I recently purchased an HP Microserver from DABS, the cashback offer (now extended until 31st Jan 2012) and additional discounts and cashback available via Quidco made it a compelling offer (after cashback and discounts it has cost me approx. £120).
Anyway, it arrived with a 250GB Seagate drive installed in bay 1 of the 4 bay drive array, and I immediately started thinking about moving the drive into the empty optical drive bay to give me 4 free bays for RAID 0/1 storage.
I used Ebuyer for the parts because DABS were out of stock. This is my kit list:
|Description||Ebuyer quick link|
|Startech Metal 5.25 To 3.5 Inch Drive Adapter Bracket||124153|
|Xenta LP4 Molex MALE to Serial ATA SATA Power Adapter||158874|
|Xenta Serial ATA 2.0 to Right Angle SATA 7-pin Cable (Red) 61cm / 24″||151962|
In retrospect, a left-angled SATA cable might have been better, such as this one here, because the one I purchased interferes with the CMOS battery, in the end, I used the right-angled end on the drive as it turns out that there is enough room for a straight connector to fit into the motherboard connector.
First open the drive bay door and remove the top part of the case by unscrewing the thumb screw at the rear and sliding it forward and off:
Connect the Molex power adaptor to the spare Molex plug, this gives us a SATA style power feed for the HDD:
Take the SATA cable and if you have a left-angled one, use that end, if not, use the straight end (like I did). If you remove the plug to the fan you can get at the SATA connector on the motherboard without having to remove the motherboard. It’s a bit fiddly but you should be able to insert the connector into the SATA connector on the motherboard. I removed all the disk caddies from the 4 drive bays to give me a bit more room:
In this picture, you can see how my straight SATA connector has just enough room:
Don’t forget to reconnect the fan:
Route the SATA cable up through the case:
Now remove the 250GB drive from drive bay 1 and remove it from the plastic caddy, this should be straightforward enough. I actually inserted a 1TB Western Digital Green drive (WD10EARS) into bay 1, I will add another one later.
With the 250GB drive now free, attach the adaptor brackets to each side, I used the screws that came with the brackets:
Now screw in the 4 mounting screws that will allow the bracket to be slid into the optical drive bay. I actually used the 4 “ODD” screws that are stored in the drive bay door:
Now attached the power and SATA cables to the drive:
Now slide the drive into the optical drive bay until it clicks into place:
The drive can be removed at any time by pressing on the lever to unlock it:
Now power on the system. I had to make some BIOS adjustments before my system would boot, I am not sure if you will need to do this but no harm in checking.
When I went into the “Boot” menu and selected “Boot Device Priority”, the only drive listed was the 1TB WD Green drive, but this did not have an OS installed on it, so the system would not boot.
To fix it, go to the “Boot” menu and select “Hard Disk Drives”:
On my system, the 1TB drive that I had now in bay 1 was listed as the 1st drive and the 250GB drive (with the OS on it) I had just moved into the optical drive bay was listed as the 2nd drive. So I selected the 1st drive and hit enter, a menu pops up and allows you to select which drive you want to be the 1st drive, so I selected the 250GB drive:
Back on the “Boot Device Priority” screen, the system now listed my 250GB as the boot drive, which is the one that had the OS installed on it:
Now I hit F10 to save and reboot, the system booted from the 250GB drive in the optical bay and Windows started first time:
Apparently, the on-board SATA connector does not support AHCI mode with the standard BIOS, meaning that the 250GB drive is operating in IDE mode and therefore will be running at a lower data transfer rate. The way to fix this is to flash the BIOS with a custom one that enables AHCI to be enabled on the on-board connector, but to be honest as I’m only going to use it as the OS drive I am not that bothered and will stick to the standard BIOS for now.
As you can see, I am running Windows Home Server 2011, I had to install it off an external USB disk drive which I first had to make bootable, as I didn’t have a DVD drive I could use. If I get around to it, that will be the subject of another article.