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

RustySpoons

Active Member
Title needs updating, this BIOS works on N36L/N40L/N54L

As we know, the HP Microsever only supports AHCI via the 4 internal drive bays and SATA connections 4/5 (Ports start from 0) are IDE mode.

There is a Russian BIOS floating around, but no one is really sure what exactly has been changed on this and also how up to date it is - This BIOS give the option to enable AHCI mode on those ports.

However personally with a device like a server, I wouldn't want to put anything on there that could compromise things and want to keep up to date with the BIOS Updates HP issue.

So I have been modifying my own BIOS files with official tools, I thought I would put a thread up here so I can share/discuss these files with everyone. I will also modify every update so we can keep this functionality.

I have stamped the BIOS files with revision information, including my forum name, which is displayed on POST so you know the BIOS you have has come from here/me.

Can a mod let me know if we can make this sticky and i'll update it with each revision, is there facility to upload the BIOS file here? its 2.0mb. If not what websites are permitted on here that I can upload the file to?

-------------------------------------------
19/10/2011
Updated BIOS
Added FAN Option (Not sure what this does exactly, but have a play)
Simplified AHCI/IDE Setting:
Removed - AHCI Menu for configuration/drive status
- IDE Menu configuration/drive status


30/09/2011

Microserver AHCI BIOS O41072911

Added
- AHCI Support for SATA ports 4/5 (Ports start at 0)
- AHCI Menu for configuration/drive status
- IDE Menu configuration/drive status (for those who use IDE mode)

28/02/2008

23/2/2013
Changed to easy installation method,
Unrar file, put USB stick in to PC, within that folder double click on RunMe. Follow instructions on screen, then exit and put the USB stick in the Microserver and reboot to update BIOS.

TheBay_Microserver_Bios_041.rar

Working on newer version of Bios, will post soon.
 
Last edited:

jerrymac

Novice Member
@TheBay: Link?
 

RustySpoons

Active Member
I'm waiting on a Mod to get back to me before I post any links on here, as I don't know what sites are permitted.
 

RustySpoons

Active Member
*updated and removed link*
Added
- AHCI Support for SATA ports 4/5 (Ports start at 0)
- AHCI Menu for configuration/drive status
- IDE Menu configuration/drive status (for those who use IDE mode)

Enjoy.
 
Last edited:

tezza77

Standard Member
Latest bios here.

Microserver AHCI BIOS O41 - TheBay.rar

Added
- AHCI Support for SATA ports 4/5 (Ports start at 0)
- AHCI Menu for configuration/drive status
- IDE Menu configuration/drive status (for those who use IDE mode)

Enjoy.
I mean absolutely no disrespect by this but I'm a little nervous about flashing someone else bios image but I figure I do want AHCI for SATA 4 & 5.

Has anyone else flashed this yet and can confirm it working?
 

RustySpoons

Active Member
You also mentioned memory timings and possible over clock options?
Yes, I will have a look in to that, the option is there.
But would have to come with a warning. As the main caveat with the Microserver is a lack of cooling for the main board.
 
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jerrymac

Novice Member
Latest bios here.


Enjoy.
I installed on my two microservers and both working fine one with ESXi 5.0 and the other with Win2008 R2. :smashin:
 

RustySpoons

Active Member
Just had a play around with Solaris 11 (text install, no gui) on the Microserver.
Can confirm Solaris 11 Express supports AHCI on the Microserver out of the box, with ALL 6 ports (using this BIOS)

~$ prtconf -D
Code:
  pci103c,1609, instance #0 (driver name: ahci)
            disk, instance #1 (driver name: sd)
            disk, instance #2 (driver name: sd)
            disk, instance #3 (driver name: sd)
            disk, instance #4 (driver name: sd)
That's with 1 disk in the ODD bay (OS Drive) and 3 Disks in the Hot swap bay, i'm getting over 220mb per sec sequential reads using 2x2TB and 1x1TB in Raidz and not even set up properly yet, but it's works and is saturating my gigabit network!. :)

Solaris 11 seems to work well.
 
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MikeK

Novice Member
One slight caveat that anyone considering Solaris11 should be aware of, is that the latest ZFS pool versions are Oracle only (at least for the moment), so if you build your pools with the default pool version, then you'll be stuck on Solaris11, as nothing else which supports ZFS will support pool versions above 28 AFAIK (sol11express 11-2010 uses pool version 31 by default, and the latest Early Adopter release (EA) uses pool version 33)

Probably best to create your pools using something like pool version 22 (perhaps lower, depending on what pool version your potential target OS supports - FreeNAS8 for instance only supports up to version 15 AFAIK), at least then you could switch to another OS if you want without having to destroy and recreate your pools. You can always upgrade the pool version later if you feel you need any of the features the latest pool versions provide.
However there is no reverse option, you cannot downgrade the pool version - once it's at version 31 or 33 there's no going back to an earlier version (not without destroying and recreating the pool that is)
 

Benoe

Novice Member
Let me copy my microserver bios wishlist here:

1. S3 suspend
2. shorter bios boot, if the previous one is not possible
3. adjustable fan speed
 

RustySpoons

Active Member
Let me copy my microserver bios wishlist here:

1. S3 suspend
This doesn't seem possible yet, will keep looking in to it though

2. shorter bios boot, if the previous one is not possible
Might be possible, can disable optional prompts/option bioses

3. adjustable fan speed
To speed up or slow down?
 

Benoe

Novice Member
3. adjustable fan speed
To speed up or slow down?
Could be both. I also read, that you cannot install some noiseless but powerful fans, because there is a limit in fan speed, the microserver doesn't start below: link

"This is a PWM version of the popular SlipStream series, with a rated maximum speed of 1300 RPM. After the initial full speed burst at turnon, the fan slowed to an extremely slow speed, which caused a fan error message to display and the system to power down immediately. The system wants to see a faster fan."
 
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RustySpoons

Active Member
Thanks for that info MikeK,

Though will probably stay with Solaris 11 but not on the Microserver, in the process of pricing up a SandyBridge Xeon system to do VT-d, will run it on ESXi. Really surprised how well the Microserver copes with ZFS though :)

One slight caveat that anyone considering Solaris11 should be aware of, is that the latest ZFS pool versions are Oracle only (at least for the moment), so if you build your pools with the default pool version, then you'll be stuck on Solaris11, as nothing else which supports ZFS will support pool versions above 28 AFAIK (sol11express 11-2010 uses pool version 31 by default, and the latest Early Adopter release (EA) uses pool version 33)

Probably best to create your pools using something like pool version 22 (perhaps lower, depending on what pool version your potential target OS supports - FreeNAS8 for instance only supports up to version 15 AFAIK), at least then you could switch to another OS if you want without having to destroy and recreate your pools. You can always upgrade the pool version later if you feel you need any of the features the latest pool versions provide.
However there is no reverse option, you cannot downgrade the pool version - once it's at version 31 or 33 there's no going back to an earlier version (not without destroying and recreating the pool that is)
It is possible to disable fan control through the BIOS,I will have a play around with that and see if the server will ignore fan speeds?

Could be both. I also read, that you cannot install some noiseless but powerful fans, because there is a limit in fan speed, the microserver doesn't start below: link
 
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Benoe

Novice Member
It is possible to disable fan control through the BIOS,I will have a play around with that and see if the server will ignore fan speeds?
To tell the truth, currently I'm not planning to replace the fan. But I know that others want to or already had problems with it.
But if there would be an option for the fan to slow it down to become more quiet, and consume less power, I would use it.

I would be happy to have any option that makes the microserver faster to boot (or wake up from sleep), consume less power, make more quiet. Others may have other preferences. (like cpu overclock, running games, etc.)
 

RustySpoons

Active Member
Once I have flashed this Bios, do I have to change any bios settings.

Thanks
To enable AHCI on all ports, go to Southbridge Config, SATA 4/5 and disable sata 4/5 IDE mode.
 

gavjbrown

Novice Member
Pls read the "AHCI BIOS Installation.txt" wich is packed together with TheBay's bios file.
I did read the txt file and there is no mention of typing at the command prompt,
so I assume I did something wrong when making the usb stick and I shouldn't be getting that prompt.

Thanks for the reply, just trying to set my backups up now and will have another look at the bios later.
 

Mysteron17

Active Member
Hi, a quick question. I have already installed WHS2011 on my server using a HDD in the ODD bay (currently IDE mode I assume). If I flash and enable AHCI on this port will I need to do anything or does it just work...only faster? Thx.
 

Benoe

Novice Member
Hi, a quick question. I have already installed WHS2011 on my server using a HDD in the ODD bay (currently IDE mode I assume). If I flash and enable AHCI on this port will I need to do anything or does it just work...only faster? Thx.
You will probably get an answer in Microservers original topic: link
 

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