Is it possible to power sata hard disk through PCI-e?

nocloud

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I'm currently running at Dell R710 server and currently using all 6 standard drive slots in a Raid10.

I would like to add an additional drive for backup purposes and I noticed that a 750GB 2.5" laptop drive will fit between the top of the drive bay and case.

I also located an extra SATA port on the board itself which I can use.

The only thing that is missing is an appropriate power source for the extra drive.

Here are the options that I think "could" work.

1) Use the power connector that currently runs to the optical drive. However, this is not a standard 15-pin SATA power. It might be a proprietary dell connector so I may not be able to find an adapter. Also, I lose the optical drive this way which can make system recovery difficult if I need to insert a rescue disk.
2) Try to power the 2.5" laptop drive through the internal USB. While USB should be able to supply enough juice to power a 2.5" drive, I think I need some way to signal the port to supply the power. Also, I wasn't able to find an USB-->SATA power cable.

Which brings me to the final alternative...
3) Somehow power the drive through a pci-e card that also supplies SATA power.

Does such an add in card exist? I was not able to find one.

I can't be the first person who wanted to try to install an extra drive into a full server, I feel like this should be possible....
 

aphasia

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if you can't find a molex splitter power cable, you could break out the soldering iron and splice into the 12v/5v/ground wires on an existing power cable to an adaptor cable like this..
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16812201002
12-201-002-01.jpg


don't think USB has enough juice to power a mechanical HD. from memory the max power per port is 500mv.

not sure about powering a HD from PCIe tho.
 

nocloud

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Molex to SATA won't work.

On servers, the power supplies connect straight into the board and there are no Molex connectors. There are no SATA power connectors either as the drives are plugged directly into the backplane which itself connects directly to the system board.

In fact, there are zero power connectors coming out of the power supply as it plugs right into the board.
 

ripken204

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that's not correct... just go to newegg and look at the server psu's, they have molex cables.
unless you happen to have some strange psu..
what model is your psu?
 

nocloud

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i think the ones on newegg are more exceptions rather than the norm.

most servers in production environments today are dell, hp, sun, etc systems which use the hot-plug power supplies without any wired connectors.

there are no connectors whatsoever inside the machine which is why this problem is going to be tough to overcome. i might just have to end up splicing something into the USB ports.
 

nocloud

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Yea, but I'm doing this with a 2.5" laptop disk.
That only requires the 5V rail (USB) and if I use two ports, I can get up to 5W.
 

Blue Fox

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Your proposed solution of using USB should be pretty simple and straightforward. You only have to splice 2 wires if you use one of the 4 pin molex to SATA power adapters.
 

cafcwest

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How about an entire 2.5" USB hard drive? Something like the Seagate FreeAgent Go - they are quite slim. No cutting/splicing/fabrication. Plug in and done.
 

Butcher9_9

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Some times with Rack mount server there are cables running under the mobo tray, you might be able to access those and then splice in a power cable.
 

Blue Fox

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Some times with Rack mount server there are cables running under the mobo tray, you might be able to access those and then splice in a power cable.
I can't think of anything modern server that is set up that way. The Dell in question certainly isn't.
 

drescherjm

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There are several problems that make fan headers undesirable. One is they are +12V not +5.
 

nexxium

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Another option is to use a secondary mini psu, and leave it outside of the case.

Edit: And read here about the mods required to use a external psu.

Edit #2: Or even better, Use this with a sata to esata cable. This requires no mods/splices
 
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nocloud

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Just a quick update.

I managed to get the 2xUSB hack to work and effectively power a single drive.

However, I have become a bit more ambitious and am now seeking to power two drives.

Some things I found during my research.

First, the Apricorn PeDA. This add in card would have been perfect...if it was able to fit....
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16816161001

Second, when it comes to mounting the additional drives, if you are willing to sacrifice an PCIe slot, this solution works beautifully, provided you dremel some plastic bits to make it fit (not difficult):
http://www.scythe-usa.com/product/acc/064/slotrafter_detail.html
Houses up to 4 2.5 drives. If you need your PCIe slots though...you'll have to make do with taping the drives to various open spots inside the servers.

I still have not solved the power problem. The USBx2 hack only supplies 5W which isn't enough to power more than 1 drive. Obviously, you can use an add in card to get more powered USB ports and get power through a rather indirect fashion (psu->pcie->usb->sata), but this seems really non-optimal.

Another alternative I have been investigating is using this:
http://www.sybausa.com/productInfo.php?iid=844
If you couple the esatap (powered esata) ports with this
http://microsatacables.com/catalog/i143.html
You can potentially power two drives. The plus side of this approach is it also solves the SATA data port problem. However, I am not sure that the esatap card can supply 5Wx2 through the PCIe connection. That card is supposed to be used with a floppy power connector to supply additional power. I have emailed the manufacturer to see if you can supply 10W power without using the extra power connector...maybe you can, but I'm not too hopeful.

Finally, the last alternative is to steal 5v power from this cable:
http://www.txcesssurplus.com/servlet/the-6365/Dell-PowerEdge-R710-Optical/Detail
That is a slimline sata power cable that connects directly to the motherboard and optical drive. It shouldn't have the power limitations faced by USB since its coming straight from the system board, so you should be able to pull 10W or more from that line without breaking anything. However, to pull this off, I would actually have to cut that power cable, solder in a splitter, and connect the split to multiple standard 15-pin SATA power connectors.

This is doable in theory, but bad things often happen when you chain multiple devices together along the same line (noise along the line, etc).

If anybody has more ideas, I would love to hear them.
 

TeeJayHoward

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Edit: Made an ass of myself. Dell worked their proprietary magic on the R710 backplane. Lovely.

Power supplies have, if I recall correctly, 4 types of cables that come out of them - 12V, 5V, ground, and 3.3V. People generally don't use, uhm, shall we say, African-American ingenuity when it comes to servers, but you should be able to splice into any of those lines with a standard power piggyback connector and create a molex or sata power connector. It looks to me like there's plenty of room in between the backplane and the front fans to create such a monstrosity.

If you're running an R710, though, why not just upgrade the existing drives or add another unit to the rack? Pretty much anything you do short of a PCIe/SSD card (OCZ zDrive or similar) is going to invalidate the warranty on the server. Why not remove the optical drive and connect your other drive there? Whenever you need the optical drive, simply reverse the process, or use Dell's management interface to mount an ISO off a share.
 
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ChRoNo16

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You basically have 2 options with the newer dells, An external USB drive. Or depending on your business size u iscsi to a remote disk someplace else.
 

ChRoNo16

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We used R710's for all servers in the last large business I worked for. It basically comes to those two options, we used Dell external arrays actually for server backups. 5 grand can get you a decent array with prolly an easy 10tb of space.
 

nocloud

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okay, problem finally resolved!

the solution is a modified version of the PeDA card mentioned earlier with the last drive slot cut off and to transform it into a 3 drive solution that fits.
 

snagaduck

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Sorry... I know this is an old thread, but I just saw it. It's the same situation I'm running into. I found a new solution though. I'm running a 6 drive raid volume, and wanted to run my OS off of dual SSDs. I have a PCIe card for them, but it needs external sata power still. So I'm going to run the below listed solution down the chassis to the back slots.

There is 1 power plug on the motherboard you can tap into. It's the TBU plug for the DVD drive. There are splitters you can get.

Like these.

Sata only

http://www.txcesssurplus.com/new-dell-gp700-per710-motherboard-to-sata-cd-tbu-power-adapter/

sata and molex

http://disctech.com/Dell-PowerEdge-R710-Internal-SATA-Power-Adapter-Cable-Assembly-for-Optical-Drive-9in-23cm-GP700-

and then add in a sata extension cable

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16812189190

and you're set!
 

patrickdk

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This all seems overkill.

The 2wire mini-sata power connection to the cdrom drive is STANDARD.

It is a 5v + ground power connector for sata power, doesn't include 3.3v or 12v.

I would just change it out for a normal sata connector, or locate an adapter if anyone makes one, as the laptop drive only needs 5v.
 

evildre

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<edit> Shit, looks like someone linked to the exact GP700 page I linked to ... DOH
 

Warrior

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USB can power 2.5 drives... Come on people, we all have those tiny external drives that we know has a 2.5" drive in it, and it's powered by USB only...


But, OP, you need a splitter... how is this even a thread? Go to your nearest computer/radio shack and get a splitter. It's not that difficult. This is why I always chop the wires off dead PSUs, so I can make some cables later.
 

evildre

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... how is this even a thread? Go to your nearest computer/radio shack and get a splitter. It's not that difficult. This is why I always chop the wires off dead PSUs, so I can make some cables later.

TL;DR: There is no place to connect a splitter.

Details: this is what a Dell PowerEdge R710 power supply looks like: http://i.dell.com/images/global/products/pedge/pedge_highlights/server-poweredge-r710-overview4.jpg

The one on the right of the picture is what you see inside the server chassis. It connects directly to the motherboard (two connectors near the middle-left of this picture): http://www.imsales.com/graphics/servers/dell_pedge_r710_mboard.jpg

The information that snagaduck posted, specifically this link is close to, if not exactly, what nocloud needed. If you take a closer look at the bottom-middle of the motherboard, you'll notice a tiny header labeled "DVD/TBU_PWR". A stock PowerEdge R710 is equipped with this cable (closer view of the connectors here. Note that it has three connectors:
  1. SATA, which connects to the blue SATA port near the middle of the motherboard
  2. A 4-pin power connector with only two wires coming out of it
  3. A slimline SATA connector that supplies the optical drive with power and data

In the R710's stock configuration, that 4-pin connector is connected to the "DVD/TBU_PWR" header, but only to the +5 and ground pins. The Dell GP700 cable in snagaduck's link connects to +5, +12, and ground, allowing additional devices to be powered off that header.

I originally (and stupidly) bumped this thread because I was in a similar situation. I wanted to install this card in a PowerEdge R710 II -- the late revision with support for 130W X5600 series Xeons (though the server in question has two X5650s, which are 95W parts). The StarTech card's manual states that the SATA power connector is optional and must be used if one plans on connecting 2.5" port-powered drives to the card; the website (and my experience with the card) say that you absolutely need power to the card in order to get it to recognize anything, even the most basic Logitech optical mouse. As the GP700 cable is only $10, I ordered one and ran a 6' Molex-SATA cable that I had laying around to the card at the back of the server, and it works beautifully.

As a result, I now have an R710 with 10GbE (Intel X540-T2), USB 3.0, and 6Gbps SAS (for use with three PowerVault MD1200 enclosures loaded with 12 4TB disks each). I can plug something like a Buffalo DriveStation Quad/Ultra 6/Ultra 10 into it and copy the data from the PowerVault RAID to external media for offsite storage at a somewhat reasonable speed.

So, in summary, that GP700 cable snagaduck linked is the solution here, as it allows you to keep the server's optical drive and connect/power another SATA device.
 

evildre

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your telling me there is not even 1 single source of SATA or molex power anywhere that can be split?

there has to be 1 single legacy molex that you can connect it to

http://smile.amazon.com/dp/B00F04JM...TF8&colid=34WFHY0I22OGR&coliid=I1S541QYCNVT49

That little 4-pin connector at the front of the motherboard is the only power source that can be split, and that's using the GP700. There are no Molex connectors. Those would have to be on the motherboard or internal storage backplane. I posted a link to the motherboard - no Molex there.

The backplane was available in 6 or 8 drive configuration (3.5" and 2.5", respectively), and it doesn't have 4-pin Molex connectors on either side. Front has the SAS/power connectors, back has power cable (proprietary connector, as far as I can tell) and SAS connectors that go back to the integrated SAS HBA/RAID controller at the bottom of Riser 1 on the left side of the chassis.

Note that a lot of this is from memory, as I've worked with (and continue to work with) both Gen I and II R710s in both 6- and 8-disk configurations. I need to Google for photos, of course :) And, for the record, this is the R710 II I was upgrading prior to installing the GP700 and Molex-SATA cable:

RDZcZ6z.jpg


Drives are popped out to speed up the boot process (RAID card can't detect disks if they're not there). USB key is connected to the internal USB port to run diagnostics, as the BMC was reporting errors with CPU1 (turned out to be a bad memory module in slot A4), and because it's easier to reach from my chair than the ports on the back of the chassis. Front panel display is orange because only one power supply is plugged in. Chassis open button is taped down to prevent the BMC logging a chassis open alert.
 

AlienTech

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Well I have seen SSD cache cards which can accept 2-4 SSD's as cache drives connected to the PCI-E card itself.. So I am sure it can be done.. Also to supply 200w to graphics cards PCI-E has special power lanes to do it.. SSD's dont require more than 10w for all 4 drives so it is a simple matter.. But I have not seen a power connector for the drive on the card itself to power a drive.. although I think you could use an extension cable to split the power/data cables into 4 internal drives.. But do remember, they are only 5V and not 12V required for 3/5 hard drives.. although the PCI-E lanes also use 12V I dont think the cache or more sata port cards are designed to allow that kind of usable.
 

Flapjack

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I wanted to jump in and say thanks to all who contributed to this thread. I needed to power a small SSD for a L2ARC cache drive for a FreeNAS server. Of course, in the end, the best advice (and cheapest) is to get the GP700 cable.
 

boss6021

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I personally have a Dell R710 server, and ran into this same issue. My solution was to use the USB header located internally above the drives to power an additional boot SSD. You can either purchase a USB to SATA power adapter, or like I did, just make one.

I apologize if this has been suggested already. I didn't have time to read the whole thread before having to jump on a work call.
 

Flapjack

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I wanted to jump in and say thanks to all who contributed to this thread. I needed to power a small SSD for a L2ARC cache drive for a FreeNAS server. Of course, in the end, the best advice (and cheapest) is to get the GP700 cable.
Got the GP700 cable today and it's working beautifully. I only wish I could stick that SSD in the optical drive slot...

 
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