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SATA drive into SAS drive - can I change in Dell Precision system?

Posted on 2013-12-18
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Last Modified: 2016-11-23
Hi,
We have a Dell precision, which we think has a hard drive problem (intermittent blue screens - even from safe mode, and it failed the Dell diagnostic on one of the hard drive tests once out of two runs)

I opened it up and noticed that although a SCSI drive, it actually had an adaptor that converts SATA connectors into a SCSI connector.

With that in mind, can I just plug a SATA drive into it and use that instead?

I just wonder though as I assume there is some kind of SCSI controller present, will it confuse the system if I plug in a SATA drive?

Thanks in advance.
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Question by:afflik1923
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7 Comments
 
LVL 33

Expert Comment

by:PowerEdgeTech
ID: 39727562
Which model Precision is this?  Some had SCSI and cheap SATA controllers; others had SATA and SAS.

Remember that there is a big difference between SCSI and SAS ... even though SAS stands for Serial Attached SCSI, there is NO other similarities or compatibilities between the two.
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Author Comment

by:afflik1923
ID: 39727573
Dell Precision T5500.
And opening it up as I did before, I did notice the cabling looked shoddy with spare / loose cables all over the place.
I did believe this is a SAS, but the model number of the hard drive is:
MBA3300RC

Thanks for the prompt response.
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LVL 33

Assisted Solution

by:PowerEdgeTech
PowerEdgeTech earned 333 total points
ID: 39727598
That model does appear to be a SAS drive:
http://www.amazon.com/Fujitsu-MBA3300RC-3-5-Inch-300GB-Drive/dp/B001DZEKV6

SAS is backward compatible with SATA and you can attach either type to the SAS connectors, however, the controller may not allow you to mix them on these connectors, and you'd be better off attaching it to an onboard SATA port.  Typically, on a SAS 6/iR, you could mix drives as long as you didn't try to put them in the same array, but I'm unsure of any additional limitations the "onboard" SAS 6 might have (we are talking about slots on the motherboard and not a card that the drives are connected to, right?
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Author Comment

by:afflik1923
ID: 39727617
Hmmm, If only I could find it that cheap in the UK. Would be easier just to buy another.

As for the connection, when I opened up the precision it was connected by a cable, but I did not trace if that cable went back to the motherboard or a controller card of some kind. I just know there was a lot of cables, and one was marked SATA that was not connected. Maybe I will re-open and study. but hopefully there is some way of attaching a standard SATA drive, even if I have to by pass the controller card.
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LVL 33

Assisted Solution

by:PowerEdgeTech
PowerEdgeTech earned 333 total points
ID: 39727635
Don't quote me, but I believe if it is using an "integrated" SAS 6 controller on the motherboard, that two of the slots will be for that controller and the other slots will be for standard SATA, so you should at least be able to plug it into one of the SATA ports.  

Like I said, you may be able to plug a SATA drive into the SAS port while it is already running a SAS drive on that controller, simply using the drives in non-RAID mode.

If the drive is connected to a PERC 6 card, then you can also attach a SATA drive to it (or to the onboard SATA) - you would just have to set it up on the controller as a single-disk RAID 0,. since the PERC does not support non-RAID.
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Accepted Solution

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andyalder earned 167 total points
ID: 39733670
You won't get cheaper than £45, http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/like/111226421523?lpid=83&device=c&adtype=pla&crdt=0&ff3=1&ff11=ICEP3.0.0&ff12=67&ff13=80&ff14=83&ff19=0
You can even sell the unneeded caddy for a couple of quid after taking the disk out of it.
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Author Closing Comment

by:afflik1923
ID: 39743463
Thanks for the input
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