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Machine not booting without a monitor. Solutions for headless?

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r00tb33r

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Hey all,

My build uses ECS/Biostar NM70I-1037U board. I haven't been able to figure out how to make it boot without a monitor. It boots without a keyboard though.

I suppose it is very common to run headless, so what solution do others use? Dummy resistor load on VGA? I looked around and found dongles that advertise EDID support, both VGA and HDMI. Do any of you use those, and do they work? Or are the VGA ones just resistors on the inside?

Insight is appreciated. Thanks!
 

Chris Moore

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r00tb33r

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I would say that most people look at the Hardware Recommendations Guide before building a NAS and consequently don't have problems like that.

Well, it was originally built in 2014, but was taken down shortly later. Actually the board was recommended in a guide.

Ultimately, this does nothing toward the solution.
 
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The board may have been recommended in "A" guide but not from here. It is a gaming board, does not support ECC ram and has onboard audio which is just a power drain in a server environment.

I would suggest going into the bios and changing the "Halt on" to No errors. That should solve the problem. If not then google your MoBo with "boot without monitor" and see if someone has actually tried to find a fix.

We probably won't be able to help you here unless we have the same MoBo magically show up on our doorstep or happen to have one in an old computer that sits in a corner like a red headed step child. Mainly because server grade hardware does not have this type of issue.
 

Chris Moore

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Chris Moore

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I suppose it is very common to run headless
It is quite common and works fine with a server board. With a regular PC system board, they expect to see a monitor and if they don't, they usually won't boot. Some will, many won't. One solution is to put a KVM on the video out, but some KVMs don't provide the phantom load that the board is looking for and it still fails to boot. Good luck finding the information to make this work. A few years ago, I was able to use an DVI to VGA adapter on a system with a DVI out to fool the board into booting with no monitor, but it looks like the system you have doesn't have DVI.
 

r00tb33r

Dabbler
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Nov 25, 2017
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r00tb33r

Dabbler
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Nov 25, 2017
Messages
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Another option would be to buy a small lcd, velectro that to the outside of the chassi and plug that into the VGA port. System will boot and you can watch all the console messages the system will generate
https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?mpre=https://www.ebay.co.uk/ulk/itm/251590018265
I think a dummy dongle is the easier way, and probably cheaper. I was wondering if anyone actually used these, and with what degree of success.
Like these:
https://www.ebay.com/itm/272827661628
https://www.ebay.com/itm/282697416974

While it might turn out to be fake, they advertise EDID support, which is pretty neat if it actually does that.
 

garm

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Naw, the “easy” way would be to get a X10SBA or equivalent ;)
 

Chris Moore

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Another board is not happening. Not at this time for sure.
I'm aware of forum rules. None of my posts violate forum rules. Sorry to inform you, you're not a moderator.
No, I am not a moderator, but you are not as familiar with the forum rules as you think you are. I will quote them since the link didn't work:
Code:
Please provide the exact build number of the system, which can be found at System ‣ Information, as well as the amount of RAM on the system. 
If additional hardware information is needed, you will be asked to attach a debug file. 
Debug files are created with the System ‣ Advanced ‣ Save Debug menu entry.

Hardware information is extremely important when diagnosing problems. This includes:

motherboard make and model
CPU make and model
RAM quantity
hard drives, quantity, model numbers, and RAID configuration
hard disk controllers
network cards
 

r00tb33r

Dabbler
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Nov 25, 2017
Messages
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No, I am not a moderator, but you are not as familiar with the forum rules as you think you are. I will quote them since the link didn't work:
And thus this is the reason you're not a moderator. You lack adequate ability to interpret the rules.

As your posts distract from the subject of the tread, instead focusing on matters irrelevant to discussion, a report to a moderator has been submitted. Please go find yourself another thread.
 

r00tb33r

Dabbler
Joined
Nov 25, 2017
Messages
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Naw, the “easy” way would be to get a X10SBA or equivalent ;)
Wink? Not witty at all. That's a terrible recommendation.
Let's see:
No ECC
No PCI-E x8 (or x16) for a proper LSI HBA (only x2 lanes!)
Onboard SATA ports split across 2 different controllers and controller vendors

NM70I-1037U is not really worse than this, and there was a significant price advantage, and I wanted to use an LSI HBA, for which the board has a x8 lanes slot.

I guess I suppose X10SBA can be considered the "easy" way to get something that's not really better, but different.

I'd like to reiterate that the subject of the thread is booting a board like this headless.
 
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Chris Moore

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You appear to be the expert here. I'm sure you'll find a solution.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I537 using Tapatalk
 

joeschmuck

Old Man
Moderator
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10,845
I am a moderator and I would appreciate if everyone toned it down some. Maybe everyone is having a terrible day after Thanksgiving, I don't know.

As for the being able to boot the computer without a monitor, this is an off-topic topic and has nothing to do with FreeNAS running so I'm moving it.

Getting back to the issue, I'd recommend doing a Google search for your motherboard model and "boot without monitor", hopefully you will get a few hits, but I liked several of the suggestions above even if you didn't. Also do you have the latest BIOS for your motherboard? While I doubt that would fix it, if there is a newer version then it wouldn't hurt to give it a try.
 
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