How to Change a 4 Bay Backplane to a 6 Bay Backplane in a Dell Poweredge 2950


By Mike Kidd

You know the old saying; if it isn’t broke don’t fix it? This is certainly true with the PowerEdge 2950 server. However, if you are one of those that has the 4 bay backplane installed you would probably enjoy more storage space. Fear not, there is a 6 bay backplane that is fairly easy to swap into your server and give you that expandability you want. So in light of that, I will be showing you a step by step on how to do this.

Things you will need.

Things you will need for the conversion:

  • 6 bay backplane
  • Flat-head screwdriver
  • Second cable for raid controller

All of the parts needed are available on our website www.velocitytechsolutions.com

First, shut down your server and remove your hard drives from the server, careful to note the order and placement of them for when you go to re-install them. You do not necessarily have to remove them completely from the server; you can just back them out to release them from the backplane. Now, remove the cover from the server and proceed to

Lightly pry the blue release lever away from the riser card.

remove your raid controller from the server. Sometimes they are stubborn and you need to take your flat-head screwdriver and lightly pry the blue release lever shown in the picture to the left, away from the riser card. Now, remove the black plastic shroud that is above the ram and processors and unhook the cable for the CD/DVD ROM drive.

Unhook the display cable from the side riser by pressing the metal tabs on each side.

Next, unhook the display cable from the side riser by pressing the metal tabs on each side, shown to the right. This connector can be stubborn as well and may require our trusty flat-head to lightly pry up one side to break it free.

Unhook the 2 power connectors...

At this point, remove the side riser by pressing in the 2 blue tabs and lifting upwards on the card. Go ahead and unhook the 2 power connectors for the backplane, shown in the picture to the left, as well as unhooking the power cord from the CD/DVD ROM drive. I personally like to slide the CD/DVD ROM drive forward a bit, but user preference.

Take out the 4 cooling fans by lifting up on the orange release bar.

Take out the 4 cooling fans by lifting up on the orange release bar.

Now, take out the black plastic piece that the fans were sitting on by pressing down on the blue lever, shown in the picture below, and by lifting up and out on the black plastic piece.

Take out the black plastic piece... by pressing down on the blue lever.

Pull back on the blue release tab and lift up on the backplane

Pull back on the blue release tab, shown in the 2nd picture on the right, and lift up on the backplane. While it is up, push towards the back of the server to clear the mount fins and the backplane now should be free to set off to the side.

Install the 6 bay backplane facing in the direction shown in this picture.

We can now do the reverse of the removal for installing the 6 bay backplane. Install it facing in the direction, show in the picture to the left.

Ensure controller 1 cable is connected.

Line up the mount fins on the chassis to the backplane, and simply slide the unit down. It will lock in place. Install your riser card and plastic fan mount assembly next, then your raid controller, fans and power cables. Then, re-connect your CD/DVD ROM drive and place the plastic fan shroud in place and put the cover for the server back on.

You are DONE! Now, you can re-install your drive and add another 2 hard drives for storage or whatever your heart desires.

For a more detailed and in-depth tutorial of this procedure, check out our How-to video at:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T-oCuNbm-P0. Don’t forget to check out our other videos at our YouTube channel: velocity783.

Have a How-To request?  Let us know and we will make a video for you!

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