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Adding a hard drive over 2tb in an HP xw8400

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HP xw8400 Workstation
Microsoft Windows 10 (64-bit)

I'm trying to install several large hard drives in an HP xw8400 workstation running Windows 10 Pro. The workstation has the latest bios, the drives are set to GPT and according to this post I also need newer Intel Raid Chipset Firmware.

 

Where can I download the correct Intel Raid Chipset Firmware? It doesn't appear to be on the xw8400 official driver page. I want to ensure I'm installing the correct firmware update for this machine so there are no problems.

 

Thanks in advance for the help!

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Hi,

 

Not possible with your stated configuration!  

 

You need specialized RAID hardware and a different OS.  Review this manual.

 

If you need a large capacity storage array then go the the HP Enterprise Support Forum for assistance.

HP Photosmart 6520
HP Envy 17", i7-8550u,16GB, 512GB NVMe, 4K screen, Windows 10 x64
Custom PC - Z390, i7-9700K, 32GB, dual 512 GB NVMe, dual 512 SSDs, 2K screen, OC'd to 5 Ghz, NVIDIA 2080TI 11GB
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Big_Dave,

 

Thanks for the help and response. Your expertise is appreciated.

 

Just to be clear, what I'm trying to do is add at least one 4-6 tb SATA drive to an HP xw8400 workstation. The drive will be used as a regular single drive not in a RAID configuration of any kind. This will not be a boot drive, only a secondary data drive. Currently Windows 10 Pro 64-bit is only allowing 1677.90 gb to be used. 

 

According to the Intel Driver Update Utility, this system needs needs the Intel Chipset Device Software updated from 10.0.10 to 10.1.1.1. After doing further research this update appears to enable GPT support for larger drives. However, when I run this installer, I receive an "unknown error" apparently because Intel has not yet updated the Chipset drivers for Windows 10.

 

(1) Is there any way to currently get this larger drive working in an HP xw8400 as is? 

 

(2) If not, is there an add-on card that would add this functionability to this machine?

 

(3) Is it possible that Intel could update their chipset drivers to allow the use of larger drives in Windows 10 in the future or is this a limitation of the hardware?

 

(4) If I reverted back to Windows 7, would larger drives be usable with this OS in an HP xw8400?

 

Again, thanks for the help. We're evaluating out options at this point.

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Long time ago I posted on the forum about my work that allowed me to run a 3TB drive on a xw6600 on its SATA bus, which is not supposed to be possible.  It took quite a bit of work, and use of a special Intel driver.  The same storage controller ESB2 chip is in your xw8400 as in the xw6600, and the method would work for larger than 3TB drives.  I concluded it was not worth the effort, and potential data risk, and chose to stick with 2TB drives if I really needed a large storage HDD in one of those ESB2-based workstations.

 

There is another way I'd go now, however.  In the xw6600 I'd drop in one of the HP USB3 cards into its lower PCIe x16 slots and run a USB3 cable up to a spare OD bay where I'd have the large HDD mounted, with a SATA-to-USB3 bridge attached, fed by an internal power cable.  It is pretty easy to find those, and a custom DC power feed would be easy to make rather than use a 120v AC to a DC power supply.  I'd need to check the power capacity of the bridge and the large HDD max power draw.  The 6600/8600 have PCIe Gen II for their 2 PCIe x16 slots; the 6400/8400 only have Gen I which still would run at 2.5Gb/s, in theory.  That is up to 175MB/s based on HP docs for USB3 running via a 5Gb/s bus (300MB/s) which is the bandwidth of a PCIe Gen II slot.

 

If you can live with PCIe Gen 1 speeds then that bridge would work fine, and big drives via USB3 work great.  I've gotten that USB3 card ("2x2") running fine under W7Pro64, W10Pro64, and now with the W10 Anniversary Edition.  Very fast, and I can get you the HP parts numbers if needed.

 

When HP changed the forum around the old posts largely got lost, but I have a PDF copy I could send you if you PM me here, if you really want to try the SATA bus method instead.  I'd advise against it.

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The bridge I'd use is from Anker, and you can get those off Amazon either without or with a power supply.  The power supply is 12VDC 2 amps (24 watts), and creating a power cable and plug from the 12VDC power ports (SATA or 4-pin Molex) would be easy.

 

I'm thinking that 2 amps of 12VDC is more than enough to run a multi-Terabyte HDD.... I checked and some 5TB HDDs I found ran in use at about 10 watts.  Even drawing power to the bridge off a spare floppy power cable, which has its 12VDC wire rated for 3 amps, that would be more than enough wattage (36 watts) to easily power a large HDD.

 

https://www.amazon.com/Anker-Converter-Adapter-Cable-included/dp/B005B3VO24

 

 https://www.amazon.com/Anker-Converter-2-5-inch-Supports-Included/dp/B014OSN2VW/ref=pd_sim_147_2?ie=...

 

 

EDIT:  Looking deeper, here is a SIIG one that specifies the chipset from ASMedia for the bridge, which allows SATA III performance.  The xw generation of HP workstations are SATA II, however, but this would be backwards compatible.  These adapters all can run a 2.5" drive off USB3 bus power, but for 3.5" drives they need the supplemental 12VDC.  The SIIG site specifically states that their bridge supports 4TB drives:

 

http://www.siig.com/it-products/controllers-storage/hard-drive-storage/drive-converters/usb-3-0-to-s...l

 

I do not have experience with plug-in PCIe SATA II or III interface cards, so that remains an avenue for your added research.  Those are now inexpensive enough that it might be worth doing the experiment to see, and please let us know your results.

 

Finally, I have posted in this forum recently on the ESB2 drivers from Intel variably supporting the TRIM feature that W7/W10 uses to keep SSDs tuned up automatically.  If you are running a SSD in any of these xw workstations this is quite important for you to read up on,  HERE .

 

http://h30434.www3.hp.com/t5/Business-PCs-Workstations-and-Point-of-Sale-Systems/SSD-Trim-support-dr...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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@SDHwrote:

Long time ago I posted on the forum about my work that allowed me to run a 3TB drive on a xw6600 on its SATA bus, which is not supposed to be possible.  It took quite a bit of work, and use of a special Intel driver.  The same storage controller ESB2 chip is in your xw8400 as in the xw6600, and the method would work for larger than 3TB drives.  I concluded it was not worth the effort, and potential data risk, and chose to stick with 2TB drives if I really needed a large storage HDD in one of those ESB2-based workstations.

 

There is another way I'd go now, however.  In the xw6600 I'd drop in one of the HP USB3 cards into its lower PCIe x16 slots and run a USB3 cable up to a spare OD bay where I'd have the large HDD mounted, with a SATA-to-USB3 bridge attached, fed by an internal power cable.  It is pretty easy to find those, and a custom DC power feed would be easy to make rather than use a 120v AC to a DC power supply.  I'd need to check the power capacity of the bridge and the large HDD max power draw.  The 6600/8600 have PCIe Gen II for their 2 PCIe x16 slots; the 6400/8400 only have Gen I which still would run at 2.5Gb/s, in theory.  That is up to 175MB/s based on HP docs for USB3 running via a 5Gb/s bus (300MB/s) which is the bandwidth of a PCIe Gen II slot.

 

If you can live with PCIe Gen 1 speeds then that bridge would work fine, and big drives via USB3 work great.  I've gotten that USB3 card ("2x2") running fine under W7Pro64, W10Pro64, and now with the W10 Anniversary Edition.  Very fast, and I can get you the HP parts numbers if needed.

 

When HP changed the forum around the old posts largely got lost, but I have a PDF copy I could send you if you PM me here, if you really want to try the SATA bus method instead.  I'd advise against it.



Hello ,

 

is it possible to share your experince in getting over 3TB hard disk read on old HP machines with me .

i tried to find your post you talked about , but without finding anything.

 

is it possible to share the link to that post

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for the xw8400 you can also install a LSI 9211 card (4 or 8 port) that is running "IT" firmware this card will add 4 or 8 more SATA 6GBPS ports and will allow a 3GB or larger drive as a boot or data drive

 

the "IT" firmware  is perfered in this case over the "IR raid firmware, the card can be setup with either and can be changed if desired

 

link to the intel RST driver, this is the absolute latest RST driver that still supports the ESB2 chipset is https://downloadcenter.intel.com/download/20104/Intel-Rapid-Storage-Technology-RAID-for-Intel-5-Seri...

 

SDH has posted that ver 10.0.0.1046, also works, but i have not used this release or used SSD's on a xw8400 however it appears that SDH has had sucess with this so i would consider trying it

 

the xw8400 onboard LSI1068E chip also has a 2GB limit, which is why i recomend turning off this controller in the bios and installing the LSI 9211-8i card

 

the card can be found on ebay for around 60.00

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Agree with DGroves about using the PCIe bus and a dedicated card that would let you add capabilities to these older workstations that their native hardware and drivers don not provide.

 

The process was difficult but it did succeed, and I'll see if I can find any links that still work.  Remember that HP took down our forum and had us start over some years ago.  My posts on that process were on the archives but have become almost impossible to find.

 

Another approach would be to add in one of the HP TI based USB3 cards I've posted about but I don't think the xw8400 has any PCIe Gen II slots (just like the xw6400 does not either).  Thus, to match the full speed of USB3 gen 1 you need a xw6600 or xw8600 and plug the PCIe card into one of its PCIe Gen II slots.  For the xw6600 the two PCIe slots that are PCIe Gen II are the two PCIe x16 video slots.

 

Hence, the xw8400 even with one of DGroves' recommended cards will probably run at 1/2 the speed you'd expect from it.

 

If you're thinking of upgrading then my advice now is to get a Z600 version 2 or Z800 version 2 rather than a xw6600 or a xw8600.  I've got my memory costs on those down to $1.00/GB using 4GB sticks.......  and 2 x X5672 quad cores cost me 70.00 total for the Z600 I just built up for our son.  He is very happy with W10 Spring Creators Update today running on 24GB ECC buffered server RAM.

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Thanks alot for your Reply.

 

i also want to share an information with you . some how , i managed to install the latest Mac Osx on the my xw8600 workstation and without any interfernce from my side the my 5 TB sata drive is shown up with it is full capacity . which i guess because of a kext that the mac has .

 

i hope this can help.

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actually the drive speeds on a xw8400 using a pci-e x4  LSI 9211 card is is rather fast since each pcie 1.0 link on the xw8400 is 250 MB/s and there are four of them on the 9211 card which equals 1.0 GB/ max data speed. and this speed is sustained across all of the cards ports in most cases due to the cards onboard multiplexer chip

 

the same card when used in a pci-e 2.0 system would be twice the xfer speeds (2.0GB for a x4 card) so you end up with  stock SATA 3.0 speeds instead of the enhanced 6GBps when used on the xw8400's pci-e 1.0 bus

 

the end result is that this method on a xw8400 is much much  faster than a USB card,  but the downside is the cost is about twice as much as the USB card cost

 

if using windows 7 and the 9211 card as a boot device, all i had to do was either slipstream in the cards driver or use the f6 method of loading the driver during windows setup

 

i belive windows 10 has native support for the 9211's LSI chip

 

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