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Hardware projects / Re: Hacking an HP Z800 motherb...
Last post by plattfuss1972 - January 30, 2019, 08:38:31 am
Quote from: b1Ack on July 03, 2018, 09:42:52 am

How update bootblock ?
I'm surprised that lot of people was looking for right rev.003 full image, not looking what we have - a /B option for DOS flasher. Just used it and my bootblock became a new one with 2018 BIOS version in some time. And - process look really long and looks like it hang. For more than minute. No progress, no numlock reaction - nothing. Don't panic, read what you have on screen, all fine, obey and go make some tea and not look on this f***ing thing - and it will end and be ok.

No luck for me.
BootBlock remains 01/30/09.
What CMD line must I use to upgrade bootblock with flashbin.exe?  :-\ :-\

Plattfuss & Bigfoot co.
Hardware projects / Re: Hacking an HP Z800 motherb...
Last post by plattfuss1972 - January 29, 2019, 07:46:44 am
Hello everyone.
After rescuing old Z800 from being dumped (bad PSU), I decied to give It a go with something new.
How to fit ATX PSU into HP Z800 on top.
After cable and case mod, this is what came out:

Plattfuss & Bigfoot co.
General discussion / Re: I think I bricked my HP Z8...
Last post by Borman - November 26, 2018, 04:13:35 am
What did you do with the rest of the parts, Nitto? Are you selling them? You're going to love the SSD btw, such a performance booster.
Hardware projects / Re: Hacking an HP Z800 motherb...
Last post by redeyeninja - November 18, 2018, 07:19:09 pm
Thanks to Andy and this forum, I've embarked on refitting a Z800 into a larger case with room for 17 HDD + 2 SSD and NVME PVI-e boot from a m.2 drive, for a total of 20 drives, hosting a 75tb [physical] Windows Storage Spaces single node array.

I have written out a how-to on booting from a generic/amazon PCI-e/NVME adapter and m.2 drive:


Currently, I'm tackling the F1 boot prompt for various missing pieces from knightcrusader's post:


One of the first hurdles was to tame the fans that I have migrated over for now from the Z800 case, namely front chassis and memory.  I plan to eventually swapping them out once I finish wiring the adapters but for the long term, I would still have to solve the temperature sensor issue.  Instead of hacking and wasting the oem front panel cable, I bought some  2n2222a temperature sensors off amazon in TO-92 size and arduino crimping set.  And instead of wiring and soldering, I was able to just crimp C and B together for Pin # 11 [grey] and crimp E for Pin #12 [brown] and pushed them into a 2-pin Dupont housing...plugged it in and the fans are spinning normally now.  Here's a pic of the transistors:


Once I get the rest of the parts, I'll tackle the memory, fron chassis, rear chassis and maybe the heatsinks.

Also, by hiding the 1394 port in BIOS under Security, I was able to eliminate it from alerting in the F1 prompt.  I may do that for the USB headers as well, since I have a USB3 card that can power/connect to the front USB3 port on my case.  Btw, I'm using a Fractal Design XL R2.

Hardware projects / Re: Z800 version 003 extracted...
Last post by mate_1974 - October 24, 2018, 10:45:56 am

I have Z800 V2 board and currently running 2x E5649 prosessors.
Eevery time, it starts ok.

But when you reboot it, sometimes it hangs and fans start to blow full speed

I would love to change chip which give me never bootblock. Is anyone selling those?
I am ok, if mac address change.

General discussion / Re: I think I bricked my HP Z8...
Last post by nitto999 - October 01, 2018, 10:55:51 pm
Update: Got my new board and I'm one happy camper! Now I just need buy a good PCI Sata 3 card and toss in a nice SSD for a boot/program drive.
General discussion / Re: I think I bricked my HP Z8...
Last post by nitto999 - September 24, 2018, 03:01:13 pm
I figured as much. So I ended up purchasing a working HP Z800 Dual x5675 model off of eBay US for $325. This way I know it has the proper motherboard rev for the dual x56XX Xeons. I had no luck finding the right motherboard on eBay. This "new" Z800 is a little beat up externally, but pristine on the inside. I'm going to use it as a motherboard donor and at the very least I'll have some spare parts laying around in case of emergency. Thanks again for your support.
General discussion / Re: I think I bricked my HP Z8...
Last post by Andy Brown - September 24, 2018, 02:35:34 pm
I can't find anything wrong with what you've done so far. You've done exactly what I would have done in your situation. Based on HP's own documentation 8 beeps means:

The Diagnostic LED blinks red 8 times and the system beeps 8 times (once per second), then a 2-second pause follows:
This indicates an invalid system ROM based on bad checksum and entering Failsafe (Boot Block) recovery mode.

It does sound like the BIOS chip was damaged or the bootblock, the part you can't flash, was corrupted and therefore not restored when you did each of your flash attempts.
General discussion / Re: I think I bricked my HP Z8...
Last post by nitto999 - September 20, 2018, 04:46:12 pm
Hi Andy, thanks for your reply. Here's some more info: I rescued the workstation from the E recycling pile at my place of work. It had been pulled off of the server rack alongside of 9 other Z800 machines as it was no longer being used. The workstation I selected was configured with 1 x5675 and 3 2GB DDR3 sticks. I took another x5675 and cleaned out a total of 9 additionals sticks of RAM to fully populate the board. I cleaned thick dust out of it with careful application WD40 Specialty Electrical Contact Cleaner and isopropyl wipes. The IT department had removed the GPU and any HDDs from the machine before sending it out for recycling so I was unable to test the machine. I did test the PSU which was fine. When I got a GPU and was able to power up the machine, I was met with 8 beeps and a red flashing LED on the front panel of the workstation. The display would then power on to reveal a blue screen which basically stated that the System bios was corrupted and I would have to flash a working BIOS from a USB port or the optical drive. I followed the instructions and "successfully" flashed 3 different bios for the Z800 workstation (I have the 003 rev motherboard) but I was always looped back to the "SYSTEM BIOS IS CORRUPT" no matter which BIOS I tried; even after the system reported a successful flash.

After some more Googling, that's when I tried using the "crisis jumper". I removed everything from the rear I/O, placed the jumper on the "G15" pins, removed the CMOS battery and held down the CLEAR CMOS button. I then reinserted the rear I/O connections and my USB stick with the latest BIOS image from the HP webpage. Finally I placed the power cable into the rear PSU connector. The machine powered on immediately without me depressing the power switch on the front panel. The fans turned on but never spun down as they had before when I was met with the blue screen. I was no longer getting the beeps, RED LED flashing or any display output.  My thumb drive was no longer lighting up, indicating it was not powered.

I tried booting with one Xeon x5675, different amounts of RAM (I have 12 sticks of ECC unbuffered RAM), different sticks of RAM and a different GPU as well. I really think I either fried the BIOS chip with that jumper, or erased it completely as the board never full loads up the I/O or reduces fan speeds.

Side note: Later on I realized the sole purpose of that jumper is to get into the BIOS recovery "state" that my workstation was ALREADY in.

So, any idea's Andy? I was so excited about the thought of getting this beautiful workstation upgraded and running and now I'm crushed with it's current state.
General discussion / Re: I think I bricked my HP Z8...
Last post by Andy Brown - September 19, 2018, 01:25:39 am
Hi, when you say "cleaned it up" what do you mean? Was it working before you cleaned it up? One basic thing you can do is, one-by-one, remove and re-seat each cable that connects to the motherboard - particularly the power cables. Then do the same for the DRAM sticks, then the same for the cards. For the cards, visually check the 'golden' fingers for any crud that might be lodged in there.

Removing and re-seating the CPUs, as well as testing with just one, is also a possibility but it's more drastic and should be left until you're sure it's not something simple.
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