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HP ML10 v2: set the correct boot order for HDD

Occasional Contributor

HP ML10 v2: set the correct boot order for HDD


I'm a new owner of a HP ML10 v2 (G3240).

I set in the bios the sata controller on this "ENABLE SATA AHCI SUPPORT".

I also installed 3 HDD:

port 1: 1Tb HDD (the one sold with the server, empty)

port 2: 1,5Tb HDD (not empty)

port 5: 30Gb SSD (this is placed in a ODD bay and connected to the first SATA port free in the motherboard).

Today I have installed ESXi 6 (with the HP custom image) in the SSD drive: all was fine, but the system can not boot from the SSD. If I disconnect the 2 HDD on port 1 and 2, ESXi can boot normally.

It seems to me that the system test if the first HDD drive is bootable and, if not, it goes forward.

How can I set the system to boot from SSD?

Thanks for attention.

New Member

Re: HP ML10 v2: set the correct boot order for HDD

I'm bumping this because I'm in a similar situation.  I read that only port 1 and 2 support 6 gb/s, I want my OS drive to be on lower port #6.  How can I boot from 6 instead of 1.

Tim Poulter

Re: HP ML10 v2: set the correct boot order for HDD

If you start the server and hit the F11 Boot menu, does it show up in the list and then does it boot?

If it does, then what you may need to do is go into the System Utilities (F9) and go into the RSBU and under the Boot Options

Change the boot order as it may be only looking at the first SATA pors instead of looking at all of them

Jimmy Vance

Re: HP ML10 v2: set the correct boot order for HDD

You cannot specify what SATA port to boot from. The system looks at the ports in order and will attempt to boot from the first one with a hard drive attached.

No support by private messages. Please ask the forum! 
Occasional Collector

Re: HP ML10 v2: set the correct boot order for HDD

Did you ever determine if it is possible to select the boot drive? I'm trying to find out if I can use a PCIe SSD and I'm wondering if it is limited to only booting from the SATA connectors.

New Member

Re: HP ML10 v2: set the correct boot order for HDD

Just providing an update here, since I had the same problem, and manageed to find a solution.

In the BIOS, I set the controller type to RAID.

I then booted the Offline HP SSA tool (google "offline hp ssa" for the link.  Click the 'revision history' tab to make sure you have the latest version.  It was 2.60 for me.)

I created a single logical disk, of type RAID0, and (very important) only selected the one boot drive I wanted to use (in my case the drive on port5).  This did not wipe the data for the disk for me.  I left my other drives unallocated.

In the controller setup section within HP SSA, I then set the boot option to be primary for the logical disk I just created.

That was it.  Once I restarted, my disk in port 5 was booted, and ports 1 through 4 were presented to the OS (Ubuntu) without any issue.

Occasional Advisor

Re: HP ML10 v2: set the correct boot order for HDD

I'll have to try this method, but it sounds like a big work-around to get to boot from a port 5 connected SATA drive? Coming from the (older) HP N54L, booting from any of the connected SATA (or RAID) drives seemed more easy to specify.

There is no other firmware available that gives more flexibility around choosing which drive to boot from, instead of just going for the first drive found (which seems a bit simple, but possibly perfectly sensible with business environments that would run fully RAID redundant system and data disks)...

Occasional Advisor

Re: HP ML10 v2: set the correct boot order for HDD

After struggling for two days, I can confirm the above is the (only?) way to install an OS on SATA port 5 or 6, i.e. the onboard ports, not the 4x SAS connected cable for the 4x data disks on port 1-4.

Make sure to enable the B120 RAID controller. Download HP SSA on a DVD or USB, USB connected it to the HP ML10 v2, boot into SSA to configure a RAID0 logical device with the only port 5 connected INTEL SSD. Before leaving SSA, select the logical device as a bootable device, and after that an OS (CentOS 7.3 1611 Minimal) installs smoothly onto the INTEL SSD. I chose not to have a redundant system disk, but you can RAID1 equal disks on port 5+6.

Leave the data disks (recognised by SSA) as undefined.

The strange thing is, that after the install of the OS, on rebooting, the logical device disappears. I can only assume that this is because the logical device information is probably written on the SSD somewhere, and overwritten by the installation of the OS. Luckily enough, starting SSA again, and redoing the logical device and bootable option, the system reboots just fine into the previously installed OS. I.e. the OS is not impacted by the recreation of the Logical Device.

I assume the same will work for any other OS onto either a port 5 or 6 connected SATA drive.

Coming from a Proliant HP N54L, the process seems a bit over complicated. Shouldn't be that hard for HP to put an option in the BIOS that allows you to select a bootable drive other than the first one found (typically one of the disks in ports 1-4). I guess corporate users will not find it a problem, but considering the price point of the ML10 v2, you would assume it is targeted at advanced home users or small businesses. Making the installation process more user friendly is a must.


Can't wait for my additional 12GB of Crucial (ECC) memory to arrive, and then test out the performance of the Pentium CPU with two VMs (in KVM) to run on the core CentOS 7 installation, and see if a XEON is really needed or not. I've also added an AMD graphics card (for no particular reason other than to try as I had it lying around). And the Startech PEXSAT34SFF is also working flawlessly enabling another 4x 2.5" SATA drives in a 5.25" ICY-DOCK ExpressCage. The only problem with that is cabling the SAS-4xSATA cable back from the ICY-DOCK into the PCI connected RAID card, with the transparent plastic air-flow control case within the ML10 v2. I might just have to cut a whole into it..

It is a server that runs as my home NAS with Samba, Plex Media Server for media content, TimeMachine (through netatalk & afpd) for the Mac backups, and a Windows 10 VM to run an isolated NordVPN proxy. Next challenge, is to bond the NICs and aggregate them into my Netgear smart switch, and see if we can speed up files tranfer in and out of the Samba server.

New Member

Re: HP ML10 v2: set the correct boot order for HDD

I've had the same problem and frustration with the HP BIOS not permitting to select which port to use for BOOT.

I also have had a problem where the offline SSA utiltity live CD failed to boot. It dumps me out at a command prompt. Not sure why. I will attempt downloading it again, maybe my download was correupted or something.

It has been a terrible user experience trying to get this working. It really should be a simple setting in the RBSU to select which drive to use for booting.

Occasional Advisor

Re: HP ML10 v2: set the correct boot order for HDD

an alternative and more foolproof manner to boot from an SSD, is to reroute the cables. you possibly want to purchase some SATA extension cables. I have two SSDs of my SATA port 1 and 2, and have ports 3+4 and 5+6 connected to my 3.5" mechanical storage drives in the bay. set the controller type to AHCI and they'll be 6 independent drives visible to the OS (sd[a-f] in Linux). it will boot perfectly fine from the first drive sda.