Norco hot-swap trays - Source for M3 screws for mounting 2.5" drives?

stewartjm

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I've been trying to cleanly mount an SSD in a Norco RPC-4224. I have been unable to locate a source for 3 to 5 mm length M3 screws, with heads that are small enough to fit properly in the bottom of the current model Norco hot-swap trays.

Standard 4mm M3 screws typically have a head which is around 5.6mm in diameter, and about 1.5mm thick. I need screws with heads around 4.5mm in diameter, and about 0.5 mm thick.

I have 4 screws, which came with an optical drive 2.5" HDD caddy. They work perfectly for mounting an Intel SSD in a Norco hot-swap tray.

The picture below, shows the HDD caddy screw on the left, and a standard DIN 965 M3-0.5 4mm screw on the right. Does anyone know where I can find more screws like the HDD caddy screw?

M3_screws.jpg
 
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leagle

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I've been searching for those same screws for use in a Chenbro drive tray. I hope that someone knows where to find them.
 

stewartjm

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Doesn't Norco have them on IPCDirect (their site)?

The screws on the Norco site have 6-32 threads, with smaller than standard heads.

What type of drive is the smaller head one? Just curious.

As far as I know, all 2.5" drives use M3 screws, and all 3.5" drives use 6-32 screws. The trick here is finding an M3 screw with a non-standard head size, which doesn't stick out too far beneath the bottom of the norco hot-swap tray.
 

john4200

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You misunderstood. A screw drive type is Phillips, slotted, hex, Torx, etc.
 

vr.

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As far as I know, all 2.5" drives use M3 screws, and all 3.5" drives use 6-32 screws.

A 1.44 MB floppy is a "3.5 drive" and those use the fine thread. Just sayin. :)

This is a 6-32 with a narrow head which you don't want, right?
Supermicro part MCP-410-00005-0N Screw bag (100 pcs) and label for 24x hot swap 3.5" HDD tray $3.92 @provantage.com
46662.jpg


This MCP-410-00006-0N has the fine thread
mcp410000060n.jpg

but I'd swear the head didn't seem that obnoxious as this google image when I was attaching them all. Guess they could be? But that image also looks like it could be torx drive and they certainly were not torx. I'm going to have to look at the head size closer.
 

john4200

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vr:

Interesting find, Supermicro MCP-410-00006-0N, under accessories - screw bags:

http://www.supermicro.com/products/accessories/index.cfm

but the only description Supermicro has is "Screw bag (100 pcs) and label for 24x hot swap 2.5" HDD tray".

It is a good bet that they are M3 screws, since that is what standard 2.5" HDDs use. But that picture

http://webshop.schneider-consulting...x-HDD-mit-Aufkleber-MCP-410-00006-0N-100-Stck

makes it look like they have standard head diameter (around 6mm), although the countersink is undercut by a lot, so the head height is quite low (it might not even have any countersink, it kind of looks like a very thin pan-head or cheese-head). If you look at the other picture on the Schneider consulting site, with a pile of the screws, the drive looks more like Philips than Torx to me.

I'm sure stewartjm knows that he can use an Icy dock adapter to mount a 2.5" drive in a 3.5" hot-swap tray, but that seems like overkill when the Norco tray already has mounting holes for a 2.5" drive, and all that is needed is the right size screw.
 
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Blue Fox

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Supermicro 2.5" trays mount to the sides of the drives, not the bottom like the Norco ones, so there could be a difference? Not having a 2.5" drive currently in front of me, I can't say with certainty, but it is a possibility.
 

stewartjm

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stewartjm

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This MCP-410-00006-0N has the fine thread

...

But if you're trying to put an ssd into a norco chassis you could use these:
http://www.amazon.com/2-5-3-5-Ssd-sa.../dp/B001KN8PSK

The MCP-410-00006-0N about as close as I've seen, picture wise. But eyeballing them I think that head might be just tad too wide to fit into the Norco tray's countersunk hole.

The icydock might work in a pinch, though I'm worried that it won't quite get the drive exactly where it needs to go in relation to the backplane, especially height wise. It's hard to tell from the pictures. Also it's rather expensive per drive. Though unlike the screws, it's readily available for purchase...
 

rbm

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If it were me, I'd investigate the possibility of enlarging the chamfer on the screw hole to match the M3 screw I have available. I'd do the following:

1. Mount the drive in the bay with the four screws.
2. Remove one screw at a time.
3. Take a countersink or small drill of the same diameter as the head of the M3 and enlarge the countersink both in the Norco frame and 2.5" drive until the screwhead sits flush. replace the screw.
4. Repeat for the other three screws (if necessary).

This should work (given stewartjm's picture above) but it will take away a part of the thread on the drive. This is not detrimental as there are plenty of threads available after the operation to secure the drive. The tricky part will be finding a suitably small countersink (best option) but the grind angle on a correctly sized metal bit is close to the chamfer on the screw.

UPDATE: It just occured to me that you could place a small flat washer between the drive and Norco tray to act as a spacer. Then, just enlarge the chamfer in the tray until the head of the screw is flush. Then when you mount the drive, the washer spacer negates the need to drill partially into the 2.5" drive. Just a thought.

- Robert
 
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vr.

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The icy dock seems to align correctly for most 3.5 applications:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l36Cq_SdIKI

The Supermicro MCP-410-00006-0N screws are under $5 at several online vendors.
But if you're not willing to take a gamble for that price I'd be willing to send you a couple I have left over, provided you're in the US.
 

stewartjm

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If it were me, I'd investigate the possibility of enlarging the chamfer on the screw hole ...

... you could place a small flat washer between the drive and Norco tray to act as a spacer. ...

- Robert

The first plan would likely work mechanically, the main possible issue being the thinness of the bottom of the caddy, it looks like it's between 0.5 and 1 millimeter thick(which is just barely thicker than the non-tapering part of the standard screw head). But, even if it did work, I think it would make warranty replacement of the modified drive a bit too interesting. :)

Spacers would likely lift the drive up far enough that it would have trouble meeting up with the backplane. I can force the drive in with standard screws. I makes nice grating noises, and either doesn't plug in, or requires enough force to plug in that it's a bit scary.

Another thing that would likely work would be to grind down the heads of the standard screws. But that sounds like way too much work, for a sub-par result.


The icy dock seems to align correctly for most 3.5 applications:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l36Cq_SdIKI

The Supermicro MCP-410-00006-0N screws are under $5 at several online vendors.
But if you're not willing to take a gamble for that price I'd be willing to send you a couple I have left over, provided you're in the US.

I was thinking it would use the drive's connectors, but thanks to the video, I see it replicates them in the proper location. That would almost certainly work in the Norco trays.

Re: supermicro screws. It. looks like I can get them from Provantage for about $9 shipped, that's not bad. Though I already have a useless bag of standard M3 screws here, and once bitten, twice shy. I am in the US, I'd gladly paypal you a dollar or two for 8 to 16 screws, if it's not too much trouble.
 

Metaluna

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Those M3 screws look a lot like HD mounting screws used in a lot of laptops. You might try searching for laptop HD screws.
 

stewartjm

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Those M3 screws look a lot like HD mounting screws used in a lot of laptops. You might try searching for laptop HD screws.

They're readily available on ebay among other places. I have some of them, I had rejected them as having a too thick head. But I just tried them and they're closer than the standard M3s, they only stick out about 2/3rds as far. Much fewer grating noises upon insertion, but still a tad harder to plug into the backplane than the proper sized screws. Another fallback plan :)
 

rbm

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...
Another thing that would likely work would be to grind down the heads of the standard screws. But that sounds like way too much work, for a sub-par result.
Grinding the flat of the screw would be work with very little benefit.

Examining the photo again, it seems to me that the manufacturer has dimpled the screw holes anyway, which effectively raises the drive 0.5mm or so above the chassis. What about chucking the M3 screw into a drill and filing the head until the diameter of the head is the same as the dimple. that would take all of about 1 minute to accomplish. Would the screw sit deeper in the chassis and then clear the insertion mechanism?

- Robert
 

john4200

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Grinding the flat of the screw would be work with very little benefit.

Examining the photo again, it seems to me that the manufacturer has dimpled the screw holes anyway, which effectively raises the drive 0.5mm or so above the chassis. What about chucking the M3 screw into a drill and filing the head until the diameter of the head is the same as the dimple. that would take all of about 1 minute to accomplish. Would the screw sit deeper in the chassis and then clear the insertion mechanism?

I don't think he meant grinding the flat of the screw -- I think he was suggesting the same as you, to decrease the diameter.

The standard DIN965 M3 screws have two issues preventing them from fitting the Norco hotswap trays:

1) The head diameter is too large

2) The head height (thickness) is too large

As you suggest, 1) can be solved with a rotating chuck (like a drill or Dremel) and a file. Fixing 2) is more difficult to accomplish with hand tools, but fortunately those Supermicro screws look like they are already undercut, so they only need to have the head diameter reduced. That is what I would do if I needed a few more of those screws (but not a lot, I wouldn't want to do 100 of them!)

By the way, the Norco trays do not raise the drive over the inside sheet metal surface. The holes are flush on the inside. On the outside, the holes are countersunk (what you called "dimpled").
 
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nitrobass24

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Yea, im not sure those will mount flush with the tray though.
I would suggest these. M3x4mm Stainless Steel Flat Head Machine Screw DIN 965

Considering you get like 15 for $1 i would get a couple of things if you really wanted to be sure. Shipping is going to cost more than the actual screws.
 

john4200

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No, DIN 965 screws are no good (they will stick up). Those are exactly like the one pictured in the original post on the right. The ones I mentioned have head diameter less than 5mm, and head height less than 0.5mm.
 

stewartjm

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I would suggest these. M3x4mm Stainless Steel Flat Head Machine Screw DIN 965


The silver screw in my first post is a DIN 965 M3-0.5 x 4mm and it's head is too large, both in thickness and in diameter.

But...

Great find, Nitro!
I think the M3x3.5mm SIlver OEM Wafer Head may be the best fit for the Norco trays:
http://www.laptopscrews.com/M3x3.5.htm

Those sound like they might do the job, really thin head(0.35mm, though not countersunk), and a small head diameter too(4.5mm). I'll be ordering some Monday if something closer hasn't been posted by then. This is by far the best match I've seen for sale. Awesome, thanks!
 

vr.

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I can still send you these Supermicro for comparison. No need to paypal anything just let me know where to mail them.

img7142s.jpg
 

stewartjm

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I received some Supermicro MCP-410-00006-0N screws from vr today. And while they stick out a teensy bit, they seem to work just fine. No significant scraping or scary force required to get the drive plugged in. I may order more of Supermicro screws, instead of the small 3.5mm laptop ones. Though I'll post again if do try the laptop ones.

Thanks all for your help.

Both of the screws in this picture are the Supermicro screws. The hole on the left has a slightly wider/deeper countersink. Which is why the one one on the right sticks out further. I looked at a few of the Norco trays, and the holes appear to be like that on all of them.
 

john4200

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I may order more of Supermicro screws, instead of the small 3.5mm laptop ones. Though I'll post again if do try the laptop ones.

For anyone considering trying those laptop screws, you should be aware that they come with a fairly thick coating of blue paint on part of the threads.

I just received some, and I found it impossible to drive the screw into good-condition M3 threads, due to the paint. The Phillips drive depression in the screws is not very deep, and I tried a #0, #1, and #2 Phillips screwdriver, and as careful as I was, the screwdriver kept "camming" out of the drive depression.

When I get a chance, I am going to try soaking the screws in acetone or turpentine to see if it can dissolve the paint. But I don't have any good solvents handy, so it will be a few days before I get around to picking some up.
 

stewartjm

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For anyone considering trying those laptop screws, you should be aware that they come with a fairly thick coating of blue paint on part of the threads.

I think the purpose of the blue paint is to make them less likely to come loose over time due to vibration and such. Doesn't help if you can't get them in though... Hope you find a solvent that works, since it would be useful to know how they fit.

What shape is the head on those screws? Are they like most laptop screws(pan head I think), but thinner? Or do they have a tapering underside like the super-micro and the 2 I posted pictures of.
 

Metaluna

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When I get a chance, I am going to try soaking the screws in acetone or turpentine to see if it can dissolve the paint. But I don't have any good solvents handy, so it will be a few days before I get around to picking some up.

Acetone might work. What you've got there is thread locking compound, i.e. a mild adhesive similar to Loctite 242, but formulated to dry to a hard coating on the screws so that they can be shipped with the stuff pre-applied. Anyway I've had mixed results removing it with acetone, but that's because I'm usually trying to remove stuff that has already been "activated" and hardened to its final form (threadlocker doesn't bond untill it's sandwiched between metal threads and cut off from oxygen).
 

john4200

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What shape is the head on those screws? Are they like most laptop screws(pan head I think), but thinner? Or do they have a tapering underside like the super-micro and the 2 I posted pictures of.

As far as I can tell with a 10x magnifier, the head is flat on both sides, so it is not a pan-head (which is flat on bottom but slightly rounded on top). I think it is best called a cheese-head, a very thin cheese-head. The laptopscrews website calls it a wafer-head, which sounds good, but I have not seen that name used in the standard handbooks.
 

ryanrhee90

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My apologies for reviving a dead thread, but I'm facing a dilema identical to stewartjm's.

I received some Supermicro MCP-410-00006-0N screws from vr today. And while they stick out a teensy bit, they seem to work just fine. No significant scraping or scary force required to get the drive plugged in. I may order more of Supermicro screws, instead of the small 3.5mm laptop ones. Though I'll post again if do try the laptop ones.

Thanks all for your help.

Both of the screws in this picture are the Supermicro screws. The hole on the left has a slightly wider/deeper countersink. Which is why the one one on the right sticks out further. I looked at a few of the Norco trays, and the holes appear to be like that on all of them.

When you say "No significant scraping or scary force", how much scraping and or force are we talking? Also, did you ever happen to order more of the Supermicro screws / laptop ones?

I realize that the icy dock adapters will solve my problem, but with 8 drives, this becomes an unnecessarily expensive solution.
 

stewartjm

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When you say "No significant scraping or scary force", how much scraping and or force are we talking? Also, did you ever happen to order more of the Supermicro screws / laptop ones?


The scraping was in comparison to standard M3 screws. The Supermicro screws slide right in, with no significant difference compared to sliding in a 3.5" drive.

I was happy enough with the Supermicro screws that I bought some a few months ago, when I needed more. I've had no problems using them to mount 2.5" SSDs in 3.5" Norco hotswap trays/bays. Though I did see somewhere on this forum, that some newer Norco trays may be missing some or all of the 2.5" mounting holes, so far I have not experienced that issue myself.

I have still not tried the laptop screws mentioned in this thread.
 

ryanrhee90

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Thanks stewartjm, I'll be ordering those supermicros, and I'll be sure to check for those mounting holes on my tray.

Can't wait for my new RAID card and SSDs... :D
 

GeorgeHR

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Short set screws in the holes to hold the drive in place.. A bit of adhesive to hold the drive to the frame.
 

surgeinc

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Sorry to bring this thread back to life again almost a year later but I had a question.

For those of you who have bought smalls M3 screws do any of you have calipers to measure the head diameter? I'm looking for a set of screws to go into my IBM 2.5" Hotswap Trays and the milled holes are god damn non standard. They measure JUST less than 5mm on the average. I've included a photo to kind of illustrate it.

http://f.cl.ly/items/2l3W342j1i0R3k231O2c/drive tray.png

edit: Spelling. Honestly, I can't type this week.
 
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