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Microserver SATA

_Air_
Occasional Advisor

Microserver SATA

I am using an HP Proliant Microserver N36L in a small business, with Windows 2008 R2 Foundation. It has 2x250GB drives in a RAID 1 array. These are the original HP SATA 3G drives.

I have added two new 1 Tb SATA 6G drives, part HP 659337-B21. They are seen in the BIOS at POST, but the AMD embedded SATA RAID Controller does not see them. Is that because they are 6G drives? Is there an update to the firmware for the embedded array controller? 

Any ideas on adding new drives?

Thanks

19 REPLIES
Jimmy Vance
HPE Pro

Re: Microserver SATA

Depending on how old the firmware is, you  probably need to update the chipset (system ROM) firmware to see the larger capacity drives. 6G drives should operate at 3G speeds when that is all the controller supports




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_Air_
Occasional Advisor

Re: Microserver SATA

Thanks for the reply.

I don't see any firmware for the AMD RAID Controller. I see Chipset drivers, but those are for Windows to drive the hardware, not firmware updates.

My thought was that it might require a firmware update, but I don't see one available.

I know the drives will operate at 3G, but I am hoping the controller will at least see them.

Jimmy Vance
HPE Pro

Re: Microserver SATA

The controller is part of the chipset, so any update would be in the latest system ROM




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_Air_
Occasional Advisor

Re: Microserver SATA

I don't see a System ROM update available. There's a BIOS update, but no other firmware.

Jimmy Vance
HPE Pro

Re: Microserver SATA

BIOS = System ROM




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_Air_
Occasional Advisor

Re: Microserver SATA

Thanks for that.

Do you know if the BIOS update will solve it, or just might solve it? I would have expected the new drives to be backwards compatible with the older controller.

I did try the BIOS update, but the instructions are not very clear. When you run HPQUSB.EXE it creates a bootable USB, but I don't see the BIOS update on it. Its not clear from the instructions if you need to copy the Flat Files or not. When I just followed the instructions the server booted to the USB drive, but it came up with "No command found" or something like that. It sat at the C:\> prompt but clearly was not going to do anything.

 

Thanks

Jimmy Vance
HPE Pro

Re: Microserver SATA

No I don't know for certain updating the BIOS will resolve your issue.  I know in other cases regarding large capacity drives a firmware update was required before the system would recognize the larger drives. When the N36L was first relased, I'm not sure 1TB drives were available.




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Torsten.
Acclaimed Contributor

Re: Microserver SATA

According to the notes you should get the latest driver directly from AMD:

 

http://h20564.www2.hp.com/hpsc/swd/public/detail?sp4ts.oid=4248036&swItemId=MTX_eaaacad1e439476197ce3f3fcd&swEnvOid=4064#tab1

 

 

 

The quickspec lists 2TB disks only:

 

http://www8.hp.com/h20195/v2/GetPDF.aspx/c04111672.pdf


Hope this helps!
Regards
Torsten.

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_Air_
Occasional Advisor

Re: Microserver SATA

Thanks Torsten,

This is what puzzles me. The Quickspecs list a 1 TB 3G drive 507772-B21. I have a 1 TB 6G drive 659337-B21.  I would expect it to be backward compatible. I am not sure now if it should be compatible, or not. The drive works fine in the eSata port (IDE) but is not recognised in the embedded SATA port configured in the BIOS as RAID.

 

The drivers listed on that link to AMD are Windows drivers, not firmware.

 

I would try the BIOS update but I don't know if it should fix this compatibility problem and I am a bit reluctant to run it as the server is working fine otherwise. I will run it if I think it will fix the drive compatibility problem.

 

Jimmy Vance
HPE Pro

Re: Microserver SATA


_Air_ wrote:

Thanks Torsten,

This is what puzzles me. The Quickspecs list a 1 TB 3G drive 507772-B21. I have a 1 TB 6G drive 659337-B21.  I would expect it to be backward compatible. I am not sure now if it should be compatible, or not. The drive works fine in the eSata port (IDE) but is not recognised in the embedded SATA port configured in the BIOS as RAID.

 

The drivers listed on that link to AMD are Windows drivers, not firmware.

 

I would try the BIOS update but I don't know if it should fix this compatibility problem and I am a bit reluctant to run it as the server is working fine otherwise. I will run it if I think it will fix the drive compatibility problem.

 


The Quickspec is dated Feb 9 2015 lists a 1TB drive and is actually the Quickspec for the N54L model. If you look at the bottom of the page there are 28 revisions to the Quickspec. At what point in the revisions was the 1TB drive added? I'm pretty sure the N36L offered 250 GB drives, but they are no longer listed as an available option. Unfortunately the revision listing is only a summary and doesn't call out everything that was changed, added, or removed in every case

 

My point here is to not get stuck on what the latest Quickspecs shows, The Microserver started shipping in 2010.  How old is your system, what is the current BIOS date?

 

 

 




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_Air_
Occasional Advisor

Re: Microserver SATA

Thanks, that's a good observation. The model is N36L from 2011. I have the 2012 Quickspecs, which list the N36L, and show a maximum of 4 x 2 TB of storage for it, with 2 TB drives.

 

The BIOS version is the original, I'm afraid I don't know what the version number is.

 

The thing that puzzles me is that the 6G drive should be backward compatible, especially as its an HP drive and now the one listed at the HP Store. It is compatible with the eSata port, which is also AMD embedded, so I am really puzzled why it is not recognised on the internal SATA ports. Like I say, the drives are recognised at POST, but do not show up in the Option ROM for the embedded RAID. When I put it on the eSata port it also shows at POST, and then just shows up in Windows as a new drive.

 

I'd be really interested to know if anyone is running the N36L with SATA 6G drives.

Jimmy Vance
HPE Pro

Re: Microserver SATA

It doesn't really have any thing to do with 6G. 6G drives will operate at 3G speeds, I do that daily.  Yes I could be mistaken, but I'm going to stick by my original comment that the current BIOS doesn't support 1TB drives




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_Air_
Occasional Advisor

Re: Microserver SATA

Thanks Jimmy, that's also what I would expect with the 6G/3G.

 

The Quickspecs of 2012 show the N36L supporting 4 x 2TB drives. I also found a review from 2011 listing 2TB drives as the largest supported. But it is a different model of drive, the 3G one.

 

I guess I can try updating the BIOS, but I am a bit reluctant having seen reports of failed updates.

 

My own guess is that somehow the AMD firmware does not play with the 6G drive, and that it is too small a product for HP to have tested compatibility. I'd really like to know if someone has a working new 1 or 2 TB drive working in the old N36L.

Torsten.
Acclaimed Contributor

Re: Microserver SATA

>> The drivers listed on that link to AMD are Windows drivers, not firmware

 

Just like the dynamic smart array controllers B120i etc these arrays might be based on drivers.

You probably know this from network adapters, where the driver brings the firmware and bring the firmware in place during runtime.


Hope this helps!
Regards
Torsten.

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_Air_
Occasional Advisor

Re: Microserver SATA

Thanks Torsten,

In this case the RAID package only contain the .sys and .inf files for Windows, no firmware. So I think any updates can only be in the BIOS. I think I will try that.

 

_Air_

Torsten.
Acclaimed Contributor

Re: Microserver SATA

>> In this case the RAID package only contain the .sys and .inf files for Windows

 

 

Did you try this link?

 

http://wwwd.amd.com/amd/devsite.nsf/HPSW?openform

 

select the second entry


Hope this helps!
Regards
Torsten.

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_Air_
Occasional Advisor

Re: Microserver SATA

Yes, I tried that, thanks. It is just .inf and .sys windows drivers, no firmware.

I installed the AMD Catalyst manager, which installs the Windows drivers and also RAIDXpert. RAIDXpert is handy but hard to find. It also shows no new drives.

Torsten.
Acclaimed Contributor

Re: Microserver SATA

Looks like it is part of the BIOS, latest is obviously

  2013.10.01 (A)(15 Nov 2013)

 

http://h20564.www2.hp.com/hpsc/swd/public/detail?swItemId=MTX_57720d956df94dfcbaa0e28256


Hope this helps!
Regards
Torsten.

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those who understand binary, and those who don't.

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_Air_
Occasional Advisor

Re: Microserver SATA

Thanks, that's the one I will try