Trouble booting HP DL360p g8 with Oracle F20 HBA

CobsServerCloset

New Member
Dec 18, 2021
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Hey All,

Hoping someone may be able to help me as I'm stuck in a bit of a situation.

For context, I'm trying to build a test S2D cluster with 2 HP DL360p G8's I have to get used to S2D environments at work. I'm fully aware these servers aren't "certified" for it, but should work if I can get a secondary device to boot Windows from.

I've already booted a HP G8 SPP DVD and cleared the embedded HP P420i's RAID config and set it to HBA mode, all good and dandy, this is working as expected, bootable Debian USB shows that the front SSD's I have installed show up and identify correctly. Unfortunately HP block the ability to boot from the P420i when it's in HBA mode, so I decided to use the 2 Oracle F20 HBA's I have.

I went ahead and installed 1 Oracle F20 HBA in each server. To my knowledge, these are just LSI rebranded cards that have 4x24GB SSD's onboard, perfect I thought. They also show an LSI configuration utility during POST. Previously in other servers I've stuck them in for boot drives, the SSD's are visible in BIOS, thus being allowed to boot. The HP's however don't show the drives, instead only allow you to select the boot controller, those being:
-PCIe Slot 2 SCSI controller - The Oracle card
-HP P420i Embedded RAID controller
-Intel SATA controller (there's no SATA power on this so I can't use it sadly)

I was under the presumption that setting the 'boot controller' to the HBA would work, rebooting however just brings up no-bootable device and Windows refuses to install as it thinks the drives aren't bootable. Manually installing Windows with DISM also doesn't allow them to boot.

I've done a bit of research into this and found other forum posts with Dell H300 cards that needed an optional Boot ROM flashing to the cards before they'd work in HP ProLiants like the ones I have.

Is anyone able to clarify if this is what I need to do or which files I'd need if so? I'm happy to cross-flash the card to an LSI counterpart if needed too. I don't have a lot of money to drop on this so I'd rather stick with these cards rather than buying others if possible. The HP servers dont have any additional SATA power cables so I'm limited on my options.

The only other thing I can theoretically think of is perhaps installing GRUB onto a USB stick and using that to boot the HBA's SSD (i.e. making it act like a 'boot controller')

Thanks in advance,
Dan