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LoneWolf

Important note on HP Microserver Gen8 optical drives

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LoneWolf

For a lot of you, this thread will be a laugh.  Optical drives?  Who needs `em?  Stinkin' obsolete disc technology.

 

For the smaller few of you, something to note.  The HP Microserver Gen8 uses a 9.5mm super slim optical drive.  Why is this important?

 

This is noteworthy because many slim optical drives are 12.7mm in height.  This means that you may just go out and buy a basic notebook SATA drive thinking it will work --and it won't.  This is something I myself didn't realize until I peeled the 12.7mm slim optical drive from the IcyDock adapter in my Gen7 Microserver --and couldn't fit it in my Gen8 Microserver.

 

9.5mm drives are noticeably more costly than their 12.7mm bretheren, designed for ultrabooks, small notebooks, and niche applications.  There are less on the market.  Also, finding them with that plain OEM faceplate may be a pain unless you go with a brand new $100 HP optical drive kit, part# 652241-B21.  However, there are some models that are likely to work if you want to save some cash, and as I ended up putting in some research, here is what I can come up with so far.

 

Panasonic UJ-892 (I have bought one of these used on Ebay, and will confirm once received)

TSST TS-U633

 

If I can find more models that work (and that I consider reasonably made, there are some brands I have found more problematic in the optical world such as Philips) I will add them to this thread.  If you have makes and models you wish to add, feel free to do so.

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LoneWolf

psikey, yes, there's a Blue-Ray drive as well that I didn't mention, the Panasonic UJ-162.

 

After much work, I can say that if you want to do this, you won't save any money trying to source the drive yourself.

 

After you've bought a SATA 9.5mm DVDRW, paid for HP's drive mounting bracket (part 532475-001) that you maybe didn't realize was necessary, found the appropriate tiny mounting screws (they don't come with the bracket, fortunately I have a supply of laptop parts), and then sourced either HP's power/date cable (part 484355-006) or used one of several alternate cable/adapters available, you've probably spent near as much as the drive kit, and you're probably mildly frustrated.

 

I think HP could have done a far better job designing the server so that the power cable already fit the drive (none of this 3.5" floppy garbage, just end the system with a SATA cable and provide an adapter, or include the 484355-006 part), and allowing the drive to just fit and screw down, or provide a mount plate and screws as an option.  Better yet, they had enough room to design for a far less expensive 12.7mm drive and mounting brackets for it, and they didn't --and those are likely more reliable too.

 

I really like this box; but this part of the unit wasn't designed nearly as well as it could have been.

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ikon

Don't have a G8, so can't check, but is it possible to mod the existing faceplate to accept a 12.7mm ODD?

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LoneWolf

Don't have a G8, so can't check, but is it possible to mod the existing faceplate to accept a 12.7mm ODD?

 

The faceplate? Maybe.  However, the metal inner structure, no.  The inner chassis uses a slot with defined dimensions and that slot to accept the drive appears to be  heavy, cold-rolled steel.

 

Given the amount of space available inside the case though, it would have been possible to design the slot in the server case to take a 12.7mm drive within the existing confines, without changing the size of the server itself.  This would seem to me to have been a better engineering choice; why it wasn't done that way I don't know.  Then again, putting a 3.5" floppy power connector at the top and requiring an official HP adapter cable is completely baffling to me too.

Edited by LoneWolf

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psikey

I don't really need one but was at a reasonable price so just got a 9.5mm LiteOn DU-8A5SH DVD RW. (£19.88 ex VAT in UK). I already have a mini SATA/power adapter and had already purchased the floppy to SATA cable for ~£3. Can just stick down with double sided sticky tape.

 

Was originally going to pop a Blu-ray drive I have spare but that's 12.7mm size and no way you could mod it IMO.

Edited by psikey

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ikon

The faceplate? Maybe.  However, the metal inner structure, no.  The inner chassis uses a slot with defined dimensions and that slot to accept the drive appears to be  heavy, cold-rolled steel.

 

Given the amount of space available inside the case though, it would have been possible to design the slot in the server case to take a 12.7mm drive within the existing confines, without changing the size of the server itself.  This would seem to me to have been a better engineering choice; why it wasn't done that way I don't know.  Then again, putting a 3.5" floppy power connector at the top and requiring an official HP adapter cable is completely baffling to me too.

 

If there is physical room to accommodate a slot for 12.7mm I'm thinking some electric metal shears may be the ticket.

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LoneWolf

Note the picture below:

 

gallery_4021_70_185160.jpg

 

Personally, I think shears or any other tool would seriously mess the bay up, and then, you'd have to cut off the metal brackets in the top of the Gen8 or bend them heavily, plus you'd need to modify the plastic front faceplate.

 

Unless you're a master machinist, who is also willing to take most of the server apart to avoid contamination of the electronics from metal dust using grinding tools, I think it would be ill-advised.

 

I still believe this portion of HP's design along with the 3.5" floppy connector (requiring an an additional official HP power/data dapter cable, HP part 484355-006 and the small HP-specific mounting bracket for the optical drive) to do things right , to be the most ill-thought-out part of the system.  In the end, you might as well buy the kit, even at $100, if you decide you want an optical drive.  The cable had one or two sellers on eBay, HP Partsurfer and the HP Part Store didn't even list the cable's part when searching.

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toxo

Just to add to this after a few months... If you're in the UK I have found that Lambdatek are stocking the bracket 532475-001 for £11.90, StarTech make a cable adaptor to use the SP4 (floppy drive) power connector on a slim drive part SLSATACDADAP which can be picked up on eBay for around a tenner (which comes with screws) and you can get a bag of m2x3 laptop-sized screws to attach the HP bracket for a few quid again on eBay. You'll need a SATA cable too but those are ten a penny.

Ebuyer have a 9.5mm dvdrw for £23 (Lite-On one). There are delivery charges etc on top but I reckon you can get the lot together for about half the price of what HP charge. Doesn't help those of you that want Blu-ray but if you just want to save yourself £40 over HP's rather high price for an ODD then it can be done.

Edited by toxo

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schoondoggy

Just to add to this after a few months... If you're in the UK I have found that Lambdatek are stocking the bracket 532475-001 for £11.90, StarTech make a cable adaptor to use the SP4 (floppy drive) power connector on a slim drive part SLSATACDADAP which can be picked up on eBay for around a tenner (which comes with screws) and you can get a bag of m2x3 laptop-sized screws to attach the HP bracket for a few quid again on eBay. You'll need a SATA cable too but those are ten a penny.

Ebuyer have a 9.5mm dvdrw for £23 (Lite-On one). There are delivery charges etc on top but I reckon you can get the lot together for about half the price of what HP charge. Doesn't help those of you that want Blu-ray but if you just want to save yourself £40 over HP's rather high price for an ODD then it can be done.

The SLSATACDADAP is an interesting idea, have you tried one? It looks like it may be too tall to fit properly on a 9.5mm ODD in the Gen 8.

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