Author Topic: My HP Microserver Build  (Read 19058 times)

Offline m0t0k0

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My HP Microserver Build
« on: February 08, 2012, 01:18:20 pm »
Due to the recent offer at ebuyer for the HP ProLaint Microserver for only £129.99 after cash back I was finally able to convince the misses to let me buy my own server.

This is my journey to server nirvana



As you can see it is quite small and not bad looking, even if it’s going to live in the cupboard

It has 4 HDD bays at the front but also has an e-SATA port and extra SATA header on the mobo bringing its total internal HDD support to 6 drives
You can also see on the door there are spare screws and a torx bit allen key all contained and easy to access


It comes supplied with this HDD and 1GB of EEC memory, both of which are a waste of space and it could retail without these but a little cheaper.


The whole top panel comes off to allow access to the ODD bay which will eventually hold the two drives which don’t fit in the slide out bays.


Looking inside you can see the Mini SAS cable which leads to the 4 SATA sockets on the backplane
A proper internal USB header to take a memory stick with unRAID on it or similar and the extra internal SATA socket which can be used to serve an extra HDD in the ODD bay


To get the most out of this little server the internal and external SATA sockets have to be used to provide 2 extra HDDs data connection when seated  in the ODD bay.
Unfortunately by default some of the SATA sockets are set to run in IDE mode and a hacked BIOS is needed to unleash the full AHCI mode. Just look on google there are many guide and BIOS files available
WHS 2011
Transparent RAID

Offline m0t0k0

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Re: My HP Microserver Build
« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2012, 01:19:52 pm »
If you slide the board out (to do this you will need to disconnect the Mini SAS cable for which you will need a jewellers screw driver as it is very stubborn) you will see it comes with.
Four PCIe slots a x1, x4 and x16 unfortunately the x1 and x4 are right next to each other. This allows you to use HPs KVM hardware but means in reality we are limited to  x16 and a x1 slot

As I have been a good little boy Santa bought me just what I wanted


Mmmmmm BlackGold 3650 quad DVB-t2 card so now I record 4 HD streams of HD rubbish!

Some users have stated the fan is too loud (I think they are using it as a HTPC) but if you find the same then with the help of this guide the fan can be swapped! HP Proliant MicroServer | silentpcreview.com
IT HAS A NON STANDARS PIN LAYOUT

These are the drives which are going into the machine for now as HDD prices are just silly

We have a 2TB Hitachi 1TB Samsung and 250GB drive which came with the microserver all of these will be for data and the OS will be dumped on some generic 2.5” drive I have somewhere

I will be using a copy of WHS 2011 as it is just so cheap but also integrates very well as I have a almost completely windows centric network. It will back up my local PCs and even allow remote web access of my files.
In fact I still have not bought my copy of this yet as I just installed a copy from usenet and keep resetting the trial period like you can in W7 so I have 120 of use before I have to buy a copy.

WHS Install Guide
You can find an install guide here http://www.informationweek.com/byte/...p-os/231000924
And a video on how to setup user access to you server here Windows Home Server 2011 - First Time Setup of the Connector, Launchpad and Backup      - YouTube

Next up are some of my favourite programs I have ever used

Using the programs below you will be able to autonomously download music, movies and TV series. The content will then be unpacked mete data added and place into the predefined folders of your choice

You will need a UseNet provider which can be had for less than a tenner  a month for unlimited downloads a good guide to UseNet can be found here
All information about binary newsgroups and usenet | Binaries4all Usenet Tutorials

•   SABnzbd+ SABnzbd.org : Home of SABnzbd+, the Full-Auto Newsreader
a Open Source Binary Newsreader written in Python.
It's totally free, incredibly easy to use, and works practically everywhere.
SABnzbd makes Usenet as simple and streamlined as possible by automating everything we can. All you have to do is add an .nzb. SABnzbd takes over from there, where it will be automatically downloaded, verified, repaired, extracted and filed away with zero human interaction.
 (UseNet is a bit like torrent but it will max your internet connection and you don’t have to seed)

•   SickBeard Sick Beard - Internet PVR for your TV Shows
The ultimate PVR application that downloads and manages your TV shows
Sick Beard is a PVR for newsgroup users (with limited torrent support). It watches for new episodes of your favorite shows and when they are posted it downloads them, sorts and renames them, and optionally generates metadata for them. It currently supports NZBs.org, NZBMatrix, NZBs'R'Us, Newzbin, Womble's Index, NZB.su, TVTorrents and EZRSS and retrieves show information from theTVDB.com and TVRage.com.

Here is a good guide for SickBeard with explination of how to setup post processing
How-To Turn Your Computer into a Supercharged TiVo with Sick Beard - How-To Geek

•   CouchPotatoApp CouchPotatoApp.com
CouchPotato is an automatic NZB and torrent downloader. You can keep a "movies I want"-list and it will search for NZBs/torrents of these movies every X hours. Once a movie is found, it will send it to SABnzbd or download the .nzb or .torrent to a specified directory.

Setting up CouchPotato can be quite daunting but there is a good guide found here
Couch Potato Install, Setup, & Configuration Guide for Ubuntu & Linux Mint! : Ainer.org — Counter-technology Guides, Information, & News! Featuring Linux Mint & Ubuntu, SABnzbd+ & Sick Beard, Couch Potato & Headphones, XBMC & more!
It is written on a Linux machine so the install is different but the configuration is very helpful

•   Headphones  https://github.com/rembo10/headphones/wiki
Headphones is a SABnzbd add-on that automates your music downloading. It's written in Python so it works on pretty much all systems, and it's easy to setup and configure.
You can import all your favourite artists from iTunes, and keep an eye out for any new albums they might be releasing.
It can be configured to work with a few search providers, including NZBMatrix, NZBs.org and Newznab servers. Just enter your account details and you're ready to go.

Headphones requires Python to be installed to work you will be wanting the Python 2.7.2 Windows Installer which can be found here Download Python

Accessing your programs WebUI over a network
All of the above programs can be administered over you local network via a web browser.

I won’t go into specifics as the wiki pages of each are very helpfull but there are a couple of things to remember
•   Each program will be assigned a port for access usually 8080 or 8081 each program needs a unique port. If you try to start a program on a port which is already in use it will not start. Please read the relent wiki for help with this
•   Each program needs to be allowed through the firewall on the local machine (your server)
Use this guide if you don’t know how to allow a program through the firewall
Windows Firewall - Add or Remove an Exception - Windows 7 Forums

How to get you programs to auto start at boot up
Now your biggest problem with WHS is the fact that it is headless so when you switch on the server no users get logged in. This means that any programs set to start automatically will not start up.
But there is an easy way to get around this

1.   Remote Desktop into your server
•   On a client PC Click start and type “remote desktop connection”  click enter
•   Enter the server name or IP address
•   Enter Administrator as the user
•   And the password for the servers administrator account (You entered this when you installed WHS)

2.   Install the programs you require on the server

3.   Click start Administrative Tools  Task Scheduler
You will be greeted with this screen


4.   Click “Create New Task”  the following pics will show you how to set SABnzbd+ to auto start but it can be applied to any of the programs





WHS 2011
Transparent RAID

Offline m0t0k0

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Re: My HP Microserver Build
« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2012, 01:20:17 pm »
reserved
WHS 2011
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Offline Brahim

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Re: My HP Microserver Build
« Reply #3 on: February 16, 2012, 02:10:29 pm »
Now that I see the inside, I have to say that is a pretty sweet box.
I can even see how more drives can be fitted in a with a few mods.
The limiting factor is going to be the PSU.

Do you have kill-a-watt figures on the system? Idle? Boot? Load?

Offline m0t0k0

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Re: My HP Microserver Build
« Reply #4 on: February 16, 2012, 03:34:33 pm »

Unfortunately I don't have a kill-a-watt but I cant imagine it draws much I just leave it on all the time

As for drives I reckon
4 in hot swap bays
two in odd bays connected to a 2 port sata card
2.5" OS drive Velcro it anywhere it will go plugged into the spare sata port on the board
leaves 1 x esata for an expansion box

so 6 x 2TB + any expansion
WHS 2011
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Offline NLS

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Re: My HP Microserver Build
« Reply #5 on: February 16, 2012, 03:45:22 pm »
Sweet. I wonder about the thermal properties of the whole thing if you fill it up with (spinning) disks.

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Offline m0t0k0

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Re: My HP Microserver Build
« Reply #6 on: February 16, 2012, 03:49:22 pm »

Yea could get pretty toasty but the fan moves quite a bit of air and I would have no problems swapping it out for a higher rated one. From what I have read drives like to be slightly on the warm side anyway?

Should not worry too much as there is no way I can afford to fill it up anyway!

Sux a bit bacause I have never experienced cruise control or any other FlexRAID feature other than pooling :(
WHS 2011
Transparent RAID

Offline Monkeypox

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Re: My HP Microserver Build
« Reply #7 on: March 18, 2012, 07:26:21 pm »
When you first install Sab, it should give you the option to load on startup. Shouldn't need to use the task schedule unless you also use SickBeard.

Offline m0t0k0

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Re: My HP Microserver Build
« Reply #8 on: March 22, 2012, 03:30:26 am »

On most OSes you would be correct but unfortunately as a server OS is run headless the desktop is never loaded unless you physically log on or remote into the machine. This would have to be done after every reboot to get Sab running

But if you schedule it you have the choose to start it running with having a user logged in. Its also a lot easier than setting it up as a service (but this would also solve the problem)
WHS 2011
Transparent RAID

Offline tonym

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Re: My HP Microserver Build
« Reply #9 on: March 22, 2012, 05:25:19 am »
I also own a couple of these, the earlier N36L model (@m0t0k0, I assume yours is the N40L). My second is still in the box though; no sooner had it arrived than the floods in Malaysia made HDDs prohibitively expensive  :-\

I have a few questions...

I'd like to mount a 6th disk internally, and so am interested in your ODD mounting kit. Given that you bought your MicroServer from eBuyer (as did I), I assume that you are UK based. Where did you buy it? Not been able to find this in stock anywhere.

Mine only has a 200W PSU. I'm concerned about whether this would be up to 6 disks (I use a mix of WD Caviar Green and Seagate Barracuda Green). Thermal is not a problem; the fan is brilliant.

I re-used an old XP licence; to install you have to set the BIOS from AHCI to IDE. I've not yet had any success at re-enabling AHCI post install. It is apparently possible. There is also a modified BIOS around to up the default speed for the ODD (which was intended primarily for a CD/DVD drive). Have you considered this (see AVforums or Google  TheBay MicroServer BIOS).

Finally has anyone found a supplier for additional/spare HDD carriers - a set of four from the only supplier I've found (on eBay) would actually cost more than a new MicroServer. And we're only talking about a pieces of plastic!

I would be interested to hear other's experiences.

Offline nymrod

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Re: My HP Microserver Build
« Reply #10 on: March 22, 2012, 05:52:50 am »
Great machine!!! I ordered mine one week ago and I LOVE IT.  ;D

I'm from spain and here I got an offer of 160€ for an N40L fitted with 4GB (on one module) and DVD-Writer, no HDD included in this version.

I put in it two WD20EARS, at full load consumes around 40W and the best of all it that's almost dead silent. I rerouted the backplane power cables using the same space for the backplane data cables and planning to put in it up to seven HDDs using a Nexus Double Twin and a controller card.

As far as I know, with the latest bios from HP is not necessary to use a modded bios, but you could use a modded one for fun. I'm using original HP bios and getting correct performance from all sata ports including the ODD sata port and esata port.

Offline m0t0k0

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Re: My HP Microserver Build
« Reply #11 on: March 22, 2012, 08:08:44 am »
I'd like to mount a 6th disk internally, and so am interested in your ODD mounting kit. Given that you bought your MicroServer from eBuyer (as did I), I assume that you are UK based. Where did you buy it? Not been able to find this in stock anywhere.

Ah this would be because it does not exist as a product it just some bits I cobbled together to fit a 2.5" drive in a 5.25" bay. Its just 4 rubber HDD silencers and a 3.52 to 2.5" adapter

(@m0t0k0, I assume yours is the N40L)

Na mine is the old one too I just link to the new one as they are almost identical and the old one is discontinued

Mine only has a 200W PSU. I'm concerned about whether this would be up to 6 disks (I use a mix of WD Caviar Green and Seagate Barracuda Green). Thermal is not a problem; the fan is brilliant.

nymrod says he is drawing 40W with two drives. I would peg each additional drive as 10W so it should be more than happy!

I re-used an old XP licence; to install you have to set the BIOS from AHCI to IDE. I've not yet had any success at re-enabling AHCI post install. It is apparently possible.

Yes there are ways but you have to edit the registry it think. But can't you just press F6 when prompted at XP install and the load AHCI drivers? This would allow you to install in AHCI mode

There is also a modified BIOS around to up the default speed for the ODD (which was intended primarily for a CD/DVD drive). Have you considered this (see AVforums or Google  TheBay MicroServer BIOS).

Yes I'm running the original Russian modded BIOS as I flashed it a long time ago. It allows the extra sata port to work in AHCI (full SATA transfer speeds) mode and not just IDE speeds. Thing is if you stuck in IDE mode bacause of XP then yu will not see any speed increase from flashing.

But if you can sort you XP install (or buy WHS 2011 as it only costs £40 and has none of these problems) then it is easy to de with the HP flashing tool and its well worth it in my opinion.

Finally has anyone found a supplier for additional/spare HDD carriers - a set of four from the only supplier I've found (on eBay) would actually cost more than a new MicroServer. And we're only talking about a pieces of plastic!

I would be interested to hear other's experiences.

Have not been concerned with this to be honest. Just be careful when the drives are out of the cage! (But I'm sure you will not leave them laying around anyway so there is little to no risk)

WHS 2011
Transparent RAID

Offline tonym

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Re: My HP Microserver Build
« Reply #12 on: March 22, 2012, 11:41:59 am »
As far as I know, with the latest bios from HP is not necessary to use a modded bios, but you could use a modded one for fun. I'm using original HP bios and getting correct performance from all sata ports including the ODD sata port and esata port.

A few month's ago, I flashed mine using the latest official HP BIOS (ver 041 2011.07.29 25 Aug 2011); haven't noticed any difference with the ODD drive, but then this only holds my OS and what with 4GB RAM (yes I know some is waste 'cause I'm only 32bit XP) I don't suppose it gets much use. I'll try some performance benchmarks somtime. The latest TheBay custom BIOS is based on this; the Russian copy pre-dates the latest HP copy; it's actual base is unknown.

Yes there are ways but you have to edit the registry it think. But can't you just press F6 when prompted at XP install and the load AHCI drivers? This would allow you to install in AHCI mode

F6 doesn't work if installing from USB drive. I've also tried slip-streaming the driver into my XP install; I couldn't get this to work either.

nymrod says he is drawing 40W with two drives. I would peg each additional drive as 10W so it should be more than happy!

I missed this post; good news.

Thanks everyone for the feedback

Offline gus84

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Re: My HP Microserver Build
« Reply #13 on: November 10, 2012, 04:52:58 pm »
Hi guys,

I've got an HP NL40 with 8Go ram and I've got a question about network performance when using flexraid.

My rig:
-HP NL40 with 8Go RAM
-10/100/1000 dlink switch and good cable
-WHS2011 installed on the original 250Go drive
-3x250Go in real time RAID with the latest flexraid (trial)
-I'm on a fresh install and I've read all the possible tutorial (like "do and dont in RT")

I am now copying 180Go of music from a PC of my network to the flexraid pool, and I only got a 28Mo/s transfert rate with a 80% CPU use.
When I copy the same thing to the D/: disk (witch is not in the pool) I've got a 70Mo/s transfert rate and a 60% CPU use.

Is that normal?
those are the performance I can wait from flexraid? or do I have a problem in my config?

Offline m0t0k0

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Re: My HP Microserver Build
« Reply #14 on: November 12, 2012, 02:09:29 am »

I have never run RT so I don't have any experience but I would think this is where you slow down is coming from
The 70MB/s your getting for a copy to a non pooled drive is about what I would expect

Not sure how you can improve your RT speeds as it is going to be CPU limited but I did see something about changing the number of threads FlexRAID uses which may help?
WHS 2011
Transparent RAID