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Aspire S3 951-6646: Where did my 20GB SSD go?

I have an old Aspire S3 951-6646 ultrabook that has a 320Gb HD and 20GB SSD. I had Linux installed in the SSD and a couple of days ago that disk "went missing". That is, I can't access it anymore and I had to install Linux on the spinning disk.
I noticed that when I boot up, I get an error message saying
</code><code>ata2: COMRESET failed (errno=16)
Does this means the 20Gb SSD is defective? Can it be saved?

On a related question, is it possible to substitute the 20Gb SSD in this laptop? Or is the 20Gb SSD integrated into the HD (hybrid disk) or into the main board? I opened up the laptop and could not find the SSD so I'm imagining this 20GB is inside the 320HD.

FAQ & Answers

  • JackEJackE ACE Posts: 23,757 Trailblazer
    The S3-951 may have an internal msata SSD card slot. Was your 20GB SSD internal? And did you boot to Linux or Windows using the F12 key? Can you post a screenshot of your BIOS Information tab? Jack E/NJ
    Jack E/NJ
  • dvictoridvictori Member Posts: 11

    Tinkerer

    edited May 2019
    I only have linux installed in this notebook. Also, I opened the laptop and the card slot is occupied the WIFI card (image bellow).


    The bios does not show any additional disks. And I can't recall if the 20Gb SSD showed up in the bios prior to this incident.


  • JackEJackE ACE Posts: 23,757 Trailblazer
    >>> I had Linux installed in the SSD>>>

    If Linux still boots  now , then it's booting from the HDD. Are you sure you weren't booting from a live Linux USB stick, not an internall SSD? Jack E/NJ
    Jack E/NJ
  • dvictoridvictori Member Posts: 11

    Tinkerer

    I'm certain Linux was installed in the SSD and it stopped working. But in order to get back to my files, I reinstalled the system on the HDD. So I can boot from the HDD but I'm not able to see the SSD.
  • JackEJackE ACE Posts: 23,757 Trailblazer
    If you're sure then the SSD card should be located next to the wifi card as shown below. Try finding it and re-seat the card a few times to try to clean its contacts. Jack E/NJ


    Jack E/NJ
  • dvictoridvictori Member Posts: 11

    Tinkerer

    Thanks for your help. The number 14 in the diagram you sent is where the golden flat cable starts. I removed it a couple of times on both ends to try to clean the contacts.

    Also, the board that the golden flat cable connects to is the one I posted a picture before. You can see that the Wireless card is connected to this board (left corner with white and black antenna cables). I saw some other pictures of acer notebooks that instead of a WiFI board, there was a mSATA card, which I hoped I could replace. But it looks like in this model, the SSD is nowhere to be seen :)



  • JackEJackE ACE Posts: 23,757 Trailblazer
    Yes, but you said earlier >>>I'm certain Linux was installed in the SSD>>>

    No. There should be no cable connected to slot number 14. There should only be a card in that slot if the SSD was ever in there. The wifi card should be in the slot number 13 right next to it. If there indeed was a cable in number 14, you must find where it leads to on the other end. Jack E/NJ
    Jack E/NJ
  • dvictoridvictori Member Posts: 11

    Tinkerer

    Hi JackE,

    Thanks for your help. Where did you get that board image from? Because I can assure you that when I opened the notebook there were two flat cables connected to slots 13 and 14. And these cables lead to another board where the wireless card is attached (as you can see from the picture I sent). So maybe, looking at this other card schematics could help.

    Thanks
  • JackEJackE ACE Posts: 23,757 Trailblazer
    The spec image posted is supposed to be the top of the mainboard. I can't tell from your picture, the orientation of the mainboard relative to this image to see if we're looking at the same connectors. Jack E/NJ
    Jack E/NJ
  • dvictoridvictori Member Posts: 11

    Tinkerer

    Here is the uncropped image. It has the same orientation of the image you posted



  • JackEJackE ACE Posts: 23,757 Trailblazer
    >>>the golden flat cable connects to is the one I posted a picture before. You can see that the Wireless card is connected to this board (left corner with white and black antenna cables).>>>

    Unfortunately, it appears that you have a combo wifi+BT+mSATA board, part #55.RSF01.003. Doesn't seem to be separate cards in your particular machine. To be absolutely sure, I think you need to disconnect the two ribbon cables to make sure it is indeed one card we're looking at. Perhaps even extracting the card itself. This may be enough to kickstart it upon re-connecting everything. If you google the part number, you'll see why we got to try to bring this one back to life. Jack E/NJ


    Jack E/NJ
  • dvictoridvictori Member Posts: 11

    Tinkerer

    That is one expensive card :)

    I did take it out and disconnected the cables. Still no luck. Also, I just found another part # written at the back of the card: SM30-HS Sata BD 48.4QP06.011

    I guess I'll just have to keep working without the 20Gb SSD until I get a new notebook

    Bellow is the back side of the card


    And here the front side, without the Wireless card







  • JordanBJordanB ACE Posts: 3,670 Pathfinder
    edited June 2019
    I'm not an Acer employee.
  • JackEJackE ACE Posts: 23,757 Trailblazer
    Thanks Jordan. Googling the nonACER part number does reveal cheaper sources. Aliexpress sells them new for a more reasonable price if the mSATA is toast. The only issue is that it's put on a slowboat from China. Usually takes about a month or so to get here. https://www.aliexpress.com/item/PC-NANNY-original-FOR-ACER-S3-951-board-SM30-HS-SATA-BD-48-4QP06-011-WORKS/32840115139.html

    Jack E/NJ

    Jack E/NJ
  • dvictoridvictori Member Posts: 11

    Tinkerer

    Great. But is the 20Gb SSD embeded in this board? I could not get this information anywhere.
  • JackEJackE ACE Posts: 23,757 Trailblazer
    Yep. Sure looks like a wifi+bluetooth+SSD all-in-one. Maybe that's why it's called a wlan btconnect msata board? Probably not enough room in there for a separate normal msata SSD + wifi card. Somewhat related to what Jordan was getting at, can you see the SSD listed in the BIOS Information or Boot tabs? If not, can you run GPartEd or PartEd from the HDD or USB stick to see if they see it?   Jack E/NJ



     
    Jack E/NJ
  • dvictoridvictori Member Posts: 11

    Tinkerer

    The SSD is not listed in the Bios. I also can't see the SSD device in Gparted or parted.
  • JackEJackE ACE Posts: 23,757 Trailblazer
    How many times have you actually tried to fully re-seat both ends of the two ribbon cables to try to clean off possible corrosion on their contacts? Jack E/NJ
    Jack E/NJ
  • dvictoridvictori Member Posts: 11

    Tinkerer

    I did this a couple of times, 3 or 4.
  • JackEJackE ACE Posts: 23,757 Trailblazer
    You might try to wipe the contacts with a soft cloth and rubbing alcohol to make sure they're really clean. If this doesn't work then it probably means the SSD has failed. This is not unusual for these earlier flash memories. Jack E/NJ


    Jack E/NJ
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