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HP's Proliant DL360 G7 and G8 have USB 2.0 compatible ports. Does anyone have any experience upgrading their G7/G8 Proliant running Windows Server 2K8 or 2K12 with one of the available PCIe cards that offer USB 3.0 ports?

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  • It depends. What will you be using USB 3.0 for?
    – ewwhite
    Mar 8, 2017 at 19:57
  • @ewwhite copy data to a consumer-grade drive once in a while to take off-site
    – sevzas
    Mar 8, 2017 at 20:29

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Surprisingly, this was not an easy problem to solve because a lot of PCIe USB 3.0 cards don't support Windows Server. The other problem I ran into is that the PCIe-based USB 3.0 cards require an auxiliary 5V power connection - typically provided by a 15-pin SATA power connector or a 4-pin Molex power connector - neither of which are available on a DL380 G7.

The solution I came up with is to use a StarTech PEXUSB312A card which provides 2 USB 3.1 ports and requires a PCIe X slot. It has a SATA 15 pin power connector for the aux power.

The 5V aux power is provided to the StarTech card by connecting the internal USB port (J33 near the power supplies on the DL380 motherboard) to the 15-pin aux power connector on the StarTech using a MicroSATA Cables cable SKU USB-15PFSATA which is available on Amazon.

Do not install the default driver that windows offers to install. The StarTech card does not come with a driver disk, but you can download drivers for virtually any version of windows back to XP from their web site. Driver install went smoothly. StarTech email support is friendly and responsive.

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I don't know about Windows, but last year I added a similar generic PCIe Molex powered USB3.0 card to a DL380 G7. In my case I was wanting more electrical current rather than data speed (children home learning during lockdown with monitor, keyboard, mouse and speaker on long cords to a DL360 G7 which killed the rear USB sockets and the graphics card, presumably turning the monitor and it's integrated USB hub off while the server was on overloaded something).

Anyway, I used an unused socket adjacent to the opposite end of the memory socket as the internal USB socket. It's an SAS socket with ground 12VDC and 5VDC power that looked more convincing than an internal USB likely only designed to power a bootable flash drive.

It powers up at boot up time, so if you want to configure an array or display, you'll need to attach your keyboard to a motherboard USB socket. It worked immediately with Debian.

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