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How to enable SATA ports 5 and 6 on B120i Controller?

Mark Litin
Mark Litin asked
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Last Modified: 2016-10-05
HI, and thanks for any assist.

I'm configuring a HP ProLiant ML350e Gen 8 server for a client, and I would like to set it up with three RAID 1 arrays, - one for the boot and  (80GB SSD), two for application and user/company data (2 x 500GB), and two for backup (2x 2TB)

The on-board Array controller is a B120i with six SATA ports.  I've installed the pairs for system and data in slots 1-4 which are recognized, and I was able to create the corresponding arrays.  However the 2TB drives in slots 5 and 6 did not appear to be powered up, and as such, I was unable to set them up.

I have seen that the card holding the SATA connectors is powered and has two connector ports, only one of which is connected via a cable connected to the mobo.  I have looked for. and have not been able to find what I assume will be a riser card and corresponding cable to connect to the second port and connect the drives.  Please see the photo included for what I see.

Am I correct in my assumptions?  And if so can anyone identify the parts needed to connect drives 5 and 6 so that they can be used?

Thanks so much.  I've looked for a day and have not seen what I need.
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Mark LitinOwner



Perfect!  Thanks.

What I was looking for.

Ordered and on the way.


andyalderretired saggar maker
Distinguished Expert 2019

I see that it's answered already but subscribing anyway since I'm not sure at all that this will work. Hopefully it does, if not then do post back.
Mark LitinOwner


Unfortunately, it did not seem to work.

I installed the break-out cable connecting the SAS connector to the remaining connector port on the b120i controller card, and then cables 0 and 1 to the only two SATA ports on the mobo (temporarily disconnecting the DVD drive).  Then I booted into the Array controller setup (F5), and the controller did not see the drives.  So I booted into the OS  and went into server manager, where additionally, they were not found.

I wonder what is necessary to get the two drives online,  and set up as an array.  Can I not do it with the b120i controller on this system?  I wonder if it is only possible if the optional cache is used to then use the drives 5 and 6  in a RAID 5

Thanks for any guidance.
Casey WeaverManaged Services Windows Engineer III

I can't quite understand what you did. It seems that you went from the SAS connector on the B120i to the mainboard? You need to go from the b120i to the backplane on the drive holding cage where you've put your two extra drives. Can you take any pictures?
Mark LitinOwner


Hi Casey
You are correct in your conclusion that I connected the SATA data cable to the mainboard SATA connectors.

The 2 extra drives are connected to ports 5 and 6 of the b120i controller, and there is no way that I have determined with the drives connected there to connect anything else either to the drives or the controller since the drives connect to both power and  data ports when inserted there.

Thanks again for your follow-up.
Casey WeaverManaged Services Windows Engineer III

For the heck of it try connecting the other two connectors instead (2/3 instead of 0/1). I'm not sure how that second SAS port  is wired on that backplane so it may be using the other two cables instead.
andyalderretired saggar maker
Distinguished Expert 2019

According to the quickspecs at http://h18000.www1.hp.com/products/quickspecs/14340_div/14340_div.pdf

Six (6) Hot-Plug (LFF) SATA Drive Bays
NOTE: A SAS controller is required to support 6 LFF drives. Otherwise, only 4 SATA
drives are supported with the embedded controller.

It does say elsewhere though that the embedded controller supports 6 drives so you could try them loose with a normal SATA cable. It may be that it only supports 6 drives if the RAID stack is disabled in BIOS.

N.B. The photo you've called rear of B120i is actually rear of the backplane, the B120i is the Intel chipset fakeraid controller running HP's RAID stack.

Cheapest proper Smart Array controller is about $500 plus you'd need a SAS cable, would make more sense to put a cheap PCI SATA card in it and mount two of the drives in the 5.25" bays at the top of the machine.
I know this is an old thread.  I'm curious about how to use the B120 controller as well since it's there and doing nothing.

This isn't a mission critical system, just something I picked up used and cheap.  I'm using the P420 controller for my normal 8 drives.  The B120i controller isn't being used at all except for the dvd.

Could I use that same cable (SAS to 4 SATA) and then go to an external backplane?  I know I'd have to violate the integrity of the case by running the cables out through the back.  It seems in theory that I could use the DVD sata connector, the second sata connector on the MB, and that cable and run 6 externals in  raid outside of the case.

I have tried pulling the cable from the dvd and connecting to just a plain 2.5" HD.  The controller and windows see it no problem and I can use it.  But it clearly throws off the system because the fans ramp up and never settle back down, so I know I'd still have to pick up decent drives

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