Home > Computers and Internet, Hardware, LINUX and GNU > Add 3.5” SATA hard drive to HP Thin Client T5540.

Add 3.5” SATA hard drive to HP Thin Client T5540.

Reference: http://www.parkytowers.me.uk/thin/HpT5540/index.shtml

Learned from this link that T5540 has a potential SATA port. I desperately need more PCs. So add a additional hard drive to make the thin client works like a traditional pc.

The power port near the sata port doesn’t have +12V power. connect the +12V power from power supply directly. 2.5” disk doesn’t need +12V power.


Port view:

  1. Davidoff
    April 17, 2011 at 7:06 PM


    That’s a very nice modification. I was given an old t5540 myself, unfortunately it doesn’t really work (yet). If I get it up and running I was planning on soldering a full SATA header and use some cheap SSD drive on it.

    Maybe you can help me fixing my t5540? It seems someone has messed around with the BIOS on this thing. The DMI information shows garbage, and a BIOS flash doesn’t help. I found I can edit the DMI information with a DOS program called ‘DMICFG.EXE’ but as I don’t have the correct DMI information I’m lost. Since you have a t5540, may I ask you if you could do a dump of the DMI information of your t5540 and email it to me? DMICFG.EXE can be found here:


    You would need to boot DOS from a USB drive or USB floppy and then just save the content to a file. If that is too complicated then maybe you can do a full dump of the DMI information with smbios?

    It would be really great if you could help me to revive my t5540.



    • April 18, 2011 at 4:36 PM

      Dear David,

      I would like to help you with the DMI file. I had send it to your mailbox at gmx.

  2. Marc Logan
    June 22, 2011 at 10:03 PM


    I’m looking to make this modification myself, would there be any chance you could supply extra photos of the soldering work you did? More details on how you connected power to the hard drive would be great.



    • June 27, 2011 at 10:53 PM

      Hi Marc,

      You’ll be much clear if I attached some more pics. I’ll send you a separate mail that include the images. Basicly, the 3.5” disk need 12V and 5V power, 12V (cable color yellow and black) can come the inside connector which the power adapter connected to. and 5V ( cable color red and black) can come from another place from mother board that have 5v. such as USB and 44pin IDE. In my case I use the potential 15pin sata power connector. you can check which one form the connector has 5v power. you may check it from here. http://pinouts.ru/Power/sata-power_pinout.shtml and for data go to here: http://pinouts.ru/HD/serialATA_pinout.shtml

      I cut a data cable and soldered it to the 7pin and cut a 15pin power cable and connect red+black to 15pin power connector and then yellow+black to the 12V power adapter connector..

      • Mariusz
        September 13, 2016 at 1:23 PM


        I know it was long time ago( 2011) :) but I`m busy with same at this moment. Is it possible to get some extra pictures of soldering etc.? I assembled sata smd connector to pcb ( close to pata ) and used extension sata cable for hdd but now pc does not boot. There is power at unit but doesn`t show anything at screen ( even bios not boot ). I think that is correct way to solder smd connector directly at pcb but you said that 12v should be connected to the power adapter connector. I would like to know how did you do that. Thanks in advance for help.

      • September 13, 2016 at 4:02 PM

        Hi Biuro,

        Sorry, I have no pic with me anymore. If you are using 3.5 Disk, then you will need 12V power. The connector near by the PATA doesn’t provide 12V, only 5V and 3.3 V.

      • Mariusz
        September 14, 2016 at 1:34 PM

        Thanks for info. That means I can connect 5v, 3.3v and data cables to sata on board ( according to sata pinout ) but 12V from other source. Is it possible to use 12V from PATA connector? I don`t want to use external psu.

      • September 14, 2016 at 2:48 PM

        I was not using another external PSU, I was just using the same PSU which provide power to the ThinClient. I get the 12V from the the PSU connector socket just from the inside corner of the ThinClient. I hope you understand what I mean.

      • Mariusz
        September 14, 2016 at 3:49 PM

        clear!!! Thanks a lot. Saturday I will solder everything one more time ( this time cables not smd ) and hope it will run as should. Thank you

  3. Sean G.
    September 28, 2011 at 4:16 AM

    Do you have to use a Manufacturer Specific Hard Drive like the 512545-B21? or can you use any generic Hard Drive? This looks like something I would want to do !

    • September 30, 2011 at 10:51 PM

      Dear Sean,

      No need to use Manufacturer Specific Hard Drive, any brand SATA hard drive can work with this Thin Client.

  4. hakan sen
    December 15, 2011 at 2:34 PM

    i have t5630 and i used 44pin to sata changer then i installed my 2,5 harddisk.

    Linux saw the disk but no microsoft product see my sata disk i tried several drivers for that bu couldnt find
    could you tell me which driver you used?


    • December 15, 2011 at 4:14 PM

      Dear Haken,

      I think 5540 and 5630 is the same hardware other than memory and flash disk.
      The 5540 use VIA 800 chip, it support IDE and SATA. I don’t have 5630 and don’t have the picture of the inside of it. If it also have a hidden sata port, you may solder a port a just solder sata power and data cable to it. It will not use the stat/ide bridge chip. Windows may see the disk.
      If you’re still using the bridge chip, I don’t know much about it. But I think it should work as the chip already make it as a IDE disk.

  5. stefano
    December 30, 2011 at 2:54 AM

    please, how can i disable the boot of o.s.-flash disk? i need to install a simple xp on an hd installed as you describe, but i can’t find the right way in the BIOS….can you help me?
    thank you .


    • December 31, 2011 at 11:24 AM

      You should not disable boot form flash disk.
      There’s only three option for boot. ATA flash/ USB /Network.
      You should select ATA flash as first boot option. The hard drive is also work as ATA flash disk. You can remove the 44pin flash disk and leave only the hard drive connected. Then it will boot from hard drive.
      If you realy want to boot from hard drive and leave the flash disk on board,there might be no option for you to choose. ( I don’t know whey you need to leave they both on the board). But if you do, you can backup the flash disk and remove the boot record from the flash disk.
      Let me know if you have any questions.

  6. July 21, 2013 at 6:10 PM

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  7. zamzam
    July 12, 2015 at 10:08 AM

    I’m looking to make this modification myself, would there be any chance you could supply extra photos of the soldering work you did? More details on how you connected power to the hard drive would be great.



  8. July 12, 2015 at 10:09 AM


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