First time builder, stuck at "Loading Initial Ramdisk"

Hello all, first time here.
Since I’m a tinkerer, I opted not to go the Synology route and tried to roll my own using used hardware and am having a headache with it.

Got a used X11SSH-GF-1585L | Motherboards | Products | Supermicro from eBay, came with 64GB of RAM, and then 6x used 10TB HDDs, an Intel X570, and using a 1TB NVME I had spare and lying around.

The first time I set it up seemed breezy; setup some static IPs and got the webUI working and wanted to diagnose which drives weren’t showing up.

I looked around in BIOS and what drives were and weren’t appearing, and I must have toggled something I shouldn’t have, or unplugged something I shouldn’t have, because then the BIOS screen would pass by and nothing would happen.

I eventually updated the BIOS, replaced the dead CMOS battery, cleared the CMOS, toggled between UEFI/Dual/Legacy a bit, before finding I needed to enable AMI Native Support before it’d recognize my NVME as a boot drive.

Constant beeping turned out was a warning about heat; I moved a fan onto the CPU block and now it’s not beeping.

I was grateful to finally get past BIOS into some TrueNAS OS stuff, but now it’s stuck at “Loading Initial Ramdisk.”

Did I fry something? I fully take the L if that’s the case, I made a rather silly assumption that with an integrated CPU marketed as low power that came with a heatsink that that would be enough cooling, but it clearly was not…

However, since it still gets past BIOS and gets to Loading Initial Ramdisk, I’m assuming that it is not fried? Appreciate any tips or insight.
Right now none of the SATAs are plugged in, or the NIC. Only things plugged in are a VGA to HDMI adapter and then the keyboard.

I looked through this old thread but not conclusive or helpful yet. I couldn’t find a line labeled console where they mentioned, I don’t have any HDMI dongles, it’s just VGA. I’ll see if chaning around serial enable/disable works but it clearly sometimes doesn’t so who knows.

Did you try booting from a sata SSD instead of the NVME drive ?

Some boards are a bit finicky…

If you dont wanna waste a sata port, you could also boot from a sataDOM. That board has space for 2.

I dont think you fried anything, but serverboards rely on a good airflow, thats why server components often only have passive cooling.

Supermicro also makes heatsinks with fans (active heatsinks) for many of their systems for situations where airflow is not optimal across the static heatsink.

Hm, yeah, I suspect it has something to do with perhaps the recognition of the NVME, but I ended up just trying out TrueNAS Core instead last night, and it went fine. I thought Scale was supposed to have more hardware compatibilities, but who knows!

I don’t have a ton of needs besides data storage, but maybe I’ll come back to Scale if I find the need arises. I mostly do video editing.