HP 290-p0043w and M.2 SATA SSD - compatibility?

I got two of the HP 290-p0043w (“HP”) and was hoping to use up two SATA m.2 drives I had lying around - a Kingston 120 GB and a WD Green 240 GB - by putting one in each HP. The HPs both have m.2 2280 slots, and while the manual doesn’t have much to say about it other than mentioning the slot, I assumed that they’d be wired for both SATA and NVMe SSDs.

I tested both SATA m.2 drives in each HP, and neither was recognized in either HP. I then tested the SSDs in a known good computer and they’re both totally fine. Additionally, I tested a known good NVMe SSD in an HP and it was also fine.

There aren’t many settings in the BIOS at all, I tried disabling Secure Boot but there was no change in drive recognition.

Are the HP 290-p0043w just not SATA m.2 compatible? If I only had one HP I’d still be wondering, but it does seem like more than coincidence for two to behave identically. Hoping to get word of how others are fairing.

Note: I tested and could not see the m.2 SATA drives with: bios, Windows 10 Installer on USB, Ubuntu 19.04 Server on USB. Also, the m.2 SATA drives had existing known good Windows 10 installations on them.

If the drive isn’t seen in the BIOS don’t waste your time trying to see if an operating system installer will see it either. If a drive isn’t recognized by the bios first, nothing else will see it either.

From other comments I’ve been seeing about this neat little pc it looks like m.2 sata drives just don’t work period. Maybe it will be enabled in a bios update?

I gotta go home tonight and check the BIOS version. None of the BIOS notes on the Support page mention anything about SATA compatibility but I guess that doesn’t mean it won’t fix it. I don’t know why the most up to date BIOS version has three different simultaneous versions listed but, I’m sure I’ll find out.

My HPs are on 843F F.22 BIOS, and that board model corresponds with an available F.31A revision. Looks like I have to use Windows to do the update though - it’s some kind of package.

Loaded Windows on the included drive (man are rotational drives slow) and used the utility to update to F.31.

Possibly important note: the computer restarts, then has about three false starts where everything spins up and the computer turns itself off and then on again. I waited to see what it would do because I did not want to risk bricking the thing with a bad BIOS write, and it did come back and boot back to Windows after three restarts.

However, it was all for naught because the system still does not at all recognize m.2 SATA devices.

FWIW it could be this m.2 “keying” issue they’re talking about over here:

Those people do not know what they are talking about…
The issue we are trying to trouble shoot is SATA M.2 SSD, not NVMe SSD.
The box will accept NVMe SSD of any key type, but will only negotiate at 2x. Not a big deal, still super fast.

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A post was split to a new topic: HP 290-p0043w BIOS update issues

To make things very clear for folks like me who are hazy on the difference between NVMe SSDs and SATA M.2 SSDs:

M.2 SATA SSDs (e.g. a Kingston A400 240G Internal SSD M.2 2280) do not work in the HP 290.

In other words, if it’s not described as an NVMe SSD, it’s not gonna work.

This Velocity Micro blog post provides some background on M.2 SATA SSDs and M.2 NVMe SSDs.

And, as noted before, both m.2 slots each have two PCIe lanes, not four as many slots on other boards will have.