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[GUIDE] Snow Leopard on HP ProLiant Microserver N36L (AMD)

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Now for some fun!

 

I have just installed El-Capitan 10.11.3 on my N54L Microserver!!!  Specs in my signature.

 

Using the usb installation creation video tutorial created by Shannee, with his AMD kernel, Spakk's El Cap USB fix v2 and Enoch r2795 as the bootloader.  I would like to offer my thanks to all these developers and forums members for their great work.

 

You will need patience during the installation, as it will appear to stall at a number of stages, during verbose at Auth unknown locale: 21.  The installation once through the hd selection screen will take 40-45 minutes, not 19minutes.

 

The usb issues don't affect the initial installation process but they all appear during the second stage after El Cap has been installed on the hard drive.  You will again require patience during this stage especially when it starts running though the usb error messages, there are hundreds of these, so do not restart your machine thinking this is going to abort or stall completely, it will continue past these errors.  I am hoping I will be able to fix these with the information provided by Spakk.

 

I ended up removing the SSD and connecting it to my Yosemite machine to install the AMD Kernel, fix permissions etc. before reinstalling it in the Microserver and slowly working through the second stage installation process, i.e language, country, wireless networking and account setup.  I had to swap the usb keyboard and mouse from the rear to the front usb ports to complete the installation, as neither would work when I arrived at the country selection screen. I had to wait for the keyboard and mouse to work on these ports as it was not immediate.  Getting through the installation took around 40 minutes because of the lack of either a keyboard or mouse at specific points during the install.

 

It is not perfect, far from it but I am writing this post from the El-Capitan installation on my Microserver.

 

About this mac shows the usb ports in the Microserver but they are not available/active when I plug in a usb pen drive and nothing appears on the desktop.

 

My SSD is shown on the desktop as an external drive, even though it isn't, with an orange icon.  The other usb ports do not work, including the internal port, just the bottom two front ports work for the mouse and keyboard.

 

The 'HP' icon on the front of the Microserver is Magenta/Pink, which I have never seen before, I assume it means something is not working correctly but what I have no idea.  

 

I have connected to one of my other macs on my network and copied over all the tools, kexts and programs I think will need to sort out the initial issues.  I had to do this over wifi as the Broadcom ethernet port was not activated during the installation but my TP-Link wifi card was during the installation process.  This will be one of the first things I sort out, installing the BCM ethernet kext with Kext Wizard to S/L/E rather than Extra/Extensions and get that working as EN0 rather than the wifi card. 

 

For a change I have used a Mac Pro 3.1 smbios for this installation, as I thought it might have more chance of having some working usb ports, when I previously tried with an iMac 8.1 smbios there were no working usb ports, no matter how many times I tried them or left them to settle/reappear.

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Interesting! I've had to put my server away for a while but will get it back out at the weekend and tinker with it. Might order another graphics card if this doesn't work :( 

 

Will also try El Capitan :) Let us know how you get on tweaking it Edhawk :)

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Saf,

 

USB issues continue to plague the installation.  I can boot from the SSD in to El Capitan but when I reach the login screen the keyboard and mouse do not work!  Both are recognised on the POST screen when the Microserver boots, surprisingly my usb apple keyboard isn't recognised at all, probably due to the built-in usb hub.  Swapping ports and waiting for the keyboard and mouse to activate is a bit hit an miss, I have managed to login a couple of times since the first installation but just with my PC keyboard active and navigating with this type of keyboard in OS X is a real pain.

 

I may try another install on a separate SSD, without Spakk's usb fixes to see what if any difference this makes.  I could also revert the kext changes I made as part of the usb fixes, by connecting to one of my other machines, which may be a better option at the moment, as it would be relatively easy to install the original kexts, or at least some of them, as I backed them up when undertaking the changes to the usb installer.

 

I currently have the SSD in the left hand hard drive bay (SATA port 0), it is just slotted in to the rear data/power connector (unsupported but definitely connected to an internal port), rather than where I normally keep it, which is below the DVD drive bay and connected to the internal SATA port (Port 5).  This is so I can easily remove the SSD and connect it to my main rig without too much trouble.  I will install it in its normal place once I have things sorted.

 

I will also try removing GenericUSBXHCI.kext from Extra/Extension and see what that does.

 

My DVD drive is connected to the rear eSATA port (port 4) using an eSATA to SATA cable that passes through the rear of the case by the drop down pci-e screw cover.

 

Just for clarity I have an AMD HD6450 2GB graphics card in the x16 pci-e slot and a TP-Link WDN4800 wifi card in the x1 slot. I have removed all other hard drives while I play with El Capitan. The DVD is an Optiarc DVD RW AD-5280S unit.  All of these work out of the box with OS X.

 

I have provided copies of my boot files  below, not much different to the previous but still might be helpful to others just starting on this process.

 

org.chameleon.Boot.plist

 

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>

<!DOCTYPE plist PUBLIC "-//Apple//DTD PLIST 1.0//EN" "http://www.apple.com/DTDs/PropertyList-1.0.dtd">
<plist version="1.0">
<dict>
<key>CsrActiveConfig</key>
<string>103</string>
<key>Default Partition</key>
<string>hd(0,2)</string>
<key>EthernetBuiltIn</key>
<string>Yes</string>
<key>Graphics Mode</key>
<string>1920x1080x32</string>
<key>GraphicsEnabler</key>
<string>Yes</string>
<key>Kernel Flags</key>
<string>-v kext-dev-mode=1 npci=0x2000 dart=0</string>
<key>PciRoot</key>
<string>1</string>
<key>SMBIOS</key>
<string>/Extra/smbios.plist</string>
<key>Theme</key>
<string>Choose_Your_OS</string>
<key>Timeout</key>
<string>5</string>
<key>device-properties</key>
<string>4b00000001000000010000003f0000000100000002010c00d041080a000000000101060000040101060000007fff0400160000006200750069006c0074002d0069006e0000000500000001</string>
</dict>
</plist>
 
SMBios.plist
 
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<!DOCTYPE plist PUBLIC "-//Apple//DTD PLIST 1.0//EN" "http://www.apple.com/DTDs/PropertyList-1.0.dtd">
<plist version="1.0">
<dict>
<key>SMbiosdate</key>
<string>02/29/08</string>
<key>SMbiosvendor</key>
<string>Apple Computer, Inc.</string>
<key>SMbiosversion</key>
<string>MP31.88Z.006C.B05.0802291410</string>
<key>SMboardproduct</key>
<string>Mac-F42C88C8</string>
<key>SMexternalclock</key>
<string>200MHz</string>
<key>SMfamily</key>
<string>Mac Pro</string>
<key>SMmanufacturer</key>
<string>Apple Computer, Inc.</string>
<key>SMmaximalclock</key>
<string>2.2GHz</string>
<key>SMmemmanufacturer_1</key>
<string>Crucial</string>
<key>SMmemmanufacturer_2</key>
<string>Crucial</string>
<key>SMmemspeed</key>
<string>1333MHz</string>
<key>SMmemtype</key>
<string>24</string>
<key>SMproductname</key>
<string>MacPro3,1</string>
<key>SMserial</key>
<string>CKXXXXXYL</string>
<key>SMsystemversion</key>
<string>1.0</string>
</dict>
</plist>
 
kernel.plist
 
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<!DOCTYPE plist PUBLIC "-//Apple//DTD PLIST 1.0//EN" "http://www.apple.com/DTDs/PropertyList-1.0.dtd">
<plist version="1.0">
<dict>
<key>KernelBooter_kexts</key>
<string>Yes</string>
</dict>
</plist>
 
If anyone has any ideas on how to fix the usb issues please let me know.  I believe the usb chipset is NEC, well that is what is shown in the HP bios.

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I think my Microserver is about to die!

 

The HP indicator sign is now turing RED when it is turned on, which I just read means something critical is wrong with the machine but I don't know what.  I have taken it apart, cleaned all the dust out, reseated all the removable parts (memory, wifi, graphics card, power connectors and motherboard connections). Not sure what else I can do at the moment as it is now in a continuous reboot loop no matter which usb or hard drive I install.  

 

Nothing is showing in the BIOS, but I am not surprised about that as this must rank as one of the worst bios's I have ever had the displeasure to come across.

 

This may well be the end of the journey for me with this little machine.

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A red light means a critical error has occurred. That is not something you want to see! I know that the system checks the fan speed. If it is running to slow the system wil not boot. But I don't know if that can cause a red light.

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The machine boots to the bios but fails to recognise any hard drives or usb pens that are installed or connected.  It runs through the boot process but gets no further.  I have a feeling it may be an issue with the CPU, as the power seems ok and the temperatures in the bios for the memory, cpu etc. are also ok.  I even stripped it down leaving the top and door off so there was no chance of it overheating but this didn't solve anything.

 

With regards the fan I had previously replaced the fan in this machine because it was too noisy, loose bearing or something causing the fan to vibrate.  The replacement fan was running fine, still is if I plug the power in and turn the machine on.  I used the fan from another Microserver that I broke when removing the SAS cable, the one that connects the four SATA ports to the motherboard.  The cable got stuck and I used too much force when removing it, when I plugged it back in the machine no longer worked.  This was also a N54L, I have ended up losing or breaking both of them now.  They are both sitting on the floor waiting to be cannibalised and will eventually be thrown out.

 

I have looked at buying another (new not used) but won't pay the exorbitant prices these Gen7 units go for, not when I could get a Gen8 Microserver for the same cost or less.  Looks like my N36L (Windows 10 server for my family) is going to get a memory boost and an upgraded graphics card!

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Well, it really sounds like there is nothing to do about it, sadly. But the gen8 microservers look also very attractive to me. And it may make things easier due to the Intel CPU.

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Aww no, I've not had any time to sort out my N36L yet! Might just throw that graphics card out and stick to the Snow Leopard install that's working. Just wanted an update so some of the apps I use can be updated and compatible!

 

Sorry to hear about your micro server Edhawk! Hope you sort it!

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Hey, How did you guys go about using Clover?

 

I booted into Yosemite, ran the clover pkg install and installed it. Installed the kexts in S/L/E then tried to boot with -v npci=0x2000 and it just goes straight to kernel panic

 

Still not sorted the graphics :(

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Hey, How did you guys go about using Clover?

 

I booted into Yosemite, ran the clover pkg install and installed it. Installed the kexts in S/L/E then tried to boot with -v npci=0x2000 and it just goes straight to kernel panic

 

Still not sorted the graphics :(

It's all about the right config file. I will post mine here if that will help you.

 

I still wonder why your graphics aren't working...

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It's all about the right config file. I will post mine here if that will help you.

 

I still wonder why your graphics aren't working...

 

If you could that would be great :)

 

Hmm, the graphics are infuriating me. Now the system does nothing when I load the graphics kexts! Previously it used to boot black and restart, now it just ignores the kexts and boots into the rubbish resolution!

 

Think I need to do a re-install. And buy a new graphics card

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It's probably not the best config file, but my server runs good with it :-)

 

I think you can manage to get it up and running with your current graphics card. Just give it a try with the method I did and described a few pages back in post #284

config.zip

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It's probably not the best config file, but my server runs good with it :-)

 

I think you can manage to get it up and running with your current graphics card. Just give it a try with the method I did and described a few pages back in post #284

Hmm, I think I'm gonna have to give up! Damn graphics! Either that or buy a different card that works with OS X!

 

I'm rolling back and giving Mavericks a try. See if that works with this HD6450 :(

 

Oh and thanks for the help and config file!

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Reinstalled Yosemite. Still coming across same problems. Got a spare USB stick, installed clover on it as per your instructions 85Razor, and I've booted into OS X without having to remove the graphics kexts. The system recognised the card as: AMD Radeon HD 6450/7450/8450/R5 230. However, VRAM is 5 MB and resolution is unchangeable from 1280 x 1024.

 

But at least there's progress!

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Bronya 10.10.5 RC3 see: http://www.insanelymac.com/forum/topic/285580-database-of-current-working-amd-kernels/page-4

 

AMD Radeon HD 6xxx:

 

  Chipset Model: AMD Radeon HD 6xxx

  Type: GPU

  Bus: PCIe

  PCIe Lane Width: x16

  VRAM (Total): 1024 MB

  Vendor: ATI (0x1002)

  Device ID: 0x6779

  Revision ID: 0x0000

  Displays:

LG TV:

  Resolution: 1920 x 1080 @ 60Hz (1080p)

  Pixel Depth: 32-Bit Color (ARGB8888)

  Main Display: Yes

  Mirror: Off

  Online: Yes

  Rotation: Supported

  Television: Yes

 
@Saf, see here how my card is detected
 
When booted in Clover, options, the card is detected as:
AMD Radeon HD 6450/7450/8450/R5 230
FBConfig: Bulrushes
Ports:06
 
maybe that's different on your setup?
 
Do you use SMBIOS: Mac Pro 3,1?

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Bronya 10.10.5 RC3 see: http://www.insanelymac.com/forum/topic/285580-database-of-current-working-amd-kernels/page-4

 

AMD Radeon HD 6xxx:

 

  Chipset Model: AMD Radeon HD 6xxx

  Type: GPU

  Bus: PCIe

  PCIe Lane Width: x16

  VRAM (Total): 1024 MB

  Vendor: ATI (0x1002)

  Device ID: 0x6779

  Revision ID: 0x0000

  Displays:

LG TV:

  Resolution: 1920 x 1080 @ 60Hz (1080p)

  Pixel Depth: 32-Bit Color (ARGB8888)

  Main Display: Yes

  Mirror: Off

  Online: Yes

  Rotation: Supported

  Television: Yes

 
@Saf, see here how my card is detected
 
When booted in Clover, options, the card is detected as:
AMD Radeon HD 6450/7450/8450/R5 230
FBConfig: Bulrushes
Ports:06
 
maybe that's different on your setup?
 
Do you use SMBIOS: Mac Pro 3,1?

 

 

 

Yup use that SMBIOS. Card is detected exactly the same as yours in Clover too...

 

Changed a BIOS setting and it disabled the HD6450 and enabled the onboard graphics. Somehow, clover has detected that as a Radeon HD 4330M and enabled the 'Inject ATI' for it which caused it to boot into a resolution of 1280x1024 through the VGA. I'm not actually bothered about the graphics or the way it looks on a monitor as I use it as a headless server.

 

Only issue is that screensharing is really slow and crashes the computer! I was hoping that sorting the graphics out would resolve it :(

 

How does screensharing work for you with working graphics? Can you screenshare into the server with no lag and without it crashing the server?

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maybe this helps:

 

use clover fake id for gpu ati (injection menu) write FBNAME to AMD and write fakeid to: 0x67791002

note: try disable inject amd and edid if blank screen

 

note: select display fix in dsdt fixes in clover

 

I never tried using the internal graphics but never managed to get it working. And now you say it works, kind of :)

 

Screensharing works ok. No crashes.

 

Did you do a new install with my method (or any other that works?). I am just using clover because I also use that on my Intel machine, but in the beginning I used Chameleon and that worked also very well. In Mavericks, Yosemite and El Capitan the card was working normally. So the question is what is different in your machine/setup that cause this problem.

 

Edit:

As it turns out, I got the Club 3D Radeon HD 6450 CGAX-6452LX1. Maybe if you fake your Sapphire to be this Club 3D, it works?

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Nope doesn't work :(

 

Made the installer USB using Clover as you said. Boots the verbose info but as soon as that's finished, it goes black screen and restarts. Only way to get it to boot is to remove the AMD kexts :(


I give up. Ordered a Asus ATI HD5450 in the hope that it works :)

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IT WORKS! The HD5450 WORKS! Just had to add the device ID into the kexts and reboot! I'm feeling severely emotional. I kinda wanna cry a little. 

 

Screen sharing works nice and smoothly, it WORKS!!!!

 

Now to calm down and move over all the stuff from my Snow Leopard HDD :)

 

Thanks for all the help 85Razor and Edhawk! I reinstalled it using your extremely simple Clover method (again) and done. Surprisingly snappy and responsive considering this is Yosemite vs Snow Leopard on this old N36L!

 

Now just need to install clover on to the boot hard drive instead of using the USB and should be ready to go!

 

Thanks again and if anyone needs any help, post and I'll do what I can to help! It's super simple, doesn't even need a step by step because there aren't many steps!! :)

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Saf,

 

Glad to hear you have Yosemite up and running with clover on your N36L.  As my N54L died I have just bought a Gen8 Microserver and plan to play about with that for a while, see if I can get OS X up and running on it, 10.10.5 or El Capitan.  Should be easier than the Gen7 machine as it has an Intel CPU but as it has a Celeron CPU it might not be that straight forward.

 

If OS X is a non starter on the Gen8 I will probably move my Windows 10 server to the Gen8 and have a go at installing OSX on my old N36L.

 

For those that are interested the Gen8 Microserver is selling for £170.28 including delivery on ServerPlus so with HP offering £55 cashback that means the Gen8 will only cost me £115 including delivery.  The memory from the Gen7 that died will work in the Gen8 so no need to purchase anything else to have the new Microserver up and running with 16GB of RAM, HD 6450 graphics and an SSD for the OS.  The lack of a second pci-e slot is a pain but I can use USB wireless & Bluetooth cards instead of the Apple half height wireless/Bluetooth combo card I recently purchased.

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Sounds good! Let us know how you get on with the Gen8 :)

 

I've got an N54L that I use as a Windows server for some very light business use. Could move that over to the N36L but someone stepped on a USB cable that was plugged into the back of it and now whenever you try to use the back USB ports, it shorts and restarts the whole thing :( 

 

Hope you have luck with the Gen8! I've not read anything about it OS X on or come across anyone who's tried it yet. Could be a first! 

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No it won't be the first time someone tried to install OS X on a Gen8.  I have another Gen8 that I tried installing Mavericks on a couple of years ago.  It didn't go smoothly and was at the time my first N54L died, so I ended up moving my company server on to the Gen8, installing WS2012 R2 essentials on to it.  I hope that with the improvements in Clover and the various installation methods available now for OS X that it will be smoother this time around.

 

I will let you know how I get on.  If I am successful I may start a new guide/topic for the installation of OS X on the Gen8. 

 

I know there is a whole bunch of adapters for installing additional hard drives etc. that have been developed for the Gen8.  I already own a couple of floppy - SATA power cables, which are required for installing an SSD in the optical drive bay.  I think the loss of the second pci-e slot will be a serious restriction in getting handoff and continuity working on the Gen8 Microserver.  The built-in graphics on the Gen8 may be suitable for running as a headless server but I don't think it will be any good for running OS X on a monitor for daily use.  Plus the way the SATA drives are connected through the Dynamic Smart Array B120i may cause problems installing OS X, as this may need different drivers that are not available in OS X.

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IT WORKS! The HD5450 WORKS! Just had to add the device ID into the kexts and reboot! I'm feeling severely emotional. I kinda wanna cry a little. 

 

Screen sharing works nice and smoothly, it WORKS!!!!

 

Now to calm down and move over all the stuff from my Snow Leopard HDD :)

 

Thanks for all the help 85Razor and Edhawk! I reinstalled it using your extremely simple Clover method (again) and done. Surprisingly snappy and responsive considering this is Yosemite vs Snow Leopard on this old N36L!

 

Now just need to install clover on to the boot hard drive instead of using the USB and should be ready to go!

 

Thanks again and if anyone needs any help, post and I'll do what I can to help! It's super simple, doesn't even need a step by step because there aren't many steps!! :)

 

Hi Saf,

 

I am glad you finally got it working. When you know how to do it, it's not that difficult. And with Clover it just works, stable and fast. 

 

I gave myself a gift, a Mac Pro 2008. Something new to get into! I can tell you it's a whole different experience compared to a N40L  :drool:

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Sounds good Edhawk :) Look forward to hearing about your Gen8 attempts!

 

 

Hi Saf,

 

I am glad you finally got it working. When you know how to do it, it's not that difficult. And with Clover it just works, stable and fast. 

 

I gave myself a gift, a Mac Pro 2008. Something new to get into! I can tell you it's a whole different experience compared to a N40L  :drool:

 

Thanks 85Razor :) 

 

Sounds good too! Haha completely different to an N40L!! What are your plans with it?

 

Also - Are you guys still having that same problem as with Snow Leopard about the time running too fast on the Microserver? Mine is still running faster than it should. Had a script which kept updating the time regularly but wondering if any of you guys have a better way or managed to solve it?

 

Saf :)

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