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Archive for May, 2013

ASUS P9X79 WS with Intel 82579V NIC and Hyper-V


Hello Everyone, I wanted to briefly share something that I recently discovered. If you read my last post about OS Installation and Using A Server OS With A Workstation Motherboard you may recall that a little .inf modification is required in order to detect/use the Intel 82579V Gigabit NIC in Windows Server 2012.

After getting this second NIC functional, I then proceeded to install Hyper-V. During the initial role installation, you are prompted to select a NIC as the Hyper-V virtual switch. However, at least in my case, although both NIC are now present to the OS, and functionality had been tested/confirmed, only the Intel 82574L appears in the list of NIC available. Therefore, it is because of this that I made my Intel 82579V NIC my external/Internet connection port, and the 82574L as my Hyper-V NIC.

I emphasize during the “initial” role installation, because after Hyper-V is installed, when you access the Hyper-V Manager and open the Virtual Switch Manager, you can in fact change the external adapter from the Intel 82574L to the 82579V. Now, I haven’t tried this change yet, but I assume it would work on account of it being available in the list.

HyperV Virtua Switch

 

Once I finish copying all 50 GB of lab software (i.e. OS’s, Middleware ISO’s, etc.) to my new host, I will then be in a position to start creating my lab environment (i.e. AD/Domain, SQL Server, System Center products, etc.). So stay tuned.

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OS Installation and Using A Server OS With A Workstation Motherboard


Hello everyone, I have finished installing the Operating System: Windows Server 2012 Datacenter. Installation went smoothly without issue, and it was fairly fast installing it from my USB drive to the SSD.

The first thing I did was, of course, patches/updates. That completed again, without issue However, I did encounter an issue with the OS not discovering both of my LAN ports on my motherboard.

First, I would like to vent a little about why motherboard makers don’t use the same model of LAN port when they include more than one on the motherboard. I have no clue why. To me, it would make logical sense that they would use the same model, but at least in the case of the ASUS P9X79 WS motherboard they do not.

According to the ASUS webpage for this specific motherboard, it says (about the LAN ports) the following.

Built-in Dual Intel Server-Class Gigabit LAN

Dual_LANDual Intel® hardware-accelerated LAN 
For more reliable networking, the P9X79 WS features built-in dual Intel® Gigabit LAN. This leads to lower 71% CPU utilization , increasing throughput to achieve outstanding performance as well as better support for diverse operating systems.

Note that it refers to them as “server-class Gigabit LAN”. However, when you look at the specifications, it has an Intel® 82579V, 1 x Gigabit LAN Controller(s) and an Intel® 82574L, 1 x Gigabit LAN Controller(s).

Based on my research prior to purchasing this specific part, I recall reading from other users (that setup home labs and server OS’s), that (according to Intel) “The 82579V was never intended for  server platforms and was not validated with any Windows Server operating system.” That being said, I remember reading about how some other users were able to modify the 82579V driver’s .inf file in order to make it “discover-able” and thus the driver to be installed on a server OS. Through much searching of the inter-web, I came across a site that explained this in detail (found here: http://www.ivobeerens.nl/2012/08/08/enable-the-intel-82579v-nic-in-windows-server-2012/). I followed these steps, and now have both the LAN ports present (one will be used for the Internet connection, and the other for the internal Hyper-V network).

For the purpose of information preservation, and easy reference, I have copy/pasted the steps below. For the original source, please see the link provided above.

Enable the Intel 82579V NIC in Windows Server 2012

After installing Windows Server 2012 on my homebrew server, the onboard Intel 82579V Gigabit NIC on the Asus P9X79 motherboard was not working. On the Asus site I found Windows 8 Intel drivers for the motherboard. After installing the drivers the NIC was still not working. To get the  Intel 82579V NIC working in Windows Server 2012, I used the this forum thread as reference for this blog post.

Here are the steps:

  • To be able to modify the drivers you need to run the the following commands:
bcdedit -set loadoptions DISABLE_INTEGRITY_CHECKS 
bcdedit -set TESTSIGNING ON
  • Reboot
  • Download the Intel drivers. In my case I used the Intel drivers Asus has available for the Asus P9X79 motherboard
  • Save them to a map and extract them if needed
  • Open the folder PRO1000
  • Open the folder Winx64
  • Open the folder NDIS63
  • Open the e1c63x64.inf file, I used Notepad++  to edit the file
  • In the [ControlFlags] section delete the 3 lines (1)
  • Select and copy the five %E1503 lines (2)
  • Paste the 5 lines in the [Intel.NTamd64.6.2] section below the %1502NC lines

image

  • After the modifications the e1c63x64.inf file must look like this:

image

  • Save the file
  • Install the Intel drivers

image

  • After the installation the Intel 82579V Gigabit NIC is recognized and enabled

image

  • Enable the driver integrity checks and disable test signing again by using the following commands:
bcdedit -set loadoptions ENABLE_INTEGRITY_CHECKS
bcdedit -set TESTSIGNING OFF
  • Reboot

Now you can use the Intel 82579V Gigabit NIC  in Windows Server 2012.

Build Complete


Well, after a long week+, I have finally finished building my lab server. The reason why I took so long is because I have friends staying with us for the week.

Now everything is put together, and the cabling is perfect. I just turned it on for the first time tonight, and no issues thus far. I was able to check the UEFI BIOS, and it detects my CPU correctly, shows all 8 DIMMS with a total of 64GB of RAM, and the SSDs are showing up as well.

I hope to post some pictures that I’ve taken, if my phone ever decides to co-operate with me and upload them to my SkyDrive.

Now I am in the process of creating a bootable Windows Server 2012 USB key to start the OS installation. The only issue I currently have is the fact that I only have 1 keyboard/mouse, which are connected to my main PC. So I have to keep disconnecting/switching between both systems until I get a KVM (or the OS installed with a static IP to RDP to it, which is the original plan). Stay tuned.

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