Originally Posted April 23, 2012
I’ve had my MicroServers for a while now, I’ve upgraded the RAM to 4GB/each, installed a couple of OS’s onto them and played about with them. Here’s what’s happened.
First thing I wanted to try is putting Ubuntu Server on them. Installed without problems (installing from a USB stick created with uNetBootin) however when the USB was removed and the machine restarted the BIOS spash screen flicked up, ran through it’s configuration and then the screen switched off as no display input was being recieved – which I thought was odd because even the console should have been displayed. I had a look online and it appears that GRUB (the Ubuntu boot loader) was installed /dev/sda which was the USB stick. When I’ve got some more time (during the holidays) I might go back and put Ubuntu back on them again but I dropped Server 2008 Web on them to use in the short-term.
I also took the decision of upgrading the RAM – from 2GB to 4GB with a PNY 4GB stick each, the RAM spec was “PC3-10666 1333 MHz DDR3, Unbuffered, non ECC”. The 2 GB that comes with the MicroServer are ECC RAM so the modules cannot be mixed for 6GB (as I found out, I didn’t remember that the ones included were ECC). HP Part number for the RAM installed was 500209-161. I also thought that the ones I bought were going to be too small and the MicroServer used a smaller RAM form factor but happily I was wrong.
Installing the RAM meant you needed to unscrew two thumbscrews holding the motherboard tray down (I used the door-mounted Allen key to make this easier), a number of headers, the power supply, the Mini-SAS cable (which was quite tough) and almost forgot the VGA, USB and Ethernet cable in the back. The tray came out quite nicely, RAM was put in the slot (of which there are two, I think it’ll take up to 8GB) and then cabled back in. You might have some difficulty getting the cables back to their original position but after a couple of goes you’ll probably be fine. There’s also an on board SATA port that you could use if you wanted to put a CD/DVD drive in or a 3.5″ drive in the 5.25″ bay.
One final word – the Hard Disk caddy (HP Product ID: 624572-001, Spare ID: 624879-001) is avaible at a range of prices, up to an eye-watering £80+ on Amazon – if you need a couple you’re probably better off buying a new MicroServer and using it for spares.