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Microsoft Windows 10 (64-bit)

Booting to NVMe ON Z820 HP AND Z600 

HP Z820 AND Z600
Microsoft Windows 10 (64-Bit)

Does the Z820 support booting to PCI-e 3.0 NVMe drives?

I'm trying to get this configuration to work, but I'm having a heck of a time.  I'm running the latest BIOS version 3.94, and it is configured for UEFI boot.

I have a USB installation drive that is formatted with a GPT partition using NTFS.

I pick F9 at startup, pick my USB drive from the UEFI section, and install Windows just fine.  The Windows installation process sees my NVMe drive with no trouble, and installs to it just fine.  However, after the install is finished, I reboot and it won't boot to the NVMe drive.

Has anyone gotten this to work on a Z820? I have an pci-e 3.0, axagon, as in the picture attach, and a crucial p2 1 tb  nvme   m.2 ssd. 

I also want to update my second system Z600 with an m.2 ssd and don't know if it will waork and which are the steps. 

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i've written on this subject numerous times. your post suggests that you have not used this forum's "SEARCH" feature


the z820 while a EFI enabled bios (not the later UEFI revision) it lacks the necessary nvme boot code in the bios.


this can be worked around using a software based bootloader for the nvme code


here's one such post



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M.2 drives can be fast, fast. fast and M.2 NVMe even faster.  However, using NVMe in systems designed three or five years before it existed complicates the drive choice and/or installation.


To use M.2 for the boot drive without a lot of fussing , consider a Samsung SM951 M.2 AHCI- just plug it in and start loading the OS, or if NVMe , a Samsung 950 PRO NVme, which is till quite close to plug and play also.  Other M.2 NVMe can be to work, but it requires - for example- a permanent USB drive loaded with an NVMe BIOS module and startup loader program.


I've chosen the Samsung SM951 M.2 AHCI route for z420_3 and z620_2, while z620_2 also has a Samsung 970 EVO 500GB as a data-only drive.  Today I would simply buy  Samsung 950 PRO's.


Of 1.170 z600's tested on Passmark, there are several disk benchmark listings for the 950PRO M.2 boot NVMe drives. The highest Disk score is 12,409. On a z840, that score is up to 14,917.


As DGroves mentioned, to learn the alternatives, there have been quite a number of posts on the subject on this forum.




HP z620_2 (2017) (R9) > Xeon E5-1650 v2 (6C@ 4.6GHz) / z420 Liquid Cooling / 64GB (HP/Samsung 8X 8GB DDR3-1866 ECC registered) /GTX 1070 Ti 8GB / Samsung SM951 M.2 512GB AHCI + Samsung 970 EVO M.2 NVMe 500GB + HP/HGST Enterprise 6TB / Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 sound interface + 2X Mackie MR824 / 825W PSU / Windows 7 Prof.’l 64-bit (HP OEM) > 2X Dell Ultrasharp U2715H (2560 X 1440)
[ Passmark Rating = 6412 / CPU rating = 16283 / 2D = 846 / 3D= 13735 / Mem = 3107 / Disk = 14614 / Single Thread Mark = 2550 [7.3.21]


HP z420_3: (2015) (R12) Xeon E5-1650 v2 (6C@ 4.6GHz) / z420 Liquid cooling / 64GB (HP/Samsung 8X 8GB DDR3-1866 ECC registered) / NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 6GB/ Samsung SM951 M.2 256GB AHCI + Samsung 860 EVO 500GB + HGST 7K6000 4TB / ASUS Essence STX + Logitech z2300 2.1 / 600W PSU > Windows 7 Professional 64-bit (HP OEM ) > Samsung 40" 4K
[Passmark System Rating: = 6186 / CPU = 15845 / 2D = 819 / 3D = 11216 / Mem = 3047 Disk = 13905 /Single Thread Mark = 2525 [7.3.21]

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BambiBoomZ is correct that the nvme based 950 pro or the AHCI version of the sm951 (not the nvme version of the sm951)


is the easiest way to boot from a z820 (the apple UBX based ssd's also work on the z820)


however all three of the above have a common issue THE COST AND AVAILABILITY, only the apple UBX drives are easily sourced nowadays, and all three are overpriced when you can find one and the first two will also have a unknown amount of hours on them


i covered which SSD's i have personally tested and verified bootable on the z820/z800 systems in a previous post


my current recommendation is if you don't have a SSD buy a new SATA 6GBps drive and be done with it........no hassle and for most people plenty fast


if you already have a nvme drive, and like to tinker, duet/refind is worth considering ....... or perhaps you have a real need for the increased speed of pci-e/nvme based ssd's then a enterprise/datacenter class ssd might be worthwhile like the intel 750 or 3600/3700 series

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