02-10-2019 07:24 PM
Hi, I have a Z820 E5-2670 (x1), 32 GB RAM, with 6 drives connected to an on-board SAS 2308 controller (all in non-RAID SATA mode) that I bought in oOct 2012, that I'm wanting to upgrade to Win 10 Pro (from Win 7 x64 Ult). HP doesn't test and says they haven't created drivers for systems this old, so I wanted to see if anyone out there has a similarly vintage system who have upgraded to Win 10 successfully, and if so, what issues did you face, if any. I'm most concerned about drivers for the SAS 2308 controller and the Intel C600 chipset. Any word from anyone? Thanks!
02-13-2019 07:00 PM
I happened to recently installed windows 10 (not an upgrade mind you) on my z820. it has 1 SATA drive connected to the sas controller and I can access it just fine. The boot drive is not on the SAS controller, it is on one of the gray connectors.
UPGRADE THE BIOS -the latest bios relese 3.94 rev. A has a fix for an issue that may occur when upgrading to windows 10.
-Fixes an issue where system could fail to boot after upgrading to Windows 10, version 1803.
I was on 3.94 rev A when I installed windows 10.
Let us know how you make out. if you want me to check anything let me know. I'll be happy to check my system and report back.
02-13-2019 07:22 PM
Thanks for the response. I am running 3.94RA BIOS, and will be doing an upgrade to my Win 7 system (because I loathe building a new system from scratch).
I've played with using a combination of the SATA/SCU and SAS connectors on the board. As you point out, you can boot from the SATA (which AHCI) ports and access any drives attached to the SAS connections. What I found, though, is that if you disable the LSI SAS ROM Download in the BIOS, you don't see the mini OROM screen at boot, and it is faster getting to the log on screen, but after a few seconds on that log on screen the drive light goes on steady and the system hangs for about 30-40 seconds before everything continues normally. I suspect, during that delay, that the SAS drives are being discovered by the OS, which is otherwise done by the OROM earlier that I disabled. Either way, total boot time is about the same, so I chose just to keep the LSI OROM download enabled and get to work as soon as I log on. Not completely certain what is happening, but the above is my guess. DGroves posted here about it, but didn't mention the delay that I'm seeing in that configuration.
So, I currently have 6 drives in my Z820, two 1TB Samsung 850 Pro SSDs in the half-height adapter above the main drive bays and four 6 TB WD Black drives in the main bays, all attached to the SAS board along the bottom, with boot drive in SAS0 (although, that is not required, as long as you set the right port in the BIOS). I'm also replacing my aging Quadro 4000 with a new EVGA GTX 2080 Ti XC for use with Resolve. It is still to be determined if my CPU will bottleneck it with that app. It probably will with any 60 fps games, but based upon my own benchmark tests and what I've heard from other Resolve users, I think my 2.6 GHz E5-2670 V1 will be fine. We'll see.
What processor do you have, and how old is your Z820?
02-14-2019 01:25 AM
Well it started life with a single cpu e5-2603 and 8gb of memory in March 22, 2013 when it was built. however its a relatively new acquisition for me. I was looking for a good all-around platform that could run VM's, various operating systems, play games, and could swap out storage easily. I found the z820 which is similar to hp servers i have worked with and on. and its built like a freaking tank.
I've upgraded it to 2 x e5-2667 v2 and 128gb memory. Currently booting off a 500g WD RE4 SATA drive, but I plan to change over to a 512gb nvme drive tomorrow time permitting. running windows 10 pro, loaded using the 7 pro key. Since i am still mucking with it, its easy for me to experiment with what works and doesn't as i am not yet reliant on it.
Currently, it runs cinebench R15 at around 2450 - 2500 depending what bios options I turn on.. still tweaking and doesn't even hot under a stress test, which is good as i want to jsut be able to use it as a workhorse platform.
I opted for the e5-2667 v2's because the single thread performance is good, as well as decent multithreaded multi CPU performance. that would let me do just about anything I wanted without running into too many bottlenecks. I am going to play with putting the graphics card on one of the second cpu pci lanes.. since everything is on the 1st cpu.
I had to do some finagling to upgrade as it had a V1.02 MB with the 11/28/2011 boot block which didn't support V2 cpu's and bios updates do not update that. but it now has the right 03/06/2013 bootblock in bios.
currently, have a 1tb wd black and just put in a 500gb barracuda drive both connected to the SAS that are both pre-loaded with data I wanted to get off them and put onto other storage. so using it for that mostly at the moment.
For graphics, i am using an old gtx 570, which is fine for what I am doing with it at the moment. I do plan to load it up with SATA drives that i'll swap out as needs dictate. basically using that part as a platform i can reconfigure for various projects or needs, so the ease of swapping drives is a good one.
I also am doing exactly the same thing with the SAS controller, not loading the ROM, and it recognizes the drive in the os just fine. just not as boot devices. that works great. but mine boots up almost instantly, well there is that pregnant server pause when it is first powered on. but, that's normal. you get used to servers doing that. I have no roms loading so it goes straight to booting once i go thought the 3-second splash screen..
02-14-2019 03:28 AM
Very cool on the upgraded CPUs. I've thought about that, but didn't know what was possible. Did you do it yourself? I'd be curious to know how you worked around the boot block date issue. I've read a little elsewhere about that, and not being able to upgrade BIOS to run NVMes, and it looked messy. How do you find out the date you have? Will Performance Advisor tell you? Also interested in how the upgrade to the NVMe goes, as I've heard various tales about it working and not working on the Zx20s. If I upgrade to Win 10, it'll also be on the Win 7 key, so good to know that works OK. My MB has PCB Rev: 1.00 under the HP logo and 2012. Is that where you are reading your 1.02?
May have to pick your brain a little more on the AHCI Boot/Data on SAS configuration and how you get away without a delay upon boot (which I never have been able to). Perhaps it is number of drives, where they are attached, DVD drives, who knows. But would like to know why it happens on my machine.
Also, agree completely with you on the Z820 being a very well designed tank. I love it.
PS: Good luck on the NVMe upgrade tomorrow.
02-14-2019 03:37 PM - edited 02-14-2019 11:18 PM
Got it working, but to get it working right, i'll need to hack the bios. ... in the meantime, it bootstraps from a usb stick that then calls the actual boot on the nvme drive. it turns out ubp sucks are uefi bootable, and basically you put the nvme boot into the usb stick and way you go windows booting on an nvme device without nvme ssd boot support in the actual bios
02-14-2019 04:08 PM
Cool! Way to go. Does the SSD you bought have OROM built in that it can download? I understand some of the Samsungs do. I don't fully understand yet how that process works, and what triggers it to download (BIOS vs PnP), but still researching.
BTW, I have a parallel thread on this forum about a new GPU I'm getting to upgrade my machine with requisite discussions on benchmarking (which I've just started doing), along with my first PassMark test results, which you can find here if interested.
When you catch your breath, fill me in on some deatils on upgrading your CPUs and BIOS, where you got them, cost, etc., including any details you care to share. I may like to upgrade mine one day. One thing I've been curious about, but never tried or considered seriously, is, how possible would it be to change the architecture (like CPU and count, since that's really all I can upgrade except adding more RAM) out from under a current Windows build and stick the OS drive back in and have it come up and run correctly? Would any of this be discoverable via PnP, or does Windows even care at that level (given HAL and all) or would something like this require a new windows build? Chipsets wouldn't change, so those drivers should still be intact. You'd also have to choose a CPU that worked with that chipset. Any experience with that?
02-14-2019 11:49 PM
I don't believe the nvme has an option rom, at least form all the experimenting i have done so far. .. still learning about this stuff myself.
i read this thread on the topic:
i used this workaround for now:
That's very cool on the PassMark. I'll run it today and post jsut to see where i am at. I don't expect my graphics numbers to be so good, though thee rest of the system sould mbe rocking.
For updating the flash to get tne newer bootblock that supports v2 processors.
if you go into your bios information and look at the bootblock date, if your bootblock date is 2011 then you can't use v2 processors without hacking the flash. if its 2013 you're all set to go and it supports v2 processors.
Details on updating the 2011 bootblock to 2013 are in the thread below, the good stuff starts at message 60 thought he end of the thread, which also chronicles my update as well.
02-15-2019 04:46 AM - edited 02-15-2019 04:17 PM
oh and the upgrade costs,
bios cost nothing... the bios code is just the straight hp bios you get off the website flashed onto the existing flash chip
I did buy a bus pirate to help program the flash for 30 bucks but.. it was more just to have one then something I needed, I could have done it without it.
for the 2 e5-2667 v2 cpu's, (8 x 16gb)128gb 1600mhz memory, 1 additional heatskink, and 1 addition fan, i just watched eBay until a good deal came up. all those in total cost me 550 bucks including shipping.
so all in I spent about 580 ... if you include the bus pirate cost.
plus just now added a nvme drive for 85 bucks and nvme card for 15 so that's another 100 ... so far 680 total
this is the performance level you get "out of the box" for each of the upgrades .. 3d graphics performance is lacking but it is only a GTX 570 .. that's probably my next thing to upgrade.
(Edit: i had windows power and performance in energy savings mode when I ran the tests the first time, so I updated the info and graphics below to be more accurate using high-performance setting in windows 10)
02-17-2019 02:26 AM
hit one snag with windows 10, and that's the speed of the fans, they don't seem to ramp up under high load, and the system goes into thermal throttle.
not a big deal, as its hard to get it to that point, but, I started a thread to see if I can get some answers on that.
not a show stopper by any means. more of an annoyance. if I was running 2 e5-2687 v2's id be more concerned.