CF-54 second storage options

Discussion in 'Panasonic' started by razl, Mar 17, 2017.

  1. razl

    razl Newbie

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    Hello! New member but long time, multiple toughbook owner (3x F9s, a Y5, and more...) who now has a CF-54 Performance model on the way. But, I'm confused about the storage options....

    It's spec'd with a 500gb @7200rpm platter drive. I understand I can add a second hard drive but I see conflicting info on the options:

    1) the motherboard has an SATA NGFF M.2 slot - but I've seen conflicting info that if that's used, then it's soldered onto the board and it's not like it's going to arrive empty and I can just add one, is that true or not? If so, I understand that it has to be an SATA M.2 and not an NVME, correct? Also, the official options list this as 256 or 512 - is there a limitation that would prevent me from going 1tb?
    2) using a caddy - I presume this replaces the optical drive bay and, if so, it's a standard sata drive connection - is that correct?

    Ideally, I'd like to swap the 500gb platter for a 500gb SSD and then add a 512gb or 1tb NGFF M.2 - is that doable? If so, what NGFF M.2 should I be looking at that have been known to work?

    Sorry if that sounds like a noob, but appreciation in advance for any info!
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2017
  2. toughasnails

    toughasnails Toughbook Moderator Moderator

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    Welcome to the Panasonic Toughbook forum.
    Check out this thread or do a search at the top right of the page
    http://forum.notebookreview.com/threads/my-new-cf-54.783142/

    I am not sure but I think the 2nd ssd is soldered to the motherboard and must be ordered that way.
    After reading a few threads on this I might be wrong on this....
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2017
  3. razl

    razl Newbie

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    toughasnails - thanks for the pointer, that was a thread I had somehow missed. It answers the primary drive question (although interesting that his came with an SSD on purchase) but, like you said, the second drive (ssd or otherwise) question is still up for debate - like you, I've seen some say it's soldered but them some others seem to indicate it's not. Would love an authoritative answer, although once mine lands on the 24th I'll know for sure and will post back here to clear the air.
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2017
  4. Shawn

    Shawn Crackpot Search Ninja and Options Whore

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  5. razl

    razl Newbie

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    Shawn - thanks much! I had seen the first and second pic but not the third with the flap pulled up - which is my missing link! Like you said, socketed not soldered. Excellent!

    Just to confirm, I saw another post of yours (here: http://forum.notebookreview.com/threads/cf-54-doesnt-see-new-m-2-256gb-950-pro.791645/page-4 ) where you made the point that the m.2 card needs to have an SATA interface not PCIe and that samsung's 850 EVO SATA M.2 (from here: http://www.samsung.com/us/computing...te-drives/ssd-850-evo-m-2-500gb-mz-n5e500bw/# ) was reported to work just fine.

    I'm assuming that advice still holds, if so - is there any reason (bios?) why you might suspect the same thing in 1tb wouldn't work? I'm looking at this: https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?item=N82E16820147567

    I think that's my last question and again, appreciation in advance!
     
  6. Shawn

    Shawn Crackpot Search Ninja and Options Whore

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    This page shows that Panasonic offers a 1tb second drive as an option.
    ftp://ftp.panasonic.com/computer/toughbook54/toughbook-54_specsheet.pdf

    Second drive is NOT available on the Lite model

    Toughbook_54_1.jpg
     
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  7. razl

    razl Newbie

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    Excellent on both counts; I got a Performance model so it looks like I'm good to go.

    Again, thanks for your input, much appreciated. I'll chime back in here once the new bad boy has landed in a week.
     
  8. razl

    razl Newbie

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    Update - fyi: my CF-54 is a CF-54E8901KM Performance model.

    It shipped with 8GB memory. Thankfully that was a single stick and the second slot was open, I dropped in another Crucial 8GB (Single DDR3L 1600 MT/s (PC3L-12800) SODIMM 204-Pin Laptop Memory CT102464BF160B) and for $50 bumped it to 16gb - awesome.

    [​IMG]

    It shipped with an HGST Travelstar Z7K500 HTS725050A7E630 500GB 7200 rpm drive. Like the previous pictures showed there's an NGFF M.2 slot that's open (under a thin strip of insulator with "On Bord Drive" stamped on it). I popped a Samsung 850 EVO 500GB M.2 SSD with SATA III interface (MZ-N5E500BW) in it and the machine recognized it and it worked fine as a secondary drive.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    One note - the SSD has a half-hole at the non-connector end of the card (left side of the picture) where it should be screwed down. The drive didn't come with the screw and the laptop didn't have one in the hole, so I'm currently running without one. The card does want to "pop up" at the end but with the flap down and over it and sealed up, it seems snug enough for now. So far, so good.

    Note that I have NVME drives in my HP workstations and, by comparison, the EVO is clearly limited here by the SATA interface. However it's lightning fast compared to the Travelstar.

    I've cloned the HGST to the EVO and want to boot to it but, unfortunately, the BIOS boot options only have a single native "boot to hard disk" option which apparently is only to the Travelstar. The BIOS Exit Settings does have a "boot override" which does show the EVO and I can manually boot to it, but that isn't save'able - meaning you have to select it manually on each reboot. At this point that's what I'm doing.

    The BIOS does support UEFI which isn't currently installed. I'm thinking about going that route because I'm pretty sure with it I can get it to boot to the EVO and be good. Stay tuned...

    ...and, just like that - solved!

    In the BIOS boot options, under the boot order which listed the "boot from hard drive" as the only option (and was only booting from the HGST drive), is another option, the "Primary Boot Drive" where you can select the "Quick Release Drive" or the "On Board Drive". I selected the On Board Drive and, viola, that's the EVO card that I added to the On Board Drive slot above.

    It's now booting from the EVO card - awesome! fyi: after changing the bios boot mode to fast the unit fully boots to a the win7 64bit in about 10 secs total. Excellent!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 25, 2017
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  9. Shawn

    Shawn Crackpot Search Ninja and Options Whore

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    Great photos.
    Thanks for the follow up.
     
  10. acucons

    acucons Newbie

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    Hi, I recently got an EVO m.2 drive, installed it, but I am not seeing those options in BIOS. My machine is the CF-54 MK2. I dont seem to see any bios updates on the panasonic website. Any suggestions? BTW agree on the screw, it would be nice to find one as I suspect the m.2 could vibrate out under some severe use.

    Thanks!
     
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