zBook G2 Owners - Alternatives to "Z Turbo Drive"?

Discussion in 'HP Business Class Notebooks' started by timofcourse, Jan 13, 2015.

  1. hishamkali

    hishamkali Newbie

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    Hi all, do you think that the Samsung 950 pro nvme 2280 SSD would work in the HP Zbook G2? I want to use it as a boot drive for Windows 8.1 / Windows 10. I hear tales of people being able to fit 2280 SSDs in the 2260 slot. If nobody has tried, I could try and do some testing. I am also using a Thunderbolt eGPU simultaneously, so I really hope that this PCIe SSD does not interfere with the PCIe lanes assigned to the Thunderbolt chip.
     
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  2. DopeJope

    DopeJope Newbie

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    Hi all,

    I've tested the speeds of the Samsung drive in the m2 slot and I got read/write speeds between 730 MB/s and 620MB/s. I assume therefor it uses two lanes.

    Another small update: you still need to make a physical adjustment. The 2280 just won't fit without slicing a bit of the plastic from the chassis on the left side away for 3/4 mm. That's the only way to make the module fit in its slot (without a small angle which gives booting errors and some kind of light whistling noise which seems a timing / clock problem). If it fits straight, you don't have those problems.
     
  3. Urr

    Urr Notebook Enthusiast

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    This thread is amazing. But still no answer if the ZBook 15 G2 m.2 slot can work with NVMe cards like the "Samsung 950 PRO M.2 512GB PCIe 3.0x4 SSD"...
    Even at reduced speed of 730MB/s. Will it simply work or not?
     
  4. Xaos

    Xaos Notebook Enthusiast

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    Search and read the white papers of HP for zBook_G2: YES, NVME for m.2 is supported by the zBook_G2, altough I didn't try it. Never the less you'll have problems with getting drivers! For example when you would like to boot from a USB-stick, the stick-OS have to have the NVMe-driver! In m.2-AHCI-Mode you'll don't need a driver.
    So for me: At the moment useless and not recommandable to take a NVME! Samsung does not have drivers, because the VNMe-cards are only for OEMs sold. You'll only can tke the generic Windows-NVMe-driver for all NVMe-cards. And if that's an driver which is enough...???
    You'll have only problems with drivers - and as you write correctly: Only about read ~700MB/sek. is supported.
    http://www.controlling21.de/firma/artikel/schnelle-ssd.htm
    https://www.ramcity.com.au/blog/how-to-install-windows-8.1-on-the-samsung-xp941-ss/138296
    SM951-AHCI works at zBook15_G2 - but only with max. ~700MB/sek because of zBook-Interface:
    http://www.samsung.com/semiconductor/products/flash-storage/client-ssd/
    m.2-Interface of zBook_G2 is 2 lanes (NOT 4x) of PCIe_2.0 but works also with PCIe_3.0-cards.

    PS: All my infos are from Oct.2015.
    Sorry, but at the moment I don't have more time to help you....
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2016
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  5. Urr

    Urr Notebook Enthusiast

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    Thank you Xaos for your detailed and prompt reply.

    I will be getting an HP Z Turbo G2 (HP Prod-ID #M1F74AA [Part #814803-001]) in a few weeks {for free (can't choose)}. I plan to pull the Samsung m.2 board out and stick it in my ZBook 15 G2. Once I do that , I'll share the results.

    Urr
     
  6. dhirenmehta

    dhirenmehta Newbie

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    Hey Urr, any good news with this approach? did the m.2 board simply pop out? was it the corrct (2260) size?
     
  7. Lubomir Hozak

    Lubomir Hozak Newbie

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    Hi there,

    I would like to share my achievements with the Samsung SP951 NVMe drive in my Zbook 15 G2 mobile workstation. ;)

    Week ago I got the above mentioned M.2 drive and was able to successfully install Windows 10 on it, but it ended up with the famous “File \Windows\System32\winload.efi is either corrupted or missing” error while doing its first reboot. I have tried every possible HW setup and BIOS option combination. No luck even when I left just the NVMe drive installed.

    I spent the whole last weekend with tests and gathering know how regarding NVMe and UEFI. On Sunday evening I was finally able to manually boot Windows 10 from partition which resides on the NVMe ssd.

    The thing is “help” UEFI to see the NVMe ssd and its partition and file system structure, this is possible by loading an UEFI NVMe driver module.

    Unfortunately, there is no NVMe driver module included in the UEFI BIOS provided by HP and I haven’t even been able to find any modded HP BIOS. As I have zero knowledge to mod it myself, the only option left was to load the EFI NVMe driver manually.

    That’s how I spend couple hours learning UEFI Shell and how to boot in to it. From the EFI Development Kit II it is possible to download compiled version of UEFI shell. https://edk2.svn.sourceforge.net/svnroot/edk2/trunk/edk2/EdkShellBinPkg/FullShell/X64/Shell_Full.efi

    Then it took me another few hours finding the compiled NVMe driver, because I have no experiences with compiling. In the following thread of the insanelymac forum there is post from a member named “bs0d” http://www.insanelymac.com/forum/topic/284656-clover-general-discussion/page-278 which includes attached zip archive http://www.insanelymac.com/forum/index.php?app=core&module=attach&section=attach&attach_id=148037 with compiled UEFI driver.

    Note: you need to be registered member of the forum to be able to download the file.

    Having these two files (Shell_Full.efi and NVMexpressdxe.efi) on the SATA SSD EFI system partition is enough to be able to boot manually by choosing the “Boot from EFI” boot option and navigating to the Shell_Full.efi file through the folder structure and selecting it.
    After the system boots in UEFI shell, issuing of following two commands will load the NVMe driver and Windows boot manager:
    Code:
    Load fs0:\EFI\Shell\nvmexpressdxe.efi
    fs0:\EFI\Microsoft\Boot\Bootmgfw.efi
    
    And last but not least, I spend some hours on searching how to load the system residing on the NVMe drive fully automatically. First I thought about rEFIt, grub and other bootloaders, but finally I have leveraged the UEFI shell startup script and together with the customized boot option in the HP bios I am able to boot windows 10 automatically.

    Below is the content of the startup.nsh file which needs to be in the same folder as the Shell_Full.efi file.
    Code:
    @echo -off
    ;mode 80 25
    ;FOUNDNVMEDRIVERMODULE section is simply to locate the correct drive
    cls
    if exist fs0:\EFI\Shell\NvmExpressDxe.efi then
    fs0:
    echo Found NVMe driver module on fs0:
    goto FOUNDNVMEDRIVERMODULE
    endif
    if exist fs1:\EFI\Shell\NvmExpressDxe.efi then
    fs1:
    echo Found NVMe driver module on fs1:
    goto FOUNDNVMEDRIVERMODULE
    endif
    if exist fs2:\EFI\Shell\NvmExpressDxe.efi then
    fs2:
    echo Found NVMe driver module on fs2:
    goto FOUNDNVMEDRIVERMODULE
    endif
    echo "Unable to find NVMe driver module".
    echo "Please mount the drive with the NVMe driver module".
    echo ""
    goto END
    :FOUNDNVMEDRIVERMODULE
    echo =============================================================
    echo ""
    echo "load the NVMe driver and map the NVMe HDD now?"
    ;pause
    echo "loading the NVMe driver module"
    load \EFI\Shell\NvmExpressDxe.efi
    echo ""
    echo ""
    ;echo "load the Windows boot loader on NVMe HDD?"
    ;pause
    echo "loading the Windows boot loader on NVMe HDD"
    \EFI\Microsoft\Boot\bootmgfw.efi
    :END
    
    I used an elevated command prompt to assign a letter to the SATA SSD EFI system partition (diskpart) and copy the 3 files into for that purpose created “\EFI\Shell\” folder.

    In BIOS you need to enable the customized boot option and set its value to “\EFi\Shell\Shell_Full.efi” (without quotes) and then move the customized boot option up in the UEFI Boot order list of BIOS boot options section in the Advanced menu.

    EDIT: If you want to load a windows boot manager from the EFI partition on NVMe drive follow the post Urr posted few posts further. The key changes in the startup.nsh are setting the version compatibility at the beginning of the script, updating the mappings with "map -u" command before loading the bootmgfw.efi from the right path.
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2016
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  8. Urr

    Urr Notebook Enthusiast

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    Hi have good and bad news. The Samsung NVMe (MZVPV512) SSD is a 2280 form factor with chips on both sides. Physically it fits into my ZBook15G2. A bit tight, but ok. Its working well with the samsung NVMe driver (windows 7). I also added this driver to my WinPE Recovery USB drive, so the NVMe SSD is accessible in recovery mode. The problem is booting from it. As said in the excellent post from Lubomir above, the HP provided BIOS does NOT recognize the NVMe SSD during boot.
     
  9. Urr

    Urr Notebook Enthusiast

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    Hi Lubomir,

    Thank you for the creative solution you posted above!
    Let me see if I got it right...
    You load the nvme driver from your SATA SSD EFI partition right? (fs0:\EFI\Shell\nvmexpressdxe.efi), so why at the end you also boot from it? (fs0:\EFI\Microsoft\Boot\Bootmgfw.efi)
    I ask because I don't know much about UEFI.
    I would like to use your solution, but do not understand if the \EFI\Microsoft\Boot\Bootmgfw.efi reside on your SATA SSD or on your NVMe SSD.

    Thnks,
    Urr
     
  10. Urr

    Urr Notebook Enthusiast

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    Hello Lubomir.

    After loading the nvme driver (fs0:\EFI\Shell\nvmexpressdxe.efi), you need to remap drivers to file systems: (map -r).
    After this, your NVMe based file system will apear in the list. For me, the file system name is always hd31c.
    So after the re-map, I run (hd31c:\EFI\Microsoft\Boot\Bootmgfw.efi) and walla! the new NVMe SSD boots perfectly!

    Rgrds,
    Urr
     
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