Running ROCK on an old desktop

I have an old (5+ years) HP desktop (H8-1080T; American Megatrends BIOS v02.61 says the CPU is Intel Core i7 CPU 970 @ 3.20GHz) that I use to run Roon under Win10 Pro x64. Simply from curiosity, I’m thinking of swapping out the current SSD (for the OS and Roon’s database) and HDD (music library), swapping in a new SSD and HDD, installing ROCK and seeing how the performance compares with the Win10 Pro x64 arrangement.

A question: Will ROCK installation fiddle around with the BIOS or any permanent settings beyond ones in the new SSD and HDD? (Remember that the original SSD and HDD will have been removed; I don’t care what ROCK does to the new SSD and HDD.) Since I will be reverting to Win10 Pro x64 with Roon after my experiments, I don’t want anything left from the experiment.

ROCK Does not touch your BIOS.

I’m not aware of any software that touches BIOS short of the BIOS update software distributed by the MOBO mfr.

1 Like

No, not at all. ROCK does not touch state outside the disks it is given access to.

I’ve got ROCK running on my old HP desktop, with partial success.

First, during setup, when I chose the SSD, I got advice/warning that ROCK should be installed on an SSD. That makes me wonder if my SSD was recognized as such. But I proceeded.

I got ROCK to use a network share to a copy of my music library on an HDD under Windows 10 Pro x64 on my new, ASUS desktop. (I first imported a backup of the Roon database from the old desktop’s instance of Roon.) Everything worked, in a very brief test, although a number of albums were displayed as separate parts, so that my total albums was a higher number than I’d had under the old Roon setup. But let’s pass over that.

I thought that the network share under the system named ROCK would allow me to copy my music library from a backup on my ASUS desktop to \ROCK\Data\Storage. But the copy operation (initiated on the ASUS desktop) ran out of space after about 220GB, which leads me to think that the share is going to the SSD on the ROCK machine. I had a 1TB HDD connected to the ROCK system, so there was plenty of space on the HDD. In fact, I formatted the HDD via a browser window to (IP address of the ROCK system). Now, after a few reboots of ROCK, I notice that there’s nothing under \ROCK\Data\Storage except an empty directory named InternalStorage.

At this point, I have the old (Win10 Pro x64) SSD and the new (ROCK) SSD plugged in, as well as a 4TB HDD with my music library and the 1TB HDD I mentioned above. (I can dual-boot by switching the boot order in the HP’s BIOS.) But I am unable to add the music library on the 4TB HDD via my Roon app on an Android tablet: No HDD shows up when I am asked “Where do you keep your music?” and I click Add Storage Location; the only choice is to add a network share. (In the browser session to ROCK via, Internal Music Storage says OK and is described with 4000GB (eg, 4TB), with the correct disk name and with 100% of 924GB available.

So this question: How do I get ROCK (I guess it is actually the Roon Server running under ROCK) to get the music files off the internally attached 4TB HDD?

The \\rock\data\storage\internalstorage is your disk

Using InternalStorage per Danny’s post, I got my music copied and Roon picked it up. Everything plays fine, although Roon appears to have not recognized some pieces as part of the same album, so that my total album count is 1081, versus 1051 on the Roon running under Win10 Pro x64; no big deal, and I’m sure I could correct things. The new Roon running under ROCK works just fine. I don’t, however, see any performance difference in playing an album in comparison with the Roon under Win10.

For the record, I ended up with only an SSD and HDD for internal storage, as that’s what ROCK’s specs seem to require; having the SSD and HDD from Win10 Pro seemed to cause some confusion as seen by ROCK’s Web UI. I also had an external USB HDD connected but didn’t make use of it.

ROCK boots faster but not that much: About 14 seconds until the IP address was displayed by ROCK versus about 16 seconds until the first splash screen (from which one can hit enter and then can enter login info) shown by Win10.

The SSD for ROCK is a fairly recent Micron 1100 2.5" 256GB SSD model MTFDDAK256TBN; the SSD for Win10 is a (3-year-old) Intel 520 series 240GB model SSDSC2CW240A3. The published I/O stats are fairly close, although the Micron probably has a little edge over the Intel.

The HDD for ROCK is a Toshiba 1TB model DT01ACA100 with 32MB cache; for Win10, a WD Black 4TB model WD4004FZWX with 128MB cache. Both run at 7200rpm; both were manufactured in January 2017.

The rest of the computer system (eg, CPU, board, RAM) didn’t vary between ROCK and Win10.

In sum: ROCK boots somewhat faster, but Roon itself doesn’t differ as between ROCK and Win10 as far as I can tell. Obviously, my old HP desktop isn’t what ROCK was designed for. I am impressed that ROCK/Roon work so smoothly on this ancient rig.

yikes, your DHCP server is sloooooow… change that to static IP and be amazed… I still think I can get the post-BIOS boot time down to about 1.5 seconds (from about 2.8 now). My NUC is setup for fastboot, all the BIOS options set to not scan for various hardware stuff, I use internal disk and no USB DAC (so I don’t have to wait for that bus to initialize), plus static IP.

Unless something was terribly wrong before, you shouldn’t!

With a static IP address, ROCK boots in an average of 13.65 seconds, in 5 tries. Previously, the average was 13.88 seconds, in 5 tries. And I suspect the improvement was partly due to my finger getting more practiced at hitting the stopwatch in my Android phone.

including bios time or excluding?

By the way, I’ve not observed an improved interactivity.

Excluding BIOS. I start timing when ROCK displays “SYSLINUX 6.03 EDD”. I stop, as I said, when the IP address is displayed.

is this a NUC or something else? I’m getting a bit less than 3s

As I said at the top of this thread, it’s a 5+ year-old HP desktop.

oh sorry, totally missed that… ignore me :slight_smile: who knows what peripherals and buses that thing is intializing on startup…


For those that got ROCK running on their old desktops…

Having a play repurposing one of mine to see if it will run ROCK?
Installed on SSD from downloaded factory reset image and it looked as though everything was going great until I hit a snag.

Understand it’s been written for NUCs, but seems a few of us “Rooners” have got it running on standard desktops?
Any help appreciated, just wanted to try the ROCK experience compared to my Windows Server 2012 Core install. :slight_smile:

Booting up ROCK I get the following on the screen:

Manufacturer: Roon Labs
Model: Roon Optimised Core Kit
OS: RoonOS 1.0 (Build 76) stable
Hostname: Rock

Searching for network address…

If this persists, please check your network connection.

…and thats as far as I can get.
PC is ethernet wired and port at back of PC it lit up and flashing showing a network connection.

In Bios I’ve disabled Network Boot, anything EUFI related and set the ROCK SSD to first boot device.

What does the error message relate to, is the PC still trying to boot from Network source (I’ve missed something to switch off) or a general inability of the boot sequence to find my network card, hence network address.

The PC boots fine from another drive, can access internet from windows etc etc.

be good to try ROCK before I spend money on replacing a fast X86 PC (Which I had Roon Core installed in Windows Server 2012)

I have to guess that ROCK has booted and is trying to talk via a network card. When I did my experiment (on an old PC, without UEFI), ROCK established network connectivity very fast. I was not booting from a network source, and I don’t think you are.

I wonder if your disabling network boot somehow disabled network connectivity.

Another possibility is that ROCK doesn’t know how to talk to your specific network card. What’s the card?

Thanks James,
Its the internal Lan thats on the Gigabyte motherboard.

Its an older motherboard and there are more up to date BIOS available, so will flash those and see how it goes.

Wondering if perhaps as its an older motherboard (2011/12) theres no driver in the ROCK install for the Network adapter on the board?
Maybe there is a PCI/PCIe Network adaptor that the Roon Rock build is comaptible with (i.e. an external equivalent to whats onboard on a Nuc?) that might do the trick?

Anyone know any Nuc equivalent external Network adapters I could maybe try in my build?
Could save me £££ on the proce of a new Nuc, so worth persuing! :slight_smile:

Will continue investigating in the mean time, really curious to compare the Roon Rock “appliance” against my previous Windows Server 2012 with Audiophile Optimizer Core install.
Improvements in speed and searching the database would be more than worth it.