02-01-2012 12:23 PM - edited 02-01-2012 12:41 PM
This essentially is a note about the best 2.5" to 3.5" drive/SSD adapters I have found for use with these HP workstations.
The form factors of 2.5" hard drives and SSD's are very similar, and for our teleradiology work we have settled in on a Seagate "hybrid" 2.5" hard drive which is comprised of 500GB conventional drive, and 4GB of SSD-like flash memory that the drive loads with the most commonly used software components. This is the 500GB version of the Momentus XT, with good review at this site: http://www.anandtech.com/show/3734/seagates-moment
This drive has given us a very significant improvement in performance over conventional drives. Pure SSD drives are faster, but these fit our needs at much lower cost. These don't need TRIM, and work equally well in our XPPro32-bit and W764-bit installs. How to mount them in the HP green plastic sleds used in the xw workstations? Use of a SSD would be virtually identical with these adapters, but noise is not an issue for them.
Attached are two pictures, one with 4 options and the drives out, and one with my favorite two adapters, with drives mounted, in the workstation. The descriptions below refer to the pic with all four out of the workstation:
Favorite: Top left, blue anodized strong aluminum alloy with the synthetic rubber blue grommets adding noise reduction in addition to the gray grommets built into the HP green plastic sled's metal attachment points. Those metal attachment point pegs slip perfectly into the threaded holes in the blue aluminum extensions, and thereby this adapter also could be screwed into a conventional 3.5" hard drive bay. Same for all the rest of them. Name, source and cost: This is an OWC Multi-Mount, with web site http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Other%20World%20Com
Second Favorite: Top right, also from the same company, is a more rigid cast high quality metal frame with SATA to SATA adapter that centers the drive more to the left in the bay. You can see in my second picture that the combo of the blue one above and the black one below lets the SATA cables hang nicely. The short wires between the two power attachments are not having to be tight, either, with that arrangement. I like the Molex brand latching red cables from Mouser.com, and I noticed that this one's SATA attachment at the rear end of the green circuit board SATA adapter did not have the lips that allow the latching latching mechanism to work. They have a newer version out now with a red circuit board SATA adapter that may have that upgrade, but I am not sure on that. The nice snug Foxconn SATA connectors that HP uses work great on that adapter. The metal is nicely powder coated, high quality and the sides are slightly over 1/4" thick in height, so this is substantial. The power coating is thick and insulates the bottom of the drive from the metal. It is called the AdaptaDrive and the web site is http://eshop.macsales.com/item/NewerTech/ADPTADRV/ and the cost is $20.00.
Third Favorite: Bottom right, a Western Digital IcePack mounting frame, and those come with the Velociraptor 10k RPM drives which are 2.5" form factor, mounted in that frame to perfectly match a 3.5" form factor. Those can be hard to find, but go for about $25.00, are heavy, and supposedly aren't so great in noise reduction. Note how it shifts the power/SATA attachments to the left, similar to #2 above. That can be handy rather than a detriment if you start with #1 above and #2 or #3 below. PDF attached, from Western Digital.
Cheap, and it works: Bottom left, and made by Thermaltake, a good name. It has room to mount two stacked atop the other, but I mount only in the top position for good ventilation. Note how the drive connectors are recessed forward towards the front of the HP green plastic sled. You cannot use right angle SATA cables for these, but straight ones will work fine, and curve downwards to the motherboard out the rear of the drive bay. This one is strong, cheap, and offers excellent venting. It shifts the drive connectors towards the middle of the bay, as in #1 above. It is fine if you only are going to use one drive total, or if you have both drives recessed this way, but the wire length between the top and the bottom drive power connectors is quite short, and to have one recessed and one out at the more normal position would be a tight fit. That is the Thermaltake AC0014, $10.00 at Newegg.com.
Those latching cables..... they come in 0.5 and 1.0 meter lengths, and are made by the Molex company, so you know the quality is excellent. I get them from Mouser.com, and they have both straight-straight and right angle-straight ones, latching at each end. These are about $2.50 each, and we don't have loose SATA connections if we use these. Source is Mouser.com, and there is a PDF attached, with these cables at the bottom, and the right angle ones represented by figure Q at the top. A+ quality, and they're on page 1359 of the Mouser catalog currently online. The latching ribs are built into the top inside face of virtually all of the SATA connectors at the rear end of modern hard drives, SSD's and optical drives these days.
08-12-2012 10:09 AM
Great post! One thing, how did you get AHCI to work? AHCI bios loads but it says the my System drive is being controlled by the RAID BIOS.
I do have a RAID 0 with LSI not eh ESB RAID. IS ter wa y to disbale teh ESB RAID bios so teh drives will use AHCI only? xw9400.
08-12-2012 10:07 PM
I can get AHCI, and AHCI + RAID, drivers loaded in XP Pro from the very lowest level of OS install via the F6 driver install via floppy drive. Then I update them with the latest from Intel, which is out in late 2010.
In my experience you can't go back on an install of XP and load the AHCI or AHCI + RAID drivers after the fact... that is a waste of time. I just start over, set BIOS correctly, and hook up an outside floppy drive for proper F6 install.
In contrast, you can do a retrospecitive fix with W7, after the fact, as posted previously. And, you can update them too.
You want at least AHCI drivers if you are using modern SATA hard drives.
I have no experience with xw9400........
09-10-2012 09:40 PM
(if my post was helpful, please "mark as a solution" or give "kudos" - thanks)
09-11-2012 04:41 PM - edited 09-11-2012 04:45 PM
Happy to help. I'm assuming of the two types that OWC offers (NewerTech is a subset of OWC) you liked the AdaptaDrive rather than the Multi-Mount (pictures attached). That runs about 25.00, which is about what you'll pay for a WD IcePack. See below for a nice deal off eBay at 20.00/IcePack, shipped.
The AdaptaDrive is very nicely made, and does position things to the left more (just like the Western Digital IcePack that originally was intended to mount the 2.5" Velociraptor 10k RPM drives).
If I could choose between the two with the more leftward positioning of the power/data connectors I'd always choose the Western Digital IcePack mounting frame. Those can be hard to find, but I have bought dead velociraptors off eBay just to harvest those from. That has the special newer SATA-standard recesses that let you use latching SATA data and power cables. Latching is not so necessary if one has the HP Foxconn SATA cables that do a great job..... nice tight fit.
Here's some sources for the IcePack:
Best price right now that I could find, 9/12, with free shipping. At that price I'd go with it over the two from OWC:
09-11-2012 05:50 PM
Only two products work for those cases of the ones you listed: WD IcePack and AdaptaDrive.
For SSDs, it seems that AdaptaDrive is a more elegant option, so I am getting those from OWC. Plus, because I sell systems to the Feds (among other places), I have to be careful what I buy, i.e. avoid grey market items. It looks like WD IcePacks are all "grey" - not sold officially by WD in retail other than to OEMs.
Thanks again Scott!
(if my post was helpful, please "mark as a solution" or give "kudos" - thanks)
09-20-2012 02:38 PM
WD IcePacks are available directly through HP Parts and HP PartSurfer.
HP Part Number 619242-001
The part is described as "Hard drive carrier assembly - For 3.5-inch hard drive mount into optical drive bay" but you can view the photo to see that it is the WD IcePack. Four screws are included that require a Torx T8 driver.