05-20-2019 06:39 AM
ZBook Studio G5 x360: 64GB RAM and RAID 0
I have some notes here on upgrading this laptop to 64GB RAM and installing RAID 0 on a pair of M.2 SATA Samsung 860 EVO 2TB drives giving a total of 4TB.
My BIOS is 01.07.00.
The 64GB is easy to achieve, I replaced the SODIMM pair with a pair of Samsung M471A4G43MB1-CTD 32GB DDR4 SODIMM 2666 MHz sticks. Upon boot, the BIOS recognises there's been a RAM change, which you accept and then you boot into Windows as usual.
Installing RAID 0 wasn't quite that easy. I did try some jiggery pokery with Acronis True Image and Acronis Universal Restore, and although it recognised the RAID 0 volume, it failed when I tried to restore to the RAID 0 drive. While I am sure it may work ometimes you have to cut your losses, and this was a brand new PC, so I just did a fresh OS install.
Note that according to the service manual, only SATA M.2 is supported for RAID 0, not NVMe, so rather than risk it I stuck with SATA, and used a pair of Samsung 860 EVO 2TB M.2 SATA SSD.
First, take a backup of everything on the existing drive with whatever method you're used to. I used Acronis True Image 2016 booted from a recovery CD and stored to a Seagate 5 TB Backup Plus USB 3.0 Portable 2.5 Inch External Hard Drive.
Make a recovery USB image with the HP Cloud Recovery Download Tool. I created it on a SanDisk Ultra USB 3.0 16GB stick for this.
Before installing the new M.2 SSDs, I went into the BIOS to make a couple of changes.
Reboot the computer and press ESC right at the start of the boot process to get into the Startup Menu.
In the Startup Menu, select "BIOS Setup (F10)".
In the BIOS Setup, select the Advanced tab.
Go into Secure Boot Configuration
Change Legacy support and Secure Boot to "Legacy Support Disable and Secure Boot Disable"
Press ESC to go back to the Advanced menu
Go into System Options
Enable "Configure Storage Controller for RAID". *** Note that once you select this you will not be able to boot windows from your existing M.2 drive once this is selected.
Save the BIOS settings, and SHUTDOWN the computer.
Install the two SATA SSDs.
Turn the comnputer on, press ESC immediately, and go striaght into the BIOS Setup (F10) again.
Now go to the UEFI Drivers tab.
Select "3rd Party Option ROM Management"
It might ask you to save changes, select YES, then the machine will appear to reboot, but it should go into the old fashioned test interface.
From the text interface, select "Intel (R) Rapid Storage Technology"
From here, you can configure the RAID 0 volume, selecting both of the 860 EVO drives. I used 128KB Strip Size.
Insert the Recovery USB stick created earlier.
Restart the computer and press ESC to go into the Startup Menu.
This time, select Boot Menu (F9).
Select the USB stick to boot from.
This will then allow you to install Windows directly onto your RAID 0 volume.
06-29-2019 11:14 AM
Thanks for sharing. Very interesting. Can you tell us which processor you have?
I am keen to max the memory on my ZBook Studio G5 x360 Xeon E-2176M (4PE28UT#ABA). I've read that the max is 32GB, due to it needing ECC ram and it being a XEON, whereas the i7/9's can go to 64GB with non-ECC ram.
But I also read that you can use non-ECC ram in place of ECC ram. So hoping that I can get to 64GB 🙂
07-03-2019 10:07 AM - edited 07-03-2019 01:43 PM
To answer my own question, the following is the reply from HP support:
"As per the specs unit has two SODIMM slots supporting dual-channel memory4 GB, 8GB, 16 and 32 GB SODIMMs (for Intel® Core™ or Xeon® Processors), 8GB and 16 GB ECC SODIMMs (for Intel® XEON® Processors) Maximum: Upgradeable to 64 GB with optional 32 GB SODIMMs in 2 slots"
2 x 32GB non-ECC sticks were ordered and installed! They work perfectly.