So recently I sold my old Thecus NAS (it was very slow and Linux based which while Samba “works” meta information for images and such is lost) and it was time for an upgrade, I wanted something power friendly as it would be running 24/7 while allowing me to install anything I wanted on it – fortunately, I came across a HP Microserver N54L with £100 cashback making it around £110 – incredible value!
I had a spare copy of Windows 8 around, I made some slight adjustments to the unit itself, it does have 4 drive bays but comes with a 250GB HDD which I moved to the empty optical drive bay so that I actually have 4 useable drive bays. Which I bought the following for, it’s fairly straight forward to shift the drive;
I’ve probably seen the biggest boost of performance come from a RAM upgrade – things like Plex or CCTV software need more RAM otherwise they start swapping to the HDD and slowing the system down – It’s important to get the right kind of RAM for your Microserver so I’ve linked to the sticks I’ve bought (from what I can tell, 8GBs is the maximum the motherboard supports without modifying the BIOS anyway) – the Crucial sticks are very good;
Once you’ve got your RAM, I’ve outlined some steps below to hopefully let you slide the main board out (seems to be on a runner);
- Open the Door
- Unscrew the blue plastic screws (they take a bit of winding but eventually the almost pop-up)
- Shift the large power cable so it doesn’t get stuck under the metal handle
- Unclip the two white plastic clips on either side and pull the cables so they’re no longer in the clips
- Gently slide the tray and mainboard out until there’s enough room to start disconnecting the other cables
You should end up with something like below;
You can remove the tray completely from the unit if you find that easier but you should now be able to get to the RAM slots, simply unclick the clips at the side by pushing them away from the RAM, slot the ones in and push the clips back up if they don’t click themselves from inserting the RAM and that’s it. The BIOS should auto-detect the changes so there’s no further configuration needed – especially handy if you don’t have it hooked up to a display.
Simply slide the tray back in, fitting the large power cable first (seems easiest to do it that way), sliding the board back in slightly and fitting the rest of the cables and finally clipping the cables back in and pushing the board all the way back – tightening the blue screens will lock the tray back into place and that’s it. It’s a fairly quick process and it’s given me personally the biggest boost in performance from the Microserver.