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Locked mSata SSD instead of WiFi adapter on Laptop

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mkrleza

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Hi guys...

This is no problem or request or anything like it - so I posted it here... Hope it's OK.

Well, I have an old laptop (ACER 1.6 GHz Celeron, 3GB DDR2, and 320 GB HDD 5400 rpm) - I don't even use it - for obvious reasons...

But today - I received a gift!



LOL!!!

Now, what I intend to do is to take the laptop apart, remove the wi-fi card, put the mSATA SSD in it, and if it works, put USB Wi-Fi dongle (I have a bunch of 'em)...

The project is just for "shits and giggles" (as Austin Powers would say) and learning, but since the wi-fi is (strangely enough) under the mobo... all that screwing/unscrewing... mmmmnnnnhhh...

Do you think it'll work? Does anyone have any experience with stuff like that?

Thanks!
 

hamabe

: It's that time again : 。゚・ (>﹏<) ・゚。
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For older models, I think there's too much unscrewing to open up the mobo
Newer ones doesn't have this issue as you can easily access the wifi NIC

would be interesting to find if it works since it's a PCI port it should work
but might encounter driver issues on recognizing the hardware
you are going to use that as a boot drive right?
 

mkrleza

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For older models, I think there's too much unscrewing to open up the mobo
Newer ones doesn't have this issue as you can easily access the wifi NIC

would be interesting to find if it works since it's a PCI port it should work
but might encounter driver issues on recognizing the hardware
you are going to use that as a boot drive right?
Yes, a boot drive. I know exactly where the Wi-Fi is... Been inside that laptop more than once :D:D:D...
The drivers are my main issue... But, as I said, it's for learning purposes, nothing more. That's why I asked if anyone has done this before...

Will do it anyway in the next couple of days (when I find the time) and will inform anyone interested how it went!

Thanks!
 

Cyler

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Even though you can try and you won't lose anything but time (and maybe some screws) I doubt that it will work for many reasons. That laptop if my memory serves, is a Win XP era laptop. Those don't have UEFI and they have zero or limited bios support for M.2. If you think win 7 and UEFI is a pain, wait till you try windows XP :p

But let's start with the basics. First, you need to make sure that your laptop has PCI wireless and not (internal) USB wireless. From my experience, it's 50-50. If its USB, you can stop here.

If its Mini-PCI just because the drive and wifi card have similar pins doesn't mean its the same. If the Wi-Fi adapter is using M.2 (which I doubt), then it's likely not keyed for SSD use and it likely has an E key, which is not compatible with any M.2 SSD. What is keying? look here.



As you see they look the same but they aren't the same. You can read more here. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M.2#Form_factors_and_keying

Now the major problem. Mini PCI-e is not the same as M.2. PCI-e is an expansion interface while M2 is a bus interface, so for this to work, you need a MINI PCI-e disk and not m2 disk. And even if that is the case your next issue will be bios/windows booting.

One way to actually find out tho so, put the laptop on your table and start the "surgery", just don't force anything into anything :p.

Best of luck my friend.
 
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mkrleza

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@Cyler
Hi m8, how are you?

Lets talk shop.

First of all it's not m.2, laptop is UEFI ready, I know about WinXP (belive me or not my first "OS" was CP/M, I'm not that young you know 😘), and I've been inside that laptop several times, wi-fi is not USB.

Gonna try anyway for research and lesrning. You're never too old to learn.

Cyler, buddy, you now I appreciate your knowledge and expertise (you've helped me before) but you have to admit that this could be interesting!

Sorry for typos, typing on a phone now.

P.S. How's retirement treating you? Mine some years away, but I'm kind of scared of it...

Many thanks buddy!
 

Cyler

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@Cyler
Hi m8, how are you?

Lets talk shop.

First of all it's not m.2, laptop is UEFI ready, I know about WinXP (belive me or not my first "OS" was CP/M, I'm not that young you know 😘), and I've been inside that laptop several times, wi-fi is not USB.

Gonna try anyway for research and lesrning. You're never too old to learn.

Cyler, buddy, you now I appreciate your knowledge and expertise (you've helped me before) but you have to admit that this could be interesting!

Sorry for typos, typing on a phone now.

P.S. How's retirement treating you? Mine some years away, but I'm kind of scared of it...

Many thanks buddy!
I agree that's why I too suggested to go for it and try. CP/M days where good. Both home (Amstrad) and business (Nixdorf). Apologies btw if I sounded like you don't know, its occupational hazard from all those years supporting. Best of luck and let us know how it went.
 

mkrleza

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@Cyler You were right... It didn't work...

But hold on before you start telling me: "I told you so!" ;)

The BIOS didn't recognize it... And there's no update anywhere... sigh...

But, well... It was an interesting idea, don't you think?

Thanks for your insights, my friend! You're a real knowledge encyclopedia (and combined with experience - unbeatable combo)! Respect :rock:
 

yv-fr

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Hello. Maybe exchange the gift for a regular SSD? And put it in place of the hard drive. Or maybe a 2.5" dual mSATA flash drive .
It must be working in the place of the Hard drive if it has sata connexion. Put another 64GB msata in RAID 0 and let the computer fly for another run :p
 

mkrleza

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Hello. Maybe exchange the gift for a regular SSD? And put it in place of the hard drive. Or maybe a 2.5" dual mSATA flash drive .
It must be working in the place of the Hard drive if it has sata connexion. Put another 64GB msata in RAID 0 and let the computer fly for another run :p
Hi buddy

First of all, thank you very much for your input. But, sadly, that was not the point of the exercise. I have like 5 or 6 2,5" SSD (from 240 to 1 TB) just lying around.
And the computer is just a piece of cr.p...

The point was to see if it was possible. And it actually is in cases where you have the proper connection (as @Cyler said) and compatible BIOS.

So to conclude. I'm pretty happy with mine:

1. Desktop - I5, 4th gen, 2x8 GB DDR3 dual-channel RAM, 1TB SSD, 2 TB 7200 rpm HDD, 6 TB 7200 rpm HDD, GeForce 1080 ti 4 GB, 2x24" 1920x1080 monitors,
2. Laptop - I7, 3rd gen, 17", 2x8 GB DD3 dual-channel RAM, 480 GB SSD, 960 GB SSD, 1 TB HDD (yes, that particular Fujitsu has 2 x 2,5" inch slots + removed optical drive and put the HDD in it's place), GeForce 2GB
3. Laptop - Ryzen 3, 15", 12 GB DD4 (4 GB onboard + 8 GB stick), 480 GB NVME, 1 TB HDD, Radeon 2 GB (that one's for lite travelling)...

As I said - it was a game to see if it could be done...
Sorry for bragging (I couldn't resist), I really appreciate your trying to help!
 

yv-fr

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Hey, ho ok, thought you maybe want to make it reliving even if it' s oldish material. 'I cry out a help. Yes, I am in a nutshell'. Didn' t see your point. Cheer
 

IForget

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I know this is kinda an old post but if anyone needs the info,
I ran into an issue trying to do this years ago where my T900 card's port was actually usb based and not pcie based so it would not see the card.
So if anyone cares :)
 

mkrleza

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I know this is kinda an old post but if anyone needs the info,
I ran into an issue trying to do this years ago where my T900 card's port was actually usb based and not pcie based so it would not see the card.
So if anyone cares :)
Thanks. My port is PCIe not USB... All should work... If only the BIOS were updateable...

@Admins -
Myself, I consider the matter closed and satisfied with answers. If you wish to close this thread, that's OK.
But maybe someone might find some of the info useful or ask a question in this thread?
It's up to you...

Cheers & Beers
 
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