Monthly Archives: January 2017

How to flash Seagate firmware onto HP enterprise MB2000EAMZF drives

In my previous post I talked about how HP locks down their hard drives (made by Seagate) with custom firmware that is exclusive to HP and with the huge caveat that if you do not have an HP storage controller the software update package provided by HP won’t work for you at all.

I spent the past 48 hours researching and trying different things. I unpacked the official HP firmware and tried to find the binary/firmware dump from within the .scexe file provided by HP on their website to no avail.  I even contacted HP for help and they would not be willing to help if the drives were not connected to HP hardware.

After some research I discovered that the HP MB2000EAMZF 2TB drive I had was almost exactly the same (part number) as the official Seagate ST32000644NS  drive after failing to be able to flash HPs firmware using HP’s bootable Firmware Update 8.3 (injecting the .scexe files inside this live CD) – I decided I really had nothing to lose but try the method I will explain below.
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Flashing new firmware on HP hard drives without proliant hardware

I purchased a few hard drives off ebay for Docker homelab that I am building and found a good deal on a 2TB HP Enterprise branded hard drive (basically a rebranded Seagate disk with HP stickers on them).

The disk actually is a Seagate ST32000644NS that HP calls it its own model MB2000EAMZF. Once the disks arrived and I was ready to test them I noticed a fatal flaw. Their firmware was very out of date and HP made a critical update that is mandatory for these drives to avoid them from failing due to 24/7 usage.

To my surprise although these drives are Seagate and the internals are exactly the same they run different firmwares, and Seagate’s tools or utilities will not flash or work on HP branded drives thus forcing you to grab the firmware updates from HP.

Seagate makes these firmware updates available for free and HP does as well but with one gotcha – you must run the firmware update tool in Hewlett Packard hardware or the firmware will not flash and there seems to be no workaround. Thumbs down to HP for locking down a critical firmware update to only run on HP Proliant server hardware (I have Dell but a SATA hard drive is recognized as a normal hdd on any brand computer thanks to computing standards).

Useful software development tools

This post is meant to be updated with useful tools for software development. I will only classify the tool and post a link to it, this post will be helpful for someone just starting out in devOps


  • Postman: allows to share, test, document & monitor APIs.


  • Visual Studio: Windows software development IDE (C#/WPF)
  • Jetbrains Webstorm: Javascript IDE that becomes powerful with plugins (I use it for writing Go code)

Text editors

Must have tools

  • Git (or Github Desktop or Git for Windows)
  • Linux terminal/bash (available on any Mac/Linux machine, for Windows download Git for Windows linked above)

Running Windows containers in Docker

Microsoft Windows Server 2016 now supports containers, this means we can now isolate windows applications and share the underlying kernel of windows much like we have been doing in Linux for years with OpenVZ or more recently LXC (linux containers).

On January 4, 2017 Rancher announced experimental support for Windows containers (link below).

Official Microsoft documentation on containers.
Rancher v.1.3 has implemented experimental windows container support.

This is a good reason to spin up a Windows Server 2016 node and experiment in a lab. I’ll be looking forward to trying this when I get some time.

A comprehensive list of hypervisors and cloud platforms

In my last post I discussed Proxmox and SmartOS as possible alternatives to ditching vmware ESXi for my homelab.

Given the amount of information that is out there on the internet and that I spent quite a few hours trying to find other open source projects / cloud platforms that could be other alternatives, I thought why not make a post linking to all the platforms I have come across during my search, this way it will help someone else to simply click thru opening new tabs.
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Virtualization hypervisor and containers all in one

I’m a big fan of virtualization, the ability to run multiple platforms and operating systems (called guests) in a single server (called host) is probably one of the best computing technologies of the past 10 years.

Personally, I have been using virtualization circa 2004. It all took off after 2006 when chip manufacturer’s started bundling virtualization technologies in their processors (Intel VT-x or AMD-v). The reason why “cloud” computing is so popular can also be attributed to virtualization.

In a container world…

However, in the past couple of years a new technology has been making making the rounds everywhere, the words “containers”, “docker”, “orchestration” is picking up steam in the past year. They say that containers are changing the landscape for system administrators and application developers.

Claims that containers can be built and deployed in seconds, share a common storage layer and allow you to resize the container in real-time when you need more performance or capacity are really exciting concepts and I think the time is now for me to jump in and learn a thing of two about this new technology when its hot a new. Continue reading