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Enthusiast
Posts: 6
Registered: ‎06-11-2014
Message 1 of 9 (11,167 Views)

Replacing the SSD in a VPCSA model

[ Edited ]

I have a VPCSA490X with a 2 x 128Gb Samsung SSD that is failing. I need to replace them, but after hours of research I still have a number of questions:

 

  1. Where can I purchase replacement drives? These seem to be rather unique models: they have no casing and the connector is just a snap which clips the ribbon. In other words: the drive/card has no pins/connectors: just a female slot in which to snap the ribbon.
  2. Is it possible to replace the 2 drives with just 1 drive? It seems like this is tricky because I'm told the BIOS is set to expect a RAID (and thus 2 drives). Is this correct?

Thank you for your help & insights!

Expert
Posts: 639
Registered: ‎07-23-2013
Message 2 of 9 (11,143 Views)

Re: Replacing the SSD in a VPCSA model

I can't seem to find any good information regarding your laptop. So do you have a similar setup in terms of SSD as the later Sony VAIO Z11, Z12, Z13, Z2, etc setup where you have an SSD Sammich? Basically a single board SSD that's been RAID'ed together by hardware?

 

Other VPCSA models have a simple SATA connector:

http://gusclass.com/blog/2011/12/29/how-to-upgrade-to-an-ssd-on-a-sony-vaio-vpcsa/

 

Can replace your SSD cable with one of these SATA connectors?

http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_trksid=p2050601.m570.l1313.TR6.TRC1.A0.H0.Xsony+vpcsa+ssd+cable&_nkw...

 

Enthusiast
Posts: 6
Registered: ‎06-11-2014
Message 3 of 9 (11,115 Views)

Re: Replacing the SSD in a VPCSA model

Thanks for your help but I'm unable to answer most of your questions: I have no idea if my setup is similar to those other models and I aslo struck out searching online to figure out what a SSD Sammich is...

 

All I can reliably tell you is that:

 

1/
My SSD is made up of 2 chip boards that are connected together with a ribbon and function as a RAID0. Each chip board is identified as a Samsung MZRPC128HACD-000SO.
 
2/
Most of the ribbons on that Ebay page don't look right. A few may work, but I can't tell for sure.
 
3/
The ribbon connects to the 2 boards via a LIF connector.
 
4/
The ribbon connects to the motherboard via a rectangular male connector that's about 1 inch long (the motherboard has a female slot).
 
Thanks for your help!
Expert
Posts: 639
Registered: ‎07-23-2013
Message 4 of 9 (11,110 Views)

Re: Replacing the SSD in a VPCSA model

Sorry about jargon, but the "Sammich" is the affectionate term for the Samsung SSD "sandwich" board because it's 2 SSDs smashed together on a single board with 2 connectors in a RAID configuration.

 

This particular ebay.com listing has your SSD and it shows a picture of the SSD cable connector:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Samsung-SSD-256GB-MZRPC128HACD-000SO-Sony-VAIO-VPCSA2-/111059972879?nma=true...

 

Based on what I can see (compare connectors in above link to below link), the SATA version of this cable should work (no guarantees here): http://www.ebay.com/itm/Genuine-Sony-VPCSA-VPCSB-VPCSC-VPCSE-HDD-CONNECTOR-FPC-239-024-0201-8526-A-/...

 

Basically, this looks like the same configuration as the Sony VAIO Z1 and Z2 series. These you can buy, but there's a capacity cap and there on the rare side:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Samsung-1-8-Solid-State-Drive-512GB-for-Sony-VAIO-VPCZ1-LIF-RIAD-SATA3-SSD-/...

Others:

http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_odkw=Samsung+MZRPC128HACD-000SO&_osacat=0&_from=R40&_trksid=p2045573...

 

The issue here is that I think you have 1.8" SSD which makes things a little more complicated. The standard SATA drives are 2.5 inches. May say you can fit a 2.5" SSD in the computers by taking the case off the 2.5" SSDs. See here:

http://forum.notebookreview.com/sony/511578-how-replace-ssd-vaio-vpcz11-vpcz12-non-sony-ssd.html

 

Good luck.

 

Enthusiast
Posts: 6
Registered: ‎06-11-2014
Message 5 of 9 (11,105 Views)

Re: Replacing the SSD in a VPCSA model

[ Edited ]

Thank you — that was quite helpful!

 

But one of my question remains — perhaps my lack of knowledge doesn't allw me to see that you've addressed it. I'll restate it more fully:

  • In my current setup, there are 2 boards and they are set up as a RAID0
  • Do I need to replace the drive with another RAID0 drive or can I just go with a no-RAID setup?
  • Or (just as good for me): can I use these 2 drives without a RAID?

 

Additionally (perhaps you can also help me figure out this more general/basic question): in the case of my current RAID0 setup: does that mean that I actually have two 128Gb SSD — but that my system treats the total drive as 128Gb only?

 

Thanks!

Expert
Posts: 639
Registered: ‎07-23-2013
Message 6 of 9 (11,090 Views)

Re: Replacing the SSD in a VPCSA model

Well, if your part number is correct, the Samsung MZRPC128HACD-000SO is a 2x128GB configured as a RAID 0 which should appear as a 256GB drive. I think that you can setup the drive as 2 independent whatever capacity GB drives if you want (in your case, that would be 2 independent 128GB drives), but the default configuration is RAID 0, but remember, that the 2 drives are on an SINGLE board, meaning that they are not PHYSICALLY independent.

 

The reason for this setup is because the capacity didn't really exist early in the SSD days. These days, 1TB SSDs exist at a reasonable price, but back when these laptops were manufactured, they were not.

Enthusiast
Posts: 6
Registered: ‎06-11-2014
Message 7 of 9 (11,042 Views)

Re: Replacing the SSD in a VPCSA model

Thanks!

 

I've read in some place (I can't recall where) that the RAID0 is not modifiable (that the BIOS expects the drives to function as a RAID0). Do you know where I might verify this?

 

 

Expert
Posts: 639
Registered: ‎07-23-2013
Message 8 of 9 (11,019 Views)

Re: Replacing the SSD in a VPCSA model

Since the hardware configuration is similiar to the Sony VAIO Z2, try hitting CTRL+I.

http://forum.notebookreview.com/sony/675399-able-disable-raid-0-z1311.html

 

If that doesn't work, there's also talk about there being an Advanced Menu option in BIOS that will allow you to disable RAID on your SSD:

http://forum.notebookreview.com/sony/467519-how-configure-raid-jbod-new-vpcz1-series-ssd.html

 

If you don't have the Advanced Menu option in BIOS, there's talk about how to get it through a BIOS hack.

http://forum.notebookreview.com/sony/641671-sony-vaio-sa-sb-sc-se-advanced-menu-bios-hack.html

 

Good luck.

 

Highlighted
Rookie
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎01-25-2018
Message 9 of 9 (461 Views)

Re: Replacing the SSD in a VPCSA model

I have to share: I bought a 1 TB Crucial SATA SSD thinking (because their Advisor Tool and System Scanner said so) that it would be a plug and play upgrade from the existing SSD.  Turns out my particular Sony Vaio VPCSA 290X was shipped with a micro SATA SSD so the caddy and ribbon connector were incompatible, and my initial reaction was to return the drive and search for another solution.

 
But after a lot of research I decided to buy a SATA ribbon (FPC-239 if you are interested) and 2.5-in caddy (thank you eBay!) and am glad to report that after following the cloning instructions it became plug and play and fired up perfectly on its first try.  

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