ProLiant Servers (ML,DL,SL)

Add additional SATA drive to ML 350p without buying cage

Occasional Advisor

Add additional SATA drive to ML 350p without buying cage

I have a ML 350p with one SAS cage all populated with SAS drives. I see that I have two additional SATA connectors (three total) available on the board. The first SATA is connected to the CD-ROM drive. I am looking to just add cheap and raw storage and want to buy a single standard 4 TB SATA drive. Can I just attach it directly to one of the SATA connections and use the molex power? How should I mount it? I was thinking just double sided tape into the one of the empty bays.

Is there any place internally to mount another hard drive (either 2.5" or 3.5")? What's the best option?

Lastly, does the new SATA drive have to go through the SmartArray storage controller?


Frequent Advisor

Re: Add additional SATA drive to ML 350p without buying cage

@JustinK101- the short answer is "yes!" - at least for a ML350p G8 server.. I would assume the short answer would apply to other generation of server.

Now for the long and juicy answer.

Connecting SATA drives is easy. All you need is a SATA data cable and perhaps a 4-pin Molex to SATA power adapter. The ML350p G8 server will recognize the drives during boot-up. Make sure the drives have S.M.A.R.T. capabilities or you may encounter problems during POST. Create partitions as you would any other drive, whether it's a boot partiion or just extra storage.

Mounting the SATA drives is difficult. The G8 server has an optional "Media Kit" that I think was designed for tape backup and optical drives. You can it for SATA drives though. Here is my post on how I did it.

Let me know if the link doesn't work. You may have to scroll down a bit to see my "Solution".

Avoid using double-sided tape. You will never get it off unless you use strong and harsh solvents. Get a "Media Kit" or find some way to bolt the drive to the computer chassis. Bend some scrap sheet metal into whatever shape you need and get some bolts from the hardware store. It may not look pretty inside but who can tell once you put a cover over it? Just make sure it is secure.

The G8 server has what I think is a SATA I port - not SATA II or SATA III. Expect best maximum speeds of about 150 MB/s under ideal conditions. Maybe the G9 and G10 have faster ports?

I found the SATA ports great for backup drives. Like you I added a 4TB drive and I run a nightly backup to that drive while I am sleeping. Works great!