HP Z210 SFF/CMT and SSD

My SSD doesn’t quite “work” with HP Z210 SFF/CMT.

  • Model: CT525MX300SSD1
  • Brand: Crucial
  • Type: MX300
  • Capacity: 525Go
  • Error:
    • 1798- Hard drive with hardware encryption enabled detected while in RAID mode. Drive: SATA0 (Dark Blue). Drives that are using hardware encryption should not be included in RAID volumes. Using them may cause volume corruption and unpredictable behavior.

It can still be booted (I think) but F1 needs to be pressed when on startup which is annoying.

Note that same type but with 275Go capacity doesn’t have same problem.

Update 2017-05-31: Doesn’t work with Z210 CMT either. Same error.

Update 2017-08-04: Forgot to update but the drive does work after I clear out the eDrive mode or something. It was done using Crucial’s SSD utility.

Upgrade Log 3

The last one for this batch! Everything arrived, assembled, and finished without much problem.

Windows 10 is even more annoying than ever. Disabling Cortana now must be done using Group Policy. Great. I have to slowly live it up because this is the future of Windows and I don’t see myself using another operating system for desktop for foreseeable future.

Also, don’t disable universal app background process if you want a functional start menu search.

<insert a bunch of other tweaks here>

Up next

Closest upgrade I can think of is getting an extra 6+To drive so I have 6 drives raidz2 instead of current 5 which is quite a waste. I’m not sure how to migrate the data though. That’ll cost about 25k?

And I remembered about my netbook only having 2Gio of RAM. Surely can be upgraded to 8Gio for maximum lulz. Or just more useful. I remember it’s much more usable when it’s running on 4Gio of RAM. I don’t exactly remember when and why it’s only 2 now. It already has SSD so the RAM upgrade would pretty much max out upgrades for this system. Not counting higher capacity/performance SSD because I don’t think it won’t make much difference apart of having more storage – faster SSD won’t help the slow CPU much. 5k for RAM.

After that, I can certainly use more storage for my main desktop. A 1To SSD would certainly be nice. A bit expensive at 33k.

With storage out of the way (and moves the 525Go drive to office desktop), I think my office server can also use some storage upgrade. Just like current home server, it can certainly use two more drives for optimum raidz2. That means a controller, HDD cage, and one extra HDD (because I already have one spare 3To HDD). The total would be about 51k.

There’s VGA card upgrade for main desktop but I’m still not sure about that. I don’t really need it but certainly would be nice! Let’s pretend it’ll cost 40k for whatever card at that budget whenever the upgrade is happening.

Talking about VGA card, there’s also a would-be-nice upgrade for my office desktop VGA. It’s currently running GT730 which is not quite fast. Limited to 45W, current choice is limited to GT1030 at 10k.

At this point there isn’t much left to be upgraded. So let’s upgrade the server RAM to 32Gio from currently pitiful 12Gio. I would like to pretend it’s cheap but it really isn’t even now. I was pretty lucky last time getting two sticks of 8Gio for just 10k but it won’t happen often. So maybe about 25k I’d be willing to spend.

I think there is no more after this. I probably won’t reach this far until at least next year or even later anyway and something may break in the meantime, requiring change of plan.

  1. (5k) RAM: 8Gio PC3-12800S
  2. (25k+) Storage: 6+To HDD
  3. (33k) Storage: 1To SSD
  4. Storage:
    • (4k) Controller: LSI SAS 9212
    • (7k) Misc: HDD Cage 2 5.25″ to 3 3.5″
    • (15k?) Storage: 3+To HDD
  5. (40k) VGA card: ???
  6. (10k) VGA card: GT1030 (or better)
  7. (25k) RAM: 32Gio PC3-12800E

Total: 164k.

…maybe this will happen sooner than expected ( ゚◡゚)

Upgrade Log 2

“New” “server” has arrived. So have the SATA/SAS controller and hdd backplane.

Unfortunately the 5.25″ bay separator is a bit too big so I had to “fix” it.

The cage works complete with hot swap.

So is the SAS card. Flashed to P20 IT mode without much problem. Someone mentioned it might fail on UEFI motherboard booted to DOS in BIOS mode but I didn’t encounter such problem.

Updated the system BIOS as well.

Processor installed without much problem – finally another server with Ivy Bridge processor. SAS card seems to be a bit problematic when system boot support is enabled. I just disable it and everything seems fine. Ethernet card also installed without problem. SSD thankfully detected without hitch and the OS from previous server boots fine.

Still quite a lot of restructuring needed thanks to two servers being merged but there’s nothing else to do hardware side (unless I decided to buy extra drive to round up the data pool to 6 drives raidz2).

Office server also done the rearrangement and now has more threads but much less memory.

Office desktop is currently gimped a bit with just E3-1225 but that will be fixed once the DDR4 memory arrives. And then the graphics card will get a downgrade from GTX660 to GT730.

Now waiting for the memory. I hope it arrives this month so I can say goodbye to this memory-starved system as soon as possible.

That reminds me, I should put up old stuff for auction…

Upgrade log 1

Ordered the RAM sticks. According to the store they’re on backorder and should arrive in one or two months. Hopefully they actually arrive. And doesn’t take two months.

It’s the most annoying part because barely anyone sells what I want and most of them are stupid overpriced.

On another note, I’ve gotten the all in one server. Should arrive sometime this week.

Accompanying the server, I also secured the drive bay converter and SATA (SAS) controller.

I can then proceed to put it in service once everything arrive. Starting from basic check, reflashing the controller, updating BIOS, and swapping parts. Need to take out 1230v2 from office desktop.

I’m thinking of doing everything at once after the basic preparation is done so I can minimize downtime. It’ll be my router after all. And web server. And storage server. Everything~

If there’s no problem, I’ll continue finishing new office desktop and swapping parts for end state of office server.

That will conclude the most troublesome parts. Assuming everything works as planned, that is.

Sure hope there’s no problem with new Ryzen system~

I will probably end up getting a new SSD though. Or not. We’ll see.

Upgrade plan

It’s time to upgrade my system! Everything! Or not really because some parts are just shuffled around.

Here’s the planned final state.

Home / Server

  • System: Dell PowerEdge T110 II
  • Processor: Intel Xeon E3-1230v2
  • RAM:
    • DDR3 PC3-12800 ECC UDIMM 8Gio x4
  • PCI cards:
    • SATA Controller / LSI SAS 9212-4i
    • Ethernet Controller / Realtek 8111
  • Misc:
    • 2×5.25″ to 3×3.5″ HDD Converter Bay / Century iStarUSA BPN-DE230SS-BK
  • Drives:
    • Seagate 600 SSD 240Go
    • SanDisk Ultra II SSD 240Go
    • Western Digital Red HDD 6To x5 (or 6?)

New all in one server replacing current combination of Microserver and Z210 SFF.

Home / Desktop

  • System: Custom built
    • Case: SilverStone Micro ATX SST-PS07B
    • Power supply: Antec Green 650W / EA-650-GREEN
    • Motherboard: ASRock AB350M Pro4
  • Processor: AMD Ryzen 7 1700
  • RAM:
    • DDR4 PC4-19200 ECC UDIMM 16Gio x2
  • VGA: ASUS GeForce GTX950 / GTX950-2G
  • Optical drive: TSST (Toshiba Samsung) DVD-ROM 16x
  • Drives:
    • Crucial MX300 SSD 525Go
    • Samsung 840 SSD 250Go
    • Western Digital Blue HDD 250Go x2

Now with 100% more modern everything. No, just new processor/motherboard/RAM.

The VGA and SSD can use better upgrade but those will do for now.

Office / Server

  • System: HP Z210 CMT
  • Processor: Intel Xeon E3-1235
  • RAM:
    • DDR3 PC3-10600 ECC UDIMM 4Gio x2
    • DDR3 PC3-10600 ECC UDIMM 2Gio x2
  • Misc:
    • 1×5.25″ to 1×3.5″ HDD Converter Bay / Century iStarUSA BPN-DE110SS-SV
  • Drives:
    • Transcend SSD370 SSD 512Go
    • Samsung 850 EVO SSD 500Go
    • Seagate 7200.10 (or 11?) HDD 3To x5 (4 connected due to lack of SATA ports)

Processor is upgraded from E3-1225 but RAM is downgraded from 20Gio total.

Office / Desktop

  • System: HP Z210 SFF
  • Processor: Intel Xeon E3-1270
  • RAM:
    • DDR3 PC3-10600 ECC UDIMM 8Gio x4
  • VGA: MSI GT730
  • PCI cards:
    • USB 3 Controller / Inateck 2 Ports USB3
  • Optical drive: HP DVD-RW 16x?
  • Drives:
    • Crucial MX300 SSD 275Go
    • Seagate Barracuda HDD 250Go x2

Another victim here. The RAM is now ECC but the VGA is downgraded far from GTX660 which I’m moving to somewhere far away.

Notes

Now I look again there’s possibility the current drive structure plan to not work because of compatibility problem. I will need to figure that out later and shuffle the drives around as need. I should’ve taken memo of the compatibility problems I encountered.

NEC Express5800/53Xg review

More reviews! I’ve always wanted to write these because there doesn’t seem to be many information on those. Most likely because they’re branded PC. Not only that, they’re branded workstation PC. Expensive new but dirt cheap second hand. Being workstation, I also expect them to last quite a long time.

Anyway, after the uselessness of Z210 SFF for desktop, I got its CMT version and used it for a while. That one has relatively similar specs, just larger and fit normal GPU and can supply enough power to it. There’s no problem with it except being large.

Surfing around Yahoo! Auction again, this time I found this NEC Express5800/53Xg. At 14100 yen total with shipping, it came with E3-1225, 4Gio of RAM, and two 250Go WD Blue hard drives.

Unlike the HP counterpart, this one is noisy. So bad that I ended up replacing the front 8cm fan with my spare Gelid fan. It helped a bit. Then I replaced the CPU HSF with the only one that seems to be compatible with it, Thermaltake Engine 27. It helped a lot. I also put some resistors on the tiny back fan. Also helped a lot.

Thankfully the headers are standard and BIOS doesn’t stop when it spots missing fans.

Unfortunately, it resulted in hot CPU. Mainly because the replacement HSF is rated for 70W TDP CPU while the installed CPU is 80W. Whoops. At least it works. Most of the time. Just a bit hot. 100°C hot.

And it’s still kind of noisy.

It doesn’t support Ivy Bridge CPU either so I can’t use E3-1230v2 which has 69W TDP.

On the bright side, it uses riser so it accepts full sized GPU. And the motherboard can also supply full 75W to it.

In the end, it’s usable for desktop. Kind of.

The other problem is it only has 2 RAM slots, maxing out at 16Gio. I thought it’s enough. Except it isn’t. Task manager is currently showing I’m using 14.6Gio which isn’t quite comforting. Electron apps are to blame but in the end I just need more RAM because I ultimately use those apps.

(WthasApp using 300Mio? Really? And Slack 500Mio? What the hell is this?)

It also has two gigabit ethernet which I have no use of.

Another small complain is it’s got slim DVD which isn’t as nice as normal drive. Mainly the attaching the disc part.

Internally there are only three SATA ports. And the hard drive cage, while completely standard, is a pain to install/remove drives with because it needs full removal of optical drive and the cage itself.

My unit didn’t come with rubber feet so I used this thing. Works pretty well.

Conclusion

  • usable for desktop (it’s my current desktop)
    • except it’s noisy and/or hot
  • should be fine for server as well if 16Gio is enough

The noise pretty bad and the heat is worrying so I’m considering replacing it with something else. Of course there’s Ryzen. But it’s expensive and is way more than what I need. It also won’t run Windows 7 unless Microsoft backs their stance. I may consider it next year but for now I don’t think it’ll happen. Maybe it’ll happen sooner than I thought.

Alternatively there’s another workstation candidate: Fujitsu Celsius J510. It also seems to support full sized GPU. Assuming it’s not too long, that is. Turned out the PCIe slot is at the bottom which means it only supports single slot GPU. Nope.

HP Z210 SFF review

I got this last year for a total of 6026 yen with shipping. It didn’t come with CPU though. And I don’t remember it came with RAM either. Thankfully everything works.

First on motherboard. I don’t remember it has standard fan headers. At all. Well, it’s only got a total of one fan anyway. And that doubles as CPU fan, no less. Okay, I lied, there’s another one inside PSU which has weird form factor.

At least they are relatively silent. I have no complaint on noise department.

CPU support is limited to Sandy Bridge series. No v2 CPU or i3 3xxx series. Don’t bother trying. I did.

RAM support is okay. It only supports maximum of PC-10600. There’s ECC support though and at 4 slots, it maxes out at 32Gio.

GPU support is the worst thing about this PC. The PCIe slot being limited to low profile isn’t too bad nowadays with proliferation of small sized no external power started by GTX750. But the problem is none of them will work. Or at least specification wise. The reason is the motherboard only officially supports providing PCIe slots with 45W at most. That’s 30W less than what those GPU needs. The fastest consumer level GPU I can find is GT730. It sucks and noisy. Noise part can be mitigated by getting MSI card and adjusting fan speed curve accordingly but I generally don’t like installing crapware on the already crap Windows.

The absolute fastest one can get for this is Quadro K1200, by the way. At over US$300, I’m not sure if it’s worth buying.

USB ports also occasionally stop working on Windows 10. I vaguely remember it’s fine on Windows 7 but some changes on Windows 8 caused it to occasionally not working on boot. The only fix I have is to remote desktop into it and reinstall USB driver. Installing additional USB card didn’t help either from what I can remember.

Oh, and SmartOS doesn’t support the SATA controller because it is in RAID mode. Switching it to IDE emulation works but no one should do that. I’d just buy a SATA PCIe card instead if I really want to use SmartOS on it. Which I haven’t yet.

It’s got two SATA3 ports and two SATA2 ports. Note that it only has 1 external 5.25″, 1 external 3.5″, and 1 internal 3.5″ bays. I used a HDD 5.25″ converter to get one extra bay and dumped two SSDs to max out the storage (2 HDD, 2 SSD). Just remember that one SATA power cable splitter is needed.

Mine didn’t come with the screws needed for installing HDD at the back side but there are plenty of them for cheap in eBay. Those are of doubtful quality but as they’re just screws, I don’t really care that much. Just look for “hp sff hdd screws.”

Conclusion

In term of purpose, it goes like this:

  • best as personal non-storage server
  • don’t bother for desktop if using large monitors (1080p+?)
  • with additional SATA card, can also be used as SmartOS box

And yeah, it’s where some of my sites are currently hosted at.

Left handed mouse

I’ve been using mouse left handed for a long while after (kind of) breaking my right hand thanks to playing a bit too much rhythm game and too lazy to visit doctor (and that it doesn’t hurt that much).

I initially switched the button using Windows’ built-in mouse button setting but learned that it breaks in various ways ranging from application not honoring the setting to just plain annoyance to having to set the thing at all.

Later I found this hardware-stored profile for certain mice and I’ve been happily using mouse left handed ever since.

There are quite a few things I noticed from switching side.

One main thing I first noticed is how much keyboard shortcuts are located on left side. From the most basic copy/paste, browser tab open/close, closing app, switching app, switching tab, escape key, and some keyboards don’t even have windows key on right side. Those are cause a slight annoyance when using mouse left handed because that means I need to switch position more often than needed. Either that or I just right click and do copy/paste stuff and set my mouse’s 5 additional buttons to do those tasks. I like my mouse.

The other thing is keyboard and mouse positioning is actually more balanced when using keyboard with numpad. The main keys on keyboard are pretty much located on the middle with numpad on right side and mouse on left side. Very convenient.

Oh and I have profile for both sides on my mouse so it’s just clicks away to switch its handedness.

I haven’t used right handed mouse for so long I find it weird now. And my accuracy have dropped as well. Combined with my left hand not being that accurate yet, I probably have overall even less accuracy on my mouse control now.

VirtualBox again

Due to reasons I swapped my web server (was in VM) and VM box role. Or more like web server is now bare metal and functions as VM box. It’s downgraded from real virtualization (Hyper-V) to VirtualBox though.

That said, FreeBSD doesn’t seem to be quite fully functional on Hyper-V thanks to performance hit and slow disk detection on boot causing failure.

Yeah, I’ve had enough of it so I decided to swap the role and run the web server directly on the server instead.

On the bright side, I can use zfs for everything and no more stupid SSD setup (it was unbalanced 500 and 250 GB disks).

VirtualBox seems to be flaky as always though apparently once it’s setup correctly it runs without much trouble. Also thankfully VirtualBox on FreeBSD has complete scripts for running it headless and autostart on boot.

This was also my main setup for quite a long time years ago and I sure hope it’s at least as stable as it was back then! That said, the initial setup seems to be flakier. Oh well.

Memo and stuff.

Ruby 2.3 on FreeBSD 11

Compiling Ruby on FreeBSD is not quite simple.

  • make sure to tell it to also find libraries in /usr/local
  • and tell configure script to find OpenSSL in /usr because the later version isn’t quite compatible with latest ruby yet

So here’s the configure line

CFLAGS=-I/usr/local/include \
CPPFLAGS=-I/usr/local/include \
LDFLAGS=-L/usr/local/lib \
./configure --prefix="/opt/ruby23" --disable-install-doc --with-openssl-dir=/usr \
&& make \
&& make install