Author Topic: Hacking an HP Z800 motherboard into a standard PC case  (Read 320202 times)

BenGman

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Re: Hacking an HP Z800 motherboard into a standard PC case
« Reply #90 on: March 31, 2015, 05:08:06 am »
Prime95 now runs to completion with a 3 Power Supply setup with load memory temps ~63C.

PS1: 700W Dual rail,  26A (12A+14A) on 12V only supplying MB and RAM (through combined rail cable).
PS2: 500W Single rail, 28A on 12V only supplying CPU.
PS3: 500W Dual rail, 22A (8A + 14A) on 12V supplying DVDRW, SSD, 2.5" HD, 3.5" HD, USB 3 card + side LED fan.

Quote
You don't mean shorting 12V to ground do you?
Taking the 12V lines of two fans to connect to the single 12V pin of the Chassis/Rear fan header, the ground lines of the two fans to the single ground pin on the header, then connect the TACH/PWM pins of each fan to the their own separate TACH/PWM pins on the header.

Getting the fan/front I/O pinouts is priority over cooling because I want to get rid of all the POST messages. For cooling I could always topup on molex fans.

Anyone had luck with those front I/O pins? I see the cable online but its US$45 and that will amount to US$100 for me to get it in hand with shipping/tax. This project is already WAY more $$$ and time than I expected. If I knew then what I know now I would have just paid the US$250 to have a complete US$400 HPZ800 shipped.
« Last Edit: March 31, 2015, 05:21:45 am by BenGman »
My HP Z800 photo build log: http://tinyurl.com/pwsg9wx

BenGman

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Re: Hacking an HP Z800 motherboard into a standard PC case
« Reply #91 on: April 08, 2015, 06:08:40 pm »
I now have no POST messages relating to fans; my poking around caused several shorts resulting in multiple computer resets.

I used 2 optical drive cables to test the memory fan pinouts. Both memory fans are powered by a single 12V pin and ground pin. TACH1 and TACH2 are connected but the fans I used were the 3 pin variety but I believed the 2 unused pins are PWM (More pics uploaded with pinouts).

An adapter (dual 3 pin male to molex) was sourced from an old HD cooler that allowed me to use two fans without cutting/modifying their cables by connecting 12V+Ground from the fan pins directly to molex power and an optical cable so only 2 pins are used on the system/chassis header (TACH1 and TACH2).

The 14 fans (3 PSU fans, 2 CPU, 2 Memory, 2 Front, 2 System, 1 side LED + 2 molex intake) are small, 3 pins and loud, but probably the same volume as the AC unit when the AC is on. None have PWM so they all run at full speed (except CPU). In the future I will have to change out all the fans to ones with 4 pins so the system could control fans speeds resulting in a quieter system.

WRT front IO connectors... I realised that the yellow USB header controls 3 USB ports instead of the regular 2, but I still have not figured out the pinouts, neither for the Firewire nor Audio. When testing the memory fan pinouts I wished I had some Arduino expertise where I could just plug all the pins from the MB headers + pins from IO connectors into a breadboard and have a push button which cycled through all the combinations sequentially and show on a connected LCD/LED/computer monitor what the final working pinout result is when a connected device works, instead of the manually reconnecting alligator clips to tiny cables. Figuring out the memory fan pinout took around 40 alligator clip reconnects and that was just a 6 pin header and 4 hours total for the fans! I have to prepare myself mentally again to go tackle those front IO connectors.

Still no luck finding a serial # example.
My HP Z800 photo build log: http://tinyurl.com/pwsg9wx


BenGman

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Re: Hacking an HP Z800 motherboard into a standard PC case
« Reply #93 on: April 10, 2015, 12:55:44 pm »
@BenGman, these may or may not help:
http://h30499.www3.hp.com/t5/Workstations-z-series-xw-series/Z800-Mystery-PC-Speaker-Connector/td-p/6026029
Those are for a regular 2 Port USB Header and so far in my testing it is already different from the HP Z800 Yellow 3 Port USB because the ground pins are in different locations (see the attached image for voltages).
Quote
http://h30499.www3.hp.com/t5/Workstations-z-series-xw-series/XW-4400-Motherboard-Front-Audio-Schematic/m-p/5944537/highlight/true#M14308
I have not done testing here yet, but I just saw in Andy's photo that he has the Front Audio working; so I can't understand why my case audio jack (not sure if its AC97 or HD), nor the 2 different model/features 5.25" Multipurpose Panel Front Audio connections (but the specs on the newest say its HD Audio) are not recognised by the Z800 MB.
My HP Z800 photo build log: http://tinyurl.com/pwsg9wx

digitaltrousers

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Re: Hacking an HP Z800 motherboard into a standard PC case
« Reply #94 on: April 11, 2015, 04:59:16 am »
So I think I'm ready to give up on this Z800 board. I do appreciate the quality, active development, good documentation, support (etc) of the HP product, but I'm just about convinced mine is faulty. And there's no guarantee that getting another rev.2 Z800 board will work with those CPUs. I haven't seen any Rev.3 boards for under $300, and most of those are used... Does anyone have any opinions on this board? http://b2b.gigabyte.com/products/product-page.aspx?pid=3128#ov
This should allow me to use the two X5672 processors and 24G registered memory I already have. Should also allow me to use a smaller case. Any other suggestions for boards that would fit the bill?
« Last Edit: April 11, 2015, 05:06:01 am by digitaltrousers »

Andy Brown

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Re: Hacking an HP Z800 motherboard into a standard PC case
« Reply #95 on: April 13, 2015, 01:49:49 pm »
So I think I'm ready to give up on this Z800 board.

Before you give up on the board do you have access to another PSU that you can try? I know that yours is a 1050W and that ought to be more than enough if Watts are all that matter. The reason I ask is that someone else over in the article comments section just solved symptoms like yours (no POST) with another PSU and you did mention strange power supply behavior in one of your posts.
It's worse than that, it's physics Jim!

BenGman

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Re: Hacking an HP Z800 motherboard into a standard PC case
« Reply #96 on: April 13, 2015, 05:26:58 pm »
I concur, not enough power was the reason for many of my resets (Prime95), system instability  and memory errors. After I added all the fans my 3 PSU setup failed with Prime95 again so it forced me to finally get a proper PSU. I now have a single 1000W CoolMax ZU-1000B PSU (83A on 12V, single rail) powering everything (11 fans, 4 HDs, DVDRW, PCI-E USB 3.0) with the Ali Express cable and passing Prime95. I do not see me needing more power in the near future.

Finals are within two weeks so I can not spend any more time on this project until May, then I'll have more time to address those pesky Front I/O errors.
My HP Z800 photo build log: http://tinyurl.com/pwsg9wx

digitaltrousers

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Re: Hacking an HP Z800 motherboard into a standard PC case
« Reply #97 on: April 13, 2015, 08:38:45 pm »
Thanks Guys. That's good advice :)
...Maybe the various outputs on my PSU aren't firing up in the right order or something. It's a single rail per voltage, but I guess if one rail was a few milliseconds too late or something, that may make the board uncomfortable.
Someone else started a new thread on the forum, saying that he got the same symptoms after moving CPUs around, on a system that had previously been working. I got to thinking, 2009 (date on the board) was around that time when manufacturers started going with lead-free solder, which initially they didn't seem to get quite right (remember all those PS3s and Xboxes with various "lights of death"?) The board may have brittle solder, being from that era, and I may have flexed it too much installing CPUs and RAM. Regardless, for all you others, I'd suggest that using the steel standoffs on a table is probably not a good idea for that reason as the board is not supported well in the centre...
But yeah, I'll try to borrow another PSU from somewhere. Thanks.

Andy Brown

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Re: Hacking an HP Z800 motherboard into a standard PC case
« Reply #98 on: April 14, 2015, 02:37:42 pm »
I have not done testing here yet, but I just saw in Andy's photo that he has the Front Audio working; so I can't understand why my case audio jack (not sure if its AC97 or HD), nor the 2 different model/features 5.25" Multipurpose Panel Front Audio connections (but the specs on the newest say its HD Audio) are not recognised by the Z800 MB.

My front panel has both AC97 and HD audio connectors coming from it. I ignored the AC97 connector and plugged in the HD audio connector to the board. The default Windows 8.1 install gets me Microsoft drivers that only recognise the green speaker socket on the motherboard riser at the back.

To get the front panel jacks working I had to install the drivers from Realtek dated 2014/5/21. After installing those it gave me the "Realtek HD Audio Manager" (screenshot attached) that can be used to play around with the configuration and it automatically detected the insertion of headphones into the front panel with a system tray notification.
It's worse than that, it's physics Jim!

JonMS

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Re: Hacking an HP Z800 motherboard into a standard PC case
« Reply #99 on: April 15, 2015, 11:22:35 am »
Hello can one of you measure your motherboard for me? I'm thinking about migrating my Z800 into a Corsair 900D and I need to know if the board will fit the tray. Thanks!

Andy Brown

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Re: Hacking an HP Z800 motherboard into a standard PC case
« Reply #100 on: April 15, 2015, 02:08:10 pm »
Hello can one of you measure your motherboard for me? I'm thinking about migrating my Z800 into a Corsair 900D and I need to know if the board will fit the tray. Thanks!

36x33cm.

Remember that the PCIe slots need to line up with the case slot fixings as well.

I just took a look at the 900D and I thought my DS6 was big - the 900D is enormous!
« Last Edit: April 15, 2015, 02:11:58 pm by Andy Brown »
It's worse than that, it's physics Jim!

BenGman

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Re: Hacking an HP Z800 motherboard into a standard PC case
« Reply #101 on: April 17, 2015, 02:41:56 pm »
I'm still plugging away at the USB header (see attached and signature link). Tried first to check GND and VCC alone but nothing worked. Then I started the route with the 504 permutations. Was about to take a break when the 10th try showed a power surge and the Windows device connected sound. The hope was to get a first port working, then try the other pins to get the other 2 ports, then solve the 1.734V pin.

This is too tedious, there must be a better way. Anyone else having any success?
My HP Z800 photo build log: http://tinyurl.com/pwsg9wx

Andy Brown

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Re: Hacking an HP Z800 motherboard into a standard PC case
« Reply #102 on: April 18, 2015, 03:35:08 am »
This is too tedious, there must be a better way. Anyone else having any success?
If someone reading this has a real Z800 then they could buzz out the pins on the cable for you. Alternatively, cable assemblies do appear on ebay from time to time. e.g. this auction. The part number for the cable set is 468626-003.
It's worse than that, it's physics Jim!

JonMS

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Re: Hacking an HP Z800 motherboard into a standard PC case
« Reply #103 on: April 22, 2015, 02:20:06 pm »
Hello can one of you measure your motherboard for me? I'm thinking about migrating my Z800 into a Corsair 900D and I need to know if the board will fit the tray. Thanks!

36x33cm.

Remember that the PCIe slots need to line up with the case slot fixings as well.



I just took a look at the 900D and I thought my DS6 was big - the 900D is enormous!

Yup I know. Thanks for measuring! It should fit as it's somewhat smaller than the SR-2 board from EVGA that's HPTX. Hoping they'll be material to drill standoffs in. Going to water cool both processors and go for a quad 280X set up using pcie ribbon extensions to drop the cards down a slot since the 900D has 10 expansion slots bs the Z800s 7

Andy Brown

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Re: Hacking an HP Z800 motherboard into a standard PC case
« Reply #104 on: April 25, 2015, 03:19:41 am »
Still no luck finding a serial # example.
This is mine: 2UA1210JMN. Someone posted it on an internet support forum ;D It has no actual use to us except to shut that startup warning up. I guess HP support would use it to link back to the actual unit that was shipped to the customer.
It's worse than that, it's physics Jim!