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ShadowX360
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Crisis Recovery Jumper Z620 Z420 Z820 Revealed

I used a 1GB drive and it worked. I tried many times and failed with larger drives. I didn't try taking a larger drive and just adjusting the partition size like BambiBoomz suggested. I suspect he's right and 1GB may be the limit for the partition. Most flash drives on the market nowadays are much larger which explains why others had problems in the past even following those instructions if they didn't think to use something smaller.

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the usb drive size problem may also be related to how the usb key is accesed,... any key over 64gb is accessed like a hard drive instead of using the normal usb key driver

 

also any key over 32gb will default to NTFS or eFAT instead of the normal FAT filesystem that the recovery process expects

 

in general any key up to 4GB should work if formated as a bootable FAT filesystem with 512meg or 1/2GB keys perfered

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I have edited the main top post again due to having found an official HP description on how to do the process, based on an issue they had with the ZX40 workstation family.

 

Here is the link to the customer advisory:

 

https://support.hp.com/us-en/document/c05163478

 

 

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I have edited the main top post again due to having found an official HP description on how to do the process, based on an issue they had with the ZX40 workstation family.

 

Here is the link to the customer advisory:

 

https://support.hp.com/us-en/document/c05163478

 

 

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SambalBij
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Does anyone have any more tips on how to get this to work?

 

Last week I reinstalled Windows on my Z820. After installing the HP driver update tool I noticed a new BIOS had recently been released, so I installed that using the Windows based update tool.

At the very end (last block of writing) Windows froze.

I let it sit for almost 45 minutes. At that time it was still frozen. Mouse cursor didn't move, and no response to ctrl-alt-del.

 

So eventually I had to hard-reset the machine. After powering it back on fans went to full speed, and nothing on the screen 😞

After some searching on the web I found this thread as well as another on at https://h30434.www3.hp.com/t5/Desktop-Boot-and-Lockup/Z820-Bricked-Bios-after-Firmware-update/td-p/5...

 

I tried all suggestions to recover the BIOS, but I can't get it to work.

- Set the crisis jumper to the recovery position

- Removed the password jumper

- Tried to clear the CMOS using the button

- I tried several different USB sticks, ranging from an old USB 1 or 2 256MB stick to a 32GB USB3 stick.

- Tried FAT and FAT32

- Tried creating a smaller partition on larger sticks

- Cleaned (partitioned and formatted) the sticks using the HPUSBDisk tool

- Dusted of and built back in my old DVD drive; tried both a CD-RW as well as a DVD+R disk with only the BIOS file on it

- Tried both J63_0391.BIN and the latest J63_0394.BIN (latter was the one I tried upgrading to at first)

- Tried both the top-front USB port as well as the rear USB2 ports.

 

It seems that the machine constantly keeps resetting the USB bus. Two of the stick I tried (including the old 256MB one) have an access light that lights up on power, and quickly flashes during reads and writes.

On the Z820, it never flashes quickly (as if reading) but constantly switches on and off in a slow pace. I have a keyboard attached (Some Razer mechanical thing) that has an LED that switches on when the bus is powered. This LED also keeps flashing in the exact same pace as the USB stick LED. It looks as if the machine keeps resetting the bus. All other USB devices (including the internal card reader) have been disconnected.

 

After 15-30 minutes of flashing like that the USB stick starts staying lit constantly, while the keyboard keeps on flashing. It seems to stop resetting that USB port at that time. If I remove and re-insert the stick the flashing starts over.

Still no read activity on the stick though. I never get to the expected beeps and red flashes (on the power button I assume?) and I'm not sure on how to proceed next to get this machine back to life...

 

I really hope someone has some more tips on what to try next...

 

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Try PS2 keyboard and mouse, and let us know.

BambiBoomZ
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SambalBjj,

 

I think SDH has a good idea to try a PS/2 keyboard and mouse to eliminate USB considerations. And, moreso if the Razer K/B and/or mouse require any special drivers.  I use a multimedia keyboard with all kinds of controls and programable buttons for apps, but when fussing with setup, I use a very simple Dell keyboard and mouse from 2010 that must have a completely generic basic driver. If I didn't have luck with that, I would've tried the PS/2 K/B an mouse form the 1007 server.  The driver issue is an interruption in everything incvolving hardware changes.  Only today while installing a new HD (HGST 4TB) on startup I noticed it was loading a driver while Windows update was configuring something. There was no problem, but I would rather not have that kind of simultaneous disk processes.

 

These ideas may be a bit extreme, but if you continue to have problems, consider:

 

1. If the z820 has two CPU's, consider running on one CPU and one RAM module in the first slot. 

 

2. When I recovered the z620 on the firsd try, I used a Xeon E5-1607 V2 (cost $11) which is non-hyperthreading and,

 

3. Also, I used a fanless 512MB GPU (GeForce 7300 LE) to further simplify the conditions.

 

4. Last but not least: You may be having the same problem in trying to revert the BIOS to a pre Spectre /Meltdown version.There is microcode in v 3.92 and possibly after that does not allow reversion. When I was trying to revert th veriosn, it would save the 3.92 BIOS, and load the new 3.91 one, but then fail at the very end. Eventually, I learned of the "Magic Green Jumper"  that in some way unexplained allowed the reversion from v 3.92 to 3.91.  See:

 

https://h30434.www3.hp.com/t5/Business-PCs-Workstations-and-Point-of-Sale-Systems/HP-zX20-BIOS-v-3-9...

 

There is apprently yet another level of this, the "Mysterious Black Junper" next to the main MB connector. I didn't use it as the green jumper worked. If you need the "MBJ", I will try and make sense of my notes.

 

Let us know what happens. I fussed with the BIOS problem for more than two months, until SDH mentioned the crisis jumper and I learned of the Magic Green Jumper.

 

It seems more than a coincidence that at the time I loaded 3.92 over 3.91, it was also a very newly released version. That 3.92 could not be reverted was not mentioned.

 

BambiBoomZ

SambalBij
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Thank you both for the suggestions...

 

I did get it to flash red and beep, but probably not the way it's meant to in this procedure...

 

At first I tried with the PS/2 keyboard... No change; still the periodically flashing USB stick.

 

Then removed both the audio card and the video card. Plugged in an old simple card. Tried again, still the same...

 

After that removed CPU1 (rear one) and removed all but 1 of the memory modules. So now it has only CPU0 (front of the machine) and 1 8GB module in the lowest slot near CPU0 (as indicated in the memory load order image on the side panel.

 

Now I got it to flash and beep.... but only 5 times, indicating a 'Pre-video memory error' according to the service manual 😞

After two sets of 5 flashes-and-beeps, the beeping stops but the flashing continues.

Also tried with adding a second DIMM in the top slot at CPU0; still the same. Reseated the first module, replaced the first module.. (Also with a different type; half of the memory is Nanya, other half is Micron (both HP branded))

 

Unfortunately I don't have a non-HT CPU. Got a Dell server laying around here that also had S2011 CPU's, but those are also E5-26xx 8-core ones... Maybe only a little slower then the 2690's from this machine...

 

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swap cpu 0 with cpu 2 (again only run 1 cpu)

SambalBij
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Do you mean swap the CPU in socket 0 with the one from socket 1? (So still running a single CPU in socket 0)

Or do you mean run with only a single CPU but in socket 1 instead of 0?

(Just to clarify :))

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