carried on fine.

    Edit: And the previously useless eSATA port (which would only work with drives plugged in at boot time) is now hot-pluggable.

    Thanks
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2012
  27. Marty Moose

    Marty Moose Member

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    Hoping somebody who isn't a technophobe like me can offer a bit of advice here.

    After using the HP software to create the USB stick it wouldn't work and just kept replicating the contents of my downloads fille to the USB. After raking around on my hard drive, I appear to have located the files in a folder named as 'USB Key'. I have transfered these files direct to USB and swapped the .ROM file with the one available at the start of the thread. When I'm booting though, I'm getting the message 'Cannot load DOS!' The BIOS settings are set to boot from USB as priority, although when the stick is not plugged in the server will boot with no problems to the original WHS2011 I have on the 250g HD.
  28. Marty Moose

    Marty Moose Member

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    Got there in the end after about five attempts at mixing and matching files from the USB and the hard drive, more by luck than anything else.
  29. spinaltap

    spinaltap Active Member

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    Does WHS 2011 have 'screen sharing' capability?

    On my Mac Mini Server, for example, I can activate screen sharing so that I can control the server remotely via my iPad.
  30. Avalon One

    Avalon One Member

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    One of the many remote desktop apps will do the job giving you full access via iPad.

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