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ThomasK_NZ
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HP Z440 Workstation with Digitus SATA III PCIe Card (DS-30104-1)

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HP Z440 Workstation
Microsoft Windows Server 2008 (64-bit)

Have been supplied with a Z440 Workstation by our vendor, originally it came with 2 x PCIe zTurbo drives and 4 x 3.5" HDD's, this configuration filled all available drive bay's in the chassis. 

Shortly after taking delivery of the system we discovered the supplied PCIe zTurbo drives are not able to be configured in bootable raid on this model of workstation.

 

in order to meet the needs of our internal customer we required bootable RAID 1 via 2 x SSD's, along with 4 x 3.5" HDD's for a storage volume (also raid 1)

After going back to the vendor, the suggested solution was to move the 3.5" HDD's to an external enclosure and connect this via eSATA.  and add 2 x 2.5" SSD's.  So I advised the vendor to send us the enclosure and esata card to implement the suggested solution.

Our vendor supplied a Digitus DS-30104-1 4-port SATA III PCI express card & a 5 bay startech enclosure. 

This add-on card supposedly has an option rom accessable via CTRL-M during POST however I'm unable to see this via the legacy oprom window during boot up, nor can I see the card via the onboard 3rd party oprom's menu OR via the UEFI interface in the BIOS when legacy support is either enabled or disabled.

 

The Digitus SATA controller has BIOS version 1.0.0.1018 & Firmware version 2.3.0.1053, I have seen screen grabs referencing this exact version of this card via it's legacy oprom menu which appears to be blocked by this HP BIOS. (HP BIOS 2.45 Rev.A dated 18 July 2018)

 

I know the system is recognising the card as I've installed Windows 10 on a temp drive and, after installing the drivers it's recognising the controller card within Windows. 

 

Within the BIOS while examining the slot configuration options I note the system is recognising a Gen 2 card in the relevant PCIe slot. 

Does anybody know if what we are trying to do is actually possible on this workstation? I've seen other posts for other controller cards with similar questions surrounding oprom access not working, but nobody has been able to provide any answers thus far.

I'd prefer to have the RAID 1 volume via this external card, rather than the onboard Intel controller, however it's looking like the onboard controller is the only way to get this machine running.

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DGroves
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i would not recomend a eSATA card,  they are trouble prone and rather slow

 

instead i would get a 4 bay  2.5 hotswap SAS/SATAenclosure that installs in the 5.25 bay

 

this allows each drive to have a SATA port for full speed data xfers, and keeps all drives internal in the z440 case

 

https://www.amazon.com/ICY-DOCK-Rugged-Backplane-Mobile/dp/B0040Z924Q

 

and then if  required or desired for increased speed/data redundancy i would also install a LSI 9270-8i card, and connect the drives to it as the LSI card allows Bootable raid 0, 1, 5. 6 10,hotswap and SAS interface along with SATA

 

https://www.ebay.com/itm/LSI-9270CV-8i-1G-Cache-SAS-SATA-RAID-PCIe-3-0-6G-RAID-Controller-Battery-US...

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