CluelessBeginner!

HP ProLiant Microserver N54L-Install XPEnology

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First post, and as you can see from my user name, I'm a complete beginner! So I apologise in advance for sounding completely dense!

 

My knowledge of servers and networking is very limited, but I'm reaching out for any advice I can get!!!

 

The N54L came up again on offer and just seemed a total bargain for around £100. I've heard a lot of good things about them for using them as a home media server. I also here that using XPEnology is an awesome way to go.

 

Basically, I have the above micro server (not upgraded in any way). Awaiting delivery of a 3TB SATA drive which I have already noticed people have used successfully in this server. I have around 1.1TB (to date) of MKV movies and TV shows on an external 2TB drive. I want to use the micro server as a way of using PLEX on my TV. I have the app on my Samsung Smart TV and I've heard a lot of good things about PLEX. I would also like to use the server to back up photos and music as well.

 

Does any have (or have a link to) a guide for beginners such as myself, on how to get XPEnology up and running from scratch?? I thought for the money it was well worth me trawling the net for information and having a crack at it! Hopefully I won't make a complete mess of it, but I like a challenge!!!

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You can install Trantor's 4.2 3211 build, it works fine, needs almost no after-editing.

You should also get the modded BIOS. It helps a lot and speeds up stuff.

 

But I would not use Plex if I were you. Direct playback from SAMBA is a lot faster, especially for MKV. For low profile, I can get good 1080p playback on DLNA/WebPlayer with low profile MKVs, but almost nobody makes those now.

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Thank you Fonix

 

I appreciate the advice. Where can I find the modded BIOS? And I'm guessing this would also be my first step?

 

Just sit back, and read, take your time :smile: Everything is detailed in this thread, and yes, it is compatible:

viewtopic.php?f=2&t=6

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You can install Trantor's 4.2 3211 build, it works fine, needs almost no after-editing.

You should also get the modded BIOS. It helps a lot and speeds up stuff.

 

But I would not use Plex if I were you. Direct playback from SAMBA is a lot faster, especially for MKV. For low profile, I can get good 1080p playback on DLNA/WebPlayer with low profile MKVs, but almost nobody makes those now.

 

Hi, and appologies as I know this is an older thread, but you say about NOT using Plex, and instead using direct playback from Samba.

How do you stream the media to the TV without using Plex? I tried using the built-in Media Server (on theDSM) but it didn't seem to work very well.

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You can install Trantor's 4.2 3211 build, it works fine, needs almost no after-editing.

You should also get the modded BIOS. It helps a lot and speeds up stuff.

 

But I would not use Plex if I were you. Direct playback from SAMBA is a lot faster, especially for MKV. For low profile, I can get good 1080p playback on DLNA/WebPlayer with low profile MKVs, but almost nobody makes those now.

 

Hi, and appologies as I know this is an older thread, but you say about NOT using Plex, and instead using direct playback from Samba.

How do you stream the media to the TV without using Plex? I tried using the built-in Media Server (on theDSM) but it didn't seem to work very well.

 

To begin with, I don't have a TV :wink: So I can use a simple SMB mount and use that. When I want TV-like results, I have XBMC installed, it kinda gives the feeling of a DVR/VOD set-top-box, so that's it.

But if you really want to stream stuff, I'd suggest using Serviio. It is a small DLNA server, a lot better performance-vise than Plex, and supports most of the widely used formats.

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I have an N54L and Samsung TV and I would not hesitate to use Plex. It works perfectly.

I have all sorts of media from simple MP4 to full rips of my Blurays in MKV even 3D.

You will need to use a wired connection and preferable gbit.

The only very minor issue with Plex is with embedded subs but when extracted they work too.

If the 3D files are named correctly the Samsung auto switches to the correct 3D mode (if your TV supports it).

Plex is also a DLNA client which is significantly faster than SMB :wink:

 

I followed the guide in the thread mentioned and was up an running in <30 mins.

 

I'll just cover the basics:

 

You'll need to connect the N54l to a VGA monitor and keyboard.

Download the relevant files: BIOS, USB boot image, PAT file (flash image) and Synology assistant.

If using more than 4 drives update the BIOS to enable all drives to operate at full speed.

Install the USB image to a suitable stick and boot from the internal USB port. ** REMOVE USB**

Fire up Synology assistant. Find the device on your network, right click select install, point to PAT file. wait.

When finished installing re-insert USB and reboot.

 

I have the files on Dropbox if required.

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I have an N54L and Samsung TV and I would not hesitate to use Plex. It works perfectly.

I have all sorts of media from simple MP4 to full rips of my Blurays in MKV even 3D.

You will need to use a wired connection and preferable gbit.

The only very minor issue with Plex is with embedded subs but when extracted they work too.

If the 3D files are named correctly the Samsung auto switches to the correct 3D mode (if your TV supports it).

Plex is also a DLNA client which is significantly faster than SMB :wink:

 

I followed the guide in the thread mentioned and was up an running in <30 mins.

 

I'll just cover the basics:

 

You'll need to connect the N54l to a VGA monitor and keyboard.

Download the relevant files: BIOS, USB boot image, PAT file (flash image) and Synology assistant.

If using more than 4 drives update the BIOS to enable all drives to operate at full speed.

Install the USB image to a suitable stick and boot from the internal USB port. ** REMOVE USB**

Fire up Synology assistant. Find the device on your network, right click select install, point to PAT file. wait.

When finished installing re-insert USB and reboot.

 

I have the files on Dropbox if required.

 

DLNA faster than SMB? Please don't make me laugh my ass off :wink:

DLNA can be faster MAYBE, if you're streaming to a client with lesser capabilities. But if you're using any recent computer, 720p-1080p decoding locally is a lot faster than on your N54L, mostly because of the missing proprietary drivers for our GPU. At least for me, any player I tried, DLNA was a lot slower than accessing it via SMB. Only exception would be XBMC's PleXBMC plugin.

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DLNA faster than SMB? Please don't make me laugh my ass off :wink:

 

DLNA is a protocol for media devices (Digital Living Network Alliance) and on these type of devices will be significantly faster than SMB (if SMB is supported at all).

Of course on a fast PC SMB can be faster but the question is for streaming to a media client in this case a Samsung TV.

My experience is the opposite to you in that any client I tried was faster over DLNA but then I assume our clients are different, mine being tablets, media streamers, games consoles etc.

 

The other benefit of DLNA is that it is zero conf so for people with limited network knowledge e.g. the OP, it is ideal.

The N54L with Plex media server and Samsung SMART TV with plex client really is an ideal solution.

 

Horses for courses and all that :wink:

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Hi,

I'm due to receive my 54L tomorrow and just reading this post it refers to link that apparently explains it all on how to step and configure one of these.

Is that link still correct as I couldn't see any post relating to how to stepup and configure one.

 

maybe anthonyuk if your willing you could offer me some advise as I'm after doing what you have with regards Plex.

 

thanks

Dave.

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Well the 54l turned up today.

Created the bootable USB stick which boots up to the point of saying Booting the kernel then nothing else.

I try to see the device on my network but nothing finds it.

 

Any advice would be most welcome.

 

DAve

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I try to see the device on my network but nothing finds it.

DAve

Including Synology Assistant?

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Including the assistant ,

The network lights are flashing away and I have tried another network cable.

I presume when it sits at the booting the kernel that's as far as you see?

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Try another USB stick - you should see a lot more going on, when it boots from the stick.

A 32 or 63MB (yes, Megabytes) stick is all you need.

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well i just tried writing it onto a 128meg and it said there wasn't enough space.

The image file is 125,952

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Why not go for the 4.3 image, now that it is available?

I'm running 4.3 (3810) on my N54L without any problems.

Did you flash a modded BIOS? Which makes it possible to use up to 6 disks in the server.

 

Sorry about my guessing about the size for the USB stick. I have used a 128MB and a 256MB, both have worked flawlessly. My img-files are only 32MB and as I recall it only used approx 16MB of my stick.

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Thanks Zarocq,

 

Where would I find the 4.3 image please?

 

I presume I flash that to the USB, power on the 54 with it again and go through the process off installing a PAT again?

Also where do I find the bios as I would like to do that as well.

 

thank you for your help

Dave

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Well I'm unto 4.2 now but can't find 4.3

Very top of this forum list: viewtopic.php?f=14&t=1700

This image is smaller and should fit in 43MB USB drive. Some older versions with various repacks were 120-200MB in size.

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I presume I flash that to the USB, power on the 54 with it again and go through the process off installing a PAT again?

Also where do I find the bios as I would like to do that as well.

The process of upgrading from 4.2 to 4.3 is as you described.

 

You may find the BIOS here:

http://www.avforums.com/threads/hp-n36l ... t.1521657/

 

I have configured the BIOS according to this:

 

From the main screen go to ‘Chipset > Southbridge Configuration > SB SATA Configuration’ and make sure your settings are the same as below:

OnChip SATA Channel = Enabled

SATA PORTS 4/5 IDE mode = Disabled

SATA EPS on all PORT = Enabled

SATA Power on all PORT = Enabled

Return to the main screen then go to ‘Advanced > IDE Configuration’ and again, make sure your settings are the same as below.

Embedded SATA Link Rate = 3.0Gbps MAX

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Thank you Guys,

 

Currently on 4.3 and going to do the bios upgrade later.

Thank you for your help.

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When I went from 4.1, 4.2 to 4.3 yesterday even thou I have only started setting up a 54l the one test fileI had on the disks was their between all the updates.

 

On another note:

 

Do the front USB's work on the 54l in the synology software?

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