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I'm in the middle of a technical crisis here and need your help finding adaptors to this setup, as I'm out of my depth when it comes to hardware compatibility.

I have a spare hardware that I would hate to just let them collect dust!

The Hardware

  • Aspire E5-571G (relevant: lshw below). The laptop will be used as a small server to self-host small things and would be dismantled as the keyboard and screen already not working, but the motherboard is intact. The laptop has the following:
  • Wi-Fi card with the model QCA9565 / AR9565, which is inserted inside a PCIE port. So I thought I could remove the Wi-Fi card and insert the NVMe with some kind of adaptor.
  • DVD room where I thought I could buy an adaptor to use the M2 SATA3 SSD.
  • The pre-build in 2.5 HDD that I thought I would ditch in the future as it's snail slow and get an expansion or better SSD.
  • 512GB SATA-3 M.2 SSD (NGFF, B+M ): source, spec sheet
  • Crucial CT1000P1SSD8: 1TB NVM-e, M-key

How you can help:

What I have in mind is to ditch the DVD and the Wi-Fi card and install the spare drives via some kind of adaptors, then use the old laptop as a small media server. But I don't know which adaptors could help me achieve this.

Please, help me evaluate if what I'm seeking is achievable.

Feel free to suggest some hardware as well, if this doesn't go against this community provide some links or photos.

Open Questions:

  • does my motherboard pre-build in SATA for the HDD support Port multiplication? If yes, then I could in theory bring a SATA expansion card and use it to expand the port to add extra SATA drives! But would those drives show up as separate drives or as a single jbod drive?
  • And for the slot of the Wi-Fi card, I don't know if it's a mini-PCIe or a PCIe-X1, but either way I could in theory get a mini PCI Express SSD Controller Card and attach multiple SSDs. (If this approach is more achievable and would provide better speeds than the port multiplayer, then I would gladly buy some extra sata3 drives and install them.

Relevant LSHW:

PCI:

*-pci:0
             description: PCI bridge
             product: 8 Series PCI Express Root Port 3
             vendor: Intel Corporation
             physical id: 1c
             bus info: pci@0000:00:1c.0
             version: e4
             width: 32 bits
             clock: 33MHz
             capabilities: pci pciexpress msi pm normal_decode bus_master cap_list
             configuration: driver=pcieport
             resources: irq:40 ioport:4000(size=4096) memory:b3500000-b35fffff
           *-generic
                description: Unassigned class
                product: RTL8411B PCI Express Card Reader
                vendor: Realtek Semiconductor Co., Ltd.
                physical id: 0
                bus info: pci@0000:01:00.0
                version: 01
                width: 32 bits
                clock: 33MHz
                capabilities: pm msi pciexpress msix vpd bus_master cap_list rom
                configuration: driver=rtsx_pci latency=0
                resources: irq:43 memory:b3505000-b3505fff memory:b3510000-b351ffff
           *-network
                description: Ethernet interface
                product: RTL8111/8168/8411 PCI Express Gigabit Ethernet Controller
                vendor: Realtek Semiconductor Co., Ltd.
                physical id: 0.1
                bus info: pci@0000:01:00.1
                logical name: enp1s0f1
                version: 12
                serial: f8:a9:63:9f:4a:b6
                size: 1Gbit/s
                capacity: 1Gbit/s
                width: 64 bits
                clock: 33MHz
                capabilities: pm msi pciexpress msix vpd bus_master cap_list ethernet physical tp mii 10bt 10bt-fd 100bt 100bt-fd 1000bt-fd autonegotiation
                configuration: autonegotiation=on broadcast=yes driver=r8169 driverversion=6.1.0-0.deb11.13-amd64 duplex=full firmware=rtl8411-2_0.0.1 07/08/13 ip=192.168.178.30 latency=0 link=yes multicast=yes port=twisted pair speed=1Gbit/s
                resources: irq:18 ioport:4000(size=256) memory:b3504000-b3504fff memory:b3500000-b3503fff
        *-pci:1
             description: PCI bridge
             product: 8 Series PCI Express Root Port 4
             vendor: Intel Corporation
             physical id: 1c.3
             bus info: pci@0000:00:1c.3
             version: e4
             width: 32 bits
             clock: 33MHz
             capabilities: pci pciexpress msi pm normal_decode bus_master cap_list
             configuration: driver=pcieport
             resources: irq:41 memory:b3400000-b34fffff
           *-network DISABLED
                description: Wireless interface
                product: QCA9565 / AR9565 Wireless Network Adapter
                vendor: Qualcomm Atheros
                physical id: 0
                bus info: pci@0000:02:00.0
                logical name: wlp2s0
                version: 01
                serial: 18:cf:5e:0e:ba:41
                width: 64 bits
                clock: 33MHz
                capabilities: pm msi pciexpress bus_master cap_list rom ethernet physical wireless
                configuration: broadcast=yes driver=ath9k driverversion=6.1.0-0.deb11.13-amd64 firmware=N/A latency=0 link=no multicast=yes wireless=IEEE 802.11
                resources: irq:19 memory:b3400000-b347ffff memory:b3480000-b348ffff
        *-pci:2
             description: PCI bridge
             product: 8 Series PCI Express Root Port 5
             vendor: Intel Corporation
             physical id: 1c.4
             bus info: pci@0000:00:1c.4
             version: e4
             width: 32 bits
             clock: 33MHz
             capabilities: pci pciexpress msi pm normal_decode bus_master cap_list
             configuration: driver=pcieport
             resources: irq:42 ioport:3000(size=4096) memory:b2000000-b2ffffff ioport:a0000000(size=301989888)

SATA

*-sata
             description: SATA controller
             product: 8 Series SATA Controller 1 [AHCI mode]
             vendor: Intel Corporation
             physical id: 1f.2
             bus info: pci@0000:00:1f.2
             logical name: scsi0
             logical name: scsi1
             version: 04
             width: 32 bits
             clock: 66MHz
             capabilities: sata msi pm ahci_1.0 bus_master cap_list emulated
             configuration: driver=ahci latency=0
             resources: irq:46 ioport:5088(size=8) ioport:5094(size=4) ioport:5080(size=8) ioport:5090(size=4) ioport:5060(size=32) memory:b361b000-b361b7ff
           *-disk
                description: ATA Disk
                product: ST500LT012-1DG14
                physical id: 0
                bus info: scsi@0:0.0.0
                logical name: /dev/sda
                version: SDM1
                serial: S3P8P94R
                size: 465GiB (500GB)
                capabilities: gpt-1.00 partitioned partitioned:gpt
                configuration: ansiversion=5 guid=64ce8f3d-ca36-4876-89f2-11f1a5dd54ca logicalsectorsize=512 sectorsize=4096
              *-volume:0
                   description: Windows FAT volume
                   vendor: mkfs.fat
                   physical id: 1
                   bus info: scsi@0:0.0.0,1
                   logical name: /dev/sda1
                   logical name: /boot/efi
                   version: FAT32
                   serial: 1707-858a
                   size: 510MiB
                   capacity: 511MiB
                   capabilities: boot fat initialized
                   configuration: FATs=2 filesystem=fat mount.fstype=vfat mount.options=rw,relatime,fmask=0077,dmask=0077,codepage=437,iocharset=ascii,shortname=mixed,utf8,errors=remount-ro state=mounted
              *-volume:1
                   description: EXT4 volume
                   vendor: Linux
                   physical id: 2
                   bus info: scsi@0:0.0.0,2
                   logical name: /dev/sda2
                   logical name: /
                   version: 1.0
                   serial: bede47bc-d500-4b4b-878e-c74f18eeded7
                   size: 464GiB
                   capabilities: journaled extended_attributes large_files huge_files dir_nlink recover 64bit extents ext4 ext2 initialized
                   configuration: created=2024-01-06 02:48:32 filesystem=ext4 lastmountpoint=/ modified=2024-01-21 02:39:46 mount.fstype=ext4 mount.options=rw,relatime,errors=remount-ro mounted=2024-01-21 02:39:53 state=mounted
              *-volume:2
                   description: Linux swap volume
                   vendor: Linux
                   physical id: 3
                   bus info: scsi@0:0.0.0,3
                   logical name: /dev/sda3
                   version: 1
                   serial: c0dd7399-cd6c-456b-a015-dae91572aa9a
                   size: 975MiB
                   capacity: 975MiB
                   capabilities: nofs swap initialized
                   configuration: filesystem=swap pagesize=4095
           *-cdrom
                description: DVD-RAM writer
                product: DVD-RAM UJ8E2Q
                vendor: MATSHITA
                physical id: 1
                bus info: scsi@1:0.0.0
                logical name: /dev/cdrom
                logical name: /dev/cdrw
                logical name: /dev/dvd
                logical name: /dev/dvdrw
                logical name: /dev/sr0
                version: 1.00
                capabilities: removable audio cd-r cd-rw dvd dvd-r dvd-ram
                configuration: ansiversion=5 status=nodisc
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  • I would guess that port multiplication is not supported on your SATA controller, it rarely is. In terms of putting an M.2 drive in your Wi-Fi card, it's theoretically possible with an adapter, but I wouldn't recommend it. As you can see in this photo, the fan would be in the way of the M.2 drive; you'd have to either remove the fan or raise the height of the drive significantly, both of which would severely reduce the capability of the machine.
    – JMY1000
    Commented Jan 21 at 23:37
  • 1
    Can I ask what your intention is with this machine? Is it to build a cheap NAS? Something else? Given the cost of adapters, there may be a better/cheaper way to do what you want without reusing the laptop.
    – JMY1000
    Commented Jan 21 at 23:38

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