Is my Alienware M18xR2 dead? SATA connector fried

Discussion in 'Alienware 18 and M18x' started by I_AM_MUSTANG, Sep 13, 2020.

  1. I_AM_MUSTANG

    I_AM_MUSTANG Notebook Guru

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    Ok, cool, so I have some options. I could just get a decent size mSATA, and use the DVD drive for one of my 500GB SSD’s.

    Is it possible to clone my existing SSD onto the new mSATA?


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  2. Maxware79

    Maxware79 Notebook Deity

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    Yeah it should be possible but I've never cloned a drive, I always prefer to do fresh installations.
     
  3. I_AM_MUSTANG

    I_AM_MUSTANG Notebook Guru

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  4. Maxware79

    Maxware79 Notebook Deity

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    Looks to be right
     
  5. I_AM_MUSTANG

    I_AM_MUSTANG Notebook Guru

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    Hi,

    Just thought I'd let you know that the HDD caddy worked a treat. I bought a 480GB mSATA and put a 500GB SSD in the HDD caddy in the CD/DVD drive like you suggested.

    So glad to have the computer back up and running. Now just trying to sort out the GPU (had to remove it because of POST issues), need to reinstall unlocked A11 BIOS and get a modded driver for the 980M.

    Many thanks for your suggestion an help, I really appreciate it.

    Many Thanks

    Mustang
     
  6. Azther

    Azther Notebook Consultant

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    no problem, glad i could help :)
     
  7. Flugschildkrote

    Flugschildkrote Newbie

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    Hi,

    I think you are lucky your PC is still alive. The burned pin looks like the 3.3V power rail was shorted to ground. (you can see the connector pinout on this picture https://drive.google.com/file/d/1VLFUS7KmGgeOEMFBtF4u1d_rud8cypv5/view?usp=sharing)
    This could have destroyed the 3.3v chip on the motherboard (like it did on my motherboard).
    For now your computer is working, but you don't know what caused it to malfunction (most likely the HDD cable was somehow damaged).
    As the connector is now damaged, I could cause further damage to the board and most likely kill the 3.3v rail (not now but maybe in the future, no 3.3v = dead motherboard).
    If you don't want to replace the connector (you can find new one here https://fr.aliexpress.com/item/3288...earchweb0_0,searchweb201602_,searchweb201603_) I strongly recommand to at least remove the damaged connector, and clean the burned spot.

    Also, if you want the full speed of your SSD, you may want to replace the original HDD1 an HDD2 slots, because other SATA slots (including mSATA and Optical Disk Drive (ODD)) are only running at SATA 2.0 speed. But this may not really impact performance depending on your use case.

    Anyway, glad to see your PC alive again !
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2020
    Maxware79 likes this.
  8. Maxware79

    Maxware79 Notebook Deity

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    That's what I have done. My board was still functional using the mSata but I got my hands on a replacement HDD cable and board connector. The board is currently with a repair guy who has been trying to remove the old connector but during the process he has lifted a connector tab from the board so I'm not sure how he is going to fix that.

    I am in the process of arranging an MXM to NVMe adapter with a few of the other guys on this forum which will supposedly give us full NVMe speeds so it may be time to give up on the plan to revive the 2.5" drives.
     
  9. Flugschildkrote

    Flugschildkrote Newbie

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    If the guy lifted a single black, red, or orange pin, that's no big deal, these pin are duplicated on the connector anyway. If the pins are ones of [0] or [1] datelines, he may be able to retrace the connexion to little components on top of the connector. But if the pin is on the [2] data line, that may be complicated because this line is routed directly to the PCH chip. But you will still be able to use at least 2 of the 3 slots. (I am referring to this picture for the connectors and data lanes names https://drive.google.com/file/d/1VLFUS7KmGgeOEMFBtF4u1d_rud8cypv5/view?usp=sharing)

    That could be fun, but even if you get the adapter working, wouldn't the bios need modification ?
     
  10. Maxware79

    Maxware79 Notebook Deity

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    Thanks for that info. I'm waiting for him to send through a photo of the lifted tab so I'll post that if he ever sends it through.

    Apparently the adapter has been proven to work and I don't think any BIOS mod is required. I guess I'll find out when it arrives.
    @Baddemichl is the man so he should be able to confirm this.
     
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