Ikon

Acer H340 DSM3617xs can't ping after 1st reboot

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Hi. I've got a bit of a strange situation. I hauled an Acer H340 out of storage and thought I'd try to install XPEnology on it. I followed Polanskiman's tutorial and, on the 1st attempt, it all worked like a charm. However, when I went to redo the install (to test if it's repeatable) I haven't been able to install again at all. I've tried several different USB sticks, including ones that worked before, but no go. What's happening now is the install is proceeding all the way to the point of the first reboot (after step 3: Install DSM to hard drive). I've watched the H340 closely when the reboot is supposed to take place and, indeed, all the LEDs except for Power go out briefly then come back on. The LAN LED starts to blink again as well, but it appears the system never gets a renewed IP address. I've tried using Express Setup and Complete Setup (where I disabled DHCP and hardcoded the IP info). Neither work. The install times out, tries to do step 4: Write configurations, but of course it can't because it can't talk to the box. Anyone have any idea what's going on?

 

Also, is it necessary to wipe out and rewrite the .img to the boot USB stick each time I try a new install?

 

I have also been using DISKPART to CLEAN the drives for each new install attempt. Is that required?

 

BTW, the one time the install completed and I logged into the H340, the performance was really good. Everything was 'snappy'. I think it will make a good XPEnology box, if I can ever figure out the installation.

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Thanks so much @Polanskiman. I readily admit I'm completely new to XPEnology, and a lot of it is confusing. But, your tutorial worked so well the 1st time.....

Format the HDD, as in, create 1 large partition and format it NTFS?

I've re-imaged USB keys so often I can do it blindfolded now :)  I did find out you should not use DISKPART to CLEAN a USB stick. I've got 2 toasted SanDisk 8GB Cuzer to prove that.

The biggest bugbear is that it all went SO well the first time. What the????

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I may have identified part of the issue with the H340. I pulled out an old Intel DG33M06 board and powered it up. This gave me a monitor and keyboard to work with. When I went to install XPE using the MBR version of the DS3617xs loader I noticed that there didn't seem to be a timer countdown. If I hit Enter the install proceeded. After the reboot, there was again no countdown timer, so I hit Enter again and the installation completed successfully.... and quickly.

 

When I tried the EFI loader on the DG33M06, I noticed that the menu was displayed only very briefly then the installation proceeded. After the first reboot, however, the menu came up and stayed up, until I hit Enter, at which point the installation completed successfully.

 

So, my hunch is that the H340 isn't working partly because it's sitting there waiting for a menu selection to be made. I tried plugging in a USB keyboard and hitting Enter, but it didn't proceed. However, I noticed that the LAN LED hasn't been coming on, so I'm going to do it again using a SanDisk Cruzer 8GB stick.

 

Is there a way to skip the menu and, perhaps, hard-code the menu choice into grub.cfg?

 

Oh, BTW, on the DG33M06 (Core2quad 2.33GHZ, 4GB RAM) XPEnology is really fast.

Edited by Ikon

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More update:

At least on the H340, maybe because I have to use Jun's MBR .img, rather than the GPT .img, it doesn't seem to be enough to have the hard drive formatted as a single partition. Even deleting any partitions using Disk Manager doesn't seem to work. The only way I've consistently gotten results is to use the CLEAN command in DISKPART. That's the only configuration that seems to allow the H340 to get an IP. Other configs just lead to the LAN LED never coming on at all. Without LAN connectivity the server can't be found by DS Assistant and the install can't proceed.

 

Even then, once the copying of DSM to the hard drive is complete, and the system reboots, it never gets an IP and DS Assistant can't complete the install. I've even tried putting a jumper on the debug pins on the H340's motherboard, which apparently is required to get video, keyboard, and mouse working, but hitting Enter on the keyboard did nothing.

 

I have an PCIeX1 video card on order, so I'll see what that shows me.

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A video card won't do anything. The boot logs will not be channelled through video. You need a serial cable and another computer/laptop to be able to see the boot logs.

As for the grub menu not having a countdown this indicates to me that after the computer has booted a signal is being sent mimicking a keystroke on the keyboard thus halting the countdown. Try disconnecting the keyboard prior booting see if the countdown happens. If it does then it means that your keyboard could be faulty or that a key is permanently pressed. If not then it could be from any device connected to the box so I advise you disconnect any unnecessary device and also disable any superfluous settings in the Bios.

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Thanks again. The reason for the video card is so I can see and get into the BIOS. That way, I can, hopefully, force the system to boot always from the USB stick. I will give your other suggestions a try.

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3 hours ago, Ikon said:

Thanks again. The reason for the video card is so I can see and get into the BIOS. That way, I can, hopefully, force the system to boot always from the USB stick. I will give your other suggestions a try.

Anytime you plug an USB device in your H340 your boot order is changed. 

So a VGA adapter will be an advantage!

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1 hour ago, Dreadnought said:

Anytime you plug an USB device in your H340 your boot order is changed. 

So a VGA adapter will be an advantage!

 

Thanks. That will help. However, good news: I have been able work out how to install XPEnology onto the H340 reliably and repeatedly. I just created a new topic with my findings:

Many thanks to everyone who has contributed to the world of XPEnology, but I would be remiss if I didn't give special thanks to @Polanskiman. Thanks.

 

 

 

Edited by Ikon

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10 hours ago, Ikon said:

Thanks again. The reason for the video card is so I can see and get into the BIOS. That way, I can, hopefully, force the system to boot always from the USB stick. I will give your other suggestions a try.

 

Noted. Thought you want to see boot logs and didn't know that board didn't have at least an onboard graphic controller.

 

On 2/20/2018 at 11:56 PM, Ikon said:

When I tried the EFI loader on the DG33M06, I noticed that the menu was displayed only very briefly then the installation proceeded. After the first reboot, however, the menu came up and stayed up, until I hit Enter, at which point the installation completed successfully.

 

The menu displays briefly because the grub.cfg file is configured for a 1 second display. This can be edited in the grub file by modifying the value of 'timeout=' as specified in the tutorial I made.

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The 1 second delay I get. What had me wondering was why it didn't behave that way after the reboot. Your tip about the keyboard did the trick. I had a Logitech Unifying Receiver plugged into one of the USB ports. Taking it out allowed the bootup to proceed without stopping. So I guess XPEnology likes to run headless :)

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If you had a usb receiver it means from the moment you moved the mouse it registered it as a key I suppose and stopped the countdown.

DSM is basically a 'server' OS, so yes it is supposed to run headless like any other server.

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