Detailed assembly and configuration instructions for Supermicro SuperServer Workstation Windows 10 Pro bundle

Posted by Paul Braren on Aug 19 2015 (updated on Jan 2 2016) in
  • Windows
  • HomeServer
  • HowTo
  • If you're the type of person who enjoys seeing How It's Made, you like seeing the curtain pulled back. You've come to the right place!

    TinkerTry offers complete transparency here, with a video below that shows you exactly what happens during preparation of your new TinkerTry Wiredzone Supermicro SuperServer Workstation OEM bundle, based on the Supermicro SYS-5028D-TN4T. What better way to understand than to see the entire process for yourself, now available in this new 36 minute video, which also features my new Samsung 850 EVO 2TB SSD, and uses a UEFI BIOS with GPT filesystem that's ready to be seamlessly upgraded to bigger-than-2TB SSDs like 16TB. With 64GB of RAM that's expandable to 128GB, this little beast is well prepared for a virtualization future. For me, my new SuperServer Workstation will runs this Windows 10 VM and a full VMware vSphere 6 datacenter, simultaneously. I bought mine at Wiredzone as explained here.

    Click here if you just want to jump to the spot below where I describe and show the BIOS configuration.

    The preparations for the slick Windows 10 out-of-box experience include:

    1. Assembly install SSD, GPU, speaker, and 6th SATA cable.
    2. UEFI BIOS configuration, with big improvements over Supermicro's defaults.
    3. Windows 10 Pro OEM Install on a Samsung 850 EVO SSD (I used the 2TB version)
    4. Passmark BurnInTest Run for 4 hours, with PASS certificate
    5. Windows 10 Pro reset, to swiftly prepare the system for power off, ready for that shiny (4K support) and new (no programs installed) PC experience, for that moment when it's first cabled up and turned on by the gleeful recipient. Note, for now, it's best to avoid using the VGA output as an additional monitor, sticking with the 3 connectors (1 Mini DisplayPort, 2 HDMI) on the included VisionTek 7750 triple-4K-output card instead.

    If you choose to buy using the buy button featured at TinkerTry.com/superservers, your system will look and work exactly like this video shows. After over a month of refining the procedure, this video shows me preparing my own system, which I hereby dub TinkerTry SuperServer Workstation 0001.

    Enjoy!

    TinkerTry Supermicro SuperServer 5028D-TN4T Assembly and Windows 10 OEM build procedure.

    Note: This video was recorded in a somewhat humid environment. If you have any chance of static discharge/low humidity, use anti-static straps at all times, especially when touching those valuable 32GB DIMMs!

    Step-by-step assembly instructions (transcript of the video above)

    Bill of materials

    Before you get started, in addition to the items included in the SuperServer Workstation bundle, you'll temporarily need to have the following items on hand for these initial configuration steps:

    1. monitor with VGA and HDMI inputs
    2. VGA cable
    3. HDMI cable
    4. small wire tie (black)
    5. keyboard
    6. new USB flash drive (only 26MB of space needed)
    7. another secure PC with internet, so 3 needed files can be put onto the USB flash drive
    8. PassMark Software BurnInTest V8.1 Standard Edition license

    0:00 - Introduction

    1:00 - Remove the CSE-721TQ-250B chassis cover

    1. you may need a phillips screw driver to remove the 4 thumbscrews
    2. tilt the blue lock loop at the rear the of the chassis while sliding the cover off

    2:12 - DIMMs

    1. install 2 32GB DIMMs (or 4, if those were chosen)

    2:42 - SSD

    1. re-route the 2.5" drive bay SATA power cables from the side up through the hole to the top SSD
    2. install the Samsung 850 EVO in the top 2.5" drive bay, using the 4 screws included with the SuperServer in the bag labeled 2.5"
    3. put the 2.5" screw bag back into the plastic parts bag that came with the SuperServer

    4:48 - 6th matching SATA cable install

    1. insert the 6th 8" silver SATA cable into the yellow SATA DOM port on the motherboard
    2. route the cable behind the cable bundle up to the are of the side-mounted 2.5" drive bay
    3. use a small black wire tie midway between the two existing wire ties to keep that new SATA cable in place

    6:30 - GPU & Speaker install

    1. after attaching the tiny PC speaker to the motherboard's 4 right-most pins, use 2 sided foam tape to fasten the tiny speaker to the motherboard in the corner of the motherboard tray
    2. in the back of the system, there's a screw above the PCI back plate cover, back it out 2 full turns, to keep it from protruding
    3. remove the PCI backplate
    4. carefully align the VisionTek GPU with the PCIe slot
    5. put all parts and CD from VisionTek box into the Supermicro bag of parts, flatten the VisionTek box, add to the server shipment box
    6. tighten the screw on the back of the system (that you backed out in step 1 above)

    11:06 - 3.5" HDD install (if any)

    11:35 - Put the CSE-721TQ-250B chassis cover back in place

    1. carefully ensure the edges are lined up properly, making sure the blue loop is moved into the slot as you slide the cover gently back on
    2. tighten the 4 thumbscrews finger-tight

    11:59 - Attach VGA cable

    1. using a monitor that has both VGA and HDMI inputs, attach the VGA cord from the monitor's VGA port to the VGA port on the monitor

    12:26 - Attach keyboard

    1. use the top USB 3.0 port on the back of the SuperServer

    12:55 - Power

    1. attach the power cord included with the SuperServer into the back of the SuperServer, then plug the other end into AC power (ideally a UPS protected outlet)
    2. press the power button at the front of the SuperServer
    3. eject the DVD tray, insert Windows 10 Pro OEM DVD

    13:18 - BIOS - Upgrade BIOS and UEFI, then ensure optimized defaults

    1. press "DEL" key to run Setup (BIOS)
    2. if this screen indicates you're at BIOS 1.0a, and you have plans to boot from M.2 or NVMe devices, you should pause the video instructions at this point, and go follow the BIOS and IPMI upgrade instructions at TinkerTry here, then perform the rest of the steps in this section. For folks buying from Wiredzone, they will be doing this upgrade for you on all systems they ship out from October 12 2015 onward.
    3. left-arrow to "Save & Exit" and down arrow to "Restore Optimized Defaults"
    4. press key to "Save configuration and exit?", choose Yes, press Enter

    14:22 - Attach DVD

    1. use a DVD reader with a USB connection, and plug it into the bottom USB 3.0 port on the back of the SuperServer

    15:00 - BIOS - Configure

    1. when reboot completes (there may be 2 automatic reboots), press Ctrl+Alt+Del to reboot again, press "DEL" to run Setup (enter BIOS)
    2. verify BIOS is 1.0a or later
    3. be sure all memory was recognized on that "Main" BIOS screen, at 2133 MT/s speed, if not, reinstall DIMMs or replace DIMMs

    15:41 - BIOS - Advanced

    1. right-arrow to "Advanced" tab, press to select "Boot Feature"
    2. down-arrow to "Bootup NumLock State [On] and turn to [Off]
    3. down-arrow to "Power Button Function [Instant Off]" and change to [4 Seconds Override]
    4. down-arrow to "Restore on AC Power Loss [Last State]" and change to [Stay Off]
    5. press ESC to get back to the "Advanced" tab, down-arrow to "SATA Configuration", press
    6. for all SSDs installed, choose the "SATA Device Type" from [Hard Disk Drive] to [Solid State
      Drive]
    7. press ESC to get back to the "Advanced" tab, down-arrow to "PCIe/PCI/PnP", press
    8. up-arrow to "VGA Priority [Onboard]" and change it to [Offboard]

    17:03 - BIOS - Boot settings

    1. press to get back to the "Advanced" tab, right-arrow to "Boot" tab
    2. down-arrow to "Boot Mode Select [DUAL]" and change it to [UEFI]
    3. press to get back to the "Boot" tab, right-arrow to "Save & Exit"
    4. down-arrow to "Save Changes and Reset", it prompts "Save configuration and reset?" and choose "Yes" by pressing
    5. it warns "iKVM doesn't support add-on VGA device. Please change the D-SUB connector to Add-on VGA device…"

    18:33 - Change video cabling from VGA to HDMI or DisplayPort

    1. remove the temporary VGA cable
    2. attach an HDMI to HDMI cable from the bottom HDMI socket on the VisionTek GPU to the monitor, if you don't get video, you can hit the "Reset" button the front bezel of the SuperServer, while you figure out how to switch the monitor to the HDMI input

    19:47 - Install Windows 10 Pro 64 bit OEM

    1. when prompted to "Press any key to boot from CD or DVD…" go ahead and press any key, so the Windows 10 DVD installation can begin
    2. leave defaults (English/English/US), just click "Next"
    3. click "Install now"
    4. "Enter the product key to activate Windows" click "Skip"
    5. "Windows Setup / License terms" click the "I accept the license terms" checkbox then click "Next
      choose "Custom: Install Windows only (advanced)"
    6. 20:42 - choose the SSD drive that was just installed, use size as a hint, if there's only one drive present, it will be Drive 0, then click "Next"
    7. "Windows Setup / Installing Windows" takes about 10 minutes (depends upon speed of DVD reader), it reboots multiple times automatically
    8. 21:44 - while waiting, on another PC, get an empty/never used USB 3.0 drive, re-format it anyway, then put the following 3 files on there:
    9. "It's time to enter the product key" choose "Do this later" and click "Next"
    10. "Get going fast / Change these at any time. Select Use Express settings..." choose "Use Express settings", the choice you make here doesn't matter since there's no internet connection, and this Windows 10 preference will be reset anyway
    11. "Create an account for this PC / Who is going to use this PC?" type "owner"
      "Make it secure." leave password and hint fields blank, click on "Next"
    12. 23:27 - Windows 10 Pro install is now mostly completed, with full desktop shown
    13. open up "Windows Explorer" and browse to the USB flash drive
    14. double-click on "Chipset_v10.1.2.8" (a compressed file), double-click on SetupChipset, "Intel® Chipset Device Software" click on "Next"
    15. "License Agreement" click on "Accept"
    16. "Readme" click on "Install"
    17. "User Account Control" click on "Yes"
    18. "You have successfully installed the following product: Intel® Chipset Device Software" click on "Restart Now"
    19. open up "Windows Explorer" and browse to the USB flash drive
    20. double-click on bitstd
    21. "User Account Control" click on "Yes"
    22. "Setup - BurnInTest" click on "Next"
    23. "License Agreement" click on "I accept the agreement" then click on "Next"
    24. "Select Start Menu Folder" click on "Next"
    25. "Ready to Install" click on "Install"
    26. turn off the "View Readme.txt" checkbox, click "Finish"
    27. BurnInTest launches
    28. open up "Windows Explorer" and browse to the USB flash drive
    29. copy the contents of bitstdlicense.txt into the clipboard, selecting "START OF KEY" TO "END OF KEY"
    30. click "Help" "Enter license key"
    31. paste the license key, click "Continue"
    32. 27:57 - click on "Configuration" "Test selection and duty cycles"
    33. change "Auto Stop After" to 240 Minutes
    34. turn on the following checkboxes, CPU, RAM, 2D Graphics
    35. make sure all the other checkboxes are turned off
      (disk test would abuse the SSD with terabytes of writes in 4 hours)
    36. click "OK" button
    37. click on the Green Triangle to "Start selected tests"
    38. "Getting ready to run Burn in tests" click "OK"
    39. "PASSED" click OK
    40. click "File" "Save Results Report"
    41. click "Browse…" to navigate to the USB drive
    42. change "File name:" to "BurnInTestLogS189205X1234567cert" where "s189205x1234567"30 is the serial # from the back of the SuperServer
    43. change to "Results: Test Certificate" and click "Save"
    44. eject the USB key using the Tray Icon
    45. print the BurnInTestLogS189205X1234567cert.htm file just page 1 (2 is blank), then add page 1 to the shipment box
    46. press the "Windows" key, then type "Advanced" and choose "Change advanced startup options"
    47. 31:00 - under the "Recover / Reset this PC" section, click on "Get started"
    48. "Choose an option" click "Remove everything - Removes all of your personal files, apps, and settings." which resets to a fresh Windows, but leaves the Intel driver you added, perfect!
    49. it will say "Getting things ready - This won't take long"
    50. "Do you want to clean the drives, too?" choose "Just remove my files - This is quicker, but less secure. Use this if you're keeping the PC."
    51. "Ready to reset this PC" click "Reset"
    52. it will say "Restarting" and the automated process begins, takes about 10 minutes
    53. it will say "Installing Windows"
    54. 32:26 - it will say "Hi there"
    55. Press and hold the power button for 4 seconds, it turns off abruptly, pull out power cord.
    56. That's it! Ready for you to remove all cabling, and put the server back into the original plastic bag and shipment box, along with the extra TinkerTry exclusive free parts, the added VisionTek card adapters, and the flattened VisionTek box.

    The SuperServer is now ready for packaging and shipment.

    :

    1. Qty 1 - Supermicro SuperServer SKU SYS-5028D-TN4T (inside protective sturdy plastic bag)
    2. Qty 2 - 32GB DDR4 Samsung M393A4K40BB0-CPB DIMMs
    3. Qty 1 - VisonTek 7750 3M 2GB DDR3 4K - UHD Graphics Card
    4. Qty 1 - Samsung 850 EVO 2.5" SSD (whichever size was ordered)
    5. Qty 1 - Windows 10 Pro 64-Bit English (OEM DVD with license key)
    6. Qty 1 - 6th SATA cable (installed)
    7. Qty 1 - Server parts bag (be sure the original power cord is included)
    8. Qty 1 - PC speaker (installed)
    9. Qty 2 - "n" Stickers
    10. VisionTek adapters added to Server parts bag
    11. VisionTek flattened box
    12. SanDisk 32GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive (still in original packaging)
    13. Printout of BurnInTest results certificate (1 page)

    33:00 - Here's what happens when the proud new owner first powers up

    You'll see me answering the questions for my home lab needs.

    1. Windows 10 says "Hi there" "Let's get a few basic things out of the way."
    2. change "What time zone are you in?" to "(UTC-05:00) Eastern Time (US & Canada)"
    3. click "Next"
    4. "Here's the legal stuff" click "Accept"
    5. "Get going fast / Change these at any time. Select Use Express settings to" click "Use Express settings"
    6. "Create an account for this PC / Who is going to use this PC?" typed "pbraren" and clicked "Next"
    7. Windows 10 is now ready for me to use
    8. I show that the Intel drivers are still installed (System devices section isn't expanded, which means no yellow exclamations in that section)
    9. left 2 ports (as viewed from the back) are the 1GbE connections, I plug the bottom left port in, giving Windows Update internet access
    10. I use Task Manager to monitor network traffic
    11. 35:25 - AMD video driver (and Catalyst) is auto-installed at this point, screen is seen to go black momentarily, which is expected for video driver installation
    12. Closing summary.

    If you want to get your VGA output back, both for iKVM and for Windows 10

    As of August 25th, when Windows Update has completed automatically updating your video driver to the Aug 3 2015 version 15.200.1062.1004 driver, you will find your system is stable, even if you reactivate the VGA port in the BIOS. This will allow you to use iKVM for future BIOS settings changes over convenient IP only, and it will allow you to use that VGA output for a 4th monitor, if you wish. To re-enable the VGA output:

    1. reboot the computer, when the Supermicro BIOS screen comes up, press "DEL" to run Setup (enter BIOS)
    2. right-arrow to "Advanced" tab, press to select "Boot Feature"
    3. down-arrow to "PCIe/PCI/PnP", press
    4. up-arrow to "VGA Priority [Offboard]" and change it to [Onboard]
    5. press to get back to the "Boot" tab, right-arrow to "Save & Exit"
    6. down-arrow to "Save Changes and Reset", it prompts "Save configuration and reset?" and choose "Yes" by pressing
    7. once Windows 10 is booted, right-click on the desktop and choose "Display settings", "Advanced display settings" and configure your multiple desktops from there

    Nov 04 2015 Update

    New BIOS and IPMI are flashed by Wiredzone for you:

    Here's the procedure that is used:

    Step-by-step BIOS and IPMI upgrade video, including exactly how to create the bootable USB drive.

    See also at TinkerTry