mSATA SSD in onboard Mini-PCIe port

Hello guys,

I use currently the Ubuntu Mate image 1.2 and I bought a Samsung EVO 850 mSATA (MZ-M5E250BW).

The kernel doesn’t detect the SSD. Is there any way to use this SSD? Or is there any hardware issue that this cannot work?

Best regards, Andreas


Answer with green checkmark…

mini PCI-Express (mPCIe) and mini SATA (mSATA) are two separate standards …

So bad news…it’s hardware-issue. I hope you don’t have bricked the new ssd

Regards Frank

mSATA SSDs require a connection from the mini PCIe controller to a SATA controller, which isn’t normally the case. Some mini PCIe slots support mSATA, but most do not.

There are on the other hand some mSATA SSD’s that feature a built in SATA controller and they should work just fine. Unfortunately these are not very common any more, the only one I was able to find on Amazon was this one, which uses a rather old SSD controller from JMicron (not a recommended brand) and it comes at a hefty markup -

Sorry for bringing up an old thread, but I spent a good number of days really investigating if this was possible since mSATA & mPCIE actually are almost pin-for-pin compatible, and I thought it should actually be possible in theory.

Most of the PCIe signals are not connected in the mSATA standard, and the pins that had 5V applied were also not connected (on my particular SSD).

I got as far as creating a modified devicetree that activated the SATA protocol and set the mux such that it would be routed to the mPCIE connector, and turn on the voltage regulator to supply power to the SSD without enabling PCIe.

Ultimately it didn’t work because annoyingly whoever designed the mSATA protocol made one key difference - they swapped the polarity of the SATA B data pair (aka. PERn0/PERp0)!!! Argh. It would have worked if the polarity matched PCIe.

Anyway I think this should settle it for sure that you can’t pop an mSATA into the on-board slot.

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