• ×
    Need Windows 11 help?
    Check documents on compatibility, FAQs, upgrade information and available fixes.Windows 11 Support Center.
  • post a message
  • ×
    Need Windows 11 help?
    Check documents on compatibility, FAQs, upgrade information and available fixes.Windows 11 Support Center.
  • post a message
The HP Community is where owners of HP products, like you, volunteer to help each other find solutions.
HP Recommended
z420 Workstation
Microsoft Windows 10 (64-bit)

Just checking to see anyone has booted Z420 with NVMe , Older Z420 with Boot bLock 2011

HP Recommended

here we go again


1. the zx20 and earlier do not and will not ever have HP approved nvme bios code added to them

2. due to HP bios protection checksums on their workstation line no modified bios can be flashed

3. no currently in production nvme drive will boot on these systems


there was the samsung 950 pro (now out of production) consumer nvme drive that did contain the necessary nvme boot code but this drive is hard to find and quite expensive


it is possible to use a software based boot loader such as clover or DUET/REFIND to preload the nvme code from a usb key that then allows booting from a nvme drive (this is the cheapest way to get bootable nvme)  (contact me for details or check my previous posts on duet)


some earlier datacenter/enterprise SSD's  also contained vender unique methods of booting non nvme or nvme drives however i can only state that the Revo x3 and seagate nytro warpdrive (bothe non nvme) work on the zx00/zx20 systems

the z820 has also booted off of the apple ssubx AHCI SSD using the required PCI-e card expensive and really only needed for those who require (or can pay for)  the fastest disk I/O


some people claim other enterprise models work like the micron p9200/9300 and Intel 750 / P3600 series but i haven't actually tested these models so i have no comment other than to say again currently quite expensive for what you get capacity wise compared to a SATA based SSD  (currently retesting a intel 750 and p3605 based ssd will update with results)


in general, most users don't really need anything faster than a SATA SSD, but if you're a hobbyist or power user who feels the cost is worthwhile.............then go for it

HP Recommended



Yes, there are a number of Passmark Performance Test baselines for first series z420's (E5-1620, -1650, -2670, -2680, -2690) booting from NVMe M.2.  Most popular are the Samsung 970 EVO and 970 Evo Plus.  What these systems seem to have in common include the latest BIOS and using Windows 10 Prof'l.  Apparently the BIOS after v3.84 in combination with the drivers included in Windows 10 Pro will run.  The W10 installation will need to by the ISO on a GPT partitioned USB drive. and there are other subtleties and settings necessary for success.


Have a look at:




Yes, a bit of a fuss, but possible.




HP z620_2 (2017) (R7) > Xeon E5-1680 v2 (8C@ 4.3GHz) / z420 Liquid Cooling / 64GB (HP/Samsung 8X 8GB DDR3-1866 ECC registered) / Quadro P2000 5GB _ GTX 1070 Ti 8GB / HP Z Turbo Drive M.2 256GB AHCI + Samsung 970 EVO M.2 NVMe 500GB + HGST 7K6000 4TB + HP/HGST Enterprise 6TB / Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 sound interface + 2X Mackie MR824 / 825W PSU / Windows 7 Prof.’l 64-bit (HP OEM) > 2X Dell Ultrasharp U2715H (2560 X 1440)

[ Passmark Rating = 6280 / CPU rating = 17178 / 2D = 819 / 3D= 12629 / Mem = 3002 / Disk = 13751 / Single Thread Mark = 2368 [10.23.18]
[Cinebench: OpenGL= 134.68 fps / CPU= 1234 cb [10.27.18]

HP z420_3: (2015) (R11) Xeon E5-1650 v2 (6C@ 4.3GHz) / z420 Liquid cooling / 64GB (HP/Samsung 8X 8GB DDR3-1866 ECC registered) / NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 6GB/ Samsung 860 EVO 500GB + HGST 4TB / ASUS Essence STX + Logitech z2300 2.1 / 600W PSU > Windows 7 Professional 64-bit (HP OEM ) > Samsung 40" 4K

[Passmark System Rating: = 5644 / CPU = 15293 / 2D = 847 / 3D = 10953 / Mem = 2997 Disk = 4858 /Single Thread Mark = 2384 [6.27.19]


HP Recommended

As DGroves wrote a Samsung 950 Pro is absolute possible.

I'm using a 950 Pro NVMe SSD in a 10$ PCIe card. Both bought on ebay. 950 Pro 90 bugs, PCIe for 10 bugs and the booting is possible.


Here are some benchmarks:






HP Recommended



Yes, the Samsung 950 Pro is a good option, having high performance and that presents lesser installation difficulties, especially on Windows 7. However, it's a bit confusing as the z420 with a Passmark Disk mark of 15273 (15272.8) is listed as E5-1650 v2 / GTX 1060 3GB / "Muskin Pilot 500GB PCIe NVMe".


The problem is that the 950 PRO is, in my view, too expensive. Today, 5 Feb, 2021, the least expensive, used Samsung 950 Pro 512GB on eBahhh is $279. and the most recent sale was $299.99.  Those able to purchase  one for 90 "bugs" may consider reviewing current market prices.  Personally, I have not been able to make any transaction using bugs as currency since 1969. I have heard rumors though of a new cryptocurrency called BUGCoin.


For comparison, a new Samsung 970 EVO 500GB is today available for about $70.  The highest Passmark Disk score for the Samsung 970 EVO  500GB on an HP z420 (E5-1650 v2 /W8.1) is 25562, and the top mark for the Samsung 950 Pro 512 GB (z420 /E5-1650 /W10) is 18161.  Note that the z420 is using a Xeon E5 first series processor on W10.  There is another baseline of a z420 / E5-1620 / Samsung 970 EVO Plus 500GB / W10 system having a Disk mark of  22370, (currently about $85)- very impressive. Given the 970EVO is new, has the potential for +40% performance and can cost $200 less, seems a good cost/benefit choice, even in view of the added technicalities in procedure and settings.


The least technically demanding solution is to use a Samsung SM951 M.2 AHCI.  In the office z420 (W7), results using that drive were quite good:


HP z420_3 (2014) (Rev 5) > Xeon E5-1680 v2 (8-core@ 4.3GHz) / z420 Liquid cooling / 64GB DDR3-1866 ECC Reg / Quadro P2000 5GB / HP Z Turbo Drive 256GB AHCI + Intel 730 480GB + HGST 7K6000 4TB / 600W PSU /> Windows 7 Prof.’l 64-bit > 2X Dell Ultrasharp U2715H (2560 X 1440) / Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 USB interface
[ Passmark Rating = 6227 / CPU rating = 17006 / 2D = 826 / 3D= 8877 / Mem = 3025 / Disk = 14577 / Single Thread Mark = 2373 [5.28.18]


Note that the Passmark Disk score = 14577 as compared to the top z420 (W10) Samsung 950 Pro 256GB mark of 11852. The HP Z Turbo Drive seems especially well optimized and has an effective cooling solution. The most recent sale of a HP Z Turbo Drive 256GB AHCI, (11Dec, 2020  was $98).  The 512GB version of course is more desirable, prices have inflated since Dec 2020, and the least expensive recent offering - a Samsung SM951 512GB AHCI on a PCie bracket, is $179.


However, if the OP is willing to take on some technical subtleties, a current NVMe M.2 seems to be, by far, the best cost/ performance solution and that drive could be more forward-looking, transferable to the next system.. Alternatively, the HP Z Turbo Drive 256GB or 512GB AHCI or the drive within, the Samsung SM951 AHCI, should be an immediate solution, and potential less costly than the currently inflated prices of the 950 Pro.



HP Recommended


Fist I mean € as the price and than look here:
Samsung 950 Pro NVMe 

The rest of my SSD's are all Samsung 860 Pro versions.

† The opinions expressed above are the personal opinions of the authors, not of HP. By using this site, you accept the <a href="https://www8.hp.com/us/en/terms-of-use.html" class="udrlinesmall">Terms of Use</a> and <a href="/t5/custom/page/page-id/hp.rulespage" class="udrlinesmall"> Rules of Participation</a>.