HP Proliant G7     Used as a Home backup server only!   
 See general slide show #1 !
Slide show #2 (Bios settings for booting things and P812 installation.

Specifically the DL380  (P67) SFF server.  (small form factor)

G7 means HP generation 7.  SFF = 2.5" hard drive form factor below ,  or the LFF is 3.5" (small form factor U2) not shown here.

Goals:
Upgrades done are P812 raid card installed.
with a full sized 1GB [912 actual] cache  and FBWC (flash back) (the bigger the cache the faster migrations happen or new disk for bad replaced)
This FBWC also prevents the silly named (write-hole) with loss of AC power. (if it was to happen you loose data and or Windows (or your OS) goes to corrupted.
Lun 1: SATA 120GB SSD. (slot 1 backplane 0)
Lune2, a
6 drive 300GB RAID 6 (1.2GB calc. space) and x4 speed gain.
Got rid of the weak P410i and installed my new P812, so RAID 6 works, and 1GB CACHE with Flash back CAP.


Related  projects to HP G7 server features: (and tests I did) G7 means Generation 7.

My Journal:
Got mine for a whopping, $96 no HDD's.
This server can even run MS Windows Server 2016 ! (proof here from SPP)     <<< (  HP bans me as not Entitled !
My Dell R710 server looks the same but is a better machine.
The best software to run is WIN2012R2 , loaded with this Application  HPE SSA  seen here. v2.65.7.0(21 Apr 2017) or newer, that run RAID controller support, (ACU program, is now obsolete) 
The goal here is for max , migration support in the ARRAY and no license blocks.

I also run Anydesk for remote access (free for home use, and super  easy to  setup) and the free HP IIRC remote appl.
SFF form factor, 2.5" drives only!
With two Intel Xeon quad core processors isside.
The P410 is the base line cheap, RAID controller inside, and is a pain to use. (needs a license to work right! and is not sold now !)
 RAID 6 as a choice is dead.
No matter what hoops I jump through.
I did flash the 410s firmware, and things got better as did the  2TB limit on drivers is gone. (was told the license rules are dropped now , but I see no proof)  I did not find RAID 6 upgrade.
P812 here I come. (proof later)"  NOTE: Smart Array Advanced Pack (SAAP) is hosted on the Smart Array Controller hardware and can be enabled on the HP Smart ArrayP212, P410, P410i, and P812 in fact the G7 parts list names P812 as CTO part (options).
 
The rule of SAAP it is called.
The 410 does not get the free SAAP v2 only the cards with higher model numbers like 420, etc.

The word Firmware (FW) means EEPROM , the iLo3 ROM.
Flashing firmware means burning the EEPROM flash memory chips. (to flash is a verb) The word flash was coined for super fast burning EEPROM .
The F8 HP horrors are:
The F8 key fights over the RAID BIOS and the ilo3 in this very odd way, and you must  hit the F8 at the correct boot  moment, I can not believe HP did this F8 mess, gee there are 12 keys there; use them.
 
The HDD are hot swap drives! (unlike say a desktop PC)
My SSD runs fast enough (via SAS bus) using atto,  this is  what I see , reads as fast at 800MB/s
The HDD SAS  runs at full bus speeds, (per the RAID card manual) but less on SATA drives. (SAS is best for speed and life spans) The 5 drive raid runs this fast.
The HDD controller will show LED errors if the S.M.A.R.T data has errors, and  if you pay attention you can get bad drives out of the array fast, and win this battle.
The SAS drives have smarter smarts than does SATA generic.  HP adds this to the drive, for better early failure warnings and HP added more with thre own hdd revised firmware, etc.
The the controller ROM is not going to be infected by a virus as can software RAID, so easy. (the HP and Dell firmware is fully safe and bug free)
RAID 6 or 10 are best, I run 6. (array class)
See the unique dual role connector here.

The first thing to do on any used server like mine is update all firmware first.
BIOS first, then RAID card, then all HDD fashed too, and iLo3. 

Here is the HP ROM PAQ link:

Release Version: 08/16/2015 (lucky me, this was present on my machine day 1)

Last Recommended or Critical Revision: 08/16/2015

Previous Revision: 07/02/2013

See my iLo3 page here for Firmware upgades.
All other major devices, the flash support is there at HPE, On the same pages, for  NETWORK CHIP, RAID SMART-ARRAY storage, iL03, and more.



BUILDING MY FILE SERVER:
Windows Server Installs the old fashioned why by hand, no HP hand holding.
As in any RAID based server , build the ARRAYfirst with just one drive first, using F8 BIOS, then switch to SSA later to add move drives. (there is no Drive passthrough on this card, you must do Create Drive first)
The P410i has  thing that looks like battery BBWC, but is NOT, a battery it is a nice SUPER CAP, 35-FARAD (a pair) that is all it is. Its  FBWC (flash back)
The are 2 batteries, one a real battery and the far better battery that is a SUPER CAP.  are wired in series for 5.4vdc storage and 1/2 35F or 17.5Farads. (if the SSA says CAP is discharged give it a few minutes)
Do not do RAID modifications with the CAP or battery dischanged.
The P401i controller on board, is only SAAP v1 enabled, it does not get the free SAAP V2, that gives you all the features, this is why I abondoned my 410 for 812. (the 812 has all features out of the box)

I made RAID test page here.

Ready to Rock is Windows Server 2012-R2,  or win2016 server OS. 
This controller 410  does not do true HBA (called Pass-through) Yes you  could see up to 8 , RAID 0 drives, but that will not work using Software raid, do not do that, buy a real HBA card and use that like LSI9211(hba).
The next pitfall are used disks, and will snow up as Alien, to the RAID controller.  (alien means I did not build  this disk ever)
If sure the Alien data is not yours or is not needed, then erase them all.
If the P812 has the full Cache features as is best, them  the SSA program will show the new erase feature (new on  newest 812 firmware)  (this is secure erase so may be slow)
One pitfall is using a  HDMI to VGA adapter on this server to say a TV or very modern Monitor lacking VGA. (it will fail)

I upgrades the RAID ROM first
to V6.64. 
I am using the P812 as I could not ever get the 410 to do RAID 6. (tired ever trick in the book and 1GB cache and FBCW newest firmware ,etc )
The ROM is called  (ORCA is the RAID ROM) via F8 key. (a good read is here page 9 for sure.)
If the F8 key is not prompted on the screen, then go into the main BIOS ROM , and find the page that shows, Enable ROM prompts , do not disable this ever)
F9 is the hot key for Main BIOS entry, the F10 is exit, the F8 key is RAID ROM. (all are power on hot keys after you hear a beep and after the Sea of Sensors Icom POPs up)
F11 hot key is force boot order key. (if boot order is wrong)
Watch out for 2 ROMs using F8 key, (RAID and Ilo3) you must time the key stroke to get the right one. (yes inane !) Btw Dell does not have this problem.

First erase all HDD , new or used, for safety and not wanting others data on your system , so  ERASE them all,  as  shown here.
  1. Be ready to  install  MS Windows Server 64bit 2012/16.  (2012R2 is only 15GB sized, and way less bloat  than 2016 server)  Get the ISO, and build the USB Mem stick to boot it. (or do this)
  2. For the OS,   put on one SSD drive,  in the SAS cage slot1.
  3. Do not mix SAS and SATA drives (Use the ORCA to set up the boot drive)
  4. In the F8 Raid BIOS see the disk and pick create  drive.  (it must show up or the drive is missing or not erased first , you can setup a 1 disk RAID 0 if you want for the OS only) RAID 0 is not HBA nor JBOD.
  5. Install Win 2012 Server with the  USB STICK (HP KEY)  If boot order is wrong use this trick , called the  Forced boot  hot key key F11 (fast boot menu choices)
  6. The OS is now running.  (easy no?) F11 key lets you install the OS easy if no  USB ports are disabled in BIOS.
  7. I  installed program HP SSA, to the server as an APPlication,  it's free, here.  Then used it to build  up the array RAID 6.  It does it and reports when done the merge and sync.
  8. After disk 2 sync's up I add more disks, the the one logical volume set.    (one large RAID 6, array, using 7 or 8 disks)  You can have  8 disks if the OS is on hidden SDD seen here on my Dell.
  9. Once that is all built  up you must let the controller finish them one by one.  (I never tried all drives at once)
  10. Building arrays are  fully covered in the HP free books.  All steps.


 Lots of facts below on problems and cures, and choices for Arrays:  Raid 6 and 10 are very popular and for good reasons, Raid 5 is  mine field of failures in the wild.

HP links, main HPE page.

I like this chart.!  The Write  cache ratios on the P410 can be tuned up in  BIOS screens and SSA. (if doing off line work , change the ratios for faster building or migration times)
a techwarelabs.com excerpt.
If
you flash upgrade (it is free) this  RAID card it can now do Raid 5+0 and 6+0 and all ACE and DDG features for free now, HP no longer charges you  to run all modern features of your P410.
My goal for my  RAID array 8 drive (smart array) 
The P410i has 1GB CACHE ram and the nice SUPER CAP backup supply module (options), this makes the RAID work faster, in 2 ways, both running and adding a new disk. (older card ran  funky battery real)
My P410i will never do RAID 6, so I abandoned it.
This is called expansion or migration, the write cache turns off but then the cache is used, by the P410/P812 to aid in the fast migration and  the building of stripe sets and all that.
Mine has 1GB RAM on the P410, but the supercap must be good not shorted or dead or discharged, it features hide.
The 410  is gone now and P812 works in RAID6 perfectly.

The server can run 2 SFF drive cages if you have the SAS exepansion card added and the extra cables. (sure  and the new cage and backplane card added too)
If only have 3 drives to begin and 5 more in the mail, you can build RAID 5 then when the remaining drives arrive, go to RAID 6,  (add 1 drive to make 4 the go Raid 6 and add the others 1 at a time ending at 8 RAID 6)
The P812 is the card of choice and has SAAP v2 for free a very wise choice that. (now and for later when things happen)

The Pit falls of RAID:
Once your first drive and OS is loaded, do not fail to  get from HP (free) SSA, Smart Storage Administator (program and install it)  Do so after upgrading the P410 firmware.
Rule #1 ,is to  flash upgrade the ARRAY ROM to version 1.89 first, ( huge advantages here! v6.64 but only SAAP v1 is added not the better v2.
Rule #2 is do not meddle with the RAID if it is busy repairing  a drive , or migrating or other processes of expansion or self healing or repairing data, or striping or any thing like that.
 
If you take drives from one other alien system  (NON HP systems and cards Pxxx series) it may not be SEEN by the controller.   (HP allows (as does dell PERC upward migration of disks (say from 410 to 812)
Hit F8 key (array BIOS) hot ky , and if it can't see the drives now, the delete drive feature is dead; as is VIEW drive, so learn now that the controller can not delete or erase alien drives. (physical)  See ERASE HERE:
The P812 has  this missing feature, so get the 812.

Learn what DCB (data control blocks) this mean in  LSI jargon sorry.? I think HP calls it RIS.?

HP does not comply with the standard DDF formats. (best I can tell) so that means:
Rule #3  do not mix raid formatted drive between alien systems (eg.DELL to HP , or LSI ,etc) and show up as ALIEN drive status. (so erase it first)
Do not be afraid to build a fast large array and do the bench tests on it. I made RAID test page here.
 Quote HP: on RIS (my comments in red)

LOCATION OF ARRAY CONFIGURATION DATA

When the array configuration is saved from ACU, the information is stored on the RAID Information Sector (RIS) on each hard drive.

This allows replacement of computer components without losing data. (hard drives, my comment)

A set of drives can also be moved from one machine to another without losing data. (HP to HP, but not new to old systems , mostly)


Changes to logical volume structure and RAID level are often data-destructive.
It also allows Drive LUN expansions too. (per the manual on the P410i) ("i" means on the main board not an express card Raid)
RIS (DCB) data control blocks is a  RAID marker system (think like high way mile markers ,but more complex)
If  the markers there or are from RELIC HP controllers (or alien), they are now WRONG !
I think the HP system is totally Proprietary,(secret) ?They do have white papers on the XOR stripping methods, but not the RIS/DCB. (that I can find)

Case in point: LSI cards (3ware,etc) the series 8000 and 9000 cards are not compatible at all to each other in this way. (knowing this we learn the same deal can happen with HP controllers)
But I can find now documents showing all HP card , interoperablities, but one, My Gosh so many cards there are for 35 years. It states do not format  it with a  new card, then move it to older systems.

The reason we use RAID (harware not fake Raid of any kind) is for 2 reasons,  to keep production running with 1 bad drive (even 2)  and to let it auto heal itself. (pop out bad drive blinking , pop in new ,easy)
Hardware raid (unlike software) the RAID logic is in ROM , unlike software raid that can become virus infected and kill every thing.  Hardware raid is more robust. (and more reliable, over a long period of time)
In most cases the drives you found seem dead?, the person PULLING Them (fleabay?) forgot to ERASE them . Best is a full erase in all cases selling and buying a HDD used , for sure.

HP has like 5+ different manuals (free PDF)  covering this topic, not just simple data sheet.  (it even covers the topic configuring , migrating or just about all things..., very well)
The MIX rules are  first: Lets call this RULE set #4
  • TOPIC :Serial SCSI (SAS) and Serial ATA (SATA).
  • SAS and SATA can run on the same SAS controller.  (the P410i runs both) and with the correct  cable can be connected directly to a say a SAS drive, as  test.
  • The Backplane supports both type drives. (sas and sata)  (SATA is really a subset of SAS and supports SATA ACHI mode)
  • SAS and SATA can not be mixed in the same array!
  • You can mix single port and dual port SAS drives. (all modern drives are dual and even fails to say it in the new datasheets)
  • Mixing small and big drives are ok , it just limits the size of Array to smallest. The extra space not used in THIS array,  is not lost you can use it  as another logical drive.
    RULE 5, is Alien drives.
  • Your P410/p812 will not like drives from other alien systems including from DELL or LSI(3ware) IBM , formatted cards or the like,  (We run Active@Killdisk   ) is free to erase them)
  • The new P812 firmware update adds "Erase"  finally !
  • It is best to upgrade all firmware and even SAS drive firmware. (main BIOS, RAID Firmware, iLo, and all hdd drives by HP need to be firmware upgraded)
  • One odd mix the HP can un scramble (do not to it for fun) is to put back say an 7 disk RAID 6 array put the disks in the wrong slots, yes, it figures this out. (amazing blunder, recoverd) (by some white stickers next time)
Rule #6 ( Just to index them here by #)
CACHE:  Do you have the Cash for big Cache,  best is do it.
Never run your RAID card without any CACHE card there , 1GB best, and a working power pack (see thin 3 wire , cable?) to a working SUPER CAP Device. G7 has this option. 
Keep both that CACHE and Super cap working all that time,  or many very useful advanced RAID features will be dead, or dead slow. (like drive error correction, migration, expansion or re-ordering drive)
It will also kill the write  speeds, to dead slow. (on average) or write speeds will be limited to the speed of he head servo arm speed, track to track. (can be huge on large diameter drives)
In my opinion the CACHE   card  is not optional at all. (FBWC = FlashBACK super Capacitor , + FLash ROM.) (fast Flash + supercap)
This full blown cache will allow vastly faster migrations, or replacing a bad disk to be restriped. vastly! (means days; not weeks)
The G7 Super cap, allows it's controller to offload the DRAM to its FLASH mem chip , before its DRAM goes DEAD from lack of power.  (pure genius engineering here !) IMO
If not on a UPS system , power loss can/will  cause you to lose your data.  This card is not just one simple feature at all. Read the manual on it first.
New FBWC started
fourth quarter of 2009 , 17 Farad capacitor . there.
Quote: This line from HP says all I need to know:
Back-up power (FBWC or BBWC) is required for RAID controllers to perform operations such as write-back cache, array expansion, logical drive extension,strip size migration, and RAID migration.
Do no touch or play with these cards, unless you use an  ESD static wrist strap grounded to the case, or boom happens.
No work on any server to this level of hardware access (inside) unless the AC line cords are pulled. (both cords)

Here is my riser card that fits P812. (use all 8 lanes, x8)  My Sever has 2 of these cards for 2 choices where to plant it. 



 

WEAK Video is Normal,  this is not a GAMERS PC:  1024x728 is all you get . (hehe) but is overkill on any server.
Do not expect fancy Video from any server. (unless up added say a  x8 channel POWERFUL VGA express card that can be found, good luck there! and seen it done...)
iLo 3 uses   this  iLo 3 chip and its firmware ASIC, that plays with the ES1000  (my guess $1 a pop ATI wholesale in the 10's of thousands)
This is the chip there, (toy grade chip cloned from a relic RAGE XL  chip 1997 then move upstream to 2010 HP? )  Mfg.ID 1002 Dev#515E  {Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. [AMD/ATI]  }
The ES means Server class now. iLO3 virtualizes this video stream from here. (magic)   To it's own LAN Ethernet RJ45 jack marked iLO) My iLO3 pain page is here.
To use Lilo Console mode, you must have a   license a iLo3/4/5 ,  or it times out in 60seconds, but can  be run again for 60's, repeat. (the do that I guess as demo,  and for emergancies) the early license is no good, sadly I bought one.

  (the front and rear Case panels have  VGA  ports seen by you, are wired to this chip) And are live all the time to use on any external monitor.

Erasure Hard Disk Horrors,
The newer card P812 (far far better)
Does Erase now, with the newest Firmware upate to the RAID card
If yor raid card says a drive is alien, I run this free app, called Active@
killdisk
HP Gen8 on up can RUN HP SSA utility and do the erase any why you want, to even extreme degree's. Read the SSA manual topic "Erase" .

I have  lab PC that has LSI-9211 card inside ($15 CARD) That I can erase or clone any SAS to SATA drive made. (click Killdisk above to see it)

After erasing used or not new HDD, I run the S.M.A.R.T tests.

 
This HDD software wins hand down on complete and S.M.A.R.T testing, (using my 9211 HBA controller)
The other Pit fall is finding a S.M.A.R.T Applications  that will run and find this data on any give SAS drive and through the SAS CARD (my LSI 9211-IT)
No better utility works as good as Hard Disk Sentinel ,  standard for $19 USD, the trial even runs if your job is small and time short.
  The $29 version allows portable ops. (on  USB stick and test lots of PC/HDD) 
With Coupon code HDSPH2 , it is $19 with VAT tax (huh EU tax?) 
The portable on my USB stick run ok, I think it calls home , IDK.
The PRO PORTABLE IS HERE.(pay for it please)

Testing 1,2,3:
To test a Drive, I connect it to  my DUT, drive under test to the end of my SAS cable (and power cable too, of course)
I boot windows and using "MS DISK MANAGMENT, I format it and gain a drive letter.
I then Run the Sentinel on it. AS seen here.  Understanding S.M.A.R.T data is not easy, but do go to your drive makers web site and read there for the facts on THEIR product.
That Sentinel is savvy, it puts red or green marks (paid version) on the smart data that is key go GOOD and red on the bad, see the words Unrecoverable , this is a key parameter to learn and watch.
If running the drive in a Proliant HP reports all this for free, so the  above is fully redundant or weaker than the HP way for sure.
I do test used drives, this way. 
If you are only erasing a drive, use the next section below for that.
The raid card can have 3 kinds of cables, some useless, (called reverse bla bla)
But mine has 2,  one is SAS only cables and the other set are SATA ends. If all you have is SATA cable ends and the drive is SAS you need this adaptor.
  
I use  Lab PC, with PCI-express card  LSI9211 HBA firmware (RAID rom dead) and this connector, I can erase any drive, or even clone drives, fast using this wonderful card, even SAS to SATA copies ! and SSD.
The SATA port is not the same as the SAS,  physically, but the SATA drives, works on  SAS controller but never the reverse , the HP back plane accepts SAS or SATA drives.
This is only hard wired and no electronics here, it's only physical adaptation. And useless   plugged into any pure SATA port.
The below cable can connect any real SATA drive, to the raid card or any SAS HBA card.
It can also connect to the above (with power jack on left plugged into PSU cable) and will allow any SAS driver to work  and also works on any SATA drive made.

Called SSF-8087 , called a breakout cable. Backplane cables are very different.

I keep HBA card handy to test used HDD I buy.  ( I use the above cable on this board below)
This makes it more easy to erase them or test them or clone them etc,, 10x more easy.
A.K.A a  passthrough controller costs about $15 whopping bucks.  and is sold under other names by IBM , etc and is the same exact card.  (LSI changed names 3 times so don't let that fool you)
LSI = Avago= Broadcom. (picture on your mind big fish eating the little fish) Also called SAS-9211 (the suffix # is port counts) do not let the heat sink here overheat, ok?




See here for ERASURE  options:
Best is to own the 9211 card , and the above cable set, and do your work on  LAP PC.
 LSI cards for sure have these cables as an option.(@fleabay)
The LSI-9211 flashed to "IT" mode (HBA) is the most cheapest card at $30(used or way less !). (I flashed mine from RAID to HBA easy) The flash binaries are FREE.
HBA allows PASSTHROUGH to work, making the job very easy, here.  HBA = Host Bus Adaptor (plain jane) RAID is not HBA but can be  if you flash it to HBA.
This card is wildly popular to the software RAID CROWD.  
Never run any  software raid trough any Hardware RAID card, unless said RAID card is flashed to HBA or the F8 setups have  feature called HBA enabled, (some do but is more rare)

Read here how folks struggle with this topic. 

As you can see here are the differences in the Drive connectors only.  See how HP backplane below right accommodates both. 
If you try to stuff a SAS drive in to SATA cable end it books you for  good reaons, first SATA only chips do not do SAS signaling, or does the SAS command set work on the same SATA  chip.
The 7 pins in the center are the VPS pins (smart pins) (wiki how SAS works, read that and learn that... first)

 


The below is my MOBO,  G7 (DL380) I do not use the P410i ports,  I run P812. I disabled the P410i in main BIOS first, then added the P812 to the Riser card. 8x port.
The P812 must be gently inserted in the riser and the big cage as it comes down make sure the P812 does not hit CPU sinks, use fingers to guide it.


The slot on the left is the RAID CACHE CARD with battery cable. (now removed on mine with P812 installed)
 The 2 center of mobo slots are the  RISER cards express.
 Do not attempt to plug in any PCI-express card of any kind directly to those 2 long black slots above, ok?
CPU's and Rams and FANS missing above and PSU and sure the whole system is missing mostly.
Best is to own each type of riser card ,  to be ready for any thing.
Mine came with 2 riser cards,  with 3 express slots each riser, that totals up to; two , 8channel &, four , slot 4 channel  (6 slots total express)
There is a  SAS expander card that can be plugged in here too. for 16 SFF drives. (and pile of SFF cables)

See my iLo 3 pain page here.



Make sure  you have lots of these Puppies below. Make sure the drive too is  listed hotswap in the spec.








Power usage; (watts or VA?) only qty. 3 HDD installed.
In standby power switch yellow for standby, the current drawn (my meters does this) 0.2amps AC, or  24 VA or 24 watts.
This power waste is just Ilo3 running. (it's ARM brain and its ROM) Equal to about  10  LEDs glowing power /wise.
Costing about  25 cents , every 42 days, or or $2 bucks a year on standby. (zero in terms of my Air conditioning system/ plant usage.) Zilch comes to mind.
Power on , amps goes from 1.6amps booting up and lowers to 1.0 amps running, iLO shows 120watts and so does my meter show (120v times  1a=120 VA watts.)
Raid 6 up.
With 8 drives running full power is 135watts 



The list  of big pains with HP server are,  license blocks . (worse yet is they flat refuse money for a license on legacy systems or cards, like my RAID P410i )
Then JAVA 7 only works. with ilo3. and browser limits to ilo3 , a very time consuming pain (all day long), unlike any DELL DARC used. DRAC = iLo. (use SeaMonkey (tm) from mozilla for SUBnet Lan work.
and last the limits on the p410. now 812. I paid $15 for my 812. (so is cheap easy fix)
Next time, Dell all the  way. G11 up.  G11 has free Licenses now, so that all HOME usage just works perfectly.! THANK YOU DELL FOR ALL.

A Silly Joke : (to a geriatric like me)
A host is a host of course of course and nobody can talk to host of course, if it is busy , hung or dead ! (sung to the tune of TV Mr. ED)

version 5.  11-9-2017  , my Journal, the rantings of a retired puke.  (I use this server above to backup my Dell R710 video server) Using sync. software. easy. (revised 3-8-2019) P812 update.
Nothing on my pages is PRODUCTION grade advice nor do I speak for HP or Dell, ever. (it is only my opinions and tests that I have done) YMMV