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HP ProLiant MicroServer N40L Owner's Thread *Part 4*

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blacksheep99

Well-known Member
Hopefully somebody can answer this quickly for me. I have lost my USB pan drive I was going to use to load the OS from. I have a USB HDD (250gb), can I use this to boot from and load the OS?
 

xerces8

Standard Member
What OS?
You want to use the USB HDD as an install medium (install from it) or as destination (install to it?).
 

manka

Active Member
Take a look at this thread Hp Microserver N40L Wake On Lan Issue - General Discussion - We Got Served Forums and download the latest firmware for the NIC.

To answer your question, WoL has to be supported in BIOS so if that part doesn't work then the NIC is irrelevant - but from the above thread it looks more like you just need a firmware update.
Thanks. I'd already tried updating the utility and the driver and couldn't get it to work. However, I've played around with my wol app on my phone and it works perfectly now, even over 3g now that my router has port forwarding for port 9. :clap: Result. It's everything I want it to be now!
 

Faufnir

Standard Member
Hi all, new here. :>

Really quick question, do I need a separate card to install one or two additional 3.5" HDDs in the 5.25" bay spot? If not what is required?

Can anyone recommend a tried and tested kit for securing 3.5" drive/s in this area?

Thanks in advance!
 

blacksheep99

Well-known Member
What OS?
You want to use the USB HDD as an install medium (install from it) or as destination (install to it?).
Windows server 2012 essentials. Use it as an install medium (from it).

I'm being impatient. I'll likely just buy a new USB pen drive tomorrow. I have some blank DVD's somewhere as well but having just moved house I cant find a thing! :mad:
 

xerces8

Standard Member
Might work. I would start googling if anyone did it before.
Theoretically it would work exactly as with a USB key, but Microsoft tools might refuse it, because it is a HDD...

So you have an ISO file somewhere?
Can you lose the HDD contents?
Then you can just try the Microsoft "create a bootable USB key for installing windows" tool (don't remember its name, "WINDOWS 7 USB/DVD DOWNLOAD TOOL" I think...) to set up the HDD.

If that fails, there are other methods to create a bootable USB key for Windows install. (google...)
Some of them might work.
 

blacksheep99

Well-known Member
Thanks, think I'll admit defeat and pick up a USB key tomorrow. If i did get it installed tonight I'd end up messing on it for several hours!

Cheers,
Guy
 

liuzhen

Standard Member
Hey guys,

I'm looking to purchase a NAS for my home. It will be used as a media server, nothing else. I plan on installing sickbeard, sabnzbd, couchpotato, etc. to download and organize my library.

Currently I have a PC that has an external HD attached. I have this HD shared for laptops and I have PS3 Media server for streaming to my PS3. I also have TVversity installed to stream to android devices. This set up works perfectly for my needs but needing to have the computer on is horrible for the power bill.

My main question is, since the PS3 doesn't play many files natively, PS3 Media server has to transcode files on the fly most of the time. My library, as of now, is mostly just standard definition files but I am slowly moving to replacing them with 720p MKV files. My current setup allows me to stream these to my PS3 with PS3 Media server. Will a N40L be able to transcode these files for me out of the box? Would the newer N54L be a better choice? Will I need extra ram to do this?
I've read mixed reviews on streaming to PS3 and what extras I will need.

Lastly, since I'm on a budget, if I can only get a couple of drives right now, how easy is it to add ones later on?

And what O/S would be recommended for what I wish to do?


Thanks. This is my first move into NAS/servers so hopefully I can manage it.
 

Gordab

Novice Member
Liuzhen

- I use Serviio to transcode on the fly to my Panasonic BluRay and it has no problem doing this.
- I upgraded RAM to 8GB but usage rarely tops 2GB. RAM is reasonably cheap so I'd at least get a 4GB kit
- You can download the RaidXpert utility from the HP site that lets you add drives to your array later on, though as with all raid if you want to change the raid type you'll have to break and remake the array so choose carefully when you install your drives.

Your OS choice will depend on what you're comfortable with and what OS will support what you want to do. I'm using 2008 server.
 

dave77

Well-known Member
Hey guys,

My main question is, since the PS3 doesn't play many files natively, PS3 Media server has to transcode files on the fly most of the time. My library, as of now, is mostly just standard definition files but I am slowly moving to replacing them with 720p MKV files. My current setup allows me to stream these to my PS3 with PS3 Media server. Will a N40L be able to transcode these files for me out of the box? Would the newer N54L be a better choice? Will I need extra ram to do this?
I've read mixed reviews on streaming to PS3 and what extras I will need.

You can get a cheap graphics card for about £30 with HDMI and put XBMC on the N40L, that will play everything. I use Windows Home Server 2011 which is about £35
 

Gordab

Novice Member
You can get a cheap graphics card for about £30 with HDMI and put XBMC on the N40L, that will play everything. I use Windows Home Server 2011 which is about £35
Is XBMC a DLNA server or a Media Player? It looks more like an HTPC front end than something to run on a NAS server.
 

MilhouseVH

Active Member
My main question is, since the PS3 doesn't play many files natively, PS3 Media server has to transcode files on the fly most of the time. My library, as of now, is mostly just standard definition files but I am slowly moving to replacing them with 720p MKV files.
Seriously consider replacing the PS3 (as a media player) with a Raspberry Pi running XBMC - it's a better user experience (better UI for sure) than you get on the PS3, and plays pretty much everything (including 1080p/DTS) without transcoding. There is an official Android remote control for XBMC too.

I've got both a PS3 and Raspberry Pi running the OpenELEC distribution, and the Pi wins hands down. Obviously the PS3 is still better at gaming! :)

Would the newer N54L be a better choice? Will I need extra ram to do this?
The N54L will always be a better choice than the N40L, provided you have the cash to pay the difference! :)

Though if you go the Pi route, you don't need transcoding, in which case the N40L will be just fine. I actually use another Raspberry Pi to run Sickbeard and other network services, running only a MySQL instance on my N36L (for a centralised XBMC media library). The Pi as a server is much easier to maintain than the custom plugins you normally get on NAS boxes, and it works just fine - it's even powered from the USB ports on my N36L!

Extra RAM is always a good idea, particularly on a NAS as the extra RAM will be used to buffer data which will increase your network performance. 8GB (2x4GB sticks non-ECC) is about £30, and well worth it.

And what O/S would be recommended for what I wish to do?
FreeNAS and NAS4Free both offer ZFS which is an excellent enterprise software RAID solution. unRAID offers an alternative software RAID solution. All are very capable, flexible, free and will boot from a USB memory stick (so you don't have to mess around with a dedicated OS HDD).

Lastly, since I'm on a budget, if I can only get a couple of drives right now, how easy is it to add ones later on?
With ZFS you could create a two-drive mirror, and then later add a second two drive mirror as an addition to your first two drive mirror. Though backing up your data then creating a 4-drive RAID-Z1 volume (single disk redundancy) from scratch would be my choice if you can.
 

Faufnir

Standard Member
Hi all, new here. :>

Really quick question, do I need a separate card to install one or two additional 3.5" HDDs in the 5.25" bay spot? If not what is required?

Can anyone recommend a tried and tested kit for securing 3.5" drive/s in this area?

Thanks in advance!
:<

Hope these questions haven't been answered before, if so I couldn't find them searching. Can anyone provide a post link if this is the case?

Thanks.
 

MilhouseVH

Active Member
:<

Hope these questions haven't been answered before, if so I couldn't find them searching. Can anyone provide a post link if this is the case?

Thanks.
Certainly, no additional card required for one drive. You may also be able to install two drives without an additional card, by using the external eSATA connector (and somehow routing the cable back into the Microserver, most probably through one of the expansion slots). The hacked BIOS may provide performance benefits when using the ODD and eSATA ports.
 

Gordab

Novice Member
:<

Hope these questions haven't been answered before, if so I couldn't find them searching. Can anyone provide a post link if this is the case?

Thanks.
In addition to the onboard RAID that controls the 4xHDD cage, there is one internal and one external SATA port.
You can obviously use the internal port for a HDD but if you want two more internals you'll need a SATA card or to route the external port back inside. The two extra drives will not be part of the onboard RAID array though.
 

Faufnir

Standard Member
Oh, I see, so you can't actually expand an existing raid array (via mdadm) using the additional internal sata port? Pardon my noobness. Is there any way to actually do this?
 

MilhouseVH

Active Member
Oh, I see, so you can't actually expand an existing raid array (via mdadm) using the additional internal sata port? Pardon my noobness. Is there any way to actually do this?
The built-in hardware RAID (which is what Gordab is referring to) only applies to the four main HDD, and there is no hardware RAID available on the ODD and eSATA ports.

However you can use all 6 ports in a software RAID configuration, but expanding an existing software RAID volume is not always possible and the usual approach is to destroy the array, recreate with the extra disks, and then restore your data from a backup.

That said, you mention mdadm, but don't say what level of RAID you are using. If your array is just using JBOD (which isn't technically RAID) then you should be able to add extra disks quite easily. You should also be able to add extra disks to a RAID5 array - search Google for details.
 

Faufnir

Standard Member
Thanks MilhouseVH, yup, getting really confused here.

Sorry about the lack of details, I currently have a software raid array in place (4 x 3tb seagate drives) built via mdadm in fedora 18. In light of this I should technically be able to add another 2x3tb drives to the array via internal & external connections, yes?

If so I'd appreciate some thoughts on cheap brackets for the 5.25 bay area.

Thanks! :>
 

MilhouseVH

Active Member
Sorry about the lack of details, I currently have a software raid array in place (4 x 3tb seagate drives) built via mdadm in fedora 18. In light of this I should technically be able to add another 2x3tb drives to the array via internal & external connections, yes?
This page details how to expand an mdadm RAID5 array by adding additional disks.

If so I'd appreciate some thoughts on cheap brackets for the 5.25 bay area.
A previous poster mentioned the Nexus Doubletwin (<--my link to a review, not one of those annoying auto-links) in their build, which might be what you need.
 

Rowdyates

Novice Member
I've loaded whs 2011 on my 40l, was poking around on the HP website and noticed a few drivers, do I need to install these or will windows have taken care of everything?

Thanks Rowdy
Hi any advice would be great, also looking at the drivers, if I do need to install them which version would I use as WHS2011 isn't mentioned specifically?

Thanks,

Rowdy
 

RoSi

Standard Member
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blacksheep99

Well-known Member
I've managed to get my NL40 up and running. I've seen mentions of different applications people use but which are the best ones for unattended download of torrents etc? Also which are the other cool apps I can use?

Yes, I'm a novice at all this.

Thanks

Guy
 

MilhouseVH

Active Member
I've managed to get my NL40 up and running. I've seen mentions of different applications people use but which are the best ones for unattended download of torrents etc? Also which are the other cool apps I can use?

Yes, I'm a novice at all this.

Thanks

Guy
Take a look at Transmission for torrents, and Sick Beard to automate TV show torrent searches and downloads. Or so I've been told...
 

granty_

Novice Member
Hi Guys,

Had my server come about a week or so ago but been on holiday and the components have slowly been dripping in.

The idea is to get ESXI 5.1 installed with a few VMs running (if i'd have known I needed to register and wait for confirmation I'd have done that ages ago!).

I'm going the 16gb RAM route, unfortunately the stuff I ordered from Amazon directly looks to be fake RAM. While the product code, stickers and everything all match up it appears to be 168pin and 240pin DIM (got 3 sets of teeth, not 2) despite the sticker saying 240 pin. So off thats going back to Amazon and i've ordered a different set.

Obviously I'm very keen to get started, is it possible to install WHS 2011 now and then add ESXI and some VM's later? Is there any guides?

Also, does anyone know what drivers to use for the Radeon 6450?

Finally and last but not least, I notice that the Radeon passive cooling takes up quite a bit of room. Has anyone had any success installing another card in the other slot along with the Radeon?
 

cjed

Well-known Member
Obviously I'm very keen to get started, is it possible to install WHS 2011 now and then add ESXI and some VM's later? Is there any guides?
It's not possible to install ESXi alongside another OS (dual boot). It might be possible by manually switching the boot drive (if the BIOS/hardware allows it). Or by installing ESXi onto a USB stick and booting that when required. However, it's usually best to dedicate a machine to running ESXi.

Be aware that you will need another PC to run the ESXi GUI tools (VSphere) to create/manage VMs.


Finally and last but not least, I notice that the Radeon passive cooling takes up quite a bit of room. Has anyone had any success installing another card in the other slot along with the Radeon?
On most LP PCIe graphics cards the heatsink is towards the case when installed, this means putting another card in would not be a problem. However, it does restrict the graphics cards that will fit, too large a heatsink will foul the case.
 

cjed

Well-known Member
There's a lot of postings about adding a graphics card to an N40L, so here's some photos to show where it goes. The card I'm putting in is an ATI Radeon HD5450 1GB card with DVI and HDMI. This is a pretty basic card as the reasons for adding it were to allow an HDMI connection and run an audio over HDMI driver on the WHS2011 system on the N40L. I've no intention of running 3D games on the N40L.

Any PCIe graphics card you add to the N40L has to be low profile (LP), and I preferred one with passive cooling (more on power consumption and running temperature of the card later). As always cost is important so the card was around the cheapest available, and here's the link.

To add any PCIe card to the N40L you need to completely remove the motherboard, which means all the cables. You'll also need to remove the PCIe slot blanking plate(s) (unclip the cover, unscrew an remove the plate(s)). Keep hold of the screw, you'll need it to secure the card when it's fitted.

Here are the images showing the fitting, the first shows the motherboard removed and the HD5450 fitted (I also have a USB 3.0 PCIe card in the N40L). Note the relatively low height of the heatsink on the card. This has to fit down the side of the case as you push the motherboard back in.

The second photo shows the card tunnel under the PSU, this gives an idea of the clearance available for graphics cards. The third and fourth photos show the end plate of the graphics card with DVI and HDMI connectors, and a view into the N40L from the front, where you can see the end of the HD5450 card and heatsink. Note the extra power connector that provides power for the USB 3.0 card I have in there.

This N40L is running WHS 2011 on a 2.5" laptop drive mounted in the optical bay. In addition it has 4 x 2TB disks in the 4 drive bays, as a software RAID 5 array. I've set the disks to power down after 15 minutes (and the display to turn off).

Before adding the HD5450 and USB 3.0 cards, the system took around 29W when idle (disks spun down). With the two PCIe cards added that's now gone up to just over 33W. Turning on the display (but still idle) puts on another 2W, logging in (disks still spun down, Task manager running showing 0% CPU) pushes it to just over 38W.

When displaying a 1680 x 1050 desktop the HD5450 is showing a GPU core temperature of 49 C (the Turion CPU cores are at 34 C, 0% CPU).







 

Simonhi99

Novice Member
There's a lot of postings about adding a graphics card to an N40L, so here's some photos to show where it goes. The card I'm putting in is an ATI Radeon HD5450 1GB card with DVI and HDMI. This is a pretty basic card as the reasons for adding it were to allow an HDMI connection and run an audio over HDMI driver on the WHS2011 system on the N40L. I've no intention of running 3D games on the N40L.
Don't you need a more powerful PSU for the HD5450?
 
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