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The HP Community is where owners of HP products, like you, volunteer to help each other find solutions.
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HP Z800
Microsoft Windows 10 (64-bit)

hi there, 


i am having an issue recognising an SSD which is installed on a PCIe card. i bought this card online hoping to load my OS onto an SSD and boot from PCIe rather than slower SATA2. i know the nvme boot would not work hence old fashion SSD way. please see the pics below:


the computer does not recognise the SSD (neither the old HDD is the pic above). currently as shown in the pics i just chucked an old 2.5" HDD in there and since the card had a SATA port i am using it via SATA connection which is not the way card is intended to be used surely.


is there anything that need to be set in BIOS so computer detect the PCIe hard drive? 


many thanks 

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Here is good advice:


Get a 600 GB Intel 320 series SSD from eBay, new or used at a price you can be happy with, and start over.  You don't have a SSD there..... that is a slow poke 5400 RPM spinning hard drive.  There is a recent post here in the forum about a PCIe card that can accept SATA III input to give you true SATA III speeds, but few can tell the difference in the real world between SATA II or III.


You not knowing that you have a slow 1TB hard drive in your pictures indicates you probably would be amongst those of us who are very happy with SATA II quality SSDs.  I've posted on how to get the ZX00 family to run a specific M.2 SSD from Kingston... it really is not worth the effort or cost.  Those 320 series SSDs are the way to go for that family, and bigger the better.  You'll be amazed at what a good buy on those you can find on eBay.

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thanks for the reply. this workstation (two X5660/48GB/8TB) is a work freebie which i am turning into my home file server. all HDD caddies are full, thus as well as an obvious PCIe performance gains, space is another reason i like to use a PCI adapter mounted SSD (pictured shown just a test 2.5" HDD so i make sure the newly bought adapter is not faulty, otherwise an SSD would go there ideally)

let me see if i am getting this right. so you're suggesting i get a SATA3 PCIe adapter and connect a fast SSD via normal SATA cable to the card? would that give me >500MB/s speed considering the motherboard is PCI2 only? i setup an SSD connected to motherboard SATA2 slots for a friend and best we got was 250MB/s

also wouldn't it look tidier and less crowded if SSD is mounted and detected via just a PCIe card?

my problem is why (SSD or that slow 5400rpm) hard drives are not detected at all? what do you do so BIOS or OS recognises storage on PCI slot?


taking your advice and buying an Intel 320 series SSD.  thanks for helping me on this 

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The "stunt" drive threw me.....  here is what I believe will be the case.  If you put a SATA II or a SATA III HDD or SSD into that interface PCIe card the speed still would be SATA II unless there is a "bridge" interface built into the PCIe card to allow the SATA III device to communicate at full SATA III speeds with the processors via the PCIe bus.  This type of bridging takes special chipsets and drivers, and BIOS compatibility, that is complex to accomplish.


You received an excellent workstation for an excellent price.  I'd focus on keeping it fast and simple.  Personally I would just use the Intel SSD I recommended as your boot drive, 600GB.  If you want a SATA SSD that was SATA III technology I would follow DGrove's advice and get exactly that card, place it in a PCIe generation 2 slot, and attach only one SATA III SSD to it as your boot drive.


SATA II speeds from a SATA II SSD for file serving is excellent.  Same from a SATA II HDD is less excellent as you can imagine.  I'd build up your box with that 320 boot drive and see how fast it is with that running from the normal drawer via SATA II.  I bet that will be more than fast enough.


The card that DGroves discussed is one he has experience with, personally.  You can add in the HP USB3 "2x2" card if you want USB3 speeds..... that works great under W10 also.  Finally, using Passmark scores you can see if your processors can be upgraded for best possible speeds.   There is a point where you go over the 95W TDP/processor value and then have to pay an arm and a leg for the rare "Performance" heatsink/fans that HP custom engineered to cool and still fit in the case.

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i guess i would have to go with your advice on SSD set up then. i already ordered an Intel 320 series and will connect it to a SATA2 port on the motherboard and make it bootable. i am keeping that PCI card in the photo inside the computer as a holder only (https://ibb.co/9GD4xzW), it is still delivering power to SSD though so one less cable hooked to SSD. isn't it strange that it delivers power via PCI interface but no data transfer?!


i also bought one of these to fit two more 1TB hard drives i have sitting around unused, it is just a shelf sitting above PCI slots, hold three hard drives and i reckon great for people like me who have filled up all hard drives caddies but space above PCI slots are empty.

Screen Shot 2020-01-19 at 2.47.52 PM.png

really appreciate your help and also this forum. Z800 is so understated and they are so well built. surely it will serve me well as a media player/file server. RedHat goes on it. 



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if you search on ebay you can find 5.25 bays that hold six SAS/SATA  2.5 sized drives these adapters use normal sata cabling






 looking at your picture of the HD/adapter you bought it appears to possibly be a dual nvme/sata one in that it can use a nvme drive on the pci-e bus (non booting on a z800) or a sata drive via the cards onboard sata connector that is then connected to a motherboard sata slot


keep in mind that the z800 has two normal sata ports and then 4 "SCU" sata ports next to the 2 sata ports

the LSI ports are along the edge of the motherboard at the bottom and are controlled/setup for booting when the LSI bios is enabled within the z800 bios if the LSI bios  is disabled you can not boot from the onboard controller


i'm currently testing a USB 2.0 sata card that provides two front bay USB 3.1 ports at 10GBps

(not 5GBps like normal 3.0 cards) it's made by silverstone, however this card is not cheap (speed costs!!) but so far the card appears to be able to consistently do well over 5GBps and has approached 10GBps on some tests 

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You are absolutely right about the HD/adapter. reading the description now i can see it supports non-bootable NVME via PCIe or a bootable SSD via the onboard SATA connection, i guess now i have an overpriced hard drive caddy that just sits on top of one PCI slot! 


does it matter what SATA port i plug it the incoming SSD ? or one of the the LSI ports at the bottom? i'd be more than happy if i get a >500MB/s bootable speed. 


i know i may probably annoy you guys by repeating this question, i just want to completely move on from this subject: there is no straightforward way to boot a Z800 from PCIe interface.  is that correct? 


thanks for the ebay links, the first one would work great for my purpose. i'll buy that if the other one i bought turned out to be useless (likely not stable enough having two hard drives spinning in it!)


by the way, any recommendation for a WIFi solution for Z800? ideally something that doesn't require three giant antenna sticking out the back! 


thanks guys



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please "search" this forum on z800 nvme booting i've covered this subject several times the quick answer is no


the long answer is yes it can be done


and as SDH pointed out, paying the premium for a "AHCI" pci-e based SSD doesn't make sense unless you have money to burn

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