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Good Cheap Server - HP Proliant Microserver 4 BAY - OWNERS THREAD

Discussion in 'Servers and Enterprise Solutions' started by dragonuk, Dec 10, 2010.

  1. spanglemaker

    Associate

    Joined: Feb 8, 2011

    Posts: 12

    Excellent, look forward to hearing how it goes.

    What flavour of XBMC are you going to install? I have next to no Linux experience so was going to go for a live XBMC install - for easiest install and lowest resource usage (I've just got the standard 1GB ram)

    At the moment I've got Vortexbox installed on the HP, it's great for auto ripping CDs and DVDs - ideally I'd like to keep it alongside XBMC. Anyone got any ideas on how they might co-exist?
     
  2. marcus2704

    Gangster

    Joined: Aug 7, 2005

    Posts: 357

    I am using my Microserver (with 4x 2TB in a Freenas ZFS RaidZ array) as a NAS serving media around my house. I took 6 1TB drives out of my HTPC, and installed XBMC (Ive been using this for years, I adore it) onto USB using the Live CD, and set up my network targets within XBMC. Works perfectly so far, plus my media is no longer on raw disks and has redundancy now. Im really happy with the Microserver.

    I did slice a portion of the storage off with the intention of using it as an ESXi ISCSI target for VMWare Virtual Machine files, however had nightmare issues with the NIC resetting itself within Freenas. I still find that where there is considerable load on the NIC (for instance accessing two seperate HD MKV files) it seems to give up. This is a shame, I was hoping to move my VMs from my Proliant ML115 (then running it diskless) onto the Microserver as well but perhaps its pushing it a bit too far :)
     
  3. MasterPlan1

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Oct 28, 2002

    Posts: 1,805

    Location: SE London

    FYI, this offer is now open again until the 28th, I just checked out the server on a competitors website as I was saying to my boss we should just buy one at the regular rate, and it's still there, with the same ol' cashback offer. :)
     
  4. normski_

    Gangster

    Joined: Dec 1, 2006

    Posts: 227

    Has anyone tried the WHS 2011 RC yet on the microserver without setting it up for an unattended install?

    I see on Microsoft Connect they are suggesting they have adjusted the 1.4Gz processor limit flexibility following complaints about the AMD Neo being excluded but more than powerful enough to run it.
     
  5. Berwhale

    Associate

    Joined: Jan 10, 2011

    Posts: 19

    I've tried to install SBS 2011 Essentials RC (which shares the same platform as WHS 2011 and Storage Server 2008 R2 Essentals) however, the setup fails, I don't get any errors, the screen just hangs, but I was able to reboot, get the logs and register a bug on MS Connect.
     
  6. Nikumba

    Mobster

    Joined: Dec 4, 2002

    Posts: 3,662

    Location: Bourne, Lincs

    Sounds like the famous 64bit hanging bug from Win7

    On some hardware configurations if you have any USB devices plugged in, that includes keyboards, boot sticks it will go through its first reboot then sit on the completing setup screen. i have it with my main PC when I have to rebuild it, so as its doing its first reboot i unplug the usb keyboard and usb stick with the win7 install on.

    I know its Win7 but might be the same thing

    Kimbie
     
  7. Berwhale

    Associate

    Joined: Jan 10, 2011

    Posts: 19

    Win2K8 R2 Enterprise installs fine on it's own and as the 1st part of the SBS install. It's the bit where the SBS installer tries to setup roles, accounts, policies, etc. where it falls over.

    My server has 4GB of RAM and meets the minimum specs: http://www.microsoft.com/sbs/en/us/system-requirements.aspx

    Note that the specs were changed to include support for the AMD Neo CPU in the Microserver, the same is true for WHS 2011.
     
  8. bremen1874

    Capodecina

    Joined: Oct 20, 2008

    Posts: 11,098

    It's probably not relevant, but I installed SBS 2011 Standard (just to have a look at) without any problems. I’m running with 8GB of memory and the original 160GB drive. No optical drive available so it was installed from a USB key.

    I can remember problems with earlier versions of SBS if you didn't have the network port connected to something. I've certainly had problems with SBS 2008 machines if they were completely disconnected from the network.
     
  9. marcus2704

    Gangster

    Joined: Aug 7, 2005

    Posts: 357

    I was unable to set this up as a Domain Controller using Windows Server 2008 R2, it would hang for hours at DCPromo. Eventually after a reboot, all you would get beyond POST is a blue screen and cursor. Ive read that others are reporting similar trying to do the same.
     
  10. smargh

    Associate

    Joined: Dec 29, 2010

    Posts: 74

    You cannot use the SATA (ODD) port on the motherboard if you need to disable write caching. For any disk which stores the AD database, the OS will force the write cache to be disabled, which causes this freeze. You can dupliate your problem by going into the properties of the disk and disabling the write cache.

    http://forums.overclockers.co.uk/showpost.php?p=18111631&postcount=283

    Unless anyone knows of a workaround, you must either use the drive bays for the OS, or use an extra SATA PCIe card. A BIOS upgrade does not fix this, nor do driver updates or registry fixes - I tried several things when I encountered this problem. Alternatively, store the AD database elsewhere, perhaps a USB stick if you're prepared to risk that.
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2011
  11. Captain Fizz

    Mobster

    Joined: Oct 30, 2002

    Posts: 4,058

    Location: Inverness (UK)

    Lo folks...
    Was looking at moving my PERC 5/i into another box and this caught my eye.

    So mainly 2 questions to those that have them (searching this thread / google didn't come up with anyone wanting to shove a PERC in them)
    -Is there enough room for a full height PCIe card in the 16x slot? (Namely a PERC 5/i)
    -Any way of plugging in the 4 x HDD backplane into a PERC?

    I'm not adverse to some dremelling :) Or even splicing of cables if it comes to that.
     
  12. marcus2704

    Gangster

    Joined: Aug 7, 2005

    Posts: 357

    Perfect, thanks so much for the explanation, it was driving me crazy for a while there.
     
  13. Penguin

    Gangster

    Joined: Aug 3, 2005

    Posts: 178

    Location: somewhere in the middle

    I did this at the weekend needed to use the Win 7 DVD to USB tool as I don't have any dual layer DVD's & it installed fine :)

    I've upgraded the RAM to 4GB though as WHS 2011 needs 2GB.

    Indecently when I tried installing in a VM with less than 2GB of RAM the installer mentioned that the CPU needed to be 1.3 or greater for it to install along with the 2GB RAM & HD Size. So I don't know if this will change with RTM or the release notes just need changing :)
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2011
  14. Berwhale

    Associate

    Joined: Jan 10, 2011

    Posts: 19

    Thanks, I also found some hints elsewhere that DCPromo can be an issue with the install. I'll try again with the drive in the standard bay - hopefully I can move it back to the ODD bay/controller once the system is up an running. I really want really want to keep the drive bays available for data drives.

    *** Update *** The install works now! I haven't tried moving the system disk back to the ODD port yet - I think i'll have a play with SBS first :)
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2011
  15. Berwhale

    Associate

    Joined: Jan 10, 2011

    Posts: 19

    I looked into this myself. There's only room for LP cards, the PSU sits above the PCI-e slots. You need something like an HP P212 that is LP and has an SFF-8087 SAS connector to use the standard cabling (another, cheaper, option is the LSI Logic MegaRAID 8204ELP)

    I have Highpoint RocketRAID that fits in the box nicely, but I couldn't find a simple way to connect it's SATA ports to the fan-out cable connector (SFF-8087).

    You can remove the standard cable from the backplane, but there's not a lot of room to plug normal SATA cables in and I don't want to loose the ability to easily remove the drives.
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2011
  16. Berwhale

    Associate

    Joined: Jan 10, 2011

    Posts: 19

    Thanks, the network is connected - I checked the logs and several updates are installed from the net before the install hangs.
     
  17. Captain Fizz

    Mobster

    Joined: Oct 30, 2002

    Posts: 4,058

    Location: Inverness (UK)

    Bah - Cheers for the advise tho. :)

    Just a shame as I already have the PERC and this box looked nice & neat.
    (Would also compliment the Lian-Li!)

    Will look for benchies/reviews of the 8204 vs the PERC as more cash for less performance wouldn't make me that happy.
     
  18. Sh4rkie

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Mar 26, 2007

    Posts: 1,434

    Replacing the back plate cables can be done if you get creative. I've used a P400 card and needed to 'pinch' together the metal holding in the old SFF8484 mounts to acommodate the generic Chinese cables i bought. Then cover the rear in Araldite instant clear so they wouldn't budge when swapping the caddies out. Moved the 120mm fan from inside the case to the outside which also allows more room to work behind the backplate for routing cables etc.

    The p400 isn't screwed into the riser at the rear because the two lots of cables on the rear of the card (SFF8482) foul the drive bays so left it 'loose' rather than twist the pcb.

    650 - 700mb/s raid 5 (4 drives + hot spare)
    100 - 117mb/s across the lan :)
     
  19. psprigs

    Associate

    Joined: Sep 13, 2010

    Posts: 29

    RAM just isnt happening...

    I have my server, working fine at the moment with the original 1gb in.. installation of win 2008r2, win7 ultimate and xp all installed and works fine, (installed each at a time on seperate OS drives so can swap OS to play with)

    Now when i bought it i ordered 4gb non ecc memory 2x2gb sticks (ddr3 pc1333c 2g), removed the 1gb stick put these in and restarted, all 3 OS's on seperate drives wouldnt book past the loading windows part or 4 coloured flag, it would freeze and reboot. Bit weird that all three would do that..

    So i bought some more sticks 2x2gb 4gb ocz ddr3 low sticks and the same again..

    Ive loaded optimal defaults in the bios.. Ive tried reinstalling the OS's with the ram in and wont get to the setup, gets stuck on same place.

    The only time all installs or running OS's work is when i put the 1gb back in, i even tried it with one ecc 1gb stick and one of the non ecc sticks and still the same..

    Whats wrong here? putting 2 ocz sticks or the other pair i have and rebooting in the real world shouldnt really through up this... so now i got 8gb of ddr3 memory but using the original 1gb hp one.
     
  20. psprigs

    Associate

    Joined: Sep 13, 2010

    Posts: 29

    just another note, i get a BSOD sometimes saying the bios is not acpi compliant... ive google it and many sites say its rare on new machines for it not to be compliant and most of the time it isnt really the problem... some sites say its ram, and as it happens only when i change the ram then that is prob what it is. when changing back it works fine.