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MicroServer N36L/N40L/N54L - 6 Drive Edition

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I'm looking for some guidance on the appropriate type of HDD for use as a cache drive.  I was planning to use a 320GB 2.5" drive extracted from an external USB case but I'm guessing the drive will be a 5400RPM type (haven't opened it yet).  Looking at the UnRAID wiki it suggests a faster drive (i.e. WD Black 7200RPM) be used as the cache drive.

 

http://lime-technology.com/wiki/index.php?title=Cache_disk

 

I could use the 250GB 7200RPM drive that came with my N36L but that would mean using a double stack bracket in the top bay.  I'm a little concerned about cooling issues with that method; I don't really want to have to ghetto mod the standard bay cover to create extra ventilation.  If I use the laptop drive instead I can mount my 5th array drive in a sata hot swap bay like the one in the OP (already have one in another PC I can use) which already has ventilation slots in the cover.

 

Opinions?  Is capacity over speed better?

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Replacing the PSU fan is simple, cut the cable, solder the red with the red and the black with the black wire. You can lead the cable as show attached.

178640_p1010188.thumb.jpg.779512910910cab19fdbe8c08ce5374d.jpg

178640_p1010201.thumb.jpg.d4dea15afc30c47365312f0bb24c0448.jpg

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Anyone care to comment on my previous post?  I just want to confirm a 5400RPM HDD is okay to use for cache before opening the external up.

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Anyone care to comment on my previous post?  I just want to confirm a 5400RPM HDD is okay to use for cache before opening the external up.

 

Why wouldn't it be ok to use a 5.4k disk?

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The wiki recommends using faster drives (i.e. 7200RPM), just not sure if it matters that much in real life.

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I managed to get into the bios flash link from Jens guide earlier but now it has gone awol again.  It appears Jens is hosting the file on his own domain so perhaps the host server is down.

 

Yep, it had to be moved to another server. Should be online again soon. PM me if you need it.

 

Don't forget you will need to change the BOOT order from the UNRAID USB stick to the BIOS update one before running the flash; you will need to change it back again post flash to boot into UnRAID.

 

Just pull out the unRAID stick for a minute ;)

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Yep, it had to be moved to another server. Should be online again soon. PM me if you need it.

 

Thanks Jens but I got around it.

 

Just pull out the unRAID stick for a minute ;)

 

Guess you could do that, it's a little tricky with the stick being internal though.

 

Still haven't sorted out my cache drive dilemna guys, couldn't get the external casing open without destroying it so chose not to try.  Now the local source of the Nexus Double Twin adapters has run out of stock so I'm stuck with using a 2.5" laptop drive rather than the 250gb 3.5" that came with the microserver.  I've been offered a WD Black 500gb for $85AUD but not sure if a Black would run too hot.

 

Edit: I've got pre-clear running on my 5th HDD at the moment, only learned about it today thanks to the Wiki.  The first four drives were added to the array without being pre-cleared, should I re-visit them?  None have any data on them yet so there's no problem un-assigning & clearing them, will just take a long time.

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I´m planning to adda some sort of HDD bay to the 5,25 slot in this machine. I see that many here are using the Icy Box hot-swap but is anyone using the Silverstone FP 55. This is supposed to accomodate 1x3,5" as well as 2x2,5"

 

http://www.silverstonetek.com/product.php?pid=272&area=en

 

Any ideas or comments on this before i order one? :)

 

/Niklas

 

Many of us use the Nexus Double Twin to add 2x 3.5" drives:

 

n36lq.jpg

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Would i be able to just buy this kit and nothing else to fit 2 x3,5 drives?

 

Is there any room left to have an 2,5" SSD below the Nexus Double Twin?

 

/Niklas

 

I´m planning to adda some sort of HDD bay to the 5,25 slot in this machine. I see that many here are using the Icy Box hot-swap but is anyone using the Silverstone FP 55. This is supposed to accomodate 1x3,5" as well as 2x2,5"

 

http://www.silverstonetek.com/product.php?pid=272&area=en

 

Any ideas or comments on this before i order one? :)

 

/Niklas

 

Many of us use the Nexus Double Twin to add 2x 3.5" drives:

 

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Would i be able to just buy this kit and nothing else to fit 2 x3,5 drives?

 

You might need another set of HDD screws if the Nexus doesn't include any.  I've only got 4 left in the door with 4 HDDS in their caddies and 1 in the hot swap bay (which I used the ODD screws to mount in the top bay).

 

Is there any room left to have an 2,5" SSD below the Nexus Double Twin?

 

Yes there's a space below the ODD bay that you could easily slip an SSD or 2.5" HDD into.

 

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You might need another set of HDD screws if the Nexus doesn't include any.  I've only got 4 left in the door with 4 HDDS in their caddies and 1 in the hot swap bay (which I used the ODD screws to mount in the top bay).

 

It does include them IIRC.

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OK, here i go again.

 

I already got 4 HDD in the "regular" bays as well as a SSD for cache. If i were to add 2 x 3,5" HDD I would need a total of 7 SATA connections. I currently got 6 prepared including the external eSATA to SATA. Would would be a good working expansion card to use for this?

 

/Niklas

 

Would i be able to just buy this kit and nothing else to fit 2 x3,5 drives?

 

You might need another set of HDD screws if the Nexus doesn't include any.  I've only got 4 left in the door with 4 HDDS in their caddies and 1 in the hot swap bay (which I used the ODD screws to mount in the top bay).

 

Is there any room left to have an 2,5" SSD below the Nexus Double Twin?

 

Yes there's a space below the ODD bay that you could easily slip an SSD or 2.5" HDD into.

 

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If i were to add 2 x 3,5" HDD I would need a total of 7 SATA connections. I currently got 6 prepared including the external eSATA to SATA. Would would be a good working expansion card to use for this?

 

/Niklas

 

I just purchased a generic 4 port SIL3132 based card off eBay (2 SATA, 2 eSATA; only 2 can be used at any one time though).  Have not had a chance to try it out yet though, my Tardis is still chugging away pre-clearing a HDD.  UnRAID can be picky but SIL3132 chipset cards should be OK, just make sure you get one with a low-profile bracket and a PCIe interface.

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I just purchased a generic 4 port SIL3132 based card off eBay (2 SATA, 2 eSATA; only 2 can be used at any one time though).  Have not had a chance to try it out yet though, my Tardis is still chugging away pre-clearing a HDD.  UnRAID can be picky but SIL3132 chipset cards should be OK, just make sure you get one with a low-profile bracket and a PCIe interface.

Shouldn't the Tardis be able to jump forward in time to the point at which the drive finished preclearing, then jump back with the precleared drive?

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Shouldn't the Tardis be able to jump forward in time to the point at which the drive finished preclearing, then jump back with the precleared drive?

 

LOL, that would be nice!  It took 27hrs to clear 1 x 2TB HDD so clearing the other 4 is going to take some time.  I believe you can run more than one at a time so I might try kicking off 2 sessions and see how I go.  The HDD I cleared was in the ODD bay in a hot swap caddy and temp never went above 35c which is good, love my Hitachi Coolspins!

 

Edit: Kicked off 1 preclear session via the console and another via Telnet using Putty, so far all good.

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I ordered one of these guys, I am looking for a bracket that will allow me to fit a 3.5 and a 2.5 drive in the 5.25 bay and my search foo is very weak.  have any of you found a bracket that works well for this system ?

 

Thanks

 

 

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Got the Nexus Douvletwin to use with 2x3,5" drives. One question; I´ve mounted the 2 drives on the doubletwin, but how should I attach the Doubletwin in the ODD space? I cant seem to find to make if fit and snap onto something. Its like the width in the ODD is a bit to wide...

 

On some pics the drives are mounted with mirrored towards each other. The first one normally but the other one upside down to get more space between the disks. But if I do that, they will not fit as far as I can see..

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Got the Nexus Douvletwin to use with 2x3,5" drives. One question; I´ve mounted the 2 drives on the doubletwin, but how should I attach the Doubletwin in the ODD space? I cant seem to find to make if fit and snap onto something. Its like the width in the ODD is a bit to wide...

 

On some pics the drives are mounted with mirrored towards each other. The first one normally but the other one upside down to get more space between the disks. But if I do that, they will not fit as far as I can see..

 

Screw the "ODD screws" (that come with the Microserver) in to the Doubletwin rubber thingies -- they are designed for mounting a DVD drive, but will attach to the Nexus Doubletwin:

 

rs8qic.jpg

 

hm0xz.jpg

 

Manual page:

 

CrXbV.png

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One of my Hitachi 5K3000 HDDs threw up 49 re-allocated sectors during a pre-clear, got the same number on a repeat run.  Since the drive was basically new and only used during initial Microserver testing I wouldn't expect to see so many.  I've tried testing it with Hitachi's Drive Fitness Test software but can't get that to see any drives, checked on 2 PCs. 

 

WD's software passed the drive on both short and extended tests so I'm wondering if I really have a problem or not.  I'm going to try re-running DFT with HDDs set to IDE mode and just the suspect drive connected, will see how that goes.  I don't want to have to return the drive if I can avoid it, these drives are in serious short supply here and ,my original source has none in stock.

 

Edit: HItachi's DFT software works on the Microserver if you disable all SATA options and set the HDD control options to IDE instead.  You also have to put the HDD you want to test as the first drive in the chain (the leftmost bay when viewed from the front).  It might still work with other drives in bays 2-4, have not tested this.  You also have to remember to disable SATA mode in the Southbridge Configuration (I'm running The Bays modifed BIOS).  I mention this only because the Hitachi 5k3000 drives are very popular with the Microserver crowd so it might help some others.

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Update: Didn't get any errors over 4 cycles of DFT.  Windows disk check run via the Properties > Tools menu, no errors found. Have since run a CHKDSK from the command line with no errors.  Any ideas what might cause preclear to find sectors requiring re-allocation when other tests don't?

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I read your blog entry about adding 2 additional HDDs in place of 5.25 ODD space and in total you are running 7 drives. I just want to know which PCI card you have used to add the 7th port?

 

Are you running all drives in IDE mode or AHCI mode?

 

Did you tried to setup RAID using these drives?

 

Your response to these queries would be really helpful for me.

 

Where is the 2,5" disk located that comes with the N36L?

 

My ideal setup would be 6 x 3 TB disk and the 2,5" disk as the appdisk. Is this feasible without much of a hassle?

 

with a bit of work. you "could do it".

from what I am seeing, 2 3.5" drives up top get  to hot without a fan mod of some kind.

I would stick to a single 3.5 or get some 2.5" drive in a 4in1 adapter..

that would be pretty expensive route IMO.

 

If you really want 6x 3TB and 1x 2.5" drives, I would get an Supermicro atom board and a fractal mini R2 ITX.

the footprint is about the same size and no modding needed.

assemble and boot. the performance would be about the same.

 

It will run you about $50 more.

 

 

I've been running 2x 3.5" drives in that space for months, as have many others. No major heat problems. The 2.5" drive fits under that 5.25" bay. I'm running 7 drives right now.

 

The setup you mentioned would be much more expensive compared to the current price in the UK and Australia. USAsians, you fellas should be keeping your fingers crossed for a similar deal!

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I read your blog entry about adding 2 additional HDDs in place of 5.25 ODD space and in total you are running 7 drives. I just want to know which PCI card you have used to add the 7th port?

 

Are you running all drives in IDE mode or AHCI mode?

 

Did you tried to setup RAID using these drives?

 

Your response to these queries would be really helpful for me.

 

It was an Adaptec 1430SA, but I took it out and now have 6 drives. I use the custom BIOS, so none are in IDE mode. This forum is about unRAID, so of course I'm not running them in a RAID.

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Did you change any settings in BIOS when using Adaptec 1430SA for 7th drive?

 

I tried using  PCI 1e card with 2 internal SATA ports (http://uk.startech.com/Cards-Adapters/HDD-Controllers/SATA-Cards/2-Port-PCI-Express-Internal-SATA-Controller-Card~PEXSATA22I)  but it does not work.

 

I just check my PCI card has similar spec like yours one, but when system boots up if PCI card is added then it detects only drives connected to PCI card and none of the system HDD bays.

 

 

I read your blog entry about adding 2 additional HDDs in place of 5.25 ODD space and in total you are running 7 drives. I just want to know which PCI card you have used to add the 7th port?

 

Are you running all drives in IDE mode or AHCI mode?

 

Did you tried to setup RAID using these drives?

 

Your response to these queries would be really helpful for me.

 

It was an Adaptec 1430SA, but I took it out and now have 6 drives. I use the custom BIOS, so none are in IDE mode. This forum is about unRAID, so of course I'm not running them in a RAID.

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Did you change any settings in BIOS when using Adaptec 1430SA for 7th drive?

 

I tried using  PCI 1e card with 2 internal SATA ports (http://uk.startech.com/Cards-Adapters/HDD-Controllers/SATA-Cards/2-Port-PCI-Express-Internal-SATA-Controller-Card~PEXSATA22I)  but it does not work.

 

I just check my PCI card has similar spec like yours one, but when system boots up if PCI card is added then it detects only drives connected to PCI card and none of the system HDD bays.

 

 

I read your blog entry about adding 2 additional HDDs in place of 5.25 ODD space and in total you are running 7 drives. I just want to know which PCI card you have used to add the 7th port?

 

Are you running all drives in IDE mode or AHCI mode?

 

Did you tried to setup RAID using these drives?

 

Your response to these queries would be really helpful for me.

 

It was an Adaptec 1430SA, but I took it out and now have 6 drives. I use the custom BIOS, so none are in IDE mode. This forum is about unRAID, so of course I'm not running them in a RAID.

 

You need to use a card that is compatible with unRAID. Check the chipset of your card against: http://bit.ly/xxekXE

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