Mounting SSD’s Inside Server Trays

I have recently wanted to put some SSD’s into one of my XenServer boxes to give the whole thing a little boost. The boxes I’m using are some weird Dell pedigree, 1U with 4 x 3.5 inch SATA bays with varying RAM. They pack 8 AMD cores across two CPU’s. Probably too old for production environments (enterprise that is) today however for development/tinkering they are ideal. They also, collectively, don’t use as much power as my old PowerEdge 1950 on it’s own.

The bays have mounting holes in the bottom to allow for fixing 2.5 inch drives so I thought it would be an easy task to fit the new units. I was wrong. First issue was screws. I could find plenty of them on eBay but not the countersunk sort. I thought countersunk ones would tighten flush against the bottom. But no.


After going through different sets of screws I realised this plan wasn’t going to work. Next option? Easy I thought, get some conversion mounts. I ordered some and thought this was finally solved. One thing I hasn’t considered with this approach is that it seems these mounting brackets are an even width on both side mounting the drive in the middle. Fine for a PC but bugger all use in a disc tray (as the data & power ports on the disk need to be in the same place).

By this point, it had taken me about a week to not get this sorted. I just wanted the discs in so I could start having fun with XenServer. Now, what you will see below isn’t pretty, but it works. I had this foam-paper board stuff left over from another project and a good sharp utility knife. So, I cut out ‘blanks’ that fill the size of the tray the proceed to cut the area out where the SSD needs to sit. A little fancy blue masking tape in lieu of screws and you have exactly what is needed.

As I said above, this isn’t pretty and I wouldn’t do this for anything near production level stuff however I do like the hackyness of it.