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monkey_griff
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installing a SSD into Z600 Workstation.

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Hi,

 

Description explains it all, I've been thinking of replacing my current HDD for a SSD.

 

I haven't done much researching on this myself but thought I would check here just encase there's any known issues/pit falls with installing a ssd into z600 workstation, I will be looking at adding a 1TB ssd.

 

1. Installing hardware? the z600 3.5 inch caddy wouldn't house an SSD, do HP sell brackets which will fit the z600 ?

 

2. Compatibility with the workstation? are there types of SSD which are best suited for z600 workstations?

 

3. Installing and set up? is it as straight forward as plugging in the SSD via SATA cable and installing the OS? Any Bios tweaks?

 

Any info would be appreciated,

 

Griff

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monkey_griff
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Installed a Samsung Evo 500gb SATA III into my z600..and it works perfectly.

 

Installed it last week and have been installing programs and having general use from it with no problems. I wanted to test it properly before posting a response. It could be possible that i experience issues with it later, but I would of thought that if it had any issues I would know about it by now.

 

My SSD reads at 282 MB/s and writes at 270 MB/s - Random Read 51612 (IOPS) Random Write (IOPS) 47395.

 

Being a SATA II gen workstation its not reaching the SSD's full potential at 540/520 Mb/s read write but from what I've read you wouldn't even notice the difference its so fast.. and I agree  CC suite, mozilla, (haven't installed 3dsmax yet) all boot in seconds compared to minutes on old HDD.

 

Just to note I didn't use a HP recovery disk to reinstall OS. I used an official windows 7 .iso and booted from USB (even though it some has some useful things, i didn't want HP bloatware) Drivers installed perfectly without a hitch. Windows serial on bottom of tower :smileywink:

 

1. Installing hardware? the z600 3.5 inch caddy wouldn't house an SSD, do HP sell brackets which will fit the z600 ?

" Via Scott's comments, look for the 'needs-tool' version in the post's above, mine cost £8.50 and takes all of 5 seconds to fit the ssd to the z600. I wouldn't sugguest buying the tool-less version.. unless you have no hands and lots of money."

 

2. Compatibility with the workstation? are there types of SSD which are best suited for z600 workstations?

"Yes they're HP approved SSDs detailed in the post's above, but I've had no issue with consumer grade SSD, but you roll the dice with which brand. The Samsung EVO 500gb, no problems. You can use SATA III ssd's but you can get issues as warned by HP as their firmware doesn't support some types (so basically if it doesn't work they wont help you) ".

 

3. Installing and set up? is it as straight forward as plugging in the SSD via SATA cable and installing the OS? Any Bios tweaks?

"Make sure your BIOS is set to RAID+AHCI (Mine was already setup like this). I used the samsung magician tool after install and it will say that your PC is not set to AHCI, but i just ignore it. As long as BIO's and firmware are up to date you will be fine. Use a blindmate formfactor to install the ssd (see above posts). Make sure you get the latest firmware on a usb before you install SSD, it should be the first thing to check after installing the SSD. You don't need to change SATA cables from II to III as the cables are backwards compatible.. either way having a SATA III in a z600 will just limit you to SATA II speeds (which compared to a normal HDD are ridiculously quick). Just plug-in and install OS. It may be worth reading up on SSD optimistation, the samsung magician advises some things to do but not all neccessary, its either lifespan over performance.. defintely worth reading up on, if this is your first SSD as it was for me."

 

 

Hands down best upgrade i've done to my workstation, and very simple to do. I'm glad I waited for better support and for the cost to go down on SSD's before using them.

 

Want to say a big thanks to Scott Harrison for his help on this subject. I pestered him lots but have really appreciated his guidance! cheers Scott and anyone else who posted help.

 

 

Enjoy your SSD, I will.

 

 

Griff

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Wire_Gryphon
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Hello Griff!

 

If you need a 2.5" form factor to 3.5" form factor adapter for the caddy, that's part number 675769-001.   Now as to which drive you should use for an SSD, you have a few options depending on the size you need.  Since the SATA and SAS controllers on Z workstations have very tight tolerances I would not recommend a consumer or gaming grade drive.

 

I have a list of drives and part numbers that have been tested on this chassis.  Feel free to pick which ever one of these fits your needs best.

 

  • HP 128GB SATA SSD  Product number: A3D25AA
  • HP 160GB SATA SSD  Product number: LZ704AA
  • HP 256GB SATA SSD  Product number: A3D26AA
  • HP 300GB SATA SSD  Product number: LZ069AA

All of these drives will need the adapter (75769-001) to go into the drive caddies. 

 

You can pick this up at partsurfer.hp.com and/or any other vendor that carries HP parts.  Also if you need a listing of anyother supported parts or upgrade options for any of HP's commercial machines feel free to visit www.hp.com/go/qs  to check the quickspecs document for that machine. 

 

Installing this into the drive bay caddy is pretty easy.  Once you mount the drive into the adapter you mount it into the caddy bay.  You shouldn't need any special tools or anyhing to mount it.  Last time I used it it took only a couple minutes and I had my machine up and installing the OS.

 

Hope you enjoy your z600 and happy computing!

I'm a HP Support professional and work on HP's behalf.
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SDH
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Griff,

 

Depends.... you want to go expensive and good or cheap and good?  For example the equivalent HP made-by-Foxconn 2.5 to 3.5 converter can be bought off eBay new for under $10.  The downside is that it is not "tool-less" so you need to waste 1 minute with a screwdriver.

 

Use the "Search HP Forum" box above to search only this forum, and you'll find lots of answers and pictures, etc.  For your Z600, which is a SATA generation II workstation, HP advises to not use SATA generation III SSDs unless they are made by HP.  One of my favorites is the Intel 320 series 160GB or 300GB that you can find used off eBay, and do a DBAN low level reformat on it and then a long type NTFS format on it before you do the install.

 

Your BIOS needs to be set ahead of time to RAID or RAID + AHCI SATA emulation so the correct drivers get installed.

 

You can use the Intel Toolbox utility to update the firmware on the SSD before you proceed, and make sure you have your BIOS updated too.

 

It is all in here..... you just need to go do some searching.  For example, it is important to follow my instructions in here about how to delete the single perfect partition you created on the SSD and let the installer create the small "system reserved" partition, and the main partiton.

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monkey_griff
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Hi scott and wire!

 

Thanks very much for both of your replies.

 

I've had more of a look at ssd's now.

 

I appreciate the hp sugguested ssd's, say if i was looking at a samsung evo 840 here would there be any other reason as to why this wouldnt work in the z6oo... apart from not being hp?

 

I saw this post about the z600 and ssd's, and the second comment mentioned evo 840 or 840 pro will work fine without any special workarounds to get them to work correctly. Even though both of these ssd's are SATA III not SATA II. from my point of view if SATA III will work i would prefer 6/gbs over 3/gbs.

 

Thanks Scott, Would this form factor be ok? link here (I'm in UK so needed a £ version) i'm not fussed about tool-less, I have plenty of tools and dont expect to be taking it out frequently :smileyhappy:

 

Also do form factors have any effect on performance? i.e can you get better form factors or is it purely to move the SATA connections to line-up with case?

 

So what i have gathered, I want SATA III due to higher perfomance with at least 500+MB/s readwrite and a form factor which is compatable with the z600. Then change SATA mode to AHCI in BIOS before I boot from CD and install OS as normal.

 

Really appreciate your help! making this process alot easier thanks.

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SDH
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What HP has said is essentially that if you want to run a SATA gen III drive in your SATA gen II workstations (such as the xw series, and the ZX00 series) then you would be wise to buy a SATA gen III drive from HP for that.  They have engineered firmware updates in to optimize cross compatibility.  For example, you can find good buys on older used SATA Gen III HP Micron C400 series SSDs and firmware update them to the latest version of firmware with the HP updaters.  I just did that for a few 256GB HP Microns.

 

Personally, I'd not hesitate to do the experiment of using a non-HP SSD of your choice, but like to provide the best advice I have for best possible outcome.

 

That is exactly the HP needs-a-screwdriver-once 3.5" to 2.5" adapter I like best.  It has a part number of 654540-001, and is made by Foxconn for HP.  I have bought about 40 of them, all perfect, some straight from China.  The "Blindmate" interface that transitions from the SSD's connectors to the leftward-shifted SATA data/power connectors on the adapter lets it mesh perfectly with the Blindmate ports built back inside where you slide the SSD in (mounted inside the adapter) inside the plastic drawer.  Mechanically the net result is exactly as if you had a 3.5" drive you were putting into the drawer.  The same exact Blindmate interface is used on that tooless one.

 

If you have the option in BIOS for "RAID + AHCI" under SATA Emulation choose that before you load the OS.....  I'm a big fan of using DBAN to prep all drives before OS install, and make sure your SSD has the latest firmware on it before you load.

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monkey_griff
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Personally, I'd not hesitate to do the experiment of using a non-HP SSD of your choice, but like to provide the best advice I have for best possible outcome.

Thanks Scott, I fully appreciate your advice and understand all your recommendations. Basically it’s a risk to try a non HP approved SATA III ssd..

What I can’t understand is why HP doesn’t release the firmware update to the public? apart from forcing consumers to buy HP approved SATA III ssd's, so all the money goes to Hp + suppliers and not the competitors.

I can understand it but i totally disagree with it, that’s why I’m leaning to trying the evo series ssd.. from what I’ve read the quality/spec and price far out ways HP 'approved' ssds (Also if it fails to work I can send it back).

 

I will let you know the outcome, it may be a 'I told you so..' scenario, but I would like to try this instead of buying a HP ssd with less spec and much more expensive!

 

Thanks for the excellent explanation of the form factor! really appreciate your time explaining it. I went to the partsurfer and found the form factor but theres no way to see the price or even purchase from that site? Maybe its a glitch with partsurfer or I’m missing something. So Just to clarify the Amazon link i posted will do same job, it has same part no. so assume im good to get this?

 

I looked at price for the 675769-001 i.e. tool-less version and is £103!!! on amazon.uk for just form factor.. i didnt think a tool-less form factor would warrant a £94 diffence in cost but wow! i do hope this is an error in pricing.

 

Are you suggesting using DBAN on a brand new SSD i.e fresh out the box? or mainly on refurbished ssd's?

 

'..make sure your SSD has the latest firmware on it before you load'

 

I assume once ive purchased the ssd  I need to check it has the latest firmware already installed.. Secondly how would you update firmware before OS is installed, if it was out of date. Can this be done via 'disk management' whilst my current HDD is installed? ..if this is even possible via that method. I assume you know the process to do such a thing?

 

Again I cant thank you enough for your help, and I'm glad i asked here before buying everything.

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SDH
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I don't have a problem with HP engineers inventing a piece of software and then getting paid for that, personally.  I am appreciative of their drivers site where many firmware updates of other types are available.  For my SATA gen II HP workstations I choose to use the Intel X25-M 160GB and the Intel 320 series 160GB and 300GB SSDs off eBay instead of SATA gen III SSDs.  Mine are a bit slower, but still very fast, and in my work I can't afford to have intermittent glitches come up in addition to what MS gives me.

 

Go buy your needs-tool HP 2.5" to 3.5" adapter from Amazon, and be happy with how much you saved by knowing how to use a screwdriver.  Why the 654540-001 is not the HP standard is beyond me.

 

DBAN.... I have used that free very low level drive-wiping software mainly for eBay buys.  However, that can clear off things on a new drive that are deeper than what a normal NTFS long-type format can clear.  I have posted two cases here in the past of that.  One, a brand new 3TB HP MB3000EBUCH Proliant server drive that could not even be recognized by W7 was run through DBAN, then recognized by W7, then NTFS long-type formatted into the "documents" drive I am using right now.  The second, a new 2TB Western Digital Red (SATA gen III) that had NAS software deep inside its boot sectors that was cleared by DBAN and became usable for one of my xw6600s (SATA gen II) and has worked perfectly ever since.  It would not work before that on that workstation.  Those big drives take a long time to run DBAN on, and I have a utility xw6400 dedicated to such stuff.  I just fire DBAN up, and come back in a couple of days.  It goes faster on faster equipment.  When I want to remove variables I'll do that on new drives, and who knows what is on a used drive?  I do know that there are parts of drives that are not cleared otherwise.

 

Wiki link regarding DBAN

 

DBAN download page

 

I'm using the 2.2.7 slightly older version, available there too.  You download the .iso, and burn a bootable CD from that.

 

Firmware.... Google will help you on that.  My logic is that if there is a firmware update available then there is a pretty good reason for that.  Updating firmware usually is easy, not done from within Disk Management, and a skill worth learning.  You can update after you load your OS, but it is safer to do that before you load the OS (with the target drive in as a second drive other than your boot drive).  If you're buying new the SSD likely will have the latest FW.

REO51ST
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Monkey.

 

Found this with your BIOS Emulator.

 

Z600.JPG

 

This is all your How to videos.

 

http://h20464.www2.hp.com/results.htm?SID=3718663&MEID=730DD9A1-B5D6-4CFA-A950-C630D70C3073

 

And your support pages.

 

http://h20464.www2.hp.com/index.html

 

Click on Desktops and Workstations then Personal Workstations then scroll down to Z600.

 

REO

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monkey_griff
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Thanks Scott! & RE051ST

I'm also appreciative of freely accessible drivers/FW updates, but I also feel its a companies obligation to relieve compatibility issues.  Its just how I've known things to be in the hardware world but I definitely take it for granted. Plus my z600 is alittle old now so I can see why this is not a priority for HP.  I'll stop venting now :smileyhappy: just seemed rather convenient. I will probably get a SATA II if the SATA III fails or glitches out.

I think if the 'HP approved' ssd's were similar in cost and performance I would buy a HP approved ssd no questions asked.. but compared to whats accessible on today's market i can tell they're not.. so it confuses me as to why i should be paying more for less performance.  If I'm honest I don't have enough knowledge on this topic to make assumptions, maybe I'm not seeing the bigger picture.  Either way its not going to change the situation for upgrading to ssd without any hiccups, which seems less likely if I go down the 'non-approved' road.

Haha! I'm very glad that i can use a screwdriver.. I pratically fell of my chair when I read the price.

Awesome, thanks for all the DBAN info! It definitely seems like a heavy duty formatter. I can see why using this on ebay ssd's would be the cheapest and most reliable way of upgrading a approved ssd into a z600. I will run this on my ssd if I have any issues with installing it.

I assume it will have the latest FW, but I will make sure i check before loading OS. I've only known of upgrading FW after OS is loaded, so was abit unsure when you mentioned before so will have a google if I require it. Cheers for your help Scott.

Thanks for the links RE051ST! they're very useful. The bios simulator is helpful when explaining settings (saves booting down and checking). So as Scott said in previous post, I need to set the SATA Emulation to Raid+AHCI before OS load.

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monkey_griff
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I've ordered the 500gb samsung evo 840 with hp 654540-001 form factor!

 

Will let you know the results once i get it up and running...

 

Cheers

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