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My company gave me a Dell E6540 [edited from incorrect model "E6450"] with a built in 256 GB SSD (way too small). Dell does not make a CDROM replacement SSD for the E6540 (!!!), believe it or not.

Therefore, I see a good option as putting an mSATA SSD in the WWAN slot, which I understand should work fine. Unfortunately, the IT department claims the slot is "only for a wireless card".

How can I convince them that putting an SSD in that slot will work?

Here is one forum (for Thinkpads) discussing using use of WWAN for mSATA:

Thinkpad using WWAN for mSATA SSD

Ok, here is the goods. At least two different people claim they installed an SSD mSATA drive in the full size WWAN slot, both posts list exact equipment descriptions:

installation of mSATA drive in WWAN on dell support forums

  • 2
    How could a SATA drive work without a SATA controller? – David Schwartz Apr 17 '14 at 17:54
  • All I know is that some guy posted to a forum claiming he put an mSATA SSD in the WWAN slot of a Dell e6450 and it worked fine. – Tyler Durden Apr 17 '14 at 22:05
  • Why the down-vote people! This is a good question I support it. I have a dell P11F witch does not accept a mSATA ssd and an lenovo e520 witch does. Now the reason to this is that some manufactures have a slot that can be mSATA and mini PCIe based on bios configuration. – botenvouwer Dec 13 '14 at 15:37
  • and what about the dell latitude e6330 could this one accept a mSata in its WWAN port if not, Would it be possible to swap the wireless card in the WWAN port and put the mSata (not m.2) in the WLAN port ? – Rid Jan 2 '18 at 12:45
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Latitude E6x20, E6x30 have WLAN/WWAN slots that are mini PCIe/USB only. They do not support mSATA SSDs.

Latitude E6x40 and 7xx0 have combo mini PCIe/mSATA/USB slots that support mSATA SSDs.

  • 2
    That is a great news for my E6540! What is the source of this information? – ya23 Apr 13 '16 at 10:27
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Your IT department may be right. mSATA does not work in any given miniPCI slot. From wikipedia:

The connector is similar in appearance to a PCI Express Mini Card interface,[43] and is electrically compatible; however, the data signals (TX±/RX± SATA, PETn0 PETp0 PERn0 PERp0 PCI Express) need a connection to the SATA host controller instead of the PCI Express host controller.

Put another way, slots that can support mSATA may or may not support miniPCI and vice versa.

The question you're really asking is if the WWAN (full miniPCIe slot) supports mSATA on your specific system, so the Lenovo link in your update isn't relevant - i.e. not all full miniPCIe slots support mSATA.

None of the documentation I've seen from Dell states that the full sized miniPCIe port is also mSATA (I looked for an E6540, since there doesn't seem to have ever been an E6450) . If you really want to convince your IT department, I think you'll have to get a definitive answer from Dell, and show that to them (or maybe you can just try showing them the forum posts about your particular laptop).

There are miniPCIE PATA storage devices but they're pretty rare, and small capacity (e.g. 16 GB or so). The Dell Mini 9 and others used these before mSATA was available.

  • What is the plan b if the WWAN miniPCIe slot doesn't support mSATA - besides miniPCIe PATA storage devices?. Are there modern SSD modules available that are compatible to plain miniPCIe slots? – maxschlepzig Jan 24 '16 at 9:56
  • I think 'PATA' miniPCIe SSDs can be put in non-SATA slots but they'd be slower and you may have trouble finding one with a decent capacity. Never used one. – LawrenceC Feb 8 '16 at 14:01
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I know I'm late to the party, but I can confirm that the Dell WWAN slot will accept an mSATA SSD. I just installed one myself and it's working just fine.

  • 5
    which Dell laptop model did you test? – maxschlepzig Jan 24 '16 at 9:49
  • 2
    I can confirm, this highly model specific. Works on E7440, doesn't work on E7450, E7470 etc. – lkraav Aug 4 '16 at 13:16
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I've just tested on an E6540 and the WWAN port accepts mSATA SSD.
Windows was able to boot up from it.

  • Can you please consider to extend your answer with some explanations? – Romeo Ninov Feb 13 '16 at 6:34
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This is going in a different direction but... you can install an SSD in place of the optical drive. "Juyo Vonsan" makes a "New design HDD Caddy Hard Drive Caddy for DELL Modular Bay E6320, E6330, E6420, E6430,E6520, E6530" - it will work in any E-series modular bay. Then you can put any 2.5 inch SATA device in it.

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Dell ProSupport told me the WWAN mpcie slot on my Dell Latitude E6530 would NOT support an msata ssd (or any drive). But that some Dell laptops will.

Vincent: Will WWAN pci-e support mSata? If not, is it because the pci-e slot is 1st generation? Is there any way to and a secondary mSata ssd?

ProSupport: I don't think this system supports the WWAN/SD drive option, so I would have to say you are not able to add a secondary drive. Unless you purchase the E-Modular Bay Secondary Hard Drive option

Support also that was the only way he was aware of adding a non-primary hard drive to my E6530.

I'm afraid whether WWAN mPcie slot will support msata is Model specific.

And for what it is worth, near the WWAN slot on my E6530 ONLY WWAN is indicated, no where is "msata" visible.

Further to what Jamie Hanrahan suggested on "HDD Caddy Hard Drive Caddy for DELL Modular Bay", Dell ProSupport stated that was the only way they were aware of adding a non-primary hard drive to my E6530.

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I can confirm that at least the 500GB Crucial MX200 mSATA SSD (CT500MX200SSD3) functions correctly in the WWAN slot of the E6540 and is bootable for both Ubuntu and Windows.

The MX200 was provided with two screws to hold it in place and the Dell requires only one.

Installation is achieved by removing the bottom cover of the laptop (about 4 screws). Keyboard/top cover removal is not necessary.

With the SSD installed it is still possible to use the 2.5" HDD slot and also the CD/DVD/BR drive slot (with either a CD/DVD/BR drive or 2.5" caddy) simultaneously.

I get 500MB/sec of write performance by dding /dev/zero to the SSD.

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http://en.community.dell.com/support-forums/laptop/f/3518/t/19576937

Apparently, 3/4 people on this thread say they've done it in an E7240, which is the same generation of hardware as your dell.

You must mean an E6540, btw. There is no 5th generation of i Core intel processors, which is what an E6450 would be (on a 14* screen). Searching for the right model would help. (I am searching for my own purposes, and own the 7240; I just thought I would add to this discussion since apparently I know something helpful.)

For what it's worth, the slot itself on mine actually says "wwan" and ALSO says "msata" engraved into the plastic there. Yours might be the same; take a picture and send that to the IT department.

  • 1
    What's engraved into the plastic on the connector is likely of little import. The same physical connector is used for PCI-E Mini as for mSATA. That doesn't mean the necessary electronics to support an mSATA drive are behind the connector. – Jamie Hanrahan Jan 5 '15 at 2:21
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indeed some slots support mSATA and miniPCIe but not all of them. If it is the case for you, it is not for sure you will be able to use that bay for a bootable SSD. Some manufacturers as Lenovo give in the technical specifications at least if the bay supports both, mSATA and miniPCIe. The following list of commercial devices supporting an SSD+mSATA might be helpful:

http://www.mydigitaldiscount.com/msata-ssd-compatability-list.html

protected by Community Jan 2 '18 at 13:25

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