>>933425 I'm certain you could. But is the board firmware coded to utilise a socket which was not installed at the factory? Do you know the values of all those missing components? Do you know what type of chip is supposed to be on the pad labelled U560?
>>933466 >But is the board firmware coded to utilise a socket which was not installed at the factory? Doesn't matter. Any modern OS (as in Windows 95 or later) takes over from the firmware early in the boot process. >Do you know the values of all those missing components? Do you know what type of chip is supposed to be on the pad labelled U560? They'll be the same as the ones populating HDD0, no?
>>933425 Just adding a connector will not magically unlock some extra functionality, you'll also need to find a schematic, populate these placeholders and hope the firmware implementation was built to take notice of this extra interface.
But most of the time they simply flip a bit which tells the uC to shut off those pins.
>>933513 Not really true. A lot of configuration is carried over, and the BIOS can hide configuration (e.g. the 0xff PCI bus) from the OS by writing to certain poorly documented registers. Some of those registers can only be written to once after reset, so the BIOS has complete and exclusive control over that configuration. Luckily this appears to be an external PCIe chip, so there's a good chance the BIOS and/or OS will enumerate it automagically even if the BIOS doesn't recognize it as a hard drive controller. On the other hand the BIOS could be configuring those pins for something completely different and it could fuck everything up. >>935691 The 2 pairs of impedance matched traces going down are almost surely a x2 PCIe link and the 2 pairs going up are capacitively coupled SATA, so the big thing is a PCIe SATA controller. The thing at the top could just be resistors. Most of the rest are passives but I have no idea about Q2902. It could be totally unrelated. OP if you really want to go down the rabbit hole you could search for 20-pin qfp/qfn PCIe SATA controllers, then find the correct one by comparing the known pinouts. If you're lucky enough to have it be one with a freely available datasheet it will probably have an example circuit which you can compare to the PCB and determine the values for the components. Alternately you could design your own circuit with whatever PCIe SATA controller and just solder it onto the PCIe link. Because the impedance won't be right it might not link at full speed but will probably sort of work.
>>934703 USB drives work entirely differently from SATA. An external USB drive must have a USB-SATA bridge built into it or have native support for USB. If all you want is a lot of internal storage then you can just tap into a USB port somewhere and use the innards of an external drive, but you won't get the benefits of SATA (more bandwidth, decreased overhead, better software support, etc.)
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