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Lenovo Thinkcentre/ThinkStation Tiny (Project TinyMiniMicro) Reference Thread

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unmesh

Active Member
Apr 17, 2017
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Were they used? It would be interesting to see how much endurance is left.
I bought my 2230s on ebay (SKhynix BC711) and aliexpress (Samsung PM991a) for my steam decks. I haven't tried using them on my tinys yet.
The BC711 seems to benchmark better so I bought one from Ebay. And the adapter from an Aliexpress seller that offered delivery in 15 days!
 

legit

Member
Dec 24, 2021
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Given the interface drastically caps out the throughput, I'd say anything that uses the least amount of power (and thereby generates the least amount of heat) seems like the highest order of preference - unless you expect to repurpose thing in something else.
 

unmesh

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Apr 17, 2017
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Given the interface drastically caps out the throughput, I'd say anything that uses the least amount of power (and thereby generates the least amount of heat) seems like the highest order of preference - unless you expect to repurpose thing in something else.
Good point and I use that philosopy in laptops. It is hard to get good data on actual power consumption though.
 

legit

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Dec 24, 2021
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Good point and I use that philosopy in laptops. It is hard to get good data on actual power consumption though.
True that. The only mention I've heard is the Kioxia BG4 relative to the BG5. There's a likely correlation to higher performance with higher energy consumption (at least within a PCI-E generation, though a quick skim of PCI-E gen 4 seems to indicate higher power consumption across the board). Beyond that, I just look at the volt/ampacity ratings on the nvme drives themselves to estimate what their theoretical max might be.
 

Phenic

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Mar 17, 2015
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Were they used? It would be interesting to see how much endurance is left.

The BC711 seems to benchmark better so I bought one from Ebay. And the adapter from an Aliexpress seller that offered delivery in 15 days!
Both seemed to be brand new looking at SMART info. The PM991a runs much hotter from what I remember if that matters.
 

Stereodude

Active Member
Feb 21, 2016
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Yesterday I bought a slightly used M75q gen 2 (Zen 3) via eBay and the SSD is wiped / seller says it has no OS, but it originally came with Windows 10 64-bit via downgrade rights (looking up the SN at Lenovo). The Windows product key is stored in the BIOS and I should be able to just install Windows 10 64-bit back on it without needing or entering a key right?
 
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adman_c

Active Member
Feb 14, 2016
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Chicago
Yesterday I bought a slightly used M75q gen 2 (Zen 3) via eBay and the SSD is wiped / seller says it has no OS, but it originally came with Windows 10 64-bit via downgrade rights (looking up the SN at Lenovo). The Windows product key is stored in the BIOS and I should be able to just install Windows 10 64-bit back on it without needing or entering a key right?
My experience with the used Tinys I bought is that Windows installs and activates no problem.
 
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ddaenen1

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Jul 7, 2020
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My experience with the used Tinys I bought is that Windows installs and activates no problem.
I have the opposite issue. I had Windows 11 installed and now i want to repurpose it for pfSense and i can go through the complete installation successfully but it will not boot pfsense. Instead, i still get a windows screen stating my PC needs to be repaired despite the fact that i wiped the NVme SSD completely and deleted all partitions before the pfSense installation. I am clueless...
 

Ralph_IT

I'm called Ralph
Apr 12, 2021
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I have the opposite issue. I had Windows 11 installed and now i want to repurpose it for pfSense and i can go through the complete installation successfully but it will not boot pfsense. Instead, i still get a windows screen stating my PC needs to be repaired despite the fact that i wiped the NVme SSD completely and deleted all partitions before the pfSense installation. I am clueless...
It seems like the rescue partition was not deleted.
Boot GParted Live and see if you can wipe all disk from there.
 

ddaenen1

Member
Jul 7, 2020
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It seems like the rescue partition was not deleted.
Boot GParted Live and see if you can wipe all disk from there.
Did that, wiped all partitions, formatted the NVme to FAT32, reinstalled pfSense but it doesn't want to boot. I get error 1962, no operating system installed.
 

ddaenen1

Member
Jul 7, 2020
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Found an article on reddit where there is a specific installation mode in pfSense: ZFS/stripping/GPT+Lenovo fix. Did that too and set boot to CSM/Legacy only, now the error is gone but after a couple of cursor blinks in the top/left corner, the cursor vanishes and nothing else happens. Very odd. Hope i can find a fix for this. I got myself the i350-T4 and the pcie riser and the shield and all that went perfect. I can't believe it won't let me boot pfSense now.
 

adman_c

Active Member
Feb 14, 2016
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That’s really odd. Have you tried installing Linux or something else to troubleshoot? You might have a GPT partition that pfsense can’t see when booting in CSM mode?
 

Fritz

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Apr 6, 2015
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I can't get PfSense to boot on a Dell Wyse 5070 Extended. It will install but will not show under boot devices. I've tried everything I can find/think of and nothing. I can install and run Windows, Linux and OPNsense all day long without a problem but not PfSense. :(
 

ddaenen1

Member
Jul 7, 2020
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That’s really odd. Have you tried installing Linux or something else to troubleshoot? You might have a GPT partition that pfsense can’t see when booting in CSM mode?
Well, installed Win11 before that flawless. the pfSense installer on a USB stick boots perfectly fine. I just need to figure out why the installation itself doesn't boot. I do see the SSD in my boot menu. I haven't exhausted all options but still, this is quite odd as i have installed pfSense on several other systems without a glitch.
 

Parallax

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Nov 8, 2020
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Well, installed Win11 before that flawless. the pfSense installer on a USB stick boots perfectly fine. I just need to figure out why the installation itself doesn't boot. I do see the SSD in my boot menu. I haven't exhausted all options but still, this is quite odd as i have installed pfSense on several other systems without a glitch.
Doesn't explain the lack of booting, but PfSense probably will not like the Realtek NIC in your Tiny either. OpnSense should work out of the box, you could at least give that a try and see if it will boot, then you have a good foundation to go back and look at pfSense. Plus you might like OpnSense better and come over to the light side. ;)

One other thing, obvious but may as well ask - did you turn off Secure Boot?
 

Markess

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May 19, 2018
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Doesn't explain the lack of booting, but PfSense probably will not like the Realtek NIC in your Tiny either. OpnSense should work out of the box...
Just curious what OpnSense has that would make it work with a Realtek NIC, when its based on FreeBSD just like pfSense? Does it have its own custom drivers for some hardware?
 

Parallax

Active Member
Nov 8, 2020
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London, UK
Just curious what OpnSense has that would make it work with a Realtek NIC, when its based on FreeBSD just like pfSense? Does it have its own custom drivers for some hardware?
It includes newer drivers, yes. I installed it last week on a dual RTL NIC server and it worked out of the box. There is an re driver in the add-ons which you can add afterwards but it's not critical.
 
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legit

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Dec 24, 2021
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So, I have a kioxia bg4 2230 drive in the a+e key slot. The normal bios doesn't detect the drive, but diagnostics does. I used a virtual cd to boot the proxmox installer, and was able to install proxmox to the drive. It detects as /dev/nvme0n1

Upon restart, it doesn't detect any boot devices so it falls back to attempting to pxe boot. However, after maybe 5 minutes, that'll timeout and somehow start booting off the 2230 drive.

This is on a P350 with no other drives installed at the moment. I suspect if I can somehow disable pxe boot as well as attempting to boot off other m.2 drives installed, this would work but the bios doesn't seem to make it clear how to do so.

Edit: okay, I disabled the two network boot options. And now get dumped immediately to a Warning, No operation (operating?) system found.
 
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Parallax

Active Member
Nov 8, 2020
442
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London, UK
So, I have a kioxia bg4 2230 drive in the a+e key slot. The normal bios doesn't detect the drive, but diagnostics does. I used a virtual cd to boot the proxmox installer, and was able to install proxmox to the drive. It detects as /dev/nvme0n1

Upon restart, it doesn't detect any boot devices so it falls back to attempting to pxe boot. However, after maybe 5 minutes, that'll timeout and somehow start booting off the 2230 drive.

This is on a P350 with no other drives installed at the moment. I suspect if I can somehow disable pxe boot as well as attempting to boot off other m.2 drives installed, this would work but the bios doesn't seem to make it clear how to do so.

Edit: okay, I disabled the two network boot options. And now get dumped immediately to a Warning, No operation (operating?) system found.
I would go to the relevant Lenovo forum on their site and ask for advice. I've found that you can often get an (indirect) answer from the actual system designers fairly quickly, and they've been pretty tolerant in the past of us asking about abusing features of "their" device. :)
 

legit

Member
Dec 24, 2021
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I would go to the relevant Lenovo forum on their site and ask for advice. I've found that you can often get an (indirect) answer from the actual system designers fairly quickly, and they've been pretty tolerant in the past of us asking about abusing features of "their" device. :)
That's genuinely surprising to me. I feel like even casually supporting things like this leads to more problems, especially if this spec was never intended to be supported.

I say this as someone who also has to push back on unusual asks in my day job...

That said, here we go. Not expecting a whole lot (two nvme slots, a SATA port, and a pci-e slot that can do way more with storage still not enough for you?). Well, no. :D
 
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