m.2 cell NIC for HP t730?

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tomsliwowski

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Jul 23, 2019
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Does anyone know if there are 4G LTE or 3G m.2 keyed NICs that would work on an HP t730 thin client?

I'm running pfSense on mine and was thinking of using the m.2 network slot for failover purposes if the WAN goes down.
 

mb300sd

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Aug 1, 2016
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Unfortunately no one makes a M.2 extender with a SIM slot. I wanted to put one in my laptop in the second NVMe slot but no luck.

I use this for 4G backup though, https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B01MQRHQW4/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o02_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 Have it powered over PoE on a seperate VLAN, and connected to a RaspberryPi running WireGuard so I can still get in if my connection or router goes down. Free 200MB monthly plan so I pretty much use it for emergency access if I screw up my network config remotely.
 

t730joe

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Aug 9, 2019
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Found this on Amazon for the NIC's (https://www.amazon.com/tekit-Converter-Adtapter-Support-Network/dp/B07JK3VTZQ?th=1). I'm also building a t730 pfSense. Mine came with no OS and it's been a massive pain in the arse. The BIOS is password protected which prevents me from updating the BIOS and UEFI. I tied removing the cmos battery & cmos jumper... didn't work. Did your's come that way also? Can you offer any tips for getting around the P/W?

Does anyone know if there are 4G LTE or 3G m.2 keyed NICs that would work on an HP t730 thin client?

I'm running pfSense on mine and was thinking of using the m.2 network slot for failover purposes if the WAN goes down.
 

tomsliwowski

New Member
Jul 23, 2019
16
2
3
Found this on Amazon for the NIC's (https://www.amazon.com/tekit-Converter-Adtapter-Support-Network/dp/B07JK3VTZQ?th=1). I'm also building a t730 pfSense. Mine came with no OS and it's been a massive pain in the arse. The BIOS is password protected which prevents me from updating the BIOS and UEFI. I tied removing the cmos battery & cmos jumper... didn't work. Did your's come that way also? Can you offer any tips for getting around the P/W?
Sorry, I just saw this now.

Mine came with the BIOS locked but resetting it was simple. I just removed the jumper labeled PSWD/E49 which is near the battery. Powered the system on and allowed it to POST. I then powered the system off, put back the jumper and powered it on again. The password was gone and I could do whatever I needed to the BIOS
 

WANg

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Jun 10, 2018
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Does anyone know if there are 4G LTE or 3G m.2 keyed NICs that would work on an HP t730 thin client?

I'm running pfSense on mine and was thinking of using the m.2 network slot for failover purposes if the WAN goes down.
Not only is it M.2, it's M.2 Key E. This is the slot inside the machine:



The cards that you are looking at are all Key B, which will not work.

My guess is that you'll want a Key-E to mPCI adapter like the one above, then an mPCI WWAN card.
 
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DanielWood

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Sep 14, 2018
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Not only is it M.2, it's M.2 Key E. This is the slot inside the machine:



The cards that you are looking at are all Key B, which will not work.

My guess is that you'll want a Key-E to mPCI adapter like the one above, then an mPCI WWAN card.

Ugh. If you REALLY want to use a M.2 modem, such as a Sierra Wireless EM7455, you'll need:

M.2 E to MiniPCIe:
https://www.amazon.com/NGFF-Mini-PCI-Adapter-Cable/dp/B07JFYSNVL

MiniPCIe + SIM to M.2 B:
https://www.amazon.com/tekit-Converter-Adtapter-Support-Network/dp/B07JJGSRY6

This only applies if you REALLY want the LTE Modem to be internal. It is only using the USB pins anyways, so putting it in a external USB enclosure is exactly the same. Dont bother with USB3, there is no performance benefit till 5G hits the market.

If you want to read up more on LTE modems, my GitHub is a good resource:
danielewood/sierra-wireless-modems
 

tomsliwowski

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Jul 23, 2019
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Ugh. If you REALLY want to use a M.2 modem, such as a Sierra Wireless EM7455, you'll need:

M.2 E to MiniPCIe:
https://www.amazon.com/NGFF-Mini-PCI-Adapter-Cable/dp/B07JFYSNVL

MiniPCIe + SIM to M.2 B:
https://www.amazon.com/tekit-Converter-Adtapter-Support-Network/dp/B07JJGSRY6

This only applies if you REALLY want the LTE Modem to be internal. It is only using the USB pins anyways, so putting it in a external USB enclosure is exactly the same. Dont bother with USB3, there is no performance benefit till 5G hits the market.

If you want to read up more on LTE modems, my GitHub is a good resource:
danielewood/sierra-wireless-modems
Thanks, this was more for my boss who wants an internal solution. I'd be fine with the dongle.

Another question, have you figured out how to update the system BIOS from like either an SSH shell or through the system BIOS directly? The pfSense box is running L43 v01.05 but according to HP, the current version is 1.15 and it seems there were some BIOS enhancements done in the releases since the initial one.
 

WANg

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Jun 10, 2018
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Thanks, this was more for my boss who wants an internal solution. I'd be fine with the dongle.
Another question, have you figured out how to update the system BIOS from like either an SSH shell or through the system BIOS directly? The pfSense box is running L43 v01.05 but according to HP, the current version is 1.15 and it seems there were some BIOS enhancements done in the releases since the initial one.
Well, you can just use one of the internal USB ports for the dongle...

Hm. This is precluding a FreeDOS thumb drive, right? You could in theory extract the ROM image from FreeDOS, boot into a decent Linux Live image (pmagic is the one I pay for and use) and use flashrom to do the job, BUT that's some risk involved.
 
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tomsliwowski

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Jul 23, 2019
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Hm. This is precluding a FreeDOS thumb drive, right? You could in theory extract the ROM image from FreeDOS, boot into a decent Linux Live image (pmagic is the one I pay for and use) and use flashrom to do the job, BUT that's some risk involved.
I'm open to pretty much any approach. The install notes (Driver - HP t730 Thin Client | HP® Customer Support) are windows only and seem geared for flashing within a Windows environment.
 

WANg

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Jun 10, 2018
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I'm open to pretty much any approach. The install notes (Driver - HP t730 Thin Client | HP® Customer Support) are windows only and seem geared for flashing within a Windows environment.
Oh, there's a way to do it within the BIOS - just decompress the exe file - it should have instructions like this one. I think all you have to do is format a USB drive to FAT32, copy the contents there and have it be present to the machine upon bootup.

The HP Thin Clinet supported by this Softpaq provides a BIOS upgrade option through Computer setup (F10) using the “Flash System ROM” feature. Reboot the thin client and press F10 to enter Computer Setup. In the File menu, select the “Flash System ROM” item. This method requires that a Recovery USB flash drive be present which containing the BIOS binary image file and flash utility in the Hewlett-Packard folder. The Recovery USB flash drive image can be created by the L43_0115.exe in Windows environment. If a BIOS Setup password has been set, the password will be required before being able to access the "Flash System ROM" menu. The user is notified when the process is completed. The new BIOS code will not take effect until the thin client is restarted. The L43_0115.exe can be found in the Win folder.
 
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tomsliwowski

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Jul 23, 2019
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Oh, there's a way to do it within the BIOS - just decompress the exe file - it should have instructions like this one. I think all you have to do is format a USB drive to FAT32, copy the contents there and have it be present to the machine upon bootup.

The HP Thin Clinet supported by this Softpaq provides a BIOS upgrade option through Computer setup (F10) using the “Flash System ROM” feature. Reboot the thin client and press F10 to enter Computer Setup. In the File menu, select the “Flash System ROM” item. This method requires that a Recovery USB flash drive be present which containing the BIOS binary image file and flash utility in the Hewlett-Packard folder. The Recovery USB flash drive image can be created by the L43_0115.exe in Windows environment. If a BIOS Setup password has been set, the password will be required before being able to access the "Flash System ROM" menu. The user is notified when the process is completed. The new BIOS code will not take effect until the thin client is restarted. The L43_0115.exe can be found in the Win folder.
Thanks, That worked!

upload_2019-9-14_21-59-14.png

The only issue was that the L43_0115.exe application won't run on a non-HP Thin Client. Thankfully my wife's computer is also a t730 and I was able to do the USB device thing there.

For anyone who doesn't have a windows equipped t730, the application seems to copy the Hewlett-Packard
folder that's within the ToolLess folder of the compressed executable you get from HP. You then just reboot with the USB inserted, hit F10 to get into the BIOS and the thing does the update.
 

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WANg

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Thanks, That worked!

View attachment 11930

The only issue was that the L43_0115.exe application won't run on a non-HP Thin Client. Thankfully my wife's computer is also a t730 and I was able to do the USB device thing there.

For anyone who doesn't have a windows equipped t730, the application seems to copy the Hewlett-Packard
folder that's within the ToolLess folder of the compressed executable you get from HP. You then just reboot with the USB inserted, hit F10 to get into the BIOS and the thing does the update.
Oh, the exe file is actually nothing but a Windows self-executing zip file (oh lord, HP....why you want people to download that stuff in the year 2019 is way beyond me and my security guy's numerous drinking-related ulcers) - you can usually just feed it through p7zip/unrar/unzip/Keka (MacOS) to decompress it.