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Muz_G
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Message 1 of 20

Lenovo 510s tower: adding SSD, how to supply power? (Mini 4-Pin, SATA power cable)

I've just bought an Lenovo IdeaCentre 510s Intel Core i5 Processor 8GB 2TB Tower.  I also purchased a Samsung 256 GB SSD with the idea of installing the OS and my programs onto that and then using the 2 TB as storage for videos, photos etc.

 

I've looked at this clip as a tutorial as to installing the SSD.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8JOxKSkkdMM

 

At 1:40 it says 'look for an unused power cable'.  That's where I've run into trouble because, unless I'm mistaken, Lenovo have decided that that is not supplied.

 

I'm surprised this machine does not have piggy-baked power supply.   I've come onto the forum and seen this cable suggested.  https://www.moddiy.com/products/Original-IBM-Lenovo-Mini-4%252dPin-to-2-x-SATA-Power-Sleeved-Cable-%...

 

It appears to be the cable I need.  Could anyone please confirm that this cable is suitable for the machine I have bought?

 

Still amazed Lenovo would do this.

 

Thanks in advance.

 

Mod:  edited Subject line to supply correct system type and problem description (after splitting from thread in ThinkCentre forum.) 

 

 

SeniorGuru
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Message 2 of 20

Re: Lenovo ThinkCentre M910s - Mini 4-Pin to 2 x SATA Power Cable

This thread is for the ThinkCentre M910s, not the IdeaCentre 510s (tower, in your case).  So you've asked your question in the wrong place.

 

However it does appear that the cable you're looking at is once again the correct cable for this job, since looking at the HMM for the IdeaCentre 510s tower that there are once again two 4-pin SATA power connectors on the motherboard which is what this cable expects.

 

It appears Lenovo is taking this onboard SATA power sockets approach on their newer motherboards, same as onboard SATA data controller sockets are the norm.  This allows for very clean and easy after-market hardware upgrades adding additional SATA devices, letting users connect and arrange power and data cables just as they might want, all in plain sight.  The previous method (where they would install just one additional "spare" SATA power connector in the halfway along on one of the extra-long fixed power cables coming out of the PSU and with its end connector going to a factory-installed SATA hard drive or SATA optical drive, with the excess cable length folded up inside the chassis) was really less flexible and much more inconvenient. Perhaps the lengths of available cable were inadequate to reach the secondary additional SATA device you wanted to install, and at the very least you had to reach into the chassis and pull out and unfold the factory-provided length of power cable... , possibly disconnecting the end going to the factory HDD/ODD and hoping the exposed lengths for both connectors would then be correct to go to both of the SATA devices it needed to reach.  Honestly, daisy chain of power connectors is always more clumsy than direct single-end connector cables directly between power source (either PSU or socket) and device.

 

So instead, Lenovo has actually just replaced the previous one spare power connector on the folded up PSU power cable with two spare 4-pin power connectors on the motherboard itself.  Much easier to get to, much better location, two of them... all that is needed is the right cable if you want to make use of the additional two SATA power connections.  Lenovo actually has the right 4-pin cable for use, but it's a FRU item (for factory installs of secondary SATA devices or field technician replacement/repair) and is not CRU available to customers.  But the retail available 3rd-party versions of this cable are identical and perfectly acceptable for use here.

 

That cable should work fine for you.

Muz_G
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Message 3 of 20

Re: Lenovo ThinkCentre M910s - Mini 4-Pin to 2 x SATA Power Cable

Thank you and apologies for posting this in the wrong area.

 

I notice you say that

 

"So instead, Lenovo has actually just replaced the previous one spare power connector on the folded up PSU power cable with two spare 4-pin power connectors on the motherboard itself.  Much easier to get to, much better location, two of them... all that is needed is the right cable if you want to make use of the additional two SATA power connections."

 

Except that the the two 4 pin connectors on the motherboard are already occupied.  One for the HDD and one for the DVD player.  There are no spare power conections.  (In case there's confusion I'm speaking about the 4 pin connectors on this cable https://www.moddiy.com/products/Original-IBM-Lenovo-Mini-4%252dPin-to-2-x-SATA-Power-Sleeved-Cable-%...)

 

Unless I am missing additional 4 pin ports that are located elsewhere on the motherboard.

 

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Message 4 of 20

Re: Lenovo ThinkCentre M910s - Mini 4-Pin to 2 x SATA Power Cable


@Muz_G wrote:

Except that the the two 4 pin connectors on the motherboard are already occupied.  One for the HDD and one for the DVD player.  There are no spare power conections.  



A SATA power splitter cable is often used in situations like this, they are avail. in various lengths:   6in Latching SATA Power Y Splitter Cable Adapter

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SeniorGuru
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Message 5 of 20

Re: Lenovo ThinkCentre M910s - Mini 4-Pin to 2 x SATA Power Cable

Really?  You're saying Lenovo used these motherboard power connectors for their factory-installed HDD and optical drive???  Remarkable.  I've never seen the inside of your 510s machine, so my apologies for not knowing that.

 

Does that mean there are no actual power cables coming out of the PSU that have SATA power connector(s) and are connected to the factory-installed HDD and optical drive?  I guess you've already anwsered that question by stating that the two motherboard connectors are already used for those power connections, but it's hard to imagine that this would imply zero usable power cables coming out of the PSU itself!! Amazing.

 

This is astonishing to me, since I thought the two motherboard power connectors were reserved for use by the user, for add-on after-market additional second HDD/SSD, rather than for use by Lenovo.  If Lenovo used them up for their factory-installed HDD and optical drive then you wouldn't be able to power your own added SATA drive other than by use of a SATA power Y-splitter cable like BiggAl pointed to, which would work fine as a workaround.

 

I still can't believe that the PSU itself has no usable power cables with SATA power connectors on it, as these would normally be factory connected to the factory installed drives.

 

SeniorGuru
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Message 6 of 20

Re: Lenovo ThinkCentre M910s - Mini 4-Pin to 2 x SATA Power Cable


@Muz_G wrote:

Unless I am missing additional 4 pin ports that are located elsewhere on the motherboard.

 


Well, I was thinking of the two SATA power connectors identified as (17) in the picture of the 510s tower motherboard below.  Are you sure you're not describing the SATA controller (i.e. SATA data) connectors being currently occupied, which are (16) in the picture below? 

 

There are three of them, for three SATA devices, and since you have two SATA devices installed by Lenovo (i.e. HDD and optical drive) that would mean two of these three SATA controller "data" connectors SHOULD be occupied, cabled to the SATA data connectors on the back of the HDD and optical drive.  So one of these three should still be open, for you to connect to your own added second HDD/SSD with a SATA data cable.  And your added second HDD/SSD should have been able to get its SATA power through a SATA power cable connecting to one of those two 4-pin SATA power connectors, which again I am astonished are not both open and available to you.

 

510s_motherboard.jpg

Muz_G
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Message 7 of 20

Re: Lenovo ThinkCentre M910s - Mini 4-Pin to 2 x SATA Power Cable

Both 4 pin ports denoted on the schematic as 17 are occupied.  One for the DVD, one for the HDD. 

 

2 of the ports denoted 16 are occupied.  (I do not have access to the machine at the moment but I believe they power the HDD and the dvd.)

 

There is one spare 16 power port which I can use to power the SSD but that still leaves no way to connect the 15 pin connector from the SSD back to the motherboard without using the after market cable linked in the post above.

 

I am working away this week but back on Thursday.  I will take some photos and post them up.

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Message 8 of 20

Re: Lenovo ThinkCentre M910s - Mini 4-Pin to 2 x SATA Power Cable

No need to bother posting pictures.  Your descriptions are perfectly clear. Except I sure would like to see what the PSU in your 510s looks like, to see what happened to the AT LEAST TWO power cables (with SATA power connectors at the end) I would surely have expected to be coming out of the PSU for connection to the nearby HDD and optical drive.  I really can't believe Lenovo grabbed the two motheboard SATA power connectors for these drives, leaving no free one for you to use to add a second HDD/SSD drive.

 

But you have the purpose of the 16 and 17 sockets backwards.  17 is for power, and 16 is for data.  Each SATA device needs two cables going to it, one for power and one for data.  So that's why you have the two 17 sockets occupied and two of the three 16 sockets occupied, since you have two SATA devices needing both power and data cable connections.

 

The one remaining free 16 socket is for data, so you need a SATA data cable to go from that free third data socket to the data connector on the new Samsung SSD you're wanting to add.  Standard SATA data cable, like this one.  Typically the right-angle "locking" end goes to the drive and the straight end goes to the data connector socket on the motherboard.

 

Anyway, if the PSU really has no power cables coming out of it, and if the two motherboard 4-pin power SATA sockets already have two cables in them running to the existing HDD and optical drive, you will simply need to get something like the 6" cable that BiggAl pointed to earlier, which is a 6" Y-splitter for producing two SATA power connectors from the one which is at the drive end of the existing Lenovo cable that has the 4-pin connector going to the motherboard at its other end.  I don't know if that 6" cable will give you enough length to connect to the two drives the Y will then go to inside the case, but if it's too short just buy a longer one like this 12" version which maybe is the easiest one to order and be absolutely certain it will work.

 

The cable from MODDIY that you pointed to originally is only appropriate for use if you really did have an available 17 SATA power socket on the motherboard, but you don't.

Muz_G
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Message 9 of 20

Re: Lenovo ThinkCentre M910s - Mini 4-Pin to 2 x SATA Power Cable

The cable from MODDIY that you pointed to originally is only appropriate for use if you really did have an available 17 SATA power socket on the motherboard, but you don't.

 

Thanks again.  I see I have the cable uses around the wrong way.  Thanks for the clarification.  But nevertheless isn't that the idea of that cable listed above then?  It's a piggy-backed power supply cable coming from the motherboard at the point marked 17? 

 

https://www.moddiy.com/products/Original-IBM-Lenovo-Mini-4%252dPin-to-2-x-SATA-Power-Sleeved-Cable-%...

 

IE: You plug the 4 pin in at 17 and then it powers both the HDD and the SSD with the two 15 pin connectors.   (Just another way of doing the same thing with the Y'splitter you have linked.) I hoping so anyway as I ordered the one I have linked in this post last night.  It's no big deal if I need the other one as I can get that one locally.

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Message 10 of 20

Re: Lenovo ThinkCentre M910s - Mini 4-Pin to 2 x SATA Power Cable

Oh... you're absolutely correct.  Two ways to skin that cat and I didn't even think of doing it that way.

 

Obviously we want to end up with three SATA power connectors to three SATA drives, and either (a) a single cable with 4-pin at one end and two SATA power connectors down the cable in order to add the third required device connector, or (b) stick with the two 4-pin cables with single device connector at the other end and then add the Y-splitter to one cable's SATA connector end in order to produce two SATA power connectors from one... either way gives you three total SATA power connectors for the three devices.

 

The only issue is length of cables required to reach all three devices from the two 4-pin connectors on the motherboard.  You can go with either approach, you're correct.

 

But still, you haven't answered the big question yet.  Is it genuinely true that the PSU has zero power cables (with SATA power connectors at their end) coming out of it?  It's just a PSU providing power through the motherboard to the two 4-pin SATA power sockets?  No cables on the PSU itself??  Amazing, if true.  Seems unfair to require the user to solve this cabling issue caused by building a motherboard that only has two SATA power sockets but also has three SATA data sockets, while simultaneously using a PSU that doesn't actually directly supply power to devices through the normal cables which would come out of a PSU!!

 

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