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jessquirl Honor Student
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z800 / z820 Front Panel USB 3.0 Upgrade

Z800
Microsoft Windows 10 (64-bit)

Hi all, I read that the HP Z820 front input/output 3.0 USB will fit into my HP Z800. I bought one and have it in but I am not sure where the yellow 10 pin connection goes? I plugged in the 3 connections on the far left side of my motherboard as I look at it and the input/output 3.0 USB cable into my  HP USB 3.0 4 Port SuperSpeed PCIe x1 card QT587AA 661320-001. Can someone enlighten me where the only remaining cable plugs into if anywhere at all, the yellow one? The motherboard has 16 pins on the yellow connector but the USB 3.0 connector only has 10 pins. See pics.

Jesse

 

20190912_185932.jpg20190912_185938.jpg20190912_190044.jpg20190912_190440.jpg20190912_190429.jpg

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Professor
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z800 / z820 Front Panel USB 3.0 Upgrade

If I understand you correctly you are showing a Z800 with the front I/O cable from a Z820 installed.  You appear to be driving two front USB3 front ports built into that Z820 front interface from a Texas Instruments "2 x 2" card, with the blue plastic USB3 dual port plug inserted into the single "USB3 motherboard type header" on that card..... which looks not fully inserted by the way.

 

The yellow plug end you show on the Z820 front interface cable looks like a normal USB2 port plug.  There are usually two USB2 channels in that type of plug end.  However, note that there is only a single USB2 port built into your implanted Z820 front interface..

 

I believe you have two available "internal" USB2.0 motherboard headers shown there along the bottom edge of the motherboard (with blue plastic short supports slid over all the pins)..  One is a combined 1x5 and 1x4 combo with one end-pin hole being yellow-plastic filled.  This is called the "blank" pin site.  That motherboard header has "USB2" printed next to the pins on the PCB id you look closely .  That is where I'd put the yellow plug with correct orientation forced by that blank in the set of motherboard pins.  You'll only be able to use one USB channel out of the two that the cable could support, of course, because there is only one USB2 port exposed out front.  Each USB2 channel really only needs 4 motherboard header pins to work properly.

 

EDIT:  THIS POST IS SUPPLEMENTED BELOW WITH ADDED IMPORTANT INFORMATION IN A FOLLOWUP POST.

 

Power needs to be provided to the card before you load the software.  That "2 x 2" card and the HP ZX20 motherboards both use the same Texas Instruments chipset so you can easily get the drivers from a ZX20 drivers site,  And, if you are doing a W7 to W10 upgrade the drivers will auto-W10 upgrade and work correctly because MS considered this chipset to be actively in use by HP... there are lots of ZX20 workstations out there and they all use this same chipset for USB3.    One way or another you will get that card and your Z800 working together perfectly..

 

Take a look  HERE for more than you want to know......  https://h30434.www3.hp.com/t5/Business-PCs-Workstations-and-Point-of-Sale-Systems/Add-HP-USB-3-0-car...

 

 

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jessquirl Honor Student
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z800 / z820 Front Panel USB 3.0 Upgrade

I have had the 2x2 card working for years now I run my SSD, DVD drive, Bluray drive and also my . I didn't have the blue plug in all the way. good eye sir. I did however do as you noted on the yellow cable and it didn't help the front USB's at all. None of them will work, the 3.0's or the 2.0.

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Professor
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z800 / z820 Front Panel USB 3.0 Upgrade

OK.... got it.  I also tried exactly this experiment and found my notes on that from the past.  When I saw your post I thought maybe you'd figured out the solution that I never did:

 

It failed for me too, and here is why.  HP builds to very high specifications and did a bunch of engineering work on the USB3 cables circuitry built into their front USB3 cables for the ZX20 workstations.  There are active powered components added onto the two front USB3 cables which require a power pathway feeding up from a special mod of the ZX20 motherboard which does not exist in the ZX00 motherboards.  The exact circuitry and path through which the input power runs is not documented.  It is proprietary.  The closest I figured out way back is that the input power does run through that yellow plug cable.  One side of the plug is for the single front USB2 port, and the second side provides the way HP changed things to feed power to the USB3 devices build into the ZX20 cable.  The 5 pin side likely is for USB2 and the 4-pin side for the special power feed.

 

Some of this information came from Dan in WGBU/Dan_WGBU, a favorite helpful HP engineer who used to help us here, and some I figured out.  There is a black plastic sealed block that contains the circuitry for this USB3 magic to take place just behind the main front interface in that cable, shown by red arrows in the pic below.  You need to destroy that block to get inside and see how things feed from that yellow-plug cable over to the USB3 wiring cables.  HP built to above-expected standards to reliably achieve full USB3 performance, according to Dan.

 

My advice to to do what I finally did..... abandon this project, go back to your original Z800 front I/O interface cable.  Use the Akasa front part I recommended to bring two of the 4 USB3 ports forward.  You also will have two rear USB3 rear ports available (built into the rear of the inserted card), for 4 total.  The two sets of two ports is where the HP name "2 x 2" card came from.

 

s-l1600.jpg

 

Bedtime reading that convinced me way back to give up on this project:  

HERE,

And, especially centered on page 3 HERE

 

An undocumented reality is that HP also did a very high quality engineering job on that HP "2 x 2" USB3 card specifically to bring USB3 to the Z400/Z600/Z800 workstations.  I run one of those cards in each ZX00 build we are still running.  Search the forum for the term "Akasa" to see some added posts and  pics of how that has been done.

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Distinguished Professor
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z800 / z820 Front Panel USB 3.0 Upgrade

only thing i will point out is that since USB is a "shared " bus that divides the available bandwidth between the usb ports on his card, is to put devices like a external usb based SSD on a seperate USB card so it has the cards full bandwidth to itself as pairing the SSD and a DVD on the same USB bus is not a ideal solution

 

last it's possible (but not easy) to hack a usb 3.0 front panel onto a z800 but the methods/steps to do so are hardly worth the effort involved unless you like doing intermediate/advanced hardware projects for enjoyment

 

if you want usb 3.0, look at the highpoint RocketU 1114 E/D cards, they are not cheap but work as advertised

 

i hacked a rocketu 4 port card by removing two ext usb ports off it and wired a custom cable to a hacked z800 front assembly where i removed the existing usb 2.0 ports and replaced them with 3.0 i was going to just move the usb 2.0 to somewhere on the front but ended up just leaving them between the front cover and the front of the z800 chassis  

 

you might want to see if this front io panel fits the z800, if so remove your existing one and connect this one

 

https://www.ebay.com/itm/HP-ELITEDESK-800-G2-SFF-Desktop-Front-Panel-Audio-USB-Board-w-Cables-804290...

 

was it worth the effort?  no, not really  when i did it several years ago and less so today as z820 systems are now getting much cheaper

 

http://www.highpoint-tech.com/USA_new/cs-product_RU.htm

RocketU 1144E
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Professor
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z800 / z820 Front Panel USB 3.0 Upgrade

Regarding the 5.25" to 3.5" HP adapter I posted about for mounting the Akasa 3.5" form factor front USB3 interface in a CD type 5.25" bay.....

 

People have had a tough time finding that kit from HP I gave part numbers for.  There is an even better HP mounting device that you can get currently for about 16.00 USD via eBay, shipping included.  These are the very best adapters, and you will not find them for less cost.  Go to eBay and specifically search for:

HP 698661-001 716390-001 MCR14IN1-U2U3 3.5" USB 3.0 Media Card Reader

 

You can keep or recycle the 3.5" form factor card reader..... it is the 5.25" mount you want for the project of adding the HP Texas Instruments based USB3 "2 x 2" PCIe card to your Z400/600/800 workstation:

:

s-l1600.jpg

 

 

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