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DavidusX
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HP z420 NVMe install

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HP z420
Microsoft Windows 10 (64-bit)

I can't get to square one with the HP zTurbo PCI riser.  I am using a new Samsung 980 NVme drive.  Bios don't see it.  Neither does Windows.  I have the j61 3.96 Bios.  The choices seem limited on bios.  There is UEFI in the boot options, but that is just USB stuff.   My ADATA SSD boot drive is listed under "legacy" (a SATA ssd).   The ROMS are set to "legacy".  The Mass storage one and the PXM one (if that is correct acronym).  I am thinking I have a NVMe SSD that won't work.  Doesnt have the AHCI on it.  I am about to throw in the towel, send it back to AMAZOn and just get a SATA SSD.  BUT.. I hate letting this thing whip me.  I have a REV0 MOBO (I think).  The one that won't take the XEON V2 Cpus.  Thanks if anyone wants to comment.  I wonder also, if I could have a bad HP zTurbo G2 PCI adapter.  I just bought it from eBay. 

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DGroves
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I, and SDH bambiboom and many others have covered nvme boot on the zx20 workstation line please use the forums "SEARCH" feature and read some of the previous posts

 

the Zx20 line DOES NOT support booting from nvme drives (the samsung 950 pro being the only exception for consumer ssd's)

 

you can either buy a overpriced datacenter/server ssd that works (most do not) or use a software based nvme boot loader such as clover or duet/refind as i've previously said i have covered this in previous posts i'm currently testing a samsung 950 pro in a z820 and while it boots and is fast, 95% of the users don't really need the extra speed, a normal midrange SATA device has 85% of the speed at a much lower cost

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SDH
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HP did develop a special combination of hardware/firmware/system BIOS that allows certain specific M.2 SSDs to work in the ZX20 generation of their workstations with their AHCI-based controller version of a M.2 drive in their PCIe card.  That combination has the name HP Z Turbo Drive, and it should have been "HP Z Turbo Drive G1".  Later they released the "HP Z Turbo Drive G2" which was engineered for the next generation of workstations, the ZX40 ones.

 

So, first, you need the right BIOS for your Z420... the latest will do.  Learn how to update BIOS from within BIOS because if you are running W10 there is a good chance you will bork your motherboard otherwise.  You need to learn about what specific HP M.2 AHCI-based controller SSDs with HP brand/part number and internal HP firmware will work.  If you do all that you can succeed.  I'll state that you will virtually certainly not succeed if you try to use a NVMe-based controller M.2 form factor in your ZTD PCIe card that you may have bought bare off eBay.  It does not matter if you bought a bare PCIe card that originally was from a ZTD G1 or G2.

 

A ZTD G1 can work in a Z420 and a Z440, but a ZTD G2 for all practical purposes cannot work in a Z420.  It is the specific HP M.2 stick that really makes that difference, not the HP PCIe card.  There are some very fiddly ways to get a NVMe-based controller M.2 SSD to work in a Z420 and it is not worth the effort unless one is a genius and highly experienced and pain-tolerant.

 

Most of us with those traits (exclude genius in my case) have learned better and simply use a nice fairly big modern SATAIII based controller 2.5" form factor SSD as our boot/OS/applications drive.  It then is nice if you can pair that with a big second SATAIII 2.5" form factor SSD documents drive and run them both off the two gray SATAIII ports at the bottom right front corner of the motherboard.  If you need huge documents drive then instead use a modern SATAIII big HDD hooked to the SATA1 gray port.  Always hook your SATAIII boot drive to the SATA0 gray port (closest to the front of the case). 

 

If you go with a HP ZTD G1 there are specific PCIe slots to use.  I don't need a huge documents drive so I paired a 256GB ZTD G1 with a 1TB SATAII Samsung enterprise 2.5" form factor used SSD off eBay years ago.  A recent Z620 build for my wife was built with a HP ZTD PCIe card bought bare off eBay, and a 512GB HP AHCI-based M.2 stick bought virtually new off eBay knowing the right part numbers and searching from different angles.  Her documents drive is a big new SATAIII HDD because she needs that space.  Even those ZTD G1 builds are still a bit fiddly in a ZX20 workstation and the correct HP M.2 AHCI-based controller sticks are getting very hard to find.  So, in the future I'll only build up a ZX20 with a modern SATAIII 2.5" form factor SSD for the boot/OS/apps drive.

 

 

 

 

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DavidusX
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thank you I returned the SAMSUNG 980 to AMAZON just now, and just ordered a Crucial 1TB MMX SATA drive.   Also note, my MOBO is the old one.. the one that won't support the V2 drives.  Now, is that a consideration?  Thanks for your reply I am working on this problem now.. getting the Crucial SATA ssd. 🙂🙂

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DGroves
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I, and SDH bambiboom and many others have covered nvme boot on the zx20 workstation line please use the forums "SEARCH" feature and read some of the previous posts

 

the Zx20 line DOES NOT support booting from nvme drives (the samsung 950 pro being the only exception for consumer ssd's)

 

you can either buy a overpriced datacenter/server ssd that works (most do not) or use a software based nvme boot loader such as clover or duet/refind as i've previously said i have covered this in previous posts i'm currently testing a samsung 950 pro in a z820 and while it boots and is fast, 95% of the users don't really need the extra speed, a normal midrange SATA device has 85% of the speed at a much lower cost

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SDH
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David,

 

Regarding your update and brief question above.... the earlier v1 and  the later v2 versions of the Z420 both support SATA III drives at SATA III speeds when they are attached to the gray SATA0 and SATA1 ports.  The later version 2 motherboards can run the v1 and v2 processors whereas the earlier version 1 motherboards can only support the v1 processors.

 

It is OK to not know all these details... but you clearly will be better served by keeping it simple and going with a modern SATAIII SSD as your boot/OS/applications drive.  And, I'd recommend you stick with a new SATAIII HDD as your documents drive.  If you buy those don't forget you need to format them first before you can use them.... they generally come to you "raw".

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DavidusX
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I'll have to look up when HP started putting M.2 slots in their servers.  For you can get these sturdy servers cheap from surplus places.  Or should I say, supporting NVme in the bios.  Actually BambiBoom, yourself and others have convinced me.  I've spent a lot of time going down this thread.   What I want it for is:  I work with UNITY game engine.   With the old box I was using, it took for-ever to load up a project.  I want UNITY to snap.  Many of the projects are very large.  Some UNITY assets (such as scenes, towns, high quality buildings, etc) are very large.  Over 1GB. I have a eBay NVidia Quadro 2000M for graphic card.   Got a low price on it.  Thanks for your reply.   I didn't want to use the SAMsung 980 for boot.  Just wanted fast data.  Thought I could get away with it.  At any rate, "All's well that ends well." 🤗

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DGroves
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a general rule of thumb regarding bootable nvme ssd support from retail systems (not modded bios hacks) is as follows

 

intel consumer: x99 and newer chipsets

Intel Server: c612 and newer

 

AMD, not sure,

current ryzen/threadripper cpu's (ryzen 3000 series) have support for nvme boot and pcie-4.0 support

 

but earlier amd cpu's (pre 2020) may not support nvme as a boot device i don't do much work with the amd line so i'm not up on the current state of their ecosystem regarding this subject

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DGroves
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just to be clear, the older systems like the z420 can not boot from nvme, they can however use the nvme drive as a non booting device when using windows 8 or newer (64 bit)........older OS's will require a ssd driver from the maker of the ssd

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