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ThinkStation P320 with 64GiB RAM and NVMe Drive

2020-04-16, 22:31 PM

I'm having difficulty adding an NVMe drive to my 30BH ThinkStation P320. The system works fine with 64GiB RAM installed. I attached a U.2 NVMe drive via a 4x PCIe card in the first 16x slot (the one that's wired as 16x). When attempting to boot this configuration, the system gives 3 short beeps and 1 long beep. This code signifies a RAM error, which is confusing since there is no RAM error with the drive removed.

 

I moved the 4x card to the second 16x slot (the one wired as 4x). Still get 3 short beeps and 1 long beep.

 

I removed 2 RAM modules so that the total RAM is 32GiB. Now there is no beep code and the BIOS successfully identifies the NVMe drive.

 

I would like to use both 64GiB of RAM and the NVMe drive. Is that configuration possible with this model?

 

Other setup:

CPU: Intel(R) Xeon(R) CPU E3-1245 v6 @ 3.70GHz

RAM: 64GiB, 4 16GiB modules

SATA1: magnetic drive

SATA2: magnetic drive

SATA5: optical drive

slot 1: U.2 drive adapter card

slot 2: Intel 8265 wireless card

slot 3: Intel I350 2 port ethernet card

slot 4: TI firewire card

 

The 2 magnetic drives are going to be replaced with the new NVMe drive. I tried disconnecting them, but still get the beep codes.

 

 

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182 Posts

07-14-2015

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Re:ThinkStation P320 with 64GiB RAM and NVMe Drive

2020-04-17, 14:34 PM

I am sorry to hear you are having issues upgrading your system. I believe that this is an unsupported configuration and without access to your specific hardware I am not sure how helpful we can be. You have done a pretty good job already of debugging this however, for the sake of thoroughness, we should get more details.

 

Are all of your 16GB DIMMs identical? What model U.2 adapter are you using? What is the model NVMe drive you are using?

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Re:ThinkStation P320 with 64GiB RAM and NVMe Drive

2020-04-17, 19:41 PM

The RAM modules are not identical. 2 are Samsung M391A2K43BB1-CRC. 2 are Kingston 9965669-039.A00G.

I've done tests with only the Samsung modules and with only the Kingston modules. The NVMe drive is detected successfully in both cases. I put the RAM modules in slots a and b for both tests.

 

The drive is an Intel 1.6TB DC P4610.

The card is a StarTech PEX4SFF8643.

The cable is a HighPoint CB 8643-8639-50 SFF-8643 T U.2 SFF-8639

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182 Posts

07-14-2015

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Re:ThinkStation P320 with 64GiB RAM and NVMe Drive

2020-04-20, 12:30 PM

What BIOS level are you running?

 

Have you tried running the system with 1 Samsung DIMM and 1 Kingston DIMM? This would be strange behavior, to be sure, but we often have compatibility issues with Kingston memory on our systems. 

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Re:ThinkStation P320 with 64GiB RAM and NVMe Drive

2020-04-20, 18:02 PM

I did some more experiments based on your suggestion:

 

DIMM slot aDIMM slot bNVMe drive connected?Result
SamsungKingstonnono beeps, 32G RAM detected
SamsungKingstonyesno beeps, drive detected, but only 16G RAM detected (Samsung module)
KingstonSamsungnono beeps, 32G RAM detected
KingstonSamsungyesno beeps, drive detected, but only 16G RAM detected (Kingston module)

 

Slots c and d are empty in all tests. When the drive is connected, only the module in slot a is detected. I used "dmidecode --type memory" to determine which module was detected. The other slots show up as "No module present".

 

The BIOS version when I first detected the issue was S06KT48A. I've since updated to S06KT51A as a possible resolution, but the issue is still present.

 

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  • Message 6 of 12

Re:ThinkStation P320 with 64GiB RAM and NVMe Drive

2020-04-29, 19:55 PM

I enabled CSM and legacy boot based on a suggestion in a similar thread: https://forums.lenovo.com/t5/ThinkStation-Workstations/P310-cannot-boot-with-PCIe-3-x8-card-SmartHBA2100-4i4e/m-p/5009654?page=2

 

The error persists.

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  • Message 7 of 12

Re:ThinkStation P320 with 64GiB RAM and NVMe Drive

2020-05-03, 0:58 AM

I performed some more tests. First of all, here is a clip from the manual with the DIMM slot names:

TestResult
3 modules in slots C, A, and D. Any combination of Samsung and Kingston.Works. All 48G available.
3 modules, 1 in slot B, other 2 in any remaining slots. Any combination of Samsung and Kingston.No beeps, but only 32G available.
2 Samsung modules in slots A and B.No beeps, but only 16G available.
4 modules in slots C, A, D, and B. Remove all other PCIe cards. Test with the NVMe card in each of the 4 PCIe slots.3 short beeps, 1 long beep.

All of these tests were performed with the NVMe drive connected.

 

I think there is something special about slot B. Is it just not possible to have memory in slot B and an NVMe drive at the same time? Could it be a hardware resource limitation? Or a bug in the BIOS detection? The third test uses 2 Samsung modules in the configuration they were installed in at the factory, so I'm inclined to rule out a Kingston compatibility issue.

 

I can get 48G with slots C, A, and D, but this goes against the manual which says to install them in the order A, B, C, D. They're not in pairs in that case, but the manual doesn't say having pairs is a requirement.

 

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Re:ThinkStation P320 with 64GiB RAM and NVMe Drive

2020-05-19, 23:50 PM

Is there any other information I can provide to help diagnosis of this issue?

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182 Posts

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  • Message 9 of 12

Re:ThinkStation P320 with 64GiB RAM and NVMe Drive

2020-05-20, 14:13 PM

You have done a great job of narrowing it down. I agree that it sounds as though you have an issue with slot B itself or there is a hardware conflict with your particular PCI-e card or NVMe drive and the memory lanes.

 

I do have a couple of other questions and suggestions. During all of your testing, was the NVMe drive connected to the PCI-e card? If so I would recommend testing the card in a couple of slots without the drive attached. At least try to narrow down if the issue is something related to the card or the detection/use of the drive itself. Also, if you stated this I missed it, I know you tried the card in multiple slots, but during that testing did you remove all of the other cards?

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  • Message 10 of 12

Re:ThinkStation P320 with 64GiB RAM and NVMe Drive

2020-05-26, 11:56 AM

For tests which said "drive connected", the card was installed and the drive was connected to the card.

For tests which said "drive not connected", then the card was installed, but the drive was not connected to the card.

 

When I moved the NVMe card to the other slots, I removed all of the other cards.

 

 

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