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Master's Graduate
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Simplified Installation of M.2 NVMe Drives on HP z420, z620, z820


@Gergalyn wrote:

Hi,

 
 
Can you upload somewhere NVMe modified bios to the HP Z420 ?
 
Thanks.

I don't know if there is any point since there has been no real feedback in terms of this modified bios actually working for anybody. The only feedback I recieved was from one person - it flashes fine from the bios and the boot behaviour when using an NVMe drive is slightly changed but still does not boot into the OS when installed on such a drive.

 

Bearing in mind that there are different ways in which to add the NVMe module to the bios and that such an approach works flawlesly on other boards e.g. X79 or Z97 I am pretty sure that with some testing a workable solution could be devised - the problem is that at this moment I do not have a Zx20 machine to do the testing on, and I would be very reluctant to upload bios mods which I have not tested myself.

 

The modified bios used a generic NVMe module - one possible avenue to explore would be to extract the NVMe module from the Z440 and add this to the Z420 bios to see if this changes anything.

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Hi,

 

Thanks the fast answer.

I just got the HP Turbo Z G2 drive.... from Ebay. 🙂

I'm in my workplace and I did not try to boot...

 

 

It works for you modified NVMe bios?

 

 

HP Samsung 256GB Z Turbo Drive G2 with PCIe Card HP Spare # 742006-003

 

 

hp turbo z g2.jpgHP Turbo Z G2 256GB

 

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Charkatak Top Student
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@

 

 

 

 

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Master's Graduate
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Simplified Installation of M.2 NVMe Drives on HP z420, z620, z820

Charkatak,

 

MtothaJ is the expert in configuring a zX20 system to use NVMe drives and I hope he will comment.

 

I'll comment on behalf of those afraid of highly detailed modifications to the BIOS, having had a two month BIOS disaster based on a simple, standard version update.

 

To have a high performance M.2 in a z420, consider finding a first version Z Turbo Drive  which is AHCI.   Both the G2 and G3 as you know are NVME. I've use a Z Turbo Drive 256GB AHCI in two z420's and a z620 and it is very fast; in z420_3 the current Passmark Disk benchmark is 14550, coincidentally sinilar to the average Passmark score for a Samsung 960 EVO 500GB NVMe of 14536.  So the AHCI version is very capable.  I epsecially like the very good cooling solution of the ZTD as a number of M.2's,  are subject to thermal throttling after even a few seconds.  I haven't heard about this problem as much lately and there are add-on thermal pads and even cooling fans mounting solutions.  I have a M.2 2280 card with a cooling fan, but I never tried it.

 

The other logical - and easiest alternative for NVMe in a zX20 would be to use a Samsung 950 Pro which is NVME but has a legacy boot mode that I think loads an NVME module such that a z420 can boot from NVMe. 

 

And, a word about M.2.  My most demanding workstation uses are 3D CAD moldeing and CPU rendering. Recently, I bought a Samsung 860 EVO 500 GB SATA which has a Passmark score of 5416. This drive was intended to be used for storing libraries of various CAD textures and MIDI sounds for the low access altency,  bu tI ended installing HP OEM Windows and my applications to use in z420_3 which the ZTD was running in z620 _2 

 

As these drives were so closely replicating one another and on similar sysems, I casually ( 1/10th/s chronograph watch)- timed the startup to the same point and the M.2 and in three tries, the M.2 system started only 8 to 13 seconds faster. File transfers too were curiously similar, but I realized that with transfers, it's the slowest drive that governs the speed. Sending a file from the ZTD or the 860 EVO to the HGST 7K6000 4TB HD was the same as the HD has a limited read / write speed. Same for the Intel 730 480GB which is the files drive although that is of  course a faster drive (=4721) than the HGST (not sure- 1100-1200?). The loading of big programs and large files is also about the same as these are CPU-related or should I say limited tasks.  Another weakest link scenario.

 

I would not discourage anyone from M.2 who needs it and has the associated subsystems and drives to make it worthwhile,  but in my use associated slower drives, M.2 is more of an abstract benchmark effect than making a substantial experiential difference.

 

But, if NVMe is needed in a z420, the easy path appears to be the Samsung 950 Pro.

 

BambiBoomZ

 

 

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Master's Graduate
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Simplified Installation of M.2 NVMe Drives on HP z420, z620, z820


@Charkatak wrote:

@

 

 

 

 


 

In terms of hassle free third party SSD's for the Z420 it either has to be the 950 Pro (NVMe) or a 850 PRO (Sata3) or later models. AS for HP options the HP Turbo drive G1 is also a good bet.

THe 850 PRO has the bonus that you can enable 'Rapid' mode in the Samsung Magician app - this enables the disk to use system RAM as a cache and gives some great performance results.

 

As for getting other disks to work such as 960 EVO check out this thread: https://www.win-raid.com/t871f50-Guide-How-to-get-full-NVMe-support-for-all-Systems-with-an-AMI-UEFI...

 

THere are basically 2 options: attempting a bios mod and Clover / Duet bootloader. THe bios mod is not difficult to do - there is a step by step guide, but in reality it may be difficult to flash to the chip given the various protections HP has in place, and as with all bios mods there is always some small risk that things will go wrong.

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@Charkatak

 wrote:

@

 

 

 

 

 


 

In terms of hassle free third party SSD's for the Z420 it either has to be the 950 Pro (NVMe) or a 850 PRO (Sata3) or later models. AS for HP options the HP Turbo drive G1 is also a good bet.

THe 850 PRO has the bonus that you can enable 'Rapid' mode in the Samsung Magician app - this enables the disk to use system RAM as a cache and gives some great performance results.

 

As for getting other disks to work such as 960 EVO check out this thread: https://www.win-raid.com/t871f50-Guide-How-to-get-full-NVMe-support-for-all-Systems-with-an-AMI-UEFI...

 

THere are basically 2 options: attempting a bios mod and Clover / Duet bootloader. THe bios mod is not difficult to do - there is a step by step guide, but in reality it may be difficult to flash to the chip given the various protections HP has in place, and as with all bios mods there is always some small risk that things will go wrong.



 

@MtothaJ and 

 

Thanks for recommendations and based on this I made what looks like a pretty painless solution.   I was able to configure Clover bootloader usb stick and installed Win 10 on 960 EVO.  Honestly speaking, when navigating through Win OS and doing simple stuff, the speed difference between SATA SSD and 960 EVO is negligible.  I did search for HP Z Turbo Drive G1, but didn't find any on eBay for example, but Samsung 850 Pro is there and available for sub $150 for 512GB.  So I have few choices which could be budget friendly:

 

1) Use Clover bootloader and enjoy 960 EVO 1TB that I have(almost new).

2) Sell 960 EVO SSD and buy 2 850 Pro drivers 512 each for that money - will make sure to get fresh drives(not abused)

3) Sell 960 EVO drive, pocket the money and install Samsung 256GB SATA SSD that also have available.

 

I believe the 2nd and 3rd option is most likely would provide error and warry free experience. 

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Master's Graduate
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@Charkatak

 wrote:

 

@MtothaJ and 

 

Thanks for recommendations and based on this I made what looks like a pretty painless solution.   I was able to configure Clover bootloader usb stick and installed Win 10 on 960 EVO.  Honestly speaking, when navigating through Win OS and doing simple stuff, the speed difference between SATA SSD and 960 EVO is negligible.  I did search for HP Z Turbo Drive G1, but didn't find any on eBay for example, but Samsung 850 Pro is there and available for sub $150 for 512GB.  So I have few choices which could be budget friendly:

 

1) Use Clover bootloader and enjoy 960 EVO 1TB that I have(almost new).

2) Sell 960 EVO SSD and buy 2 850 Pro drivers 512 each for that money - will make sure to get fresh drives(not abused)

3) Sell 960 EVO drive, pocket the money and install Samsung 256GB SATA SSD that also have available.

 

I believe the 2nd and 3rd option is most likely would provide error and warry free experience. 


 

Given that you have a 960 EVO already perhaps it may be worth giving Clover a go. You can plug the pendrive into one of the back USB slots so it will not be in any way visible and will be for all intents and purposes a seemless experience.

But you are right that unless you are e.g. editing 4k video, the speed difference is not that noticeable real world.

THe 850 PRO and probably the newer version 860 PRO has the additional advantage that you could go for a RAID 0 setup with 2 drives - in some applications this yeilds a further performance boost and as mentioned there is the RAPID mode which is not available on the NVMe drives.

 

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can a HP workstation Zxxxx workstation has been asked /answered on this forum more times than i can count

 

use this boards "search" function and read some of the previous posts

 

the HP turbo Z drive is a SATA based device,   the Turbo Drive G2 is a NVME based device

 

as a general rule of thumb, only Intel chipsets x99 or later will have the nessary nvme boot code

 

x79 and x58 chipsets lack this code, and unlike retail boards that allow user modded bios's to be installed,  the HP workstation line will not accept modded bios's due to the use of checksuming routines hp uses on the workstation line

 

 

1. only the workstations "AFTER" the z820/620/420/220 support booting from a NVME SSD

you can however use a nvme drive as a data drive

 

2. the Z820-z220 models can only use SATA based drives as a bootable device

 

3. no current SSD contains the "legacy" OPROM that some early nvme models had that included the missing nvme boot code in the ssd's onboard oprom (such as the sm950  or intel 750) these early ssd's are no longer available new

 

4. due to HP checksumming their workstation  bios's you will not be able to install any modded bios onto any current HP workstation, the current bios will detect the invalid checksum and simply ignore loading the modded bios, even though the flash program will say completed without errors

 

5. using the Clover or DUET, method of preloading the missing UEFI nvme boot code in theory should work, but has not been confirmed by anyone on this board

 

now can we close this thread?

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Master's Graduate
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DGroves,

 

It may be advisable to have your sensory apparatus checked:

 

"can a HP workstation Zxxxx workstation has been asked /answered on this forum more times than i can count"

 

It will therefore help you to learn how to count to a number at least +1 to the highest number you now know.

 

"1. only the workstations "AFTER" the z820/620/420/220 support booting from a NVME SSD

you can however use a nvme drive as a data drive"

 

That is incorrect. Reading this thread, there are a number of descriptions of successful NVMe boot drive solutions for zX20 systems. In my view, the best solution is to use the Samsung 950 PRO NVMe which installs without system modfication but there are demonstrated valid alternatives. On Passmark baselines, there are: 9X z420, 6X z620, and 1X z820  systems listing the 950 PRO NVME as the boot drive.  There are also: 3X z420,  2X z620, and 2X z820  using the Samsung 960 PRO NVMe as boot drive.

 

"2. the Z820-z220 models can only use SATA based drives as a bootable device"

 

This is a false corollary to the statement above.  Clearly, there are zX20 systems booting from NVMe drives.

 

"3. no current SSD contains the "legacy" OPROM that some early nvme models had that included the missing nvme boot code in the ssd's onboard oprom (such as the sm950  or intel 750) these early ssd's are no longer available new."

 

And?

 

"4. due to HP checksumming their workstation  bios's 4. due to HP checksumming their workstation  bios's you will not be able to install any modded bios onto any current HP workstation, the current bios will detect the invalid checksum and simply ignore loading the modded bios, even though the flash program will say completed without errors, the current bios will detect the invalid checksum and simply ignore loading the modded bios, even though the flash program will say completed without errors"

 

A. If you had bothered to read the posts in this thread, this is not a consideration of "current" HP workstations.

 

B. It's just plain silly to assert that it is impossible to modify an HP BIOS,  MtothaJ has documented his success in this  very thread. It does require utmost precision.

 

"5. using the Clover or DUET, method of preloading the missing UEFI nvme boot code in theory should work, but has not been confirmed by anyone on this board"

 

RE: It may be advisable to have your sensory apparatus checked.

 

"now can we close this thread?"

 

This is an imperious statement to suggest closing a thread once you have made what you consider definitive and final statements.

 

BambiBoomZ

 

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can a HP workstation Zxxxx workstation has been asked /answered on this forum more times than i can count"

 

It will therefore help you to learn how to count to a number at least +1 to the highest number you now know.

 

"1. only the workstations "AFTER" the z820/620/420/220 support booting from a NVME SSD

you can however use a nvme drive as a data drive"

 

That is  incorrect. Reading this thread, there are a number of descriptions of successful NVMe boot drive solutions for zX20 systems. In my view, the best solution is to use the Samsung 950 Pro NVMe which installs without system modfication but there are demonstrated valid alternatives. On Passmark baselines, there are 9X z420  and 6X z620  systems listing the 950 Pro NVME as the boot drive.  

 

 

as for booting a  nvme based drive that does not contain the legacy OPROM code, my reply is simply " OK DO IT" and tell us which nvme SSD  boots on the z820-z220 systems without using duet or clover

 

https://h30434.www3.hp.com/t5/Business-PCs-Workstations-and-Point-of-Sale-Systems/System-does-not-re...

 

 

 

1. only the workstations "AFTER" the z820/620/420/220 support booting from a NVME SSD

you can however use a nvme drive as a data drive"

 

That is  incorrect. Reading this thread, there are a number of descriptions of successful NVMe boot drive solutions for zX20 systems. In my view, the best solution is to use the Samsung 950 Pro NVMe which installs without system modfication but there are demonstrated valid alternatives. On Passmark baselines, there are 9X z420  and 6X z620  systems listing the 950 Pro NVME as the boot drive.  

 

please reread my first posting

 

as i stated there were older ssd's that included the nessary nvme boot code in their OPROM such as the sm950 or the intel 750  and the sm950/intel 750 are no longer a current SSD modes that samsung/intel sell as new although you can still find them used

 

 

4. due to HP checksumming their workstation  bios's 4. due to HP checksumming their workstation  bios's you will not be able to install any modded bios onto any current HP workstation, the current bios will detect the invalid checksum and simply ignore loading the modded bios, even though the flash program will say completed without errors, the current bios will detect the invalid checksum and simply ignore loading the modded bios, even though the flash program will say completed without errors"

 

A. If you had bothered to read the posts in this thread, this is not a consideration of "current" HP workstations.

 

B. It's just plain silly to assert that it is impossible to modify an HP BIOS,  MtothaJ has documented his success in this  very thread. It does require utmost precision.

 

again my reply to you is simply "DO IT" modify a z800/600/400/200 or z820/620/420/220 bios to include the nvme code and flash it to a workstation and post said bios for others to use

 

 

actually modding the bios is quite important as short of the clover/duet methods a bodded bios that includes the missing nvme code is considered quite important if you want to boot from nvme on pre x99 chipset motherboards

but as i stated HP does not allow flashing a modded bios

 

 

and per mothra's reply on the 3rd page of this thread 

 

Quote:)

I don't know if there is any point since there has been no real feedback in terms of this modified bios actually working for anybody. The only feedback I recieved was from one person - it flashes fine from the bios and the boot behaviour when using an NVMe drive is slightly changed but still does not boot into the OS when installed on such a drive.

 

and the next poster under mothra's post is/was/

 

 recently got z420 after having z440 at work, thinking that my Samsung 960 1TB Evo would boot like it did on z440, but that wasn't the case.

 

 

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