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Distinguished Professor
Distinguished Professor
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Message 11 of 23
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HP Recommended

Will the Z420 Workstation boot from a PCIe SSD?

For all of the posters who keep complaning about why they can't get modified bios's for their workstations or servers read below...

 

HP, does signed bios's for all workstations/servers made in the past decade or so this is nothing new dell, Lenovo, and other major mfgrs do so,.. also these systems come with increased security which also includes the feature of preventing unknown 3rd parties from adding unknown code to the system.

 

you don't like this security? feel free to buy a consumer based system from any major system maker!

they do not offer the  added security features and you are free to moddify as you wish

 

last, all of the major workstation/server makers state how long a system will receive enhancemets/updates and then only security patches when the model is introduced,..... don't like this?

then again buy a consumer model that will have support didscontuned  usually without any advanced notice

 

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Smeden Tutor
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Message 12 of 23
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HP Recommended

Will the Z420 Workstation boot from a PCIe SSD?

If we were only talking about professionel users buying new professional computers I would agree.

 

In recent years, these Zx20 workstations have been refurbished/remarketed in thousands every month.
This means that these computers also end up with regular users, who do not need enterprise-level security.

Therefore, I find it unsympathetic that HP will not take a moment and help enthusiasts/fanboys/students with a simple NVMe update, that everybody seems to be asking for.

 

I assume there is more $£€ in motivating us to buy new consumer stuff and fill the scrapyards. :Crying:

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Distinguished Professor
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Message 13 of 23
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HP Recommended

Will the Z420 Workstation boot from a PCIe SSD?

as i posted, you were/are free to choose whatever system you want you are also free to complain about you choice

 

however as i pointed out you will be better served to decide if a system meets your needs FIRST rather than complain

after the fact as you are now doing and i will not comment further on this as i have made my point known

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Master's Graduate
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Message 14 of 23
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HP Recommended

Will the Z420 Workstation boot from a PCIe SSD?


@Smeden wrote:

If we were only talking about professionel users buying new professional computers I would agree.

 

In recent years, these Zx20 workstations have been refurbished/remarketed in thousands every month.
This means that these computers also end up with regular users, who do not need enterprise-level security.

Therefore, I find it unsympathetic that HP will not take a moment and help enthusiasts/fanboys/students with a simple NVMe update, that everybody seems to be asking for.

 

I assume there is more $£€ in motivating us to buy new consumer stuff and fill the scrapyards. :Crying:


As mentioned its not really just a HP thing - bios / driver support is generally pretty poor for legacy systems, no matter what manufacturer. And at the rate that new hardware is coming out recently, with e.g. Z270 not even lasting a year before being superseeded by Z370, and now with Z390 coming out in a few weeks I think things will get even worse, as instead of refining a product, manufacturers will just move on to the next new thing and leave users to their own devices to fix problems / bugs or add features. So in that context for home use a more open system is definietly an advantage vs a propriateray one. 

Old_oracle Student
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Message 15 of 23
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HP Recommended

Will the Z420 Workstation boot from a PCIe SSD?

This is a high grade security b***. Security is a chain of interconnected links, hardware, Bios bootorder, physical access, storage, cpu ram. There are hundreds of ways to compromise a system. Even if the BIOS is 100% proof, you can add a USB thump drive and compromise everything. Essentially the TPM Test should fail when you install a custom BIOS but saying a customer is not the master of his hardware is really wrong.
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htruempler Top Student
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Message 16 of 23
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HP Recommended

Will the Z420 Workstation boot from a PCIe SSD?

If i could get a flashable modded Z420 BIOS based on the latest "J61_0394.BIN", i would be very glad, and would pay a supporting fee for that via PayPal. My EVO 970 256GB is installed on a DeLOCK M.2 NVMe PCIe-Adapter in Z420 PCIe X4 Slot number four. It has an unbelivable read speed of 3,500 MB/sec. in the Samsung MAGICIAN Benchmark. If i could come to stage to boot also from the EVO 970 (OS is cloned to the 970 allready) it would be perfect.

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Distinguished Professor
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Message 17 of 23
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HP Recommended

Will the Z420 Workstation boot from a PCIe SSD?

i've mentioned this numerous times but for some reasion people don't use the search button or don't believe ithe information

 

again,.....most HP workstations (and servers from HP enterprise) use checksumed bios's that currently can not be decompiled using the currently available bios extraction tools

 

due to the ability to extract the bios on most workstation bios's no modded bios's will exist

 

the next problem is the bios checksum, HP bios's check the new bios checksum and if incorrect will refuse to actually flash the modded bios due to the checksum mismatch, note also that the bios flasher may/will return a sucess message...but no actual flashing has been done

 

due to the above issues there is no known way to modify a workstation bios that has either of the two above issues

 

last why does hp protect their bios? simple these workstations (and servers) are certified for use in secure enviroments, and as such preventing unknown persons from adding unknown mods to the bios code is a standard prodecure and it's not a HP only thing....all tier one venders Dell, Lenovo, Acer have systems with locked down bios's

 

and if you buy a workstation please don't bich about being unable to modify the bios..... these systems were made to fill specific needs and a home hobyist is/was not one of them! if you want to mod a bios, buy a concumer system or motherboard thes systems will almost never have secure bios's as there is little need to do so in a home enviroment

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swclark Top Student
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Message 18 of 23
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HP Recommended

Will the Z420 Workstation boot from a PCIe SSD?

"Least hassle:  The HP Z Turbo Drive Generation 1 (with no aluminum finned heatsink and running on the special proprietary HP-Samsung AHCI-controlled M.2 SSD).  This has the special HP firmware/hardware that allows boot from the HP device.  Works fine on the ZX20 or ZX40 HP workstations."

 

Still kinda ignorant on this topic - 

So is the firmware/hardware that allows the boot capability on the HP PCIe board, or is it on the SSD, or a combination? I ask because I have seen the boards without the ssd for sale on ebay. If it is on the board, can M.2/NVMe SSDs other than the original Samsung be used to boot to a Z420?

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Distinguished Professor
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Message 19 of 23
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HP Recommended

Will the Z420 Workstation boot from a PCIe SSD?

the z420 can boot from any SATA device, the z420 (and all zx20 workstatation and earlier lines) can not in general boot from a NVME device as they lack bios support code for nvme (they can use nvme as a data drive however)

 

what confuses some people is that samsung,  kingston, and Intel each released ssd''s which did have the nessary missing nvme code such as the SM950pro/kingston preadator/ intel 750 pcie ssd card that allowed nvme ssd support on the zx20 line

 

(the zx00 line such as the z800 will not work as a boot device with the nvme based 950pro or intel 750 card for some reasion)

 

so you can use a PCIe  4x card on the z420 to boot from the SATA version of the SM951 but not the NVME based SM951

and it will boot a special nvme ssd like the samsung 950 pro that has the missing nvme support in the ssd's rom but not any other nvme ssd that lacks this code which today just about covers ever current model except for those three i listed

 

the SSD itself is nothing  special, the HP labeled SSD's do use custom firmware, but it will still work in most other systems

 

what "IS" special is the pcie 4x carrier card for the zx20 /zx40 systems this HP Turbo Z card is unique and will only work in the listed turbo Z systems (the card is the same for the Turbo Z and G2 models only the SATA or NVME based SSD is diffrent)

Professor
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Message 20 of 23
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HP Recommended

Will the Z420 Workstation boot from a PCIe SSD?

The magic in the ZTD G1 is in the firmware on the HP-modified M.2 drive (AHCI controller) plus in the HP BIOS for the approved workstations.  I did the experiments.... with a few ZTD G1 bare cards and non-HP matching Samsung M.2 drive without the HP firmware screwed onto them, and also running the Kingston Predator screwed onto that card also.  Anyone with a HP ZTD G1 drive can do these experiments.  It is easy to swap in and out different M.2 sticks.  I've done that also with the ZTD G2 bare cards..... both sure seem like very nice pass-through cards with some jumpers added that I did not need to change from default.

 

I'm with Bambi on this.... a good current roughly 500GB 3-D SATA 2.5" form factor SSD like the Intel 545s (my current favorite, with the Intel Toolbox utility) or the Samsung Evo 860 (they still can't get their utility to report HP SATA BIOS setting correctly) will give you what you want without all the drama.

 

EDIT:  Oh, don't forget the storage controller drivers..... you need the right ones in the mix.  You'll know when you are running the wrong ones.  Pretty blue screen right when you progress out of BIOS during boot..

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