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mspee
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HP Z400 Workstation SSD upgrade

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Hello,

 

I was trying to upgrade my HP Z400 Workstation with aditional SSD drive "Intel SSD Pro 1500 Series 180GB 2.5" 6Gb/s SATA" having SSD only for OS and some basic software and keeping 2TB HDD for storage.

 

First I unplugged my HDD and used only SDD on SATA 1 port to install Windows 10 64bit. After installing OS, Windows wasn't able to load it was stuck on white dots spinning, until I changed SATA port to 0 (which is the only blue SATA port) and then it worked like a charm, until I added the HDD and the same problem with Windows not loading was back.

 

After reading forums for help, I'm still not sure if the problem is Z400 incompatibility with 6Gb/s SATA III SSD drives or might be related to software. Also in BIOS all SATA ports including 0 have the same configuration 3Gb/s SATA II. Is there any difference between SATA 0 and the rest of SATA ports in this case?

 

Thank you for your help.

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SDH
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It sounds like your W10 install likely is corrupted by the first mistake.... I'd start over.

 

For clean installs I have an older utility xw6400 that I use to target the intended boot drive and run DBAN (it is a free iso that lets you do a low level reformat to clear all the sectors) and then do a NTFS long type fresh format on the drive, MBR partiton type (the default).  I do this because I never fully know what may be on the drive sectors that are not visible, and this has solved strange issues that nothing else did.  So, then I transfer that HDD or SSD into the HP workstation for clean install.

 

Your situation fits into my definition of being a strange issue.

 

Make sure you have the latest BIOS already for your Z400, and that its SATA emulation is set to "RAID" which will get you the equivalent of setting it to "RAID + AHCI" in some of the other HP workstations.  This will result in getting the drivers for both AHCI and RAID installed, and that is what both HP and Intel recommend even if you'll never use RAID.

 

Regarding the use of a SATA Gen III HDD or SSD in the SATA Gen II HP workstations (as is the Z400/Z600/Z800 and xw workstations, etc.) HP says that if they are the drive source then they have done what needs to be done to use the Gen III on a Gen II workstation.  Many of us also are using non-HP HDD and SSDs that are Gen III in Gen II workstations. 

 

There should be no problem, I believe, if you start over as described above.  If you really can't do the DBAN thing then I'd at least do a fresh W10Pro64 install from scratch.  Personally I would not avoid the DBAN step unless it was truly impossible for you.

 

Regarding SATA port 0..... that is the one that HP wants the boot drive (HDD or SSD) to be attached to during OS install.  It is not the only interface that a boot drive needs to be in.  For example, I have a dual boot system using a Predator M.2 SSD in its PCIe adapter and also a boot SSD attached to SATA port 0.  I can switch the boot drive to either in BIOS and that works just fine both in W7Pro64 and W10Pro64.  It needs the specific storage controller I've posted about here for the Predator to work.

 

For you somehow I think your install got corrupted loading OS when attached to port 1 and then plugging the SSD into port 0.

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