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  • So I opened up an HP and where’s the hard drive?

    Home Forums AskWoody blog So I opened up an HP and where’s the hard drive?

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      • #2336050
        Susan Bradley
        Manager

        We just got two new workstations and opened one of them up and went… uh… where’s the hard drive? I had to call the vendor I bought them from and a
        [See the full post at: So I opened up an HP and where’s the hard drive?]

        Susan Bradley Patch Lady

        2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2336085
        Paul T
        AskWoody MVP

        I do know that one can’t image a “normal” SSD and restore it to this drive style.

        The backup and restore / clone process is actually the same, but an additional step may be required to install drivers prior to the clone and the original disk must be EFI boot.

        cheers, Paul

        4 users thanked author for this post.
        • #2336206
          mn–
          AskWoody Lounger

          Also that looks like one of the more annoying models if you were planning on using the NVMe drive in Windows as cache for mirrored spinning HDDs with Intel Rapid Storage. Drivers just wouldn’t allow it on the HP when I tried… worked just fine on a similar-spec Fujitsu.

          But, imaging those is just a matter of having the drivers needed for booting included in the image.

          (Clonezilla running off a recent Xubuntu persistent live-usb is my preferred tool for that too. Along with whatever else I manage to pack in the persistent part.)

      • #2336094
        Alex5723
        AskWoody Plus

        Who knew. ?

        When buying a PC you don’t read the hardware specifications before putting an order ?
        I am sure NVMe SSD has been listed as storage. 🙂

        Imaging an HDD/SSD and restoring to M2.NVMe SSD and vice versa is simple and is done all the time.

        2 users thanked author for this post.
        • #2336114
          Paul T
          AskWoody MVP

          Not for business purchases, we just order the latest box that fits the use.

          cheers, Paul

      • #2336120
        Alex5723
        AskWoody Plus

        Not for business purchases, we just order the latest box that fits the use.

        cheers, Paul

        How to you know what fits the use if you don’t check hardware configurations beforehand ?

        • #2336122
          Paul T
          AskWoody MVP

          Enough RAM, right physical size, within budget, order. Nothing else required for workstations.

          cheers, Paul

          1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #2336279
          Susan Bradley
          Manager

          Because I trust the vendor I buy from.  I tell him ram/needs/video cards/size of hard drive but not specific type of hard drive.  He then gets me the best deal.

          Susan Bradley Patch Lady

          1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2336162
        agoldhammer
        AskWoody Plus

        I’ve been sticking with regular SSDs in my builds.  They are much easier to swap out if needed than an NVME drive.  Since my workstation is left on 24/7, I don’t worry about boot speed (same goes for the HTPC hooked up to my television).  The applications that I run are RAM dependent and an NVME does not address that bottleneck.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #2336489
          Kirk Bubul
          AskWoody Plus

          I found that upgrading from a Toshibas NVMe SSD to a Corsair NVME SSD gave me a big boost in how rapidly apps load.  Agent opens in a blink now instead of a short pause.  Office programs also open faster.  My life with the Corsair is good.

           

          • #2336578
            Paul T
            AskWoody MVP

            What model numbers are you talking about? Without that information we can’t make a judgment.

            cheers, Paul

        • #2337104
          Ascaris
          AskWoody_MVP

          I’ve been sticking with regular SSDs in my builds. They are much easier to swap out if needed than an NVME drive.

          As times change, the form factor and interface type that is in most common use will change, so it’s best to refer to them specifically, rather than using a term like “regular.” At one point, the 2.5″ format was the most common, but now it’s M.2 on recent hardware.

          SATA SSDs come in 2.5″ (laptop hard drive) form factor and in M.2 (and some others, but those are not seen as often as the other two).

          The M.2 format (likely 2280) is what is shown in the picture, along with a gigantic heat sink.”2280″ means the card is 22mm wide by 80mm long. That’s the most common for SSDs, but they may also come in other sizes. Wifi cards are also commonly packaged in M.2, and these are quite a bit smaller, often 22×30 (2230). Some boards only have a provision for a single size of M.2, while others have multiple screw holes to hold down the opposite end, so more than one length of card can be used in the slot (with 2280 usually the longest).

          NVMe SSDs are not available in 2.5″, and are usually packaged in M.2 2280.

          It can be a bit confusing, but both SATA and NVMe SSDs can be found in M.2 form, so you can’t assume that a M.2 SSD is NVMe. You also can’t assume that a M.2 SSD slot in a PC means that it takes NVMe! You’ve got to read the documentation, look it up somewhere, or contact the manufacturer of the board or laptop to know what the specifications of the slot are, and you’ve got to match the SSD to that.

          Some M.2 SSD slots can accept a SATA or a NVMe SSD, but not all. The M.2 slot in my Acer Swift is strictly a SATA slot… others have tried to put an NVMe drive in there and it didn’t work. On the other hand, my Dell G3 came with a low-spec (slow, by SSD standards) SATA SSD, which I replaced with an NVMe drive, and it works nicely.

          There is a visual clue that will often (but not always) tell you which kind of M.2 SSD you are looking at. Each card edge has at least one gap in it, and the configuration of the gap or gaps (called the keying) is usually different on SATA and NVMe drives. SATA drives usually have two gaps (B and M), while NVMe SSDs are usually M keyed (one gap). Here’s a link with more info. I have seen some exceptions, though, so it’s best to go on specs for the model number in question.

          Which one is easier to swap depends on the application. My Dell G3 laptop has a M.2 SSD slot and a 2.5″ HDD slot, both right there in plain sight when the bottom cover of the laptop is removed, and it’s easier to swap the M.2– one screw and it’s out. Or, at least that’s how it used to be until I added the factory-style heat spreader (a non-finned heat sink) to the NVMe drive, as Dell would have from the factory if mine came with a NVMe. Now it takes three screws!

          Removing the 2.5″ isn’t hard either, but it requires several screws, disconnecting a very delicate-looking ribbon cable, and then more screws to remove the adapter from the drive.

          In a desktop, it could easily be that the M.2 slot is deep in there and blocked by other stuff, but if I had an M.2 slot on the board, I’d definitely use it unless I already had the SSD on hand.

          I would only buy a M.2 SSD now. It’s more versatile, so if you wanted to use it in another computer (maybe one you have not bought yet), you can do so, and if it is a SATA SSD intended for use in a computer that only has 2.5″ slots, you can get an inexpensive adapter for that. I am using such an adapter for the slowish SSD I removed from the Dell G3. It’s now in my desktop PC, which has no M.2 slot at all, so 2.5″ is the only option.

           

          Group "L" (KDE Neon Linux 5.21.2 User Edition)

          1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2336165
        bbearren
        AskWoody MVP

        I do know that one can’t image a “normal” SSD and restore it to this drive style.

        As many others have previously posted, that statement is simply not true.

        I have a 250GB NVMe SSD mounted in a PCIe adapter in a PCIe slot.  When I first installed it I restored a drive image from a HDD to the NVMe SSD without issue.

        Create a fresh drive image before making system changes/Windows updates, in case you need to start over!
        "When you're troubleshooting, start with the simple and proceed to the complex."—M.O. Johns
        "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else."—Sir Thomas Robert Deware

      • #2336167
        techweenie
        AskWoody Lounger

        Imagine that, a new HP with part failure.  This is one of many reasons I switched to Dell.  As others have stated, NVMe can be cloned back and forth between SATA.  You just need modern enough software with NVMe drivers built in (or a USB adapter).  For that I use Paragon.

        • #2336278
          Susan Bradley
          Manager

          It didn’t just fail – I’m asking proactively in CASE it fails.  SSD’s do die.

          Susan Bradley Patch Lady

          • #2336300
            anonymous
            Guest

            The ‘HP Support’ channel on YouTube features what appears to be a similar heatsink setup. However, judging by the key/socket design, the drive in the video is a M.2 SATA rather than a M.2 NVME. In the past, HP have also included silicone thermal pads within the heatsink, for NVME drives

            Remove and Replace the M.2 Solid State Drive | HP Z4 G4 Workstation | HP

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gj0O8sJ-gus

            1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2336143
        td97402
        AskWoody Lounger

        I frequently clone HDs or SSDs to NVMEs using Macrium Reflect.  It usually works without issue.

      • #2336144
        zeuswoz
        AskWoody Lounger

        That is not how a NVME is normally mounted. It shouldn’t be overhanging the system board like that. It appears that it was a afterthought when the board was designed. I personally wouldn’t trust / use a NVME mounted that way.

        Rgds, Zeus

        • #2336211
          Paul T
          AskWoody MVP

          Looks like a perfect way to minimize board size to me, connector on the edge with the SSD overhanging the empty space in plenty of airflow. I’d expect that to be a more reliable design than cramming even more heat onto the board.

          cheers, Paul

        • #2336266
          alkhall
          AskWoody Lounger

          That is not how a NVME is normally mounted. It shouldn’t be overhanging the system board like that. It appears that it was a afterthought when the board was designed. I personally wouldn’t trust / use a NVME mounted that way.

          Frankly, I wish my motherboard (eVGA Z390 Dark) had edge mounted nvme drives.

          It is a pain to have to remove the GPU in order to access the SSDs.

        • #2336379
          steeviebops
          AskWoody Lounger

          This is normal for HP Z-series workstations. I’ve built several over the last few years and they’ve all had the SSD mounted this way.

          I keep a PCIe to NVMe adapter handy in case I need to read one of these in a hurry. I also have a 2.5″ SATA M.2 adapter for those SSDs too.

      • #2336265
        LoneWolf
        AskWoody Plus

        NVMe SSDs are beautiful.

        I’ve got two HP ones (1TB and 2TB) in my home workstation, one Mushkin with hardware Opal TC encryption in my ThinkPad.  2x-3x the speed of a 2.5″ SATA SSD if you use the right models (TLC, not QLC, with cache, not cacheless); all of them are based off of Silicon Motion controllers. Running direct off the PCIe bus leads to amazing throughput, since standard SATA is more limited and SSDs can go faster.

        You can clone them to other SSDs, but only if you’re using the same boot method (EFI or Legacy).  Also note: I’ve sometimes found issues after a Windows 10 clone where the drives didn’t get lettered correctly due to a letter in use.  That required some DISKPART use to get things back in order.

        Once you go NVMe, you’ll never go back.

        We are SysAdmins.
        We walk in the wiring closets no others will enter.
        We stand on the bridge, and no malware may pass.
        We engage in tech support, we do not retreat.
        We live for the LAN.
        We die for the LAN.

        2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2336310
        Tom
        AskWoody Plus

        You mean there was no sticker on the side that said “Warranty Void if Seal Broken” ?

      • #2336316
        anonymous
        Guest

        Uh, yeah.  All our newer laptops (2016 on) and our Dell T30 Server have them.  Much cheaper than they used to be.  You’ll never go back to a mechanical drive after using one of these, depending on the bus topology they can be much faster than a SSD stuck with SATA speeds.

        Reliability?  Hah!  Worrying about these is soooo 2015!  My ADATA 8200 1 TB drive still registers 99% life after 3 years in a 4K Alienware 17R3 used daily for everything including lots of video and photo editing.  Spectacular laptop!

        For comparison, the Toshiba 256 GB NVME that came with the laptop (a 2015 model) bought in 2016 was at about 85% when I installed the ADATA.  They’ve  gotten much more reliable, too bad urban legends die so slowly, especially this one.

        My kids laptops have two NVME’s, one OS, one data.  They have slots for four NVME’s, zero SATA’s, very space efficient.

        You’ll like!

        While you’re at it, memory’s cheap now too, double yours 🙂

        For an extra giddy factor, an Nvidia gtx 166o super is a hidden gem, a 2000 series, much cheaper.

        You’re almost a gamer now!

      • #2336318
        GoneToPlaid
        AskWoody Plus

        After looking very carefully at your posted photo, that drive is a M2 NVMe drive. Backup and restore as usual using software which supports SSD drives. I personally prefer Macrium due to their excellent customer support.

        • #2336328
          Paul T
          AskWoody MVP

          What backup software doesn’t support SSD?
          The only thing different is they require aligning when partitioning – per this 2015 post, #1540723.

          cheers, Paul

      • #2336334
        Carl D
        AskWoody Lounger

        Why do laptop manufacturers make things so inaccessible these days?

        The last 2 laptops I owned  (an Acer and a HP from 2007 and 2005 respectively) both had removable panels on the bottom so you could easily change the hard drive and RAM.

        Looks like they want to make things as difficult as possible these days probably because the laptops are cheaper to make that way plus it also forces the majority of users to pay to have hard drives, RAM, etc. upgraded or replaced at a service centre.

        PC 1: Gigabyte GA-B250M-D3H Motherboard, Intel i5-7600 CPU, 32GB RAM, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Graphics Card, 1x Samsung 870 EVO 250GB SSD, 1x Samsung 860 EVO 250GB SSD, Windows 10 Professional 20H2 64bit.

        PC 2: Asus H81M-PLUS Motherboard, Intel i3-4160 CPU, 16GB RAM, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1030 Graphics Card, 1x Samsung 870 EVO 250GB SSD, 1x Samsung 860 EVO 250GB SSD, Windows 10 Home 20H2 64bit.

        • #2336335
          Paul T
          AskWoody MVP

          Yep, all about cost.
          Luckily there are plenty of instructions on upgrading XXX laptop out there.

          cheers, Paul

        • #2337331
          Ascaris
          AskWoody_MVP

          It’s not universal that new laptops will be hard to service. Some are, like the initial version of the Surface laptop, which earned the first zero repairability score from iFixit.com, meaning it is wholly nonrepairable. It is impossible to open the case at all without damaging it. My laptops have been much better (by design, in the case of the G3, as I checked first to make sure it was easy enough to work on before I placed the order).

          All three of my recent laptops (Dell G3 15″ gaming laptop, Dell Inspiron 11″, Acer Swift 1 13″) have been easy to open and swap out the things that can be swapped. None of them would be difficult to swap batteries on.

          On the Dell G3, I removed the stock HDD from the 2.5″ slot and put in a 1TB SATA SSD (Samsung 850 Evo), and I also removed the SC Hynix 128GB SATA M.2 SSD and put in a Samsung 970 Evo 250GB NVMe drive. I removed the 1-channel Intel wifi card from the other M.2 slot and replaced it with a 2-channel 7265 AC card, and later an Intel AX200 Wifi-6 card. I also removed the heat sink and nickel plated the copper contact surfaces with a kit I purchased for the purpose, after which I replaced the CPU TIM (thermal interface material) with Thermal Grizzly Conductonaut liquid metal TIM. I also replaced one of the cooling fans after it got noisy, and I swapped the LCD display for one that has a wider color gamut.

          All of this was quite easy, as Dell thoughtfully provided a service manual in PDF form for the unit. None of this voids the warranty either!

          On the Inspiron 11, I swapped the 1-channel Intel wifi card for a 7265 AC card. There is no SSD slot; the storage is eMMC soldered to the motherboard. Dell also provides the service manual for this model.

          On the Swift, the M.2 SSD slot came empty (it also has eMMC storage soldered to the motherboard), so I filled it with a Samsung 860 Evo 1TB SSD. This laptop came with a dual-channel Intel AC wifi, so no replacement was necessary. I don’t think Acer provides the manual to show how to open this unit, but I saw it done on a Youtube video, and it’s really easy once you see how to do it, with one caveat… the front edge of the case is literally razor sharp. I found that out the hard way (and I took care of the edge with some 2000 grit sandpaper).

          Dell seems to cheap out on the wifi cards, getting the 1 channel versions that are only a few dollars cheaper than the twice-as-fast 2 channel versions. They probably use better cards in their higher end machines, but the Swift (from competitor Acer) wasn’t so encumbered despite being a lower end model. It also came with an all metal (aluminum) case, an IPS full HD display, and a nicer than expected Elan “precision” touchpad. Nice specs for a low-end PC. Unfortunately, like the Dell Inspiron 11, the 4GB of RAM is soldered and not upgradeable.

           

          Group "L" (KDE Neon Linux 5.21.2 User Edition)

      • #2336440
        anonymous
        Guest

        Be careful with some M.2/NVMe SSDs and Linux and that’s an issue that I have with a Western Digital “Black” M.2/NVMe and some Grub Boot Loader editing required once the Distro was installed to make that Grub Edit persistent across Boot Cycles. And for that Laptop I keep a Linux Live USB Flash Drive with that edit written down that I have to, by hand, type in if I need to boot from the Linux Live USB Flash Drive.  So I’m looking at replacing that WD M.2/NVMe with a larger capacity Samsung version and no issues anymore booting into Linux from the Live USB Flash Drive if I need to do a Grub repair or other maintenance task if the OS fails to boot.

        What I’m looking for is a way to find out how many PCIe lanes are assigned to the Laptop’s M.2/NVMe slot and what’s the maximum bandwidth possible as I do not want to over spec an M.2/NVMe that needs more bandwidth than say a 2 PCIe 3.0 lane allotted M.2/MVMe slot could ever provide. So M.2’s get a maximum of 4 PCIe lanes to the slot, if that’s correct, but  laptop makers do not have to provision out 4 lanes and can only provide 2 PCIe 3.0 lanes. And Laptops are not getting any PCIe 4.0 capabilities as of yet and that’s a power usage consideration I guess.

        • #2336470
          anonymous
          Guest

          “… some Grub Boot Loader editing required once the Distro was installed to make that Grub Edit persistent across Boot Cycles.”

          Could you be more specific.  Grub just needs the /root partition’s UUID, or even just a partition label will do.  In any case, it’s related to partitioning logic rather than hardware.

          • #2337002
            anonymous
            Guest

            nvme_core.default_ps_max_latency_us=5500 has to be added after the:

            GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT=”quiet ”

            to Look like This:

            GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT=”quiet nvme_core.default_ps_max_latency_us=5500″

            Or the Laptop will not boot into Linux with that WD M.2/NVMe SSD.

            • #2337056
              anonymous
              Guest

              Ah, okay.  That one has been the subject of a lot of discussion (e.g., at https://bugzilla.kernel.org/show_bug.cgi?id=195039 ) and its origins remain unclear.  There have been some suggestions of a linux kernel bug.  Or it might be a hardware issue (either the controller or the M.2 NVMe stick itself), but if so, it doesn’t appear to be specific to any one particular brand or model.   BIOS updates have also been suggested in some cases.  I’ve noted some NVMe detection inconsistency myself across multi-boot cycles with several linux distros, but not fatal for any of them so far.  It just can’t seem to decide whether it resides on /dev/nvme0n1 or on /dev/nvme1n1 for one time to the next, but it finds the partition UUID okay anyhow without needing that ‘tweak’ in my own case.

              • #2337198
                mn–
                AskWoody Lounger

                It just can’t seem to decide whether it resides on /dev/nvme0n1 or on /dev/nvme1n1 for one time to the next

                Well yeah, that’s a bit of a continuous problem with Linux these days if you don’t know to expect it.

                Not only can you end up with your internal SATA drives in a different order after a kernel update and reboot, in some cases you can even find them reordered while running… had that happen to me the other week when I was trying to recover data from a broken microsdcard a few different ways.

                Oh well, always use /dev/disk/by-id/ or /dev/disk/by-path/ if there’s any chance…

      • #2336588
        anonymous
        Guest

        Hi All,

        We knew about the NVME drives for years thanks to this guy on the web. He does many “How to” videos.

        Gigabyte TRX40 Designare Problems and Solutions Deep Dive with Endoscope OtoScope
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pZiIgZP1ujE
        Go to 8 minutes in and he talks about a special screwdriver you need to remove the NVME drive.

        Hope this helps you in the future.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2337143
        Cybertooth
        AskWoody Plus

        It can be a bit confusing, but both SATA and NVMe SSDs can be found in M.2 form, so you can’t assume that a M.2 SSD is NVMe. You also can’t assume that a M.2 SSD slot in a PC means that it takes NVMe! …

        Some M.2 SSD slots can accept a SATA or a NVMe SSD, but not all.

        OMG my head is spinning. How difficult and complicated can they make it? Is it really so hard to design things such that if it looks like an X port, then it will accept anything with a Y connector, and if it has a Y connector then it automatically just works on any X port?

        Some serious application of the KISS principle is badly needed.

         

        • This reply was modified 1 month, 1 week ago by Cybertooth.
        1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #2337191
          anonymous
          Guest

          If you think that’s confusing, try sorting our the latest standards for USB 3.2 categories and Thunderbolt Type C  ports.

          1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #2337335
          Ascaris
          AskWoody_MVP

          They could do that, but it would reduce the versatility of the M.2 slot. They’re thinking of the needs of OEMs who put M.2 slots on boards that they will populate at the factory, so there’s no question about what works in what… until you decide to upgrade it. If M.2 was either-or, it would not have been possible to remove the SATA SSD my G3 came with and replace it with NVMe! If they wanted to have both capabilities, it would require two distinct slots, which takes up more room (already at a premium in a laptop).

          Once you realize the form factor of the M.2 doesn’t tell you the electrical characteristics of the card that goes in it, it starts to be just like a lot of other things, like which RAM modules (DIMM/SoDIMM usually) work in which PCs. It may physically fit in the slot, but some chipsets only like certain types or speeds of RAM, and there are sometimes different voltage specs too. At least with SSDs, it’s either NVMe or SSD (Edit: though there are 2-lane and 4-lane NVMe SSDs!)

           

          Group "L" (KDE Neon Linux 5.21.2 User Edition)

          • This reply was modified 1 month, 1 week ago by Ascaris.
          1 user thanked author for this post.
          • #2337578
            Cybertooth
            AskWoody Plus

            What I have in mind is a conceptual model like that for a SATA hard-drive connector: as the customer, we can switch out and plug in any drive into the SATA data and power ports without needing to rack our brains over the electrical properties of one product vs. another on Newegg or Amazon.

            It’s getting to be as maddening as having to determine whether your monitor/TV has DVI-A, DVI-D, or DVI-I, whether you need the single-link or the dual-link variety, and of course making sure that you get the correct gender. And because we only do this once in a blue moon, we have to repeat the research all over again every time we’re in the market for a new cable.

             

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