Installing Synology DSM 7.X on a HP N54L in 2022

Let me start out by saying I’m a fan of Synology. I have owned a DS216Play in the past and have upgraded to a DS918+ in recent years. In my view Synology DSM is one of the more user friendly interfaces for NAS type devices and so I decided to revisit the XPEnology project when I came across my old HP N54L.

HP N54L Gen7

While I found several other posts of people already running XPEnology on their N54Ls I did not find a detailed installation post specific to my needs. I decided to visit the installation FAQ and from there the DSM7x loaders and platforms page. I remember feeling a little overwhelmed at first but after a while figured that I needed the DS3622xs+ loader (broadwellnk) as the DS918+ loader requires a newer CPU and all the other DS36XXxs+ are marked obsolete.

The installation proces is well documented and not worth repeating here. Instead I will share the options I used during installation that resulted in a working XPEnology system. After booting into TinyCore some configuration is needed before building the image. Important to note here is that the USB you use to boot TinyCore from will need to stay connected to the system even after installation so keep that in mind when selecting your USB device. I used the following commands and settings for my install:

./rploader.sh update
./rploader.sh fullupgrade
./rploader.sh identifyusb
./rploader.sh serialgen DS3622xs+ realmac
./rploader.sh satamap
./rploader.sh build ds3622xsp-7.1.1-42962
./rploader.sh backup
./rploader.sh backuploader

After running these commands and rebooting the system you should be able to find you XPEnology system with the Synology Assistant. However I found that my system never came back online even though the it seemed to be running fine. A quick google search showed me that I had to disable the C1E option, under the Advanced CPU settings, in the BIOS for the internal NICs to start working. After the change I was able to find my new system and continue with the DSM installation.

Now that the installation is finished I will do some more testing before deciding if I will place this system into “production” at one of my relatives. I think they can benefit from a system like this but I need to be sure it will run without issues.

References:

51 thoughts on “Installing Synology DSM 7.X on a HP N54L in 2022”

  1. Thank you so much! I tried setting it up but the device never appeared in the assistant. After flashing the custom bios and disabling C1E it works like a charm!

    the backup command in tcrp does not work somehow, seems like the sde3 partition is filled up to the brim

  2. I migrated from DS3615xs 42218 to DS3622+.
    I have a SHR Raid with 5 HDDs – one of them on the esata port. One Standalone HDD.
    After migration i lost the esata HDD in Raid. Under tcrpl all 6 HDDs are displayed so in Bios too. C1E is disabled and AHCI is enabled.
    All fine migration but under new DS3622+ only 4 HDDs from RAID and Standalone are online.RAID now critical.
    Maybe some configuration to bring back the esata HDD on this OS?

  3. yes something like that. DVD drive offers space for 2 drives. A normal RAID disk and a small SSD. One of the RAID disks is connected to the esata. The SSD is standalone.

  4. Worked now 🙂
    had to modify DiskIdxMap=0001 and SataPortMap=9 to get all my 6 HDDs to work.
    Your Guide was a perfect help.
    You can change your Topic to 2023 now. 😀

  5. following this, i got an Error on the backup steps (filled up the 1gb image)
    to get around this, i had to do:
    ./rploader.sh clean now; rm -rf /mnt/sdb3/auxfiles; rm -rf /home/tc/custom-module; ./rploader.sh
    backup now;

  6. Hi, i’ve just inherited a N54L microserver with 2x 3tb (WD Red) hdd’s, i’m trying to get DSM installed, i’ve flashed the modded bios to it you linked above and using a 32gb sandisk usb 3 key to boot redpill. I went with the automated redpill loader and set it up as the ds3266xs+ same as yourself, it builds the bootloader and i get an ip address followed by “Loading DSM Kernel” then “Booting” but i cannot find the device in synology assistant nor does navigating to the ip address itself do anything. I have tried disabling the C1E option in the bios as you said but no change. I’m stuck here, any tips would be appreciated 🙂

    1. Got it working using Tinycore Redpill instead of the automated redpill script which i figured out was freezing on boot. Applied the modified bios and got added another 2 WD Reds in there. Also figured out how to enable SHR raid modes, not sure if shr is needed but thats what i use on my real synology DS418 and DS920 boxes so figured i’d stick to what i knew.

      1. Congrats on getting it working! Enabling SHR was a setting you need to enable after installing DSM if I recall correctly. I believe I have done the same on mine but I would have to turn it on to check.

    2. Hi Mike, I have a HP 54L since 2013 but I never upgraded and since few years I was not using it. I would like to upgrade the system but I am newbee since I am lost if I want to redo it now ! Could you tell me first how to upgrade the bios step by step ? Then apparently if we wnat to continue to upgrade to DSM 7.2 or upper we need to use something different than AFAIK ? How could help me step by step ? I was also with Esxi and I do not know if I can still have it as I would like to have VM in Linux and W11. Do you know if it is possibvle to add to the 54L a graphic card for the VM in Windows ?

  7. I am trying to install on a N54L with the custom Bios installed and the default settings. I have downloaded TCRP loader v0.9.4.0 and I can successfully do all the steps and reboot. However, synology finds no drives. Not on the 5th sata or any of the bays. Individually or all installed. I can see them in the BIOS and the boot, but not in TCRP. Even if I boot in the setup to make changes, in the screen that shows the hardware information, the disks do not appear.
    The setting in BIOS is AHCI, so that is not the issue.
    Any ideas?

  8. Trying to install to N54l with mobbed BIOS and all the steps successfully followed as indicated above. Using v0.9.4.5 TCRP loader but when i load find synology, once I click to accept and start installing, it either gives me a not found network error or when I do succeed, it finds no disks at all to install. I have a single 250GB WD empty disk, that I am trying with. Any ideas?

    1. I would recommend starting fresh and follow the steps detailed on my blogpost. You mentioned you are using a different loader or newer version, maybe that is part of the issue? From the installation page I get this:

      “NOT ALL HARDWARE IS SUITABLE:
      DSM 7 has a new requirement for the initial installation. If drive hotplug is supported by the motherboard or controller, all AHCI SATA ports visible to DSM must either be configured for hotplug or have an attached drive during initial install. Additionally, if the motherboard or controller chipset supports more ports than are physically implemented, DSM installation will fail unless they are mapped out of visibility. On some hardware, it may be impossible to install (particularly on baremetal) while retaining access to the physical ports. The installation tutorial has more detail on the causes of this problem, and possible workarounds.”

      Regards,

      Tom

    2. Any idea what is the maximum 7.1.1-42962 version we can install? Can we go up to update 5 for example?

    3. Hi There !

      Thanks for this post , I’ve decided to switch from proxmox to bare metal on my N54L , I face an issue which I can’t solve

      using TC 0.9.4.8 with model DS3622xs , I can see the 6 disks BUT one DSM has booted I don’t have any network

      using other loaders (ARC & ARPL) , I have network once DSM has booted BUT it does not see the 5th & 6th disks those not on the 4 bays 🙁

      Any idea guyz ?

      Thanks !

        1. Yes , it’s disabled

          I don’t mind purchase a NIC if need be

          (BTW , any recommendation for a good CG which can transcode popular format ?)

          Thanks
          XT

      1. to get all hdds working for me i had to modify

        DiskIdxMap=0001 and SataPortMap=9 to get all my 6 HDDs to work.

      1. I tried “arpl i18n”, “ARC redpill loader” and TCRP… all failed…until this one (Peter Suh’s loader)…
        But other than the 4 regular harddrives, my other drive won’t be recognized even I added below statement…. any help?? thx.
        “DiskIdxMap=0001 and SataPortMap=9 to get all my 6 HDDs to work. “

    4. I guess you are in DSM 7.1 right ?

      AFAIK 0.9.3.0 is not compatible with DSM 7.2 so you’ll get same issue as me the day you’ll want to upgrade to DSM 7.2

      I can share my experience if need be

    5. For me it works with Red-Pill from https://github.com/fbelavenuto/arpl Version: v1.1-beta2a. Steps to do: Upgrade your Bios with mod bios file. Disable C1E in bios CPU settings. Get fast USB Stick and flash it with ARPL Bootloader. Put Usb Stick inside HP N54L. Follow install instructions from github ARP Loader. Choose DS3622xs+ broadwellnk and machine type: 46962. Important: After create bootloader go to Advanced Menu and before boot select the “Switch direct boot” option to activate it and boot. The last setting did the trick to get running DSM on N54L HP Microserver.

      1. Sadly I’m having no luck with this. Tried many times. Using finds.synology.com finds it and takes me through two pages of terms and then won’t progress any further. I’ve done the C1E and direct boot things too. I’m at a loss! It’s so frustrating as you are not the only one who has success. I would love to have a eurika moment!

    6. Have installed as per above guide using Tiny core v0.9.3.0, installed 7.1.1-42962 (with Update 1), and then used the update function to update to 7.1.1-42962 Update 6. Can the N36L support 7.2?

      Thanks.

    7. well my issue is when i manually updated to 7.1.1 update 6 through the web UI, i ma now stuck in recovery and when i recover it just starts again like a loop. Do you know how to fix this i am trying as im new Xpenology i usually use OMV but i do like the simplicity of this, i am trying to build for a friend as it would be easy to swap disks then doing it the SNAPRAID way.

      thanks.

      1. I did a search on the update and xpenology and found the folowing: https://xpenology.com/forum/topic/64619-dsm-711-42962/. It seems the update does not work with this version of the Tinycore loader. Have you tried using a newer version? Before updating DSM it is advised to check the updates forum to ensure compatability with the the current setup: https://xpenology.com/forum/forum/78-dsm-updates-reporting/. As installing a non compatible update results in a broken system.

    8. Yeah i figured. It looks like that max supported version is 7.1.1-42962. as i tried to load 7.2 and it does the same. Update 6 of 7.1.1-42962 didnt work did not matter what i tried would not come back online. Is there any downside staying on 71.1-4262. Will all apps and docker work as normal.

      Thanks

      1. The only downside I can imagine is missing out on security updates and/or features. Just don’t expose it directly to the outside (the internet) and you should be fine. All apps should function without issues including docker. Also I see new releases of the loader that should support 7.2 you could try that and let me (and others) know the results?

        Regards,

        Tom

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