11

I need to connect my hard drive from my Lenovo T470p to my desktop, but it uses this wierd connector. It looks like the standard wide SATA, but there's no break in the middle.

Top pinout

What's this called, so I can get an adapter for it?

From straight on it looks like this:

Straight-on view

Note the pins on both sides.


As requested, here are pictures of the drive enclosure and M.2 drive.


Enclosure

M.2 drive


Bonus points: female connector on the computer side. Note the three pins on the right side as well. Also visible in the straight-on picture of the drive.

Female connector

5
  • 4
    I bet the SATA drive is sitting in that tray and you can remove it from that and then connect it via a standard SATA connection. Things like this are fairly common in laptop setups; kinda like a bridge connector. – Giacomo1968 May 14 '18 at 16:43
  • 3
    Actually, I believe it's an M.2 drive in there. Since I'll have to order an adapter either way, I'd rather do less disassembly than more. – Cullub May 14 '18 at 17:22
  • You might be able to get a SAS connector in there. Specifically, the SFF-8482. – Bob May 14 '18 at 18:02
  • 1
    Looks somewhat like SFF-8639, but not quite. Please provide a photo of the SSD on top of the construct. – Daniel B May 14 '18 at 18:08
  • Personally, I would do less adapting then more, so m.2 drive -> motherboard m.2 socket or m.2 drive -> PCIe adapter card -> motherboard PCIe slot feels better than m.2 drive -> drive sled -> mysterious adapter -> motherboard. – twisteroid ambassador May 15 '18 at 7:54
23

This is a "SATA Express" connector, something which never got much interest due to M.2 and U.2 appearing on the scene. U.2 and SATA Express are mechanically compatible, but have different pin layouts.

It is similar to the SAS SFF-8482 connector (same pin layout), but has an extra mechanical feature - the notch in the center block.

This document goes some way to identifying and explaining the differences (see page 48): http://www.ssdformfactor.org/docs/SSD_Form_Factor_Version1_a.pdf


SATA vs SAS connector

SAS from both sides


If you could share a photo of the sled and the M.2 drive you mentioned (or its part number), then it would help to avoid speculation...

This SATA Express connector provides the 2x lanes of PCIe for the NVMe drive. So you'd probably be better off taking the NVMe drive off the sled, and connecting it to a more readily available M.2 socket.

edit: From the specsheet, it would appear that this is indeed the case - "M.2 SSD / PCIe NVMe, PCIe 3.0 x 2, 16Gb/s".

Do not try to adapt this to SATA - if you don't have a PC with SATA Express, take the NVMe drive off and use an alternative adapter. Be aware that most (all?) USB to M.2 adapters will only support SATA M.2 drives, which yours isn't. You may need to get a PC with M.2, or a full-size PCIe to M.2 adapter.


edit: Thanks for the pictures. This is indeed a PCIe NVMe drive: Toshiba XG5 series (KXG5AZNV256G). Interestingly, this drive is capable of exceeding the PCIe 3.0 2x lane interface that it's connected via. Also note that this is a "Self Encrypting Device" (SED) - I can't comment on your ability to read this from a motherboard other than the original, see here for more info.

5
  • 1
    You beat me to it. Have +1 from a slow typist. :) – Kamil Maciorowski May 14 '18 at 18:14
  • 1
    There might not be any USB-NVME adapters available at all (unless you want to go via thunderbolt). As of late January, StarTech (one of the make adapters for any and everything companies) said they didn't have one yet but would later this year. It doesn't appear to be on their website today. I'd take the "no one else does yet either" claim with a grain of salt; but was unable to find one when I looked. tomshardware.com/answers/id-3596930/… – Dan Is Fiddling By Firelight May 14 '18 at 21:11
  • In the pictures posted in the answer, the "tab" between two groups of pins is solid, while in the OP's picture the "tab" is more like two separate protrusions. I suspect the female connector on OP's computer may have a protrusion that fit between the two protrusions on the drive sled, but will block a proper SFF-8482 connector. IOW, the computer is probably not designed to fit SFF-8482 connectors. – twisteroid ambassador May 15 '18 at 1:56
  • 2
    This is NOT proprietary. This is a standard called SATA Express. As noted by @twisteroidambassador it is not SFF-8482. Unfortunately, SATA Express never got much of a take up since vendors went to M.2 instead, so parts are hard to find. – user71659 May 15 '18 at 4:20
  • 1
    Awesome answer. Thanks. I edited my question as requested to add a few more photos. I guess I'll probably end up getting a NVMe to PCIe adapter. I noticed on my drive I have three more pins than on your picture -- see my last edit for a good picture. Is that a difference between the SAS and SATA Express? Or proprietary? If I were to get a SATA Express adapter, would those pins be needed? – Cullub May 15 '18 at 12:26

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.