Hello HP support forums, this is my very first post so I hope someone can help me out with a question I have about the "HP Z440, Intel Xeon E5-1630 V3". I just bought this as an Amazon refurb desktop, and I forgot to check if the motherboard has support for M.2 SSDs before hitting the purchase button. Does anyone know if there is an M.2 slot on the motherboard? If not, I suppose I'll have to order a PCIE M.2 Card, but it'd sure be a lot easier if M.2 SSD support is already included.
As long as I'm asking, can anybody link me to a PDF manual for this "HP Z440 Xeon E5-1630 V3"?
And finally, does anyone know any reason why this computer would have any problems running Linux as it's OS instead of Windows? I don't imagine there being any problem but if there is I'll definitely want to cancel my order immediately!
Thanks very much!Hope you and your families are staying safe and healthy during this awful Covid pandemic. Thanks very much!
PCIe card HP designed for this is the Z Turbo Drive G2. It can also run a Z Turbo Drive G1. The G2 is an NVMe M.2 card while the G1 is for an AHCI controller based M.2 card. Both have been a hassle to get running and for ease of use and nearly identical speed I've settled on using recent high end SATA 2.5" form factor SSDs in these for both the boot drive and the documents drive.
Updating the workstation's BIOS to the latest is the first thing I would do. There is a safe way to do that from within BIOS if you have the latest .bin file nested down a few folders deep on a thumb drive that you have inserted when you do a cold boot, and then get into BIOS for the system firmware upgrade. Be forewarned.... walk away from your computer for at least 10 minutes because the process will do some auto-shutdowns and auto-starts that you must not mess with. If you want any tips on that let us know. The .bin has to be down in several specific named folders for the BIOS to know where to look for it. We can help you on that if you need.
Once that is done then my advice is to go into BIOS and set to Factory Defaults.... you never know what someone before you messed up in BIOS. You can always fine tune them later. BIOS in these workstations is much more complex than in the ZX20 and earlier HP workstations. Some drivers will not be properly installed during a clean install if BIOS is set wacky.
The ZX40 workstations (Z440 in your case) all are covered by the HP Cloud Recovery tool, HERE . This lets you download onto a thumb drive a recovery installer that includes optimized "factory install" drivers etc. Let's assume your new-to-you Z440 is W10Pro64 licensed. You can take a fresh SATA SSD, boot into that thumb drive, and install what HP gives you. You can then later upgrade that install to the latest W10 version via the Microsoft Windows Update servers.
You can upgrade the processor of these to any HP approved v3 or v4 processor in the latest Z440 QuickSpecs, HERE :
A key thing to know is that the latest BIOS is needed for the latest approved processors to work in the workstation so you need to upgrade BIOS before a processor upgrade to ensure your new latest processor will be recognized. Don't ask how I know....
The later processors generally can run faster but if your memory is slow the processor will downshift to slower to match... figure out your memory speeds early on before making any big purchases.
Back to the M.2 issue..... I'd recommend starting with a nice fast modern SATA SSD. Ones we use are the 500GB Intel 545s and the Samsung 850 EVO or 860 EVO. Or, any junker SSD to at least get you up and running. You can exercise your creativity on the Z Turbo Drive M.2 PCIe card later. Those cards have come down in price on eBay and you can load them with some non-HP 512GB NVMe M.2 sticks also.
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