Old IBM ThinkPad X40 with a new SSD (IDE-mSATA adapter)

Let’s replace the old hard disk in my vintage IBM ThinkPad X40 with a modern SSD using an IDE-mSATA adapter. Seeing is believing, so check out the video which will give you all details and results.

The old 1.8 inch mini hard disk is very slow and noisy but still working. Main problem is the old IDE controller and the tiny form factor so we need an adapter to mSATA which I got from eBay in China for 3€ or 7€ each. Note that there are two version available: 3.3V (X40/41) and 5V (T40-T43, T23 and probably for all 2.5″ IDE disk drives).

Adapter IDE-mSATA 3.3V 5V
IDE-mSATA adapters version as 3.3V (left) and 5V (right). Note the additional module on the 5V version.

The adapters are powered by a well known JMicron JM20330 converter. I had no problems with it and everything worked fine including TRIM under Windows 7.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
JMicron JM20330 IDE-mSATA converter

We are using the lowest cost SSD on the market right now directly from eBay China: the Vaseky V800. We have the 64 GB model for less than 20€. It seems to be using SanDisk components similar to a SanDisk Plus model.

ThinkPad X40 IDE msata adpter
Adapter and mSATA SSD

We did install Windows 7 on it with updates and some programs and ran some benchmarks. You can check out the video for detailed instructions and benchmarks. Spoiler: the SSD/adapter combo seems to work just fine and did increase speed to a very notable extend and reduced noise to pure silence. Of course long term quality is unknown but it is probably more reliable than the old hard disk.

Thanks for reading! You can check out more of this blog or my YouTube channel.

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2 Comments

  1. Hi. I watched the video. Is it completely OK to run JM20330 with Vaseky V800 at all? Have you made intensive CRC/MD5 data integrity check after a while of usage?

    Also, 3v vs 5v distinction is interesting. How do we easily know which one do we have to get and how to route online retailers to ship the correct one?

    Best regards.

    Like

    1. Hi, I haven’t done any data checks but the Systems are running stable so far for me. Remember we are talking about vintage systems that are 12+ years old by now.

      I believe that 3.3V version is for the smaller 1.8″ disk only, when in doubt ask the seller about your specific laptop model. You also have to trust the seller to send you what you have ordered (it did work for me) but there is always a small risk with old systems.

      Like

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