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T570 - Failed M.2 NVMe PCIe SSD - Can WWAN M.2 SSD SATA III be the primary (and only) storage device

2020-01-29, 23:36 PM

I am a Thinkpad T series Fanboy having owned half a dozen myself and purchased several dozen for family members / friends over the last three decades (each unit lasting 5yrs or more).  My current T570 (just turned 2 yrs old).. could be my last one.  What has happened to the indestructible ThinkPads??!  Sorry, rhetorical question. 


My T570 is unfortunately out of warranty and has both the primary SSD failure and the well known Thunderbolt issue.  I can live without the Thunderbolt but cannot do much without a working storage drive. 


Upon inspection, the SSD failure is not the SSD itself but the connector on the motherboard which is quite literally sliding freely on the surface of the PCB.  Yup, you read that correctly, all solder joints for the connector pins to the PCB pads have failed and the connector is free floating in the mechanical strain relief rails. Never seen a complete failure like that in all my years designing and working with electronic systems.    


This clearly explains why my beloved ThinkPad stopped booting and why the BIOS cannot see the M.2 NVMe SSD.  This also means I cannot swap in a HDD or other form factor SSD (at least that is my belief since they appear to all use the same motherboard connector just with different cables).  SOP would be to replace the motherboard to the tune of $1200 if I could find one, which at the moment is no longer available and wouldn't make much sense since a new laptop isn't that much more.


From the specs and knowledge base, it appears my currently unoccupied WWAN can be used for storage expansion (namely a M.2 2242 SATA III SSD as secondary storage).  


My question is:   

Could the WWAN be used as the primary (and only) storage device thus replacing my dead PCIe pathway?


If so, is there a capacity limitation?


I understand there will be a performance hit going down to the SATA III from PCIe but that's better than being stuck with a $3000 paper weight.


Thanks in advance.



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Re: T570 - Failed M.2 NVMe PCIe SSD - Can WWAN M.2 SSD SATA III be the primary (and only) storage de

2020-01-30, 1:52 AM

Hello and welcome,


You'd probably rather have an answer from someone who has a 570, but I believe the answers are yes and no.  In my experience with a T25/T470 an SSD in the WWAN slot is bootable, and there isn't a capacity limit.  The 128GB the base spec was what Lenovo offered in that slot. It wasn't  a size limit.





Oh, BTW, I did some googling and there are motherboards available with prices all over the map.  Even one claimed "new" on eBay for $170US. Don't know if it is an nVidia board.


also FWIW...

The large print: please read the Community Participation Rules before posting. Include as much information as possible: model, machine type, operating system, and a descriptive subject line. Do not include personal information: serial number, telephone number, email address, etc.

The fine print: I do not work for, nor do I speak for Lenovo. Unsolicited private messages will be ignored - questions and answers belong in the forum so that others may contribute and benefit. ... GeezBlog


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