I bought a HP ProLiant DL180 Gen9 server in 12LFF drives configuration. Now I'd like to put two additional 2.5" SATA drives inside the case to serve as system drives.

As there isn't a default spot for that inside the case, I thought on using this. It fits nicely as you can see on the image

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Also, I've ordered another riser cards, so I can fit both of these brackets.

Now, as this is a 12LFF configuration, it comes with P840 controller (in the lower-right corner).

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It also has embedded B140i controller on the system board (below the P840). I bought the cable to connect SATA disks to a Mini-SAS port on the B140i.

Remaining part is to somehow power these additional drives.

Some DL180 models can be stuffed with an optical drive (though this on cannot, but the system boards are/should be the same). Documentation shows that the optical drive power and the hard drives power come out from the same port (go back 3-4 pages). The port and the connector are here.

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Those 5 unused pins made me think they are "reserved" for that optical drive.

The real question is: can someone help me to figure out the pin-out of the remaining pins? A friend of mine and I have disassembled the whole casing, took the system board out in hope of finding the power lines on the bottom side of the board, but it looks like they are in some middle layer. The last resort is to find pin-out by using a voltmeter, but I don't know if I could make something let out the blue smoke :)

Advices? Hints?

Thanks in advance,

closed as off-topic by HopelessN00b, GregL, TheCleaner, Jenny D, Ward Feb 8 '16 at 16:45

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "Questions should demonstrate reasonable business information technology management practices. Questions that relate to unsupported hardware or software platforms or unmaintained environments may not be suitable for Server Fault - see the help center." – HopelessN00b, GregL, TheCleaner, Jenny D, Ward
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  • 4
    Why are you trying to mod this server? This is wholly unsupported and defeats the purpose of buying server-class equipment. – ewwhite Feb 8 '16 at 16:01
  • Those 2 additional hard drives are to serve as a system drives. The budget is not that great, but the storage space needs are. I couldn't find an affordable server with dedicated 2.5" slots inside the case, hence the modding. But it isn't some mumbo-jumbo modding. It's using existing stuff for a bit different purpose... – geewid Feb 8 '16 at 16:09
  • You can create a system volume on the main drive array. – ewwhite Feb 8 '16 at 16:18

What's the real goal here?

If you're just trying to get a pair of disks separate from the main drive array, why not use a PCIe SSD?

Otherwise, you're butchering perfectly good and serviceable equipment and increasing the risk profile of the system by making bad modifications.

The other approach to get a system drive or space out of an HP Smart Array is to create multiple Logical Drives on the same array. Most people don't know this is possible, but you can have multiple logical drives of the same or different RAID levels on the same Array (group of physical disks).

That's how this should be done if you intend on using the hardware RAID controller to its full potential.

There are really cheap PCIe SSDs that can work for you. There's even a better bracket option that can work.

enter image description here

But I was trying to illustrate that you don't have to waste two slots for the system drives. It's possible to make multiple logical drives on the same array using HP's tools.

  • As I've already stated in previous comment, "The budget is not that great, but the storage space needs are.". Why not PCIe SSD? Expensive as hell... I don't think I'm butchering anything... There are free PCI slots - I'm using them; there are free Mini-SAS port on RAID controller - I'm using them; there is power available on the board - I'm using it. The front drive slots are to be populated with 6TB drives, in a RAID 6 configuration. I don't want to waste 2 6TB slots for a system drives. That's the main point here. – geewid Feb 9 '16 at 10:20
  • Also, I don't get you... Why so much hate? I asked for a help with figuring out a connector pin-out on some server board, not to hear moral lectures. On the other hand, I wanted to show you guys the full story behind the pin-out question. Though it would be more interesting for you to answer on that than some plain connector issue with no background story... – geewid Feb 9 '16 at 10:23
  • @geewid The point was to inform you that it is possible to create logical volumes on your main disk array to hold the system drives and your data. But the other point is that there are better PCIe brackets and adapters out there, too. See my edit above. – ewwhite Feb 9 '16 at 13:17
  • I'm aware of the logical volume possibility, but thanks anyway. I've already bought two of WD Red 1TB 2.5" drives for this purpose. Front will be populated with Red Pro 6TB drives. These system drives will also host some virtual machines, so I wanted to leave P840 to deal with NAS storage load only and to use embedded B140i for system storage load (which would otherwise remain unused). Btw, Delock has a pretty good German quality stuff. This bracket has hot swap support, so no hassle with drive replacement like on the one you suggested. – geewid Feb 9 '16 at 13:58
  • You may run into issues using non-HP drives, too... Gulp. – ewwhite Feb 9 '16 at 19:17

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