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Replace Lenovo Thinkstation P300 HDD Caddies?

Go to solution Solved by nick name,

Sorry I didn't know where to put this. 

 

I recently purchased a used Lenovo Thinkstation P300 to serve as a Plex server.  As you'd expect I wanted to replace the included HDD with my own.  The machine has two HDD caddies, but those caddies are proprietary and in a terrible way.  They are plastic sleds that flex to slide into the case enclosures and that's swell, but the way you mount the HDD into those sleds/caddies is a mix of metal peg and rubber grommet.  That rubber grommet is the problem.  The P300 is 6 -7 years old and those rubber grommets have deteriorated and can't be used to secure the HDD to the sled/caddy.  I have found some sled/caddies on eBay and those will be here in a few days, but I'm assuming they will suffer from the same problem due to their age.  

 

Does anyone have any personal experience with the Lenovo P300 and have replaced their HDD sleds/caddies?  I can't seem to find anything searching on google.  I have been thinking about trying to find longer HDD screws to use with washers to secure them to the sleds/caddies, but I haven't had any luck yet.    

 

From my searching these sleds/caddies have been used in IBM machines also.  

 

The picture is from the sleds/caddies I ordered.  The circled bits on mine are destroyed and can't be used.  They have crumbled apart on both sleds/caddies.  

sled.png

Sorry I didn't know where to put this. 

 

I recently purchased a used Lenovo Thinkstation P300 to serve as a Plex server.  As you'd expect I wanted to replace the included HDD with my own.  The machine has two HDD caddies, but those caddies are proprietary and in a terrible way.  They are plastic sleds that flex to slide into the case enclosures and that's swell, but the way you mount the HDD into those sleds/caddies is a mix of metal peg and rubber grommet.  That rubber grommet is the problem.  The P300 is 6 -7 years old and those rubber grommets have deteriorated and can't be used to secure the HDD to the sled/caddy.  I have found some sled/caddies on eBay and those will be here in a few days, but I'm assuming they will suffer from the same problem due to their age.  

 

Does anyone have any personal experience with the Lenovo P300 and have replaced their HDD sleds/caddies?  I can't seem to find anything searching on google.  I have been thinking about trying to find longer HDD screws to use with washers to secure them to the sleds/caddies, but I haven't had any luck yet.    

 

From my searching these sleds/caddies have been used in IBM machines also.  

 

The picture is from the sleds/caddies I ordered.  The circled bits on mine are destroyed and can't be used.  They have crumbled apart on both sleds/caddies.  

sled.png

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Pretty standard bollocks from IBM/Lenovo sadly. I've got several ThinkStations at work in the same predicament.

IF...IF you can find them, long hard drive screws and rubber washers work well, and I've also used (to varying degrees of success) the Dell grommets 

So rise up, all ye lost ones, as one, we'll claw the clouds

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18 minutes ago, Radium_Angel said:

Pretty standard bollocks from IBM/Lenovo sadly. I've got several ThinkStations at work in the same predicament.

IF...IF you can find them, long hard drive screws and rubber washers work well, and I've also used (to varying degrees of success) the Dell grommets 

Have you found the screws?  Can you tell me how to find them?  And please tell me more about the Dell grommets (ie how to find them).  And thank you for replying.  

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Just now, nick name said:

Have you found the screws?  Can you tell me how to find them?  And please tell me more about the Dell grommets (ie how to find them).  And thank you for replying.  

eBay is where I went for my parts.

Hang tight, let me see if I can find the links

(insert elevator music here)

https://www.amazon.com/ZRM-Screws-Absorption-Mounting-Accessories/dp/B07DFXN4X3/ref=sr_1_6?dchild=1&keywords=hdd+mounting+screws&qid=1622078856&sr=8-6

https://www.amazon.com/Gametown-Drive-Mounting-Screws-DC7800/dp/B0719D9MZN/ref=sr_1_13?dchild=1&keywords=hdd+mounting+screws&qid=1622078856&sr=8-13

 

So rise up, all ye lost ones, as one, we'll claw the clouds

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1 minute ago, nick name said:

Pretty close to what I posted before.

Are the lock solid fit?

Not really.

Will they do in a pinch?

Yup

So rise up, all ye lost ones, as one, we'll claw the clouds

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I found those Gametown ones, but the first solution seems like it will work.  Thank you so very much for helping me.  

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A little tape will substitute, but generic rubber washers work as well.

I really dislike Lenovo (and Dell) for using non-standard parts like this, it's irritating.

So rise up, all ye lost ones, as one, we'll claw the clouds

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@Radium_Angel Having found this Lenovo P300 with an Intel E3-1276 v3 and 16GB of RAM for $150 was awesome until I found that I couldn't install actual HDDs because of the sh*t sleds/caddies it comes with.  

 

Currently I have two external HDDs hooked up with the new HDDs in enclosures, but the USB ports on the machine don't seem to support UASP and unless I use a USB hub the drives suffer diminished speeds when using more than one.  I've since ordered a Startech USB PCIe card with UASP to remedy the external HDD drive problem, but I don't know if UASP will solve my problem or if I need a USB PCIe card that has multiple channels.  

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Unfortunately the ThinkStations aren't really designed to be easily upgraded (as you are finding out) outside of getting Lenovo involved (which is just what they want)

I can't speak about the external USB drive speeds, as I've not done that.

As to the internal hard drives, depending on the sizes you are using, you could replace them with SSDs, as those don't care about orientation and you can just shove them in anywhere they will fit. 

So rise up, all ye lost ones, as one, we'll claw the clouds

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5 minutes ago, Radium_Angel said:

Unfortunately the ThinkStations aren't really designed to be easily upgraded (as you are finding out) outside of getting Lenovo involved (which is just what they want)

I can't speak about the external USB drive speeds, as I've not done that.

As to the internal hard drives, depending on the sizes you are using, you could replace them with SSDs, as those don't care about orientation and you can just shove them in anywhere they will fit. 

Where in the forums should I ask about external USB HDD speeds in regards to UASP versus multi-channel USB PCIe card support?  I can't figure that out. 

 

And thank you again for your help.  

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@Radium_Angel I apparently got the last available https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07DFXN4X3?psc=1&smid=A8CV72D2OP6QC&ref_=chk_typ_imgToDp

so that worked out.  

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You are welcomes, I'd make a new thread in troubleshooting if it were my setup and I was having those issues.

So rise up, all ye lost ones, as one, we'll claw the clouds

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9 hours ago, tkitch said:

Sorry, it looks like I wasn't clear that I already purchased two more of those. 

 

My concern is that the grommets on the replacements will suffer from the same problem and they won't be delivered for a few more days so I have to wait to find out.  

 

Thanks for looking it up for me though.  

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OH.

 

Hmmmm, I believe HDD screws are 6/32 and you can get them in any length you want.  A quick trip to a hardware store should confirm that size for you.

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27 minutes ago, tkitch said:

OH.

 

Hmmmm, I believe HDD screws are 6/32 and you can get them in any length you want.  A quick trip to a hardware store should confirm that size for you.

I ordered something @Radium_Angel recommended last night.  They're longer screws with rubber washers and I'm hoping that does the trick.  

 

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07DFXN4X3?psc=1&smid=A8CV72D2OP6QC&ref_=chk_typ_imgToDp

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Good news.  The sleds I ordered have arrived and the grommets on it haven't deteriorated.  The rubber washers and screws haven't come in yet, but when they do I guess I'll have them as back up for when the grommets do crumble apart.  

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