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seeking advice re mini PCI-e to PCI-e adaptor

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CrazyDingo View Drop Down
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    Posted: 06 Jun 2015 at 1:51pm
I'm seeking advice about a mini-PCI-e to PCI-e adapter card:
- if the card has a problem, how much damage might it do to my system (worst case scenario)?
- if I were to test it in my machine (no reason yet to believe it is faulty in any way), are there any steps I might take to minimise damage (e.g. remove non-essential equipment, boot into an old HDD etc.)?
- any advice about trying such cards?
Thanks
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parsec View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote parsec Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Jun 2015 at 3:23pm
First of all, is this the type of adapter card you are referring to:

http://www.hwtools.net/Adapter/MP1.html

What device are you attempting to adapt from a mini PCIe interface to a standard PCIe interface?

Adapter cards like this are passive devices, meaning they do not use power to operate, or change the power and data connections in any way. They simply connect the appropriate contacts from a compatible device type (PCI Express) that have different physical interfaces, in this case mini PCI Express to standard PCI Express.

Both of these physical interfaces are well defined standards. If the adapter card manufacture made mistakes in the routing of the connections, then they failed to provide the most basic purpose of the device.

But let's imagine that the adapter card connected the power connections from the mother board to the mini PCIe device's data IO channels.

Since the mother board is only thing supplying power to the adapter card, the device most likely to be damaged would be the mini PCIe device. It would most likely be ruined.

The chance of power from the mother board being routed back into the PCIe data lanes is the main scenario that could cause damage to the board. Given the complexity of a mother board, predicting everything that could be damaged is virtually impossible.

What steps can you take to avoid damage from a badly designed adapter card? Only one, don't use it. PCIe data lanes are provided by either the CPU or the chipset. You can't disconnect either of them.

My main advice is know that there are multiple types of mini PCIe interface devices. The main two are SSDs and wireless networking adapters. Normally the mini PCIe slots on mother boards are designed to be used with ONLY one or the other of these two types. I've never heard of a mini PCIe slot that could be used for both purposes.

After writing all of this, which is thinking about it, my best suggestion is do NOT try to use an adapter card. There is much more to this than just using an adapter card. I was wondering why I could hardly find any of these cards at retailers, but now it makes sense.





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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote CrazyDingo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Jun 2015 at 6:29am
Hi parsec,
Thanks for the excellent info and advice (which I will of course follow).

The adapter is like the top right card in the link.  I bought this in haste for an Intel AC 7260 mini-pci-e adapter - it is designed for wifi adapters, but while it was coming in the post I started to have doubts about using equipment of unknown quality.

My new plan is to go with plain antenna for the adapter instead.

Kind regards.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote parsec Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Jun 2015 at 11:56am
Thanks, but let me step back at least a bit with my semi-rant about this adapter. Embarrassed

I'm sure these adapter cards (multiple models) work fine as long as the correct adapter card is used with the correct device.

My main point is we must know what we are doing when attempting to match a mini-PCIe device to one of the adapters.

Did you see their compatibility list of adapters with various devices:

http://www.bplus.com.tw/PDF/Compatibility_List.pdf

Your Intel 7260 is not in the list, but we can see that some other Intel mini PCIe network are compatible or not compatible with the various adapters. That company should be able to tell you if they have an adapter that can be used the the Intel 7260.

BTW, did you notice that company apparently sells the 7260, and antennae for it? I know you were asking about an antennae for your 7260 in your other thread.

At the bottom of their main page are all kinds of links to other products. I suggest you check them out. Here are two that may interest you:

http://www.hwtools.net/Antenna_Products.html

http://www.hwtools.net/Accessory/INTEL-7260.html
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote CrazyDingo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Jun 2015 at 2:12pm
Thanks - I'll have a look through this site.  I take your point about choosing correct adapters.
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