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SATA & SAS fittings in an R620

Hello, I’m just starting out with enterprise hardware, though I have used and built workstation PC’s before.

My problem is with this set of used Dell R620s. They were part of a VMware cluster, as such they used to boot off of a set of internal SD cards. Now I’d like to run Proxmox, and so I picked up a SATA SSD and some drive sleds to hold them. However, the SATA drives won’t seem to physically fit in the bays. I was able to locate some old SAS drives, and those fit, but they give errors on the small iDrac screen on the front of the server ( PDR1024 drive mismatch detected). I think that’s because the controller for the bay is SATA only, and not SAS. Is there an adapter or something that I’m missing to be able to insert this SATA drive into the bay?

Well, mechanically, SAS sockets should physically accept SATA drives, but not the other way around.
The SAS controller might not read/interract with them, but the drive should Physically fit, with no additional effort.
It might give funny light colours, even if it does read the drives.

If the caddy is a Small Form Factor, should just be a case of eyeballing the holes, and lining the caddy up with a SATA drive so the goldfingers are in the same place…

As far as I can tell, the connectors on the SATA line up with the connectors on the SAS drives, when I lay them out next to each other. However, when attempting to slide the caddy into the bay with the SATA drive, I get firm resistance, and that doesn’t happen when I try to insert the caddy with the SAS drive. The locking lever doesn’t even engage. That looks suspiciously like I’m doing something wrong, somehow.

it does looks like the re is something wrong.
You are sure the SATA drive isn’t like 2-3 mm further out on the caddy than the sas drive?

And are the drives the same size width and length?
some SAS drives have heavy heatsinking, throwing the dimensions off

I’m at work right now, so I can’t verify the dimensions, but I do have a set of digital calipers at home. I’ll measure the both drives and post photos later.

If you bear in mind that the connector should be in the same position, whether for SAS or SATA drives, 2.5" or 3.5", they should be at the bottom left of the “Front” face of the drive.
And they should occupy the same amount of space, and be the same distance from the walls/caddy.
In face, 3.4" caddies often have holes in the bottom, which 2.5" drives screw right into, so 2.5" drive fit n 3.2" bays

Physically, the SAS connector has a filled in bit between the power and the data side, and if you look on the opposite edge of the connector, you’ll find goldfingers on teh “top” of the “bridge” of the SAS drive.
This is where the extra data channel is.

I know some EMC servers (and others) used Fibre drives, or older SAS connecters that were wider than the SATA connectors, and some caddies have a PCB to allow one to use a SATA/SAS drive in a FC bay.
Those connectors are obviously different

Well, I think that I found my answer. I picked out a bunch of spare laptop SATA (mechanical and SSD) drives, and spent time swapping them into the caddies and testing them. After isolating one caddy with a broken latch spring, I was able to get all the SATA drives to insert and latch correctly, except the brand new SATA drive that I bought for this purpose (model PNY CS900). it turns out that the gap above the sata connector and drive body is too small by about 0.5 mm. So, I’m going to have to go with another model or brand. Any recommendations? I’m looking for about 10 small 120gb drives, just large enough to install the Proxmox engine. Is there a specific brand and model that you use in your R620?

Great to hear about the pny drive, I’ll steer clear of them now just in case.

I don’t have an R620, but from a quick google search the other day, it seems the backplane gets picky about the drives installed?

I have a mix of Kingston,crucial,Samsung and even some OCZ drives, all chugging along, some well after their warranty date.
I have a couple of SKHynix own drives that died, but they were second hand, so previous owner could have been at fault.
So if you don’t need the lights, just go with whichever drive is on special?

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Well, the PNY drive may be just fine for other purposes, just not mine in this case. I’m going to try a crucial and kingston next.