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HP Recommended
HP Workstation Z420
Microsoft Windows Server 2016

Hello everybody
This is a repost as first time I posted on the wrong board ! 


I have a Z420 with Xeon E5-1620 with 32GB RAM and a 500GB Samsung 850, running Windows Server 2016 - Machine runs on latest BIOS. (I use this machine as a small office Server)

Just bought an HP Smart Array P420 Controller with 1GB FBWC to use it, instead of using the integrated controller.

Installed the board on the machine Ok -

Switched on the machine - Finds that the controller in Slot5 Ok

Attempts to discover hard drives connected - FInds none (which is the case as I have not connected any)

Then says Press F8 to configure array or ESC to continue.

Now the problems start !!!

Pressing F8 ofcourse finds no drives (I guess SSD is not shown as it is connected to motherboard)

Pressing ESC does nothing and the computer gets stuck and does not boot at all.

Took out the RAID controller - all normal as before.

My question is

a) Is the HP P420  smartraid controller compatible with Z420 workstation ??

If YES then

Can I use the current SSD connected to motherboard as boot drive and create an array of drives connected to the P420 RAID controller for DATA storage  ??  or all drives should be connected to the RAID controller 


Your help will be greatly appreciated to achieve the above configuration (orelse I guess I will have to put the contoller on my drawer !!)


Not to forget when the RAID is installed in the machine it is not possible to enter the machine BIOS Setup (by pressing F10).


HP Recommended

the HP P420 controller is a ENTERPRISE controller, as such support is from HPE (Hewlett Packard Enterprise) this controller was only ment to be installed in specific HPE SERVERS, not workstations, or consumer systems




all documentation/files are from HPE not HP,


with the card installed in the z420, do you get a no drives detected, bios not installed message? if so the card appears to be working however the next issue is Bios rom free space. the HP raid card uses a rather large rom and the z420 may no be able to load/merge the HPE cards bios code in the remaining free space

another issue is that the HPE card may use the same key press as the z420 does to enter the bios if so then the card's GUI will not work


also updating the cards firmware may not be possible as the updater will most likely check the system it's running on and if not a HPE server it will then fail to continue the update


i strongly recommend you use a LSI approved raid only card like the 9260 or 9265 or a adaptec 7/8 thousand series card if you require RAID + JBOD

HP Recommended

Hello Dgroves

First of all thanks very much for your time and effort to read my post and comment.

Let me answer some of your questions :

That is what I get when booting with the card installed – ONLY CARD INSTALLED – NO HDDs attached to the controller – So I assume message is Ok


Picture  1Picture 1


If I press F8 It takes me to the Option ROM configuration utility

Picture 2Picture 2


Problem is when I press exit either in the first screen (picture 1) or to exit from the configuration utility the system gets stuck – (i.e. does not boot from the SSD attached to the motherboard on SATA 0)


Any suggestions ?


P.S. When restarting the computer starts can not access bios setup by pressing F10. - !!!

HP Recommended

the p410 bios may be setup to return you to the HP servers BIOS, and that code is not working on your z420


short of connecting a drive(s) and you validating the card for your use/needs your only other option is what i previously recommended, install a card that has been validated/supported on the z420

HP Recommended

Hi there

I had a similar experience with an HP 440 Workstation as in the following post



I would try this on the Z420 and report back

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