HP Z440’s Bricked Hard



  • Long story short; We recently got hit with Ryuk Ransomeware. We were able to roll back most important things, but we had a select couple of machines (HP Z440’s ) that weren’t protected. Some others as well, but This is about the Z440’s.

    I’m going with a clean install, but keep smacking a wall. Upon trying to boot (either UEFI or BIOS) from Windows 10 install disk, there are no drives present.

    Diskpart says there is nothing at all and lists the computer as MINWINPC, or after a failed sfc /scannow, MININT-686HUMM. No drives, no partitions, no volumes except the DVD drive. But when I take the HDD out and plug it into my computer, it shows up. I’ve tried Converting it to GPT and even reformatting to NTFS. I’ve tried multiple hard drives, swapped sata cables, and still can’t figure out what is going on here.

    Bootrec finds nothing either. Every command fails to see a drive or Windows OS.

    The reason I don’t think it’s the motherboard is because this happened to the only 3 Z440’s we have and only to them. The problem is identical across all three and they are in three different buildings. It makes me feel like perhaps the BIOS is corrupted or something specific to the architecture of this build.

    Any thoughts? Flash the BIOS? I’m running out of ideas.



  • @G-I-Jones I'd guess a special motherboard driver is needed for those systems. If HP doesn't have a windows iso for those systems, you may have to install a driver before Windows will see the storage.

    Also, make sure RAID is turned off in the BIOS while I'm thinking about it.

    That's all that I thought of quickly at least.



  • Are the drives formatted and have partitions?



  • @DustinB3403 The original drive is formatted NTFS, GPT, with Typical Windows partitions. System Reserve, Primary, etc. although none of these seem to exist in the eyes of this machine.



  • @travisdh1 Thanks, I’m going to start running in this direction.



  • @G-I-Jones said in HP Z440’s Bricked Hard:

    @DustinB3403 The original drive is formatted NTFS, GPT, with Typical Windows partitions. System Reserve, Primary, etc. although none of these seem to exist in the eyes of this machine.

    If you load up a live linux distro you can see this drive and it's partitions?



  • Drivers doesn't make a lot of sense to me. I'm assuming these systems use a SATA connector right? Windows shouldn't have any issue finding it.

    I'm thinking there is something wrong with the formatting on the drives, and that performing a reformat of them would resolve.



  • @DustinB3403 said in HP Z440’s Bricked Hard:

    Drivers doesn't make a lot of sense to me. I'm assuming these systems use a SATA connector right? Windows shouldn't have any issue finding it.

    I'm thinking there is something wrong with the formatting on the drives, and that performing a reformat of them would resolve.

    I worked with some of those HP Z440 workstations that also got hit with Ryuk last year. You really need the original factory DVD or add the storage drivers in while installing Windows. I agree that it's a stupid thing to go through today, but there it is.



  • HP Z440 is a workstation model, but I don't know if this one has a raid card or not.

    Either way, SOP is to boot into a linux live distro and wipe the disks.

    You can use wipefs if it's installed: wipefs -a /dev/sdX
    It will remove raid signatures and all partitions.



  • Also since it's a workstation (using Xeon) it has a server chipset. I looked and it's a C600 series, C612 to be exact.

    If the drives are connected to the server chipset I think you need the C600 driver at install time.



  • This post is deleted!


  • @travisdh1 Just confirmed with HP tech support that you do indeed need RAID drivers that don't typically exist on a base Win10 install disk. They are having me download a bootable they sent me.



  • @G-I-Jones said in HP Z440’s Bricked Hard:

    @G-I-Jones Just confirmed with HP tech support that you do indeed need RAID drivers that don't typically exist on a base Win10 install disk. They are having me download a bootable they sent me.

    You are probably better off using Intel drivers since that is what it is. Rebranded drivers that HP and Dell uses are typically usually many versions old.

    Might not make much off a difference for the installation itself though.

    PS. To use a driver during install you just put it on an USB drive and when the Windows 10 install want to know where you want to install the OS you click on the "Load Driver".



  • @Pete-S So just to be clear, you recommend just downloading the C612 driver and loading that during OS install wizard?



  • @G-I-Jones said in HP Z440’s Bricked Hard:

    @Pete-S So just to be clear, you recommend just downloading the C612 driver and loading that during OS install wizard?

    Yes, I would do that. I haven't tried on your particular combination but it's the reason why Windows have a Load Driver option in the first place.



  • @Pete-S Yeah, that's the kind of advice I need as I'm all about expanding my arsenal but have next to zero experience booting into Linux. I was mulling through the list and it seems Clonezilla (which I remember @Dashrender mentioning several times before) is the most popular for these sorts of things. would you recommend the same?



  • @G-I-Jones said in HP Z440’s Bricked Hard:

    @Pete-S Yeah, that's the kind of advice I need as I'm all about expanding my arsenal but have next to zero experience booting into Linux. I was mulling through the list and it seems Clonezilla (which I remember @Dashrender mentioning several times before) is the most popular for these sorts of things. would you recommend the same?

    How did Clonezilla come into this conversation?



  • @G-I-Jones said in HP Z440’s Bricked Hard:

    @Pete-S So just to be clear, you recommend just downloading the C612 driver and loading that during OS install wizard?

    Maybe, maybe not - if the C612 driver is the RAID driver, then yes, that's what you want to put on the USB stick (unzipped) and provide to Windows during install.

    But if that's just a chipset driver, and the RAID is something else, you'll need to get the RAID driver itself, and put that on the USB stick.



  • @Dashrender It's a Linux Bootable. Or that's what Google told me.



  • This post is deleted!


  • @Dashrender said in HP Z440’s Bricked Hard:

    @G-I-Jones said in HP Z440’s Bricked Hard:

    @Pete-S So just to be clear, you recommend just downloading the C612 driver and loading that during OS install wizard?

    Maybe, maybe not - if the C612 driver is the RAID driver, then yes, that's what you want to put on the USB stick (unzipped) and provide to Windows during install.

    But if that's just a chipset driver, and the RAID is something else, you'll need to get the RAID driver itself, and put that on the USB stick.

    @Dashrender I was thinking that might be the case. I'm just going to go with the bootable they gave me for now, but will look into adjusting fire for future endeavors.



  • @G-I-Jones said in HP Z440’s Bricked Hard:

    @Dashrender It's a Linux Bootable. Or that's what Google told me.

    lol - oh.. well, yeah it is, err... but.. so?

    if you're thinking that you could use Clonezilla to see if the drives are available to Clonezilla - OK I suppose that makes sense, but not seeing the drive in Clonezilla wouldn't tell you anything, i.e. not seeing it in Clonezilla doesn't mean you have hardware problems.

    Linux can suffer the same problems that Windows does - lack of driver support for the storage subsystem in the box. If the Live Linux distro you pick doesn't have the Z440 RAID driver in it, then it won't see the drive any more than Windows will.



  • @G-I-Jones said in HP Z440’s Bricked Hard:

    @Dashrender said in HP Z440’s Bricked Hard:

    @G-I-Jones said in HP Z440’s Bricked Hard:

    @Pete-S So just to be clear, you recommend just downloading the C612 driver and loading that during OS install wizard?

    Maybe, maybe not - if the C612 driver is the RAID driver, then yes, that's what you want to put on the USB stick (unzipped) and provide to Windows during install.

    But if that's just a chipset driver, and the RAID is something else, you'll need to get the RAID driver itself, and put that on the USB stick.

    @Dashrender I was thinking that might be the case. I'm just going to go with the bootable they gave me for now, but will look into adjusting fire for future endeavors.

    They are providing you with a Windows 10 ISO that you can put on a USB stick and boot/install from that includes the RAID driver? Cool!



  • @Dashrender said in HP Z440’s Bricked Hard:

    @G-I-Jones said in HP Z440’s Bricked Hard:

    @Dashrender It's a Linux Bootable. Or that's what Google told me.

    lol - oh.. well, yeah it is, err... but.. so?

    if you're thinking that you could use Clonezilla to see if the drives are available to Clonezilla - OK I suppose that makes sense, but not seeing the drive in Clonezilla wouldn't tell you anything, i.e. not seeing it in Clonezilla doesn't mean you have hardware problems.

    No, Pete was saying SOP was to use Linux bootable to wipe raid sigs and drive partitions. I'm just trying to learn which Linux distros are preferred as I'm new to the idea and the list of Linux disto's are lengthy.



  • They are providing you with a Windows 10 ISO that you can put on a USB stick and boot/install from that includes the RAID driver? Cool!

    Basically. And yes, very cool.



  • @G-I-Jones said in HP Z440’s Bricked Hard:

    @Dashrender said in HP Z440’s Bricked Hard:

    @G-I-Jones said in HP Z440’s Bricked Hard:

    @Dashrender It's a Linux Bootable. Or that's what Google told me.

    lol - oh.. well, yeah it is, err... but.. so?

    if you're thinking that you could use Clonezilla to see if the drives are available to Clonezilla - OK I suppose that makes sense, but not seeing the drive in Clonezilla wouldn't tell you anything, i.e. not seeing it in Clonezilla doesn't mean you have hardware problems.

    No, Pete was saying SOP was to use Linux bootable to wipe raid sigs and drive partitions. I'm just trying to learn which Linux distros are preferred as I'm new to the idea and the list of Linux disto's are lengthy.

    Aww - Clonezilla isn't considered a Linux distro - it's really just a tool - one that happens to use Linux to boot the system (because the Clonezilla tool itself is not bootable).

    think of it like this the calculator tool on Windows - the code for it on a USB stick is useless, it can't do anything, but, if you boot the system from Windows, then the code can run under windows. Clonezilla is the same.



  • @G-I-Jones said in HP Z440’s Bricked Hard:

    @Dashrender said in HP Z440’s Bricked Hard:

    @G-I-Jones said in HP Z440’s Bricked Hard:

    @Dashrender It's a Linux Bootable. Or that's what Google told me.

    lol - oh.. well, yeah it is, err... but.. so?

    if you're thinking that you could use Clonezilla to see if the drives are available to Clonezilla - OK I suppose that makes sense, but not seeing the drive in Clonezilla wouldn't tell you anything, i.e. not seeing it in Clonezilla doesn't mean you have hardware problems.

    No, Pete was saying SOP was to use Linux bootable to wipe raid sigs and drive partitions. I'm just trying to learn which Linux distros are preferred as I'm new to the idea and the list of Linux disto's are lengthy.

    Pete's SOP thing is about Live Linux distros - like Fedora Live, or Ubuntu Live. These are OSes that are configured in an ISO format (typically) that can be booted and run from CD/DVD/USB as if they were running from an HDD - only typically much slower.



  • @G-I-Jones said in HP Z440’s Bricked Hard:

    They are providing you with a Windows 10 ISO that you can put on a USB stick and boot/install from that includes the RAID driver? Cool!

    Basically. And yes, very cool.

    No, not cool. You never want a vendor image.



  • @JaredBusch said in HP Z440’s Bricked Hard:

    @G-I-Jones said in HP Z440’s Bricked Hard:

    They are providing you with a Windows 10 ISO that you can put on a USB stick and boot/install from that includes the RAID driver? Cool!

    Basically. And yes, very cool.

    No, not cool. You never want a vendor image.

    I'd take one exception to that - MS signature PCs - they were promised crapware free.



  • @Dashrender said in HP Z440’s Bricked Hard:

    @JaredBusch said in HP Z440’s Bricked Hard:

    @G-I-Jones said in HP Z440’s Bricked Hard:

    They are providing you with a Windows 10 ISO that you can put on a USB stick and boot/install from that includes the RAID driver? Cool!

    Basically. And yes, very cool.

    No, not cool. You never want a vendor image.

    I'd take one exception to that - MS signature PCs - they were promised crapware free.

    If their image was a simple clean OS, sure. But I bet it wasn’t.


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