Installing extra drives in a Dell R410

I recently acquired a Dell R410. It was a bare system, and although it came with the front bezel and a key, it didn’t have any processors, RAM, heat sinks, drives, or drive caddies.

Processors: I already had a pair of these, although low spec, they were not going to cost me anything.
RAM: I had 32Gb of EEC registered memory, again this would do for now.
Drives: I had a Buffalo Terastation ts-rxl which I had upgraded to 4x 6TB WD RED drives in raid 10. So these were going to be relocated.

 

Off to eBay to order some drive caddies and heat sinks.

I found some caddies for about £7.55 each and some heat sinks for just under £14 the pair. Ordered and awaited delivery.
Dell R410 Drive Trays ebay wrong heatsink

The caddies arrived very quickly, but i couldn’t do anything with them until the heat sinks turned up.

The plan was to use the four removable drive bays in raid 5, but I needed somewhere to install the OS.
While I waited i came up with a plan! Install the Memory, Processors and find space for two additional drives!

 

As you can see, I butchered the internal wiring to add an additional two SATA power connectors. Luckily the Dell R410 uses standard colour codes so i could simply cut and solder the cable in. The motherboard also has onboard sata ports, which I could connect the drives to. The Front drives would be connected to the RAID controller and Laptop HDD’s fit on top of the 3.5 drive bays. JUST. Once the cables were soldered and taped, the drives installed, I double checked I could replace the cover. CHECK!

 

Adding the Processors and RAM.

I wanted to Install Windows Server on the SSD and then use the other laptop HDD for other services that I run internally, like WDS.

Additional drives added, now for RAM and Processor Installation.

RAM and ProcessorsRAM

Processors

The following day the heat sinks arrived so I could crack on, get Windows Sever 2016 installed and start setting this up to become my server and media backup.

Wrong HeatsinkWrong Heatsink

At this point I wasn’t aware the Dell R410 uses a proprietary heat sink.

 

eBay AGAIN!

Back to eBay to order some OEM heat sinks.

ebay Heatsinks  R410 Heatsinks

Happily they arrived the following day!

Now we’re cooking.

Once windows was installed I done used Microsoft’s Disk2VHD to take a backup of the old R200.

I now had a fully working Dell R410 with no drives in the drive bays, but completely operational. Next the main drives needed to be installed.

5 thoughts on “Installing extra drives in a Dell R410

  1. Hi,
    could you mind to explain for me with this situation. could I run both of raid 10 (4x 3.5 hdd sata) + 1 extra ssd. extra SSD is use for Linux OS and the rest RAID 10 with 4x 3.5″ disk is use for data. Hope to see you.

  2. Hi Vu,
    Yes this is exactly what I did. I’m using the extra SSD for the OS and then the 4x 3.5″ drives for raid. I installed a different raid card to the server (an H700) which gave me raid 5, as I wanted space over speed) I had to buy a specific cable too, as the one that is already in the server attach to the new H700.

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