Has HP Whitelisted / Blacklisted Network Controllers on Desktops / Servers ?

It’s very possible it’s not a whitelist/blacklist issue yet the behavior is confounding.

I have some super cheap Dell Optiplex PC that have HP NC552SFP controllers in them that work great.

HP’s z230 offering looked great for SFF units with 32GB of ECC so I purchased 3 units and 3 HP NC552SFP controllers to go with them.
The HP z230 units have the latest BIOS (L51 v01.61). None of the PCIe slots are populated in any of the z230 units.  When I install the NC552SFP in either x16 slot the units will not POST.

The power LED is solid blue and the unit gives 5 beep tones for "PnP/PCI initialization problem."

When I install an Intel 4 gigabit ports controller in the z230s it works fine.

NC552SFP are 11 watts max so they’re well within z230 power constraints.  I’ve also tried BIOS defaults and any reasonably related BIOS settings.

I knew HP used to whitelist laptop WiFi controllers and ceased doing that in 2014.  I’d never heard of HP whitelisting non-laptop units before. Yet, I see a gentleman miffed about HP whitelisting SFPs on switches as well.
These z230 units are 2013 if whitelisting/blacklisting winds up mattering. I see all the z X40 units are even marketed with 10G SFP cards.


@Cattywampus - I’ve never heard HP Ceased doing that in laptops in 2014, everyone with new HP Systems still needs whitelist removed all day long on many BIOS mod sites.
Normally when this happens with whitelist or blocked device etc, it will give you a warning on screen, something about device not compatible, remove device etc.
Do these NC552SFP work on other device where you also tested the Intel cards? Please test if you have not already, to ensure they are all at least in working condition.

In order to remove the whitelist, if it has one, I’d have to know the error presented on screen, to find which module and where in the module to edit, that’s my first question when removing a whitelist for anyone on any machine.
Since you are not getting this, I don’t think that’s the issue, since all other whitelists I’ve seen start with something on screen telling you some error, otherwise we’d never be able to remove so easily.
So, without that, I can’t even help you begin to look for a whitelist.

Try disabling secure boot, or enabling if disabled now, someone here had similar issue with graphics card and 6 beeps. If the card only has Legacy or UEFI rom on it, not both, it may only boot one way.
Or, if you have the settings visible, you can also try setting PCIE or Boot roms etc to legacy and UEFI instead of only one or the other.

@ Boot >> VGA support (Since = PCI/PCIE) only option is auto or EFI, possibly meaning no legacy, so cards used may need to have EFI based roms on them.
You can confirm this (no legacy possible) with one legacy only vBIOS’d GFX Card and one with Legacy/EFI or EFI only vBIOS.
See also >> Boot >> CSM >> Other PCI device ROM priority (Set to Legacy first and try with cards again), I think this confirms the above “Auto” can also mean legacy even though no legacy setting option.

And, unsure if this matters, or would help, and not sure if you can see it (probably not without BIOS mod) @ Chipset >> PCH-I/O >> PCIE Config >> PCI Express Root Port Function Swapping is disabled
I’m not certain what it does and google wasn’t very much help due to terms brining up other unrelated questions and info

ON a BIOS settings level, at the above location in chipset (And in System Agent/NB PCIE), for each port I also see “Detect Non-Compliance Device” disabled, but this is not how whitelist/blacklist is done but wanted to mention it since I noticed while looking around in there.

I assume you can see Advanced >> Option ROM Launch Policy, so some of what I mentioned above about legacy/EFI settings, will be visible to you here instead of where I mentioned (Currently all set to Legacy Only, but there is UEFI Option too so you may need to try that instead)


Thanks for your super thoughtful response. You’re spot on about the nature of whitelisting. I recall the behavior of a HP laptop years ago…it would POST fine but would halt on a whitelist error. This unit wasn’t POSTing at all and indeed the nature of my problem isn’t a whitelist problem at all.

I wound up discovering the solution here:


The reason it wasn’t working as actually an Intel smBus issue folks are sometimes having to work around. It’s described well here:


Again thanks a million for your super thoughtful response. Your technical chops are top notch! Have a wonderful Sunday.

@Cattywampus - You’re welcome, and thank you for posting back with the info you found, hopefully it will help someone else in the future too!
I knew that wasn’t sounding like a black/white list issue, it’s cool you found these other threads to confirm that

So, you now have yours taped off and it’s working? Hope so

Yep. After placing electrical tape over those 2 pins it’s working great. I’m even glad to get the full 10gbps speed even in a PCIe 2.0 x4 slot. Have a great week!

Awesome! And good find on that method too, thanks for sharing here hopefully it will help someone in the future