Author Topic: Hacking an HP Z800 motherboard into a standard PC case  (Read 320071 times)

Andy Brown

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 283
    • View Profile
    • Andy's Workshop
Hacking an HP Z800 motherboard into a standard PC case
« on: November 01, 2014, 04:53:46 am »
In a temporary departure from hacking little things I thought you all might like to see how I hacked a very large thing (the HP Z800 workstation dual Xeon motherboard) into a standard PC case:

http://andybrown.me.uk/wk/2014/11/01/z800/

Definitely not as straightforward as I thought it would be when I first ordered the board on ebay but I refuse to be beaten and the outcome was a good one.
It's worse than that, it's physics Jim!

Marco Silva

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 21
    • View Profile
Re: Hacking an HP Z800 motherboard into a standard PC case
« Reply #1 on: November 24, 2014, 02:32:27 pm »
I've found on ebay some matching connectors that i will be using on my build so I've decided to share them




Just search for 18/0 Pin Male Power Cable PSU

I've ordered them and when they arrive i will give my feedback.

Andy Brown

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 283
    • View Profile
    • Andy's Workshop
Re: Hacking an HP Z800 motherboard into a standard PC case
« Reply #2 on: November 27, 2014, 12:47:09 pm »
Nice find Marco, look forward to hearing how you get on.
It's worse than that, it's physics Jim!

Andy Brown

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 283
    • View Profile
    • Andy's Workshop
Re: Hacking an HP Z800 motherboard into a standard PC case
« Reply #3 on: November 29, 2014, 06:57:03 am »
If anyone has an account on the Chinese Taobao site, this is the cable adaptor set that you need:

http://item.taobao.com/item.htm?spm=a230r.1.14.30.gZGz0F&id=40589333743&ns=1&abbucket=8#detail
It's worse than that, it's physics Jim!

Marco Silva

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 21
    • View Profile
Re: Hacking an HP Z800 motherboard into a standard PC case
« Reply #4 on: December 06, 2014, 06:58:34 pm »
I'm kinda happy because I've managed to finish successfully my test build.

2 Xeons X5650 and a revision 2 motherboard with the earlier boot blocker, i had a real hard time to boot for the first time but eventually it did boot   8)

Really apreciated for your wonderful article and support  :)

http://i.imgur.com/fVe81b2.png
« Last Edit: December 06, 2014, 07:02:10 pm by Marco Silva »

Dieapy

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 7
    • View Profile
Re: Hacking an HP Z800 motherboard into a standard PC case
« Reply #5 on: December 07, 2014, 08:19:04 am »
Hi every one this is just a natter to introduces myself and to Andy nice read Re: Hacking the HP Z800 dual socket motherboard, I was browsing the web on the look out for a manual or User Guide for that very same board when I stumbled on your topic.
Like always I jump into things with both feet without thinking, what happened was I had on the shelve a couple of Intel i7 1366/950 chips sorry CPU 3.06_MHz and there on eBay was this very nice looking Motherboard and cheap I’ll have that? Yep you guessed it the very one you worked on Andy… lol ok so I have a case every much as big as yours with two large red fans at top, single large red one in front blowing in on drive bays similar to your own and it has two push in, clip in Sata bays at the front ideal for testing and formatting spear drives and super large fan on the side. An 850Watt power supply at bottom like yours, cable hides and alike on and off switch on top front like yours it has a reset and Intergraph switch all glowing red and array of four USB ports sound out mic and HHD led across top front, two DVD RW and alike below needless to say it cost a lot of coin as did the guts within stacked out 2.TB AND 3.TB Drives. A perfectly good working server and all I get is your not going to rip that apart are you dad, why not it’s my second rig I mean computer. lol       
« Last Edit: December 07, 2014, 08:51:13 am by Dieapy »

Andy Brown

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 283
    • View Profile
    • Andy's Workshop
Re: Hacking an HP Z800 motherboard into a standard PC case
« Reply #6 on: December 07, 2014, 10:17:34 am »
I'm kinda happy because I've managed to finish successfully my test build.

2 Xeons X5650 and a revision 2 motherboard with the earlier boot blocker, i had a real hard time to boot for the first time but eventually it did boot   8)

Really apreciated for your wonderful article and support  :)

http://i.imgur.com/fVe81b2.png

Hi Marco, great news that you got it up and running with 2 westmere CPUs in a rev 2 board. How did you overcome the boot problems? Some users report that clearing the CMOS does the trick.
It's worse than that, it's physics Jim!

Andy Brown

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 283
    • View Profile
    • Andy's Workshop
Re: Hacking an HP Z800 motherboard into a standard PC case
« Reply #7 on: December 07, 2014, 10:20:50 am »
Hi every one this is just a natter to introduces myself and to Andy nice read Re: Hacking the HP Z800 dual socket motherboard, I was browsing the web on the look out for a manual or User Guide for that very same board when I stumbled on your topic.
Like always I jump into things with both feet without thinking, what happened was I had on the shelve a couple of Intel i7 1366/950 chips sorry CPU 3.06_MHz and there on eBay was this very nice looking Motherboard and cheap I’ll have that? Yep you guessed it the very one you worked on Andy… lol ok so I have a case every much as big as yours with two large red fans at top, single large red one in front blowing in on drive bays similar to your own and it has two push in, clip in Sata bays at the front ideal for testing and formatting spear drives and super large fan on the side. An 850Watt power supply at bottom like yours, cable hides and alike on and off switch on top front like yours it has a reset and Intergraph switch all glowing red and array of four USB ports sound out mic and HHD led across top front, two DVD RW and alike below needless to say it cost a lot of coin as did the guts within stacked out 2.TB AND 3.TB Drives. A perfectly good working server and all I get is your not going to rip that apart are you dad, why not it’s my second rig I mean computer. lol       

Hi and welcome to the forum. Are you planning to do a build with the Z800 motherboard? You mentioned that your CPUs are i7. They will not work in the Z800 motherboard - it's Xeons only for the Z800.

Regards
Andy
It's worse than that, it's physics Jim!

Marco Silva

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 21
    • View Profile
Re: Hacking an HP Z800 motherboard into a standard PC case
« Reply #8 on: December 07, 2014, 11:19:04 am »
Quote
Hi Marco, great news that you got it up and running with 2 westmere CPUs in a rev 2 board. How did you overcome the boot problems? Some users report that clearing the CMOS does the trick.

Hi Andy, I just kept on powering it on and off  :P

At first it booted and it was great, installed windows did a bunch of reboots and not a single problem. After a while it started acting up, every reboot requires to do the on/off thing from a couple of times up to 30 or 40  >:(

There are issues with the bootblocker for sure, but after it starts it's really stable.

Here is a picture of my build



Now still missing the real hard part...putting it in to the case :)
« Last Edit: December 07, 2014, 11:39:54 am by Marco Silva »

Dieapy

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 7
    • View Profile
Re: Hacking an HP Z800 motherboard into a standard PC case
« Reply #9 on: December 07, 2014, 06:43:18 pm »

Hi and welcome to the forum. Are you planning to do a build with the Z800 motherboard? You mentioned that your CPUs are i7. They will not work in the Z800 motherboard - it's Xeons only for the Z800.

Regards
Andy

Hi Andy and thanks for the gen on my i7 CPU’s, zods there go’s dreaming. And they looked great in there too… I’m leaving them in place for now for safe keeping and showing off to on-lookers. Lol… You’ll never get that up and running they report, seems they are right with my CPU’s. But I’m not a quitter Ho-No... I am thinking about taking the easy way out with the PSU lead kit for neatness. Not that I couldn’t have modify the leads as you have done myself being an OAP and a Ex-Technician with a dab-hand at soldering.

Had a look at the URL: http://item.taobao.com/item.htm?spm=a230r.1.14.30.gZGz0F&id=40589333743&ns=1&abbucket=8#detail “What all in China txt” lol… 20 yen it was 18 yesterday… wish it would make its mind up its back to 18 again now

Thinking about sign up here: http://chinabuyagency.com/ 

Nice pic Marco: is there a need for the bottom fan over heatsink? Not really a question just idle thinking, one gets like that at my age.

So I have to get: Two Xeons CPU for Z800… power lead conversion kit… bios flash software… and I never did find the HP-Z800 service manual? Spent most of the time reading your topic Andy… and a right riveting read it was to enjoyed it immensely
I have to smash my working server to bits for case… sort out a way of fixing motherboard in same.

I’m guessing my 1600 DDR3s will not work either but never mind I have to put the server set back in its old case a Tsunami Dream: (Thermaltake cool all your life case) such a shame our motherboard is so massive there’s no way it will fit in that.

It has blue led’s surrounding the first front door with a second locking door behind it to get at the array of clip in 5.¼ DVD bays with two 1.44 floppy’s below… also a five bay swing round or take out cradle for the hard drives, I’ve had as many as seven Sata drive in this case two in the floppy bays and one in a spare 5.1/4 bay… that’s as many onboard Sata ports it has it could also have four IDE drives combination of either DVDs and hard drive in the 5.1/4 with one spare

The reason for changing this case at the time was my purchasing a 2gig PCIe graphic card which took over two slots at back and to secure cards this case has drop down plastic clips. Needless to say the second clip would not lock down and it looked untidy

Any advice as to where to get BIOS Flash software and HP service manual will be appreciated
Thanks
Dieapy

« Last Edit: December 07, 2014, 07:30:32 pm by Dieapy »

Andy Brown

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 283
    • View Profile
    • Andy's Workshop
Re: Hacking an HP Z800 motherboard into a standard PC case
« Reply #10 on: December 08, 2014, 04:53:52 am »
Quote
Hi Marco, great news that you got it up and running with 2 westmere CPUs in a rev 2 board. How did you overcome the boot problems? Some users report that clearing the CMOS does the trick.

Hi Andy, I just kept on powering it on and off  :P

With symptoms like that it does sound like a timing issue somewhere although without HP's inside knowledge we'll never know for sure.

I notice from your photo that you installed a fan above the chip set heat sink. I also noticed how hot that thing gets and have installed a fan blowing across it inside my case. It does surprise me that the original Z800 does not have active cooling for the chipset because it's positioned below a potentially very hot graphics card and they've had to crop some of the vanes on the heatsink to allow long graphics cards to fit.

Yes, fitting into a case is hard work, please let us know how you get on!
It's worse than that, it's physics Jim!

Andy Brown

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 283
    • View Profile
    • Andy's Workshop
Re: Hacking an HP Z800 motherboard into a standard PC case
« Reply #11 on: December 08, 2014, 05:10:23 am »
Hi Andy and thanks for the gen on my i7 CPU’s, zods there go’s dreaming. And they looked great in there too… I’m leaving them in place for now for safe keeping and showing off to on-lookers. Lol… You’ll never get that up and running they report, seems they are right with my CPU’s. But I’m not a quitter Ho-No...

This generation of Xeon and the I7 are very similar but the Xeon has a second QPI link that is required for dual socket operation. That is why you will never see a dual i7 board (at least not with an Intel chip set). It allows Intel to have a cheaper i7 consumer line and a much more expensive Xeon enterprise line that are essentially the same core.

Quote
I am thinking about taking the easy way out with the PSU lead kit for neatness. Not that I couldn’t have modify the leads as you have done myself being an OAP and a Ex-Technician with a dab-hand at soldering.

I can't blame you for wanting to do that. If you do decide to mod a cable then it's not difficult just a bit time consuming really.

Quote
Any advice as to where to get BIOS Flash software and HP service manual will be appreciated

Google "z800 service guide" to get the reference manual PDF. You don't need software to flash the bios. It can be done from a USB stick using an option in the BIOS setup screen.

Regards
Andy
« Last Edit: December 08, 2014, 05:17:38 am by Andy Brown »
It's worse than that, it's physics Jim!

Dieapy

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 7
    • View Profile
Re: Hacking an HP Z800 motherboard into a standard PC case
« Reply #12 on: December 08, 2014, 11:00:31 am »
Thanks Andy have down loaded all relevant pdf from ManualLib: will be going quiet for a bit.
Cya m8
Dieapy 
« Last Edit: December 08, 2014, 06:07:59 pm by Dieapy »

Dieapy

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 7
    • View Profile
Re: Hacking an HP Z800 motherboard into a standard PC case
« Reply #13 on: December 08, 2014, 05:50:25 pm »
Andy I am beginning to have my doubts about this 02 board already the more I read the less I like regarding the Sata and Sata NAS onboard ports not being up for the job of running my high end high speed hard drives is it capable of running the specs below I think not… maybe I should go for the 03 motherboard now before I start, im not sure which CPU would be best for the 03 but I really do need to use the onboard NAS capabilities for my hard drives, is there anything better than the 03 go on quote me the best in this motherboard range and let me build it.

Technical Specification
Manufacturer:   Western Digital      Cache:   64MB
Capacity:   4000 GB      Access Time:   N/A
Edition:         Interface:   SATA III - 6Gb/s
Form Factor:   3.5"       Free-Fall Sensor:   No
Height:   26.1 mm       NCQ:   Yes
Rotation Speed:         Dimension:   101.6 x 26.1 x 147 (WxHxD mm)


« Last Edit: December 09, 2014, 01:50:54 pm by Dieapy »

Dieapy

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 7
    • View Profile
Re: Hacking an HP Z800 motherboard into a standard PC case
« Reply #14 on: December 09, 2014, 09:27:29 pm »
I have been checking out my tower case measurements it would be tight with 2 to 3 centimetres all round but what’s is upsetting is the ram at the top end, pushes all the ports at the back towards the centre, meaning I would have to cut a longer hole to access them, you might say what’s the problem well the darn thing is still under warranty I only bought it last year, and im under order not to mess with it because they all use the server through Wi-Fi. Who’s the boss here I ask myself lol… I got caught taking these pic’s, never mind I’ll buy myself a even bigger case most likely Hewlett Packard with a 1110W PS. And if I do that I might just as well go the whole hog and be done with it. Thought you might like to view a few of the pic's I took so here they are. 

If you are aloud to log into my other images up there no matter, they are only some old mod’s I done for Morrowind yonk’s ago and I made it user friendly so the forum could access them.

https://imageshack.com/i/p9Ldctilj     
https://imageshack.com/i/eyyyaEyWj
https://imageshack.com/i/iq9BSDXpj
https://imageshack.com/i/p1rrT2m7j
https://imageshack.com/i/pchg6VJij
https://imageshack.com/i/exqHWao3j
https://imageshack.com/i/exB2dPaLj
« Last Edit: December 12, 2014, 08:41:18 pm by Dieapy »