Solution: Partition (fdisk), Mount and use newly installed PCIe mSATA disk storage


#1

I might have missed it but some other guys asked about it:
What to do after a mSATA disk has been installed in the PCIe slot?

First I saw an advise about just to unscrew the wifi module in the middle from the bottom. Then move it to the left position.

Then install the mSATA disk in the middle of the box.

After boot the wifi did not work. Login as root and run:

cd /etc/config
mv wireless wireless.old
wifi detect > /etc/config/wireless

Reboot and check the wifi is running again in the LuCI interface http://192.168.1.1/cgi-bin/luci/admin/status/overview . Now the status is back to normal as before moving the wifi.

I could not find anywhere in the LuCI interface to partition and format the disk so I logged in with ssh to root@192.168.1.1

First I checked if the new disk was there with cat /proc/partitions :

root@turris:~# grep -v ram /proc/partitions | sed -e 's/^/    /'
major minor  #blocks  name

  31        0       1024 mtdblock0
  31        1       7168 mtdblock1
   8        0  234431064 sda
 179        0    7634944 mmcblk0
 179        1    7633920 mmcblk0p1
 179       24       4096 mmcblk0rpmb
 179       16       4096 mmcblk0boot1
 179        8       4096 mmcblk0boot0

and then spotted sda which was big.

To partition it run fdisk:

root@turris:~# fdisk /dev/sda

Welcome to fdisk (util-linux 2.29.2).                                                                                                                                                                           
Changes will remain in memory only, until you decide to write them.
Be careful before using the write command.

Device does not contain a recognized partition table.
Created a new DOS disklabel with disk identifier 0x7a924c4c.

Command (m for help): p
Disk /dev/sda: 223.6 GiB, 240057409536 bytes, 468862128 sectors
Units: sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 4096 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 4096 bytes / 4096 bytes
Disklabel type: dos
Disk identifier: 0x7a924c4c

Command (m for help): n
Partition type
   p   primary (0 primary, 0 extended, 4 free)
   e   extended (container for logical partitions)
Select (default p): p
Partition number (1-4, default 1): 
First sector (2048-468862127, default 2048): 
Last sector, +sectors or +size{K,M,G,T,P} (2048-468862127, default 468862127): 

Created a new partition 1 of type 'Linux' and of size 223.6 GiB.

Command (m for help): w
The partition table has been altered.
Calling ioctl() to re-read partition table.
Syncing disks.

After partition it has to be formatted. I chose “Butter Filesystem” but you can choose what you want:

root@turris:~# mkfs.btrfs /dev/sda1
btrfs-progs v4.17.1 
See http://btrfs.wiki.kernel.org for more information.

Detected a SSD, turning off metadata duplication.  Mkfs with -m dup if you want to force metadata duplication.
Performing full device TRIM /dev/sda1 (223.57GiB) ...
Label:              (null)
UUID:               c3ed7dcb-49c0-4e49-8d90-df42074e8aa3
Node size:          16384
Sector size:        4096
Filesystem size:    223.57GiB
Block group profiles:
  Data:             single            8.00MiB
  Metadata:         single            8.00MiB
  System:           single            4.00MiB
SSD detected:       yes
Incompat features:  extref, skinny-metadata
Number of devices:  1
Devices:
   ID        SIZE  PATH
    1   223.57GiB  /dev/sda1

Now reboot the router and go into the LuCI interface at System -> Mount Points http://192.168.1.1/cgi-bin/luci/admin/system/fstab

Scroll down to “Mount Points” and click the [Add] button. Check “Enable this mount”. Select UUID of the new device. Click the “Mount point” drop down and choose “-- custom --”. Type “/srv” or what you want. I chose “/srv” as I wanted my LXC (Linux Containers) to be located at the new disk.

Click [Save & apply], reboot and you are done. Now the new disk is working.


#2

Really, the suggestion is to put the msata at the side like in the video:


#3

If you look at the video you linked to, there is a question from mistral2099:

OK, so now the mSata is installed. Is there a tutorial on formatting and partitioning it once installed? Cheers and thanks.

I just try to answer that question.

I actually saw the video before I installed my SSD and followed the advise:

the screws holding the Wifi cards were firmly stuck

So I never tried unscrew from the top but just unscrew the wifi from the bottom.


#4

Hi Chlor,

Thank you very much for your useful post. Could be interesting to add a page about how to install and configure an mSATA drive on the Community Documentation wiki.

I followed the video tutorial and moved the 2.4GHz wifi module from the right mPCIe slot to the left mPCIe slot as indicated. But one of the antenna cables is too short and I exchange it with one of the 5GHz wifi module as indicated here.

Here is the final installation:

As you can see, there is an antenna cable that goes from the small 2.4GHz wifi module to the top right antenna. It goes over the 5GHz wifi module and the mSATA drive. As it touches both modules. I’m wondering if the heat released by those modules could damage the cable? Or, because of the contact with the cable, the modules themselves? Do you have this problem too?


#5

Be careful, how do you attach pigtails to mini PCIe WiFi cards and diplexers.

I see you don’t have it connected correctly. On the diplexers, you can find two connectors.
One is for 2.4 GHz and the other one for 5.8 GHz. See this image:


#6

Thank you so much @Pepe, I didn’t realize connectors on diplexers are specific. Unfortunately I’m not at home to fix that right now. Can it damage the router?


#7

You stated to put the msata disk in the middle of the box. The video states that you have to install it to the side. I wanted to correct that assumption. Just to be sure, there is one thing one should do after installation as stated in:


#8

It shouldn’t damage the router. However, it leads to overheating the WiFi card, which is a not good idea as it may lead to damage the WiFi card except that you have now a poor WiFi coverage and signal.


#9

I think that “putting the msata disk in the middle of the box” means put it in the right slot (which is at the “middle of the router case” if you look at my picture above), not the middle mPCIe slot :slight_smile:


#10

Thanks @Pepe, i’m going to fix that ASAP.


#11

Hopefully, all connections are correct now :slight_smile:


#12

Well OK. I have added two entries under Storage:


#13

Hey @chlor!

Thank you very much for the pages. Nice work! :+1:

PS: I took the liberty to add a link on the last sentence in the first page that points to the second page :wink: