Customer Project - Installation of two SSDs in a Refurbished Lenovo M900 SFF PC Purchased at Itzoo
You may have noticed the refurbished Lenovo M900 small form factor PC when browsing Itzoo for a used computer. The reconditioned Lenovo M900 SFF PC is a core line of ours and a popular choice due to the build quality and the speedy core i5-6500 processor. The ThinkCentre M900 SFF is everything that you need in a smaller size: durable, manageable, expandable, flexible - do-able.
Its not very often that we share articles from customers but we thought this was a good read – especially for those interested in tech. It also shows the adaptability of the second hand Lenovo M900 Machine and the components behind it.
The M900 SFF PC has provision for fitting a 2.5” HDD housing and fan accessory under the DVD drive.
This accessory can be hard to find and is relatively expensive, this resulted in the need to design an alternative which would utilise the existing mounting points and be economically produced on a 3D printer. SSDs run much cooler than conventional drives so the design can incorporate two drives if desired and no fan is required.
The lugs and retaining screw point are outlined in the following picture and can be seen underneath the DVD drive bay when it is hinged up. Please note if you are not familiar with the M900 the DVD drive has to be removed before the assembly can be hinged up. Details can be found in the hardware manual.
The following pictures show a finished bracket and fitted without drives installed.
The final design has a small cut out on one corner to clear the cage release catch. Filing a small angle on the four leading edges that slide under the retaining lugs aids insertion of the bracket (see picture).
The SATA power in a refurbished Lenovo M900 is supplied via two sockets on the main board and not directly from fly leads on the PSU. This produced another challenge on providing additional longer SATA power connections. Power splitters can be purchased which would do the job but the customer chose to make his own leads as it would be neater and easier to route in the confined space. The pictures below show the bracket installed with two SSDs fitted and connected. Two longer SATA data cables were also installed connected to SATA 1 & 2. The wiring modifications retain a power and SATA data cable to the 3.5” HDD bay should this be required.
The existing power leads only use 3 of the 4 connections as the 3.3 Volts is not used. The following illustration shows the connectors on the main board and the pin out. All the wires on the original cables are black so if you make your own power cables take care identifying the correct connections/voltages. It is recommended that a meter is used to confirm correct connections and voltages before applying power to the drives.
The CAD file for the mounting bracket can be obtained from ITzoo and will have to be run through “slicing software” and saved as gcode before it can be printed. The software settings are usually specific to the3D printer used so it’s best done by the printer owner/user. The bracket design could be modified so that the drives could be turned through 180 degrees and the connections face the front of the unit when the cage is closed. The current configuration was preferred to aid access to the drives connections whilst in situ.
Disclaimer: - Every effort has been made to provide accurate information. However these modifications are carried out at your own risk and it is recommended that anyone carrying out this modification/installation has previous knowledge and skills required.
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