Solved Unable to detect SATA drives from MiniSAS connection

I’m working on a Proxmox install on a Super micro H11ssl-i

I’ve made it into the main screen of Proxmox and I can detect my boot drive and the VMs I had stored on it. However, I cannot detect the 6xSATA SSDs of the same brand in a six bay hot swap caddy in the 5.25 in Bay.

From what I understand my board doesn’t support SAS but it does support SATA with a mini SAS break out cable which I have 2x MiniSas 8643 to 4xSATA.

Documentation lead me to think that the NVME SSD I was going to use as a redundant boot drive was eating all my SATA bandwidth so I took it out and still no drives.

In the previous server iteration I used a PCIe to 10x SATA HBA to connect all 6 drives and it worked fin. It worked the same in this one when I plugged it in. The data ports on the board itself also worked.

I could use the HBA but I want the PCIe space for some projects I’m considering and it looks clean as hell with the 8643 cables TBH. I’m done trying things for today but tips for tomorrow would be appreciated.

Below is hardware used

Looks like you should be right, and it should just work. I would try a couple really long sata cables, and reseat the breakout cables.
But yeah, as a sanity check, you ticked all the right boxes, in that the SFF headers are listed as SATA only, even though traditionally used for SAS.
Would be a shame to always use a HBA

You accidentally got SFF-8643-4xSATA Reverse Breakout cables.
These can only be used to connect a backplane with SFF-8643 ports (target) to a motherboard that only has regular individual 7-pin SATA ports (host). The opposite way of what you’re trying to do.

Unfortunately you can’t just change the direction of these cables.


Ooof, didn’t spot that. And I use some of them myself. Good catch!

I’m currently planning a new build in a SilverStone CS381 case where I won’t be using a dedicated HBA with SFF-8643 ports due to my disdain for Broadcom so that topic has been fresh on my mind since I had to get such Reverse Breakout cables.


Reminds me, my reverse and standard cables were not really marked up with flags/ labels. I should get on that. They look identical…

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Wonderful. Really loving the server space and the idea of mono directional data cables.

Oh well, I’m into Homelabbing to learn.

It looks like Proxmox recognized all the drives as aZFS pool even though I’m certain I didn’t plug them back in correctly. I’m wiping their data to be used as VM storage in my rework. So maybe I’ll just go back to the SATA HBA until the correct breakout came gets here

Thanks a bunch!

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@nagaram originally had the wrong cables. To solve his issue he needs differrent cables, which he ordered but they haven’t come yet.

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Are you narrating what’s happening in this thread?


Introducing the L1 HBA XD (would totally buy one)

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Firmware modded version of the chipset card AMD made.

Yes, I added the word solved to the title. and made a note in case anyone else has the same problem.


Correct cables worked, but now I have a silly little new problem and thus new thread!

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This thread seems a bit short to require narration or summary; regardless…

Do we know why these SFF-8443 to 7-pin SATA breakouts are not birectional?

I am having difficulty visualising how this could be an issue, you are still connecting a towards-drive port with a towards-server port, so the kinds of patch vs crossover cable distinction you see in Ethernet should not apply, right?

Other on-topic questions:

Do non-reverse (forward?) breakout cables always include a sideband connector to connect to the backplane itself? Can the absence of a sideband connector be a reliable indicator that the cable is a reverse breakout?

Also, this SFF-8643/8613 is technically an internal Mini-SAS HD (presumably for High Density), is it not? Internal non-HD Mini-SAS seems to be SFF-8087, which looks like the it is effectively the two PCBs inside the SFF-8643 laid out inline rather than stacked parallel.

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Hi, I don’t have any HD, just regular SFF-8087 connected devices. Looks like the HD ness, means less wide/deep. Doesn’t add any extra lanes, or really save much space

And sorry to say, nope, not all forward breakouts have sideband/additional connectors. Some of the ones I have, just have a sata connector, but some breakouts do have SAS, often with annadapter so you can hook up a regular SATA power lead to the drive too

I have several reverse breakouts, which are real handy for connecting SAS cages to regular motherboard SATA headers, without needing a HBA.

It does require the backplane to work with SATA, I don’t think it works if there is an expander on the backplane, but does work when one SAS connector is split out to 4 drives