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

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I have found my attempts to install OS X on my new Gen8 Microserver to be futile, for a number of reasons:

  1. Gen8 wants hard disks set in a RAID array.  Even with creating 5 Raid 0 arrays and selecting the SSD in the OOD bay it doesn't like booting OSX, definitely  not with the HP intelligent provisioning.
  2. Selecting AHCI mode over the B120i raid card  has a number of problems, it doesn't want to allow you to boot from a SATA drive in the OOD port and ports 2 & 3 do not work under AHCI mode, only ports 0 & 1 (the two SATA III ports).
  3. I could boot to the clover USB pen drive I created, using the latest clover and with a well defined clover config plist, however the installation stalls very quickly due to USB issues.
  4. I read up on USB issues for other desktop machines running OSX but could not find anything similar to this issue.  All of the fixes I tried failed at the same point.
  5. None of the USB ports are Intel, and the two USB 3.0 ports are automatically disabled during start up.
  6. This installation issue due to USB errors happens with Mavericks and Yosemite, never bothered with El Cap.

I have spent best part of the last week seeing if I could get this to boot OSX but am about to give up and install Windows 10 Pro on the Gen8 as the base OS for my family media server, this is currently on my old N36L with Windows 8.1 Pro, so I will shortly have a Gen7 Microserver available to play with again.

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85Razor & Saf,

 

I reconfigured my Gen8 Microserver to Windows 10, OS X wasn't happening for me with this new server.  Too many USB and Raid issues for me to resolve.

 

I have just reconfigured my N36L by installing 10.10.5 using Clover with the all in one installer recommended by 85Razor.  The installation worked a treat, only issue I had was with the ethernet kext not being recognised and my Wi-Fi card being set as EN0.  I ended up placing the kext in S/L/E using Kext Wizard and now that I have reconfigured my Wi-Fi and ethernet to correct the EN0 & EN2 issues everything is working just fine.

 

I now need to tweak my install to have Trim for the OS SSD, install OS X server and then start redeploying my data hard drives.

 

The clover boot and latest AMD kernels from Bronya and Spakk are amazingly fast compared to my previous build.  No issues with icons or graphics.

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Shame about the Gen8 :(

 

Yup, the N36L runs surprisingly fast with Yosemite. Boots fast and it's ok. I'm still testing and tweaking. Not fully sure with the stability yet.

 

I'm finding the ethernet isn't as fast as it used to be. I think it throws up a lot of errors using this kext too. In Snow Leopard, I had no issued with it. Streaming, file sharing from computer to computer, downloading etc was nice and speedy. Little slower in Yosemite.

 

Also having an issue with USB drives. They're always connected and after some time, they sometimes don't work. Files won't show or load and it crashes finder which can't be relaunched. Have to hard restart it with power button. I'm not sure if that's an issue with the external hard drives though. I'm just tweaking all that now.

 

The time is still going too fast but I've had it auto update with a script.

 

Other than that, it's going ok. Hopefully I can sort out these minor issues!

 

Are there any newer ethernet kexts? Or anything to have more stable USB ports?

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Saf,

 

The Gen8 has a worse bios and initial setup than the Gen7.  HP have gone out of their way to make their Intelligent Provisioning start-up process good for Windows and some specific Linux installs.  Anything else and you are on your own and likely to struggle to get the system configured for a non supported OS.

 

None of the Ethernet kexts are perfect, because we have had to add the device ID for our adapter to a kext that was originally written/converted for some other 'similar' Nextreme Broadcom adapters. The only issue I have found with this kext/adapter is when the network shares on various machines are slow to populate when I select Network from the server and my main Hack.  Other than this the network transfers have been reasonably constant and at a reasonable speed.

 

I've not had any issues with USB ports and not needed to amend/delete or add any kexts to get these working.  I had included a GenericUSB kext in my S/L/E as part of my installation but it wasn't loading in Yosemite so I deleted it and repaired the permissions.  I don't know what could be causing your issues with the external drives.  I had a WD external drive connected to my N54L via USB for Time Machine backups and didn't have any problems with it.

 

I have installed the Apple Server app on my N36L, seems to be working just fine - file sharing, time machine backups and apple cache serving.  I have not installed/activated any of the other server options yet but may do so as time allows and need arises.

 

 

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Such a shame, they make nice little OS X server boxes! The Gen 8 could've been fun to play with! I'm itching for an upgrade!

 

Ignore my previous network moan, it's actually normal. No issues with that other than my own mistakes!

 

Still having a few issues with these USB drives. I'm thinking it could be the drives though. Still tweaking.

 

How's your clock? Is it too fast or is it ok? Mine seems to have sorted itself out now. Clover picked up the bus speed and now the time is running as it should and not faster!

 

I've put the OS X server app on, mainly for the VPN server but the other features look interesting. Shame it isn't El Capitan as the server app supports iOS folder shares for it. Might give El Capitan a go on the spare HDD if I get some time. Will have to do some reading up first!

 

Still can't believe how well Yosemite runs on the N36L. To think Snow Leopard was back in 2011!

 

Saf :)

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Edhawk:

 

Could you check something for me please?

 

When booting the server in verbose mode, do you get the following error message at anytime?:

 

SATA WARNING: Enable auto-activate failed.

 

It spits up this line during the boot up. No issues and boots and works fine. Just wondered if you were getting the same line so I can rule out any hardware errors on my server!

 

Thanks!

 

Saf :)

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Saf,

 

I will have a look for the SATA Warning message when I reboot next and let you know if it appears during boot.

 

El Capitan on AMD is still problematic, I have been keeping an eye on the posts in the AMD Development section for EC and will like you probably play with a spare hd when I have the inclination and they have developed a kernel that will work for most low end AMD CPU's.  The iOS sections do look interesting but as you say shame they don't work on Yosemite.

 

Clock speed is fine on my machine.


EDIT

 

SATA Warning does appear when my machine boots in verbose mode, as you say it doesn't appear to effect the boot process. it appears at the point where the 'Still waiting for root device' message would appear during boot, if you had a problem with your HD or USB installer.

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Thanks for checking that! :)

 

What SMBios are you using at the moment with the N36L?

 

Yup, will be keeping an eye on the AMD El Capitan Kernel dev and tinkering about with it. Hopefully it'll work just as well as Yosemite! :)

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Saf,

 

I have not changed any SMBIOS settings with this install.  I have given up trying to get iMessage and iCloud to work with the N36L and Yosemite.  It is using a Mac Pro 3.1 SMBIOS.

 

I know some of the testers who are testing the El Capitan kernels have got all the Apple applications working on their AMD Hackintosh's.  For us it will be a similar story to Yosemite, we will only be able to install El Capitan once the AMD kernel development is mature, which means Apple will probably be offering 10.12.1 before we get El Capitan to install on a Microserver! 

 

But I believe we will be able to make El Capitan work on a Microserver once a mature kernel has been developed.  In my opinion there are too many USB and artefact issues that cause problems for high powered AMD CPU's at the moment, never mind the low power units we are trying to use.

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How's the server running for you Edhawk?

 

So far so good for me. My problem with the USB drives have stopped. The issue was the Apple USB keyboard. If that was plugged in at boot and left in, then the USB drives used to stop responding after a while. As long as it's unplugged, no issues. 

 

The ethernet is still a bit rubbish. I know that the issue is the kext not being made for this, but I had absolutely no issues under Snow Leopard. Zero issues under heavy load etc. With Yosemite, occasionally under heavy load, it loses connection and the IP address changes to 168.xxxx. Needs a restart. 

 

But other than that, no real issues. Will do a bit more tweaking with the ethernet and update if I get to the bottom of my issue.

 

Saf :)

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Saf,

 

I am now also having Ethernet issues with the built-in adapter dropping under heavy load.  So I have ordered a low profile Ethernet card with a Realtek 8111 chipset and will swap out the Wi-Fi card in the x1 pci-e slot as I don't use the wireless aspects of this machine.  I plan to disable the built-in a adapter and install the latest 8111 driver for the new card.  I will let you know how I get on with the new card, it cost around £10 on amazon.

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Saf,

 

I am now also having Ethernet issues with the built-in adapter dropping under heavy load.  So I have ordered a low profile Ethernet card with a Realtek 8111 chipset and will swap out the Wi-Fi card in the x1 pci-e slot as I don't use the wireless aspects of this machine.  I plan to disable the built-in a adapter and install the latest 8111 driver for the new card.  I will let you know how I get on with the new card, it cost around £10 on amazon.

 

Hey,

 

Before you do, I've got another kext if you wanna try? I remembered that when I setup the micro server on Yosemite, I was using the ethernet kext that you guys were linking to. 

 

And when using Snow Leopard, I remembering looking around and tweaking a kext slightly. I took the old kext out of the snow leopard install and put it in here and it seems to be working fine in Yosemite, as it used to for me in Snow Leopard. 

 

Did that a few hours after my last post here and the server has an uptime of 33 days now and hasn't flinched under heavy loads. I've been away and constantly VPN'd to it for 14 days out of that too.

 

I've attached it. Let me know how you get on.

BCM5722D.kext.zip

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Saf,

 

Thanks I'll give the BCM5722D kext you are using a try and see how it works out.

 

FYI, I had received the new Ethernet card by the time you posted, one of the benefits (or in this case drawbacks) of Amazon Prime next day delivery!

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Saf,

 

I am currently using the Realtek card in the PCI-e x1 slot and it works just fine with the latest 8111 kext.  I had to delete the existing network preference items and also Library/Preferences/SystemConfiguration/NetworkInterfaces.plist in order that the Realtek card was given en0 rather than en2 as happened when I first installed the card.

 

FYI

 

I came across an updated BCM5722D kext version 2.3.6 which is supposed to have solved the connection dropping under intense load, see http://www.insanelymac.com/forum/files/file/79-bcm5722d/

 

I'm not sure what version the kext you are using is but this updated kext looks promising.  As per usual we have to add the device ID for the built-in network card to the info.plist - DEVICEID_BCM5723 0x165B before the network card in the HP MicroServer will be recognised.

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Will give that new kext a go in a few days.

 

The server needs to have a display connected when booting as otherwise screensharing is painfully slow. It's an OS X issue it seems. CPU vs GPU processing for screen sharing. I use it headless. Not that big a deal seeing as I don't restart much but means can't try out a new kext without first plugging the server into a monitor for boot! 

 

I'm just waiting on a HDMI dummy plug that I've ordered. That should solve the issue. Tricks it into thinking that a monitor is plugged in and can change resolution and hopefully keep a speedy screen share!

 

How is the realtek card working?

 

Saf

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No problems with the Realtek card to date.  I have been moving movie files back and forth between my hack and the server to test it, hundreds of GB's moved both ways.

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Ok, not that many people are still playing with one of these Gen7 Microservers, but I thought I would post this just to update this thread.

 

I have El Capitan 10.11.6 running on a HP N36L Microserver!

 

Before anyone gets carried away I have cheated big time, by installing OS X 10.11.6 (15G31) on another AMD PC I own, and moving the hard drive from the Asus Sabertooth & FX3850 PC to the Microserver.  With a few tweaks to the Extensions folder and a change of the smbios file this has worked without too much hassle.

 

The AMD install follows Shanee's installation methodology with Enoch as the boot loader, which is similar in most ways to Chameleon.  I have replaced the apple kernel with an AMD Kernel created by one of the AMD developers on this site, not sure which as I tried a few before settling on this one - Darwin/x86_64 [Darwin Kernel Version 15.6.0: Fri  5 Aug 2016 21:00:14 BST; root:xnu-3248.60.10/BUILD/obj/RELEASE_X86_64].  Sorry can't point you to the kernel.

 

Smbios used for the Microserver is Mac Pro 3.1.

 

org.chameleon.boot.plist is attached.

 

Boot Args: -v kext-dev-mode=1 npci=0x2000 usekernelcache=No 

 

I have disabled the onboard Broadcom Ethernet controller and I am using a Realtek 8111 ethernet card in the x1 pcie slot.

 

I have an AMD HD 6450 2GB graphics card installed in the x16 pcie slot.

 

I have a few minor issues with USB details not showing in 'About this Mac'.  But otherwise my bluetooth and Wi-Fi usb dongles attached to the Microserver work without any issues.

 

I thought it would take a while for anyone to be able to get El Capitan up and running in a reasonable manner on one of these old Microservers, and I wasn't wrong, I have managed it just before Mac OS X 10.12.0 is released.

 

Anyway, good luck to anyone else interested in getting the latest OS X running on one of these servers.

 

 

 

 

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Still playing with the Microserver, just updated it to OS X 10.11.6 (15G31), using Shanee's AMD kernel (10-2) dated 5th August 2016.

 

USB information missing from About this Mac, but the ports work OK.  Having applied Spakk's El Capitan USB Fix v3.

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I'm running into the same issues now with the ethernet card :(

 

Ordered the realtek card you mentioned, will try and get it in soon. 

 

10.11 working ok? Might try and update too!

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