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mSATA: SSD /vs/ WWAN ?

W530/W540/W550 series specific matters only
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hellosailor
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mSATA: SSD /vs/ WWAN ?

#1 Post by hellosailor » Thu Sep 10, 2015 1:24 pm

My W530 shipped with full wireless capabilities, but I'd like to add an SSD to the mSATA slot.

Does that mean there is a "WWAN" cellular modem, including the built-in GPS functions, which will have to be lost? Or does the WWAN in the mSATA slot also contain my normal Wifi radios as well?

I can lose the unused cellular, I'd prefer not to lost the GPS, but sticking a large fast SSD in the mSATA certainly would be nice.

Anyone know for sure, which musical chairs have to be played?
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Re: mSATA: SSD /vs/ WWAN ?

#2 Post by Hans Gruber » Thu Sep 10, 2015 1:31 pm

Your WWAN port is the Msata port via the same PCI-E port. Normally it's empty an empty slot unless you are running a wireless network using a wirelss lan card. I think it's still a SATA II port on the W530 series vs. a SATA III port in the standard HDD slot. WWAN and WLAN use the same port. WWAN has a wider bandwidth (different card) but essentially the same function with different bandwidth and coverage.
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Re: mSATA: SSD /vs/ WWAN ?

#3 Post by ZaZ » Thu Sep 10, 2015 1:37 pm

You could consider the WD Black2 for the main bay. It's a SSD and 1TB hard drive mash up. I had one in my desktop and it offered decent performance, but it would leave the PCI slot for WWAN. If you can drop the optical drive, which would free another drive bay.
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Re: mSATA: SSD /vs/ WWAN ?

#4 Post by ajkula66 » Thu Sep 10, 2015 1:40 pm

hellosailor wrote:
Does that mean there is a "WWAN" cellular modem, including the built-in GPS functions, which will have to be lost? Or does the WWAN in the mSATA slot also contain my normal Wifi radios as well?
Nope.

If there's no card in the mSATA slot you'll lose absolutely nothing. No GPS etc.

Your wireless card is in an entirely different slot and has nothing to do with this upgrade path whatsoever.
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Re: mSATA: SSD /vs/ WWAN ?

#5 Post by hhhd1 » Thu Sep 10, 2015 1:48 pm

your laptop comes with 2 slots, wlan and wwan.

wlan, has the wifi card.
wwan, is usually left empty by lenovo, giving you the option to put a wwan+gps OR an msata ssd.

you need need to check if there is anything in the wwan card. best way is to remove the keyboard and look underneath it.

use the 'hmm' manual to know how to open the laptop.
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Re: mSATA: SSD /vs/ WWAN ?

#6 Post by hellosailor » Thu Sep 10, 2015 2:25 pm

Thanks, guys. I have used the manual, and I have gone into tpads before, but I prefer to not open one up "just to check".

So far there's a split opinion as to whether the cellular modem and gps, preconfigured on this machine, are or aren't considered as the WWAN card mSATA.

That's what I'm trying to find out. I don't see any other mention of them being physically installed anywhere else, perhaps I missed it.

I specifically didn't mention the primary drive or the disc drive because those aren't relevant here, I've already done what I want to with those. I'm looking specifically at adding an SSD to the mSATA slot, and whether that will force the removal of the cellular modem, which as I understand it is one and the same board as the GPS.
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Re: mSATA: SSD /vs/ WWAN ?

#7 Post by ajkula66 » Thu Sep 10, 2015 2:50 pm

hellosailor wrote:
So far there's a split opinion as to whether the cellular modem and gps, preconfigured on this machine, are or aren't considered as the WWAN card mSATA.
No split opinion. Unless the unit was *specifically* pre-configured to include a WWAN card, the slot is empty. Period.

What's the 7-character MTM of that machine?
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Re: mSATA: SSD /vs/ WWAN ?

#8 Post by Hans Gruber » Thu Sep 10, 2015 2:52 pm

The WWAN port is essentially to turn your laptop into a wireless radius server. Totally different than a wifi adapter. I have yet to meet someone with w WWAN card in their thinkpad.
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Re: mSATA: SSD /vs/ WWAN ?

#9 Post by hellosailor » Thu Sep 10, 2015 3:04 pm

2436CTO.
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Re: mSATA: SSD /vs/ WWAN ?

#10 Post by ajkula66 » Thu Sep 10, 2015 3:12 pm

hellosailor wrote:2436CTO.
Since it's a CTO, your best bet is to check the parts lookup here:

https://support.lenovo.com/en/partslookup

If you don't find a *specific* carrier-locked WWAN card included, it's not there.
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Re: mSATA: SSD /vs/ WWAN ?

#11 Post by hhhd1 » Thu Sep 10, 2015 3:43 pm

if the laptop is used, then it may be possible that the previous owner may have added or removed the wwan card.

the 2 only ways of knowing for certain:

1. check in the device manager if there is something that might look likes a wwan card, but before doing that, make sure it is not disabled in the bios.

2. open the laptop up, removing the keyboard should be as simple as removing 4 screws, which should be fairly simple if you have the right screw driver.
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Re: mSATA: SSD /vs/ WWAN ?

#12 Post by Hans Gruber » Thu Sep 10, 2015 5:08 pm

Hans Gruber wrote:The WWAN port is essentially to turn your laptop into a wireless radius server. Totally different than a wifi adapter. I have yet to meet someone with w WWAN card in their thinkpad.
Just as I read what I wrote I got a T61 in the mail today with a WWAN card inside. It also had a 4965AGN wifi card already. Based on the size of the of the heatsink, it appears to be integrated graphics and not Nvidia. It had 2GB of ram and fortunately it was a 2GB stick of ram. I had only one 2GB backup stick of the DDR2 memory.
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Re: mSATA: SSD /vs/ WWAN ?

#13 Post by hellosailor » Thu Sep 10, 2015 5:11 pm

Hans-
What does your WWAN card say? Anything about "Gobi" or cellular?
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Re: mSATA: SSD /vs/ WWAN ?

#14 Post by Hans Gruber » Thu Sep 10, 2015 5:15 pm

hellosailor wrote:Hans-
What does your WWAN card say? Anything about "Gobi" or cellular?
Sierra Wireless (MC5725) . It has Lenovo written on the card. It came new with the laptop from the factory. This T61 came from the original owner with the original box.

http://www.thinkwiki.org/wiki/Sierra_Wireless_MC5725
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Re: mSATA: SSD /vs/ WWAN ?

#15 Post by hellosailor » Thu Sep 10, 2015 7:17 pm

Thanks. That Sierra is a Verizon (CDMA) Broadband Wireless (aka cellular) modem card, called a WWAN adapter as well. So presumably my Gobi cellular modem is also installed as a WWAN adapter.
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Re: mSATA: SSD /vs/ WWAN ?

#16 Post by ajkula66 » Thu Sep 10, 2015 7:19 pm

hellosailor wrote:Hans-
What does your WWAN card say? Anything about "Gobi" or cellular?
There was no "gobi" in the *61-series days. One got a pre-configured WWAN service which in most cases meant Verizon or AT&T in the U.S., Rogers in Canada and Vodafone in Europe. These machines will also bark with a BIOS error code if one installs a non-approved WWAN card.

Starting with *10 series, WWAN is optional on ~95% of the *real* ThinkPads that Lenovo offered, and includes the antennae but not the card itself. This approach allows for more flexibility if one is configuring their own WWAN, or travels a lot and has to use different carriers.

Once again, you can find out whether your "new" ThinkPad has a WWAN card installed in less than 5 minutes. Out with the battery, RAM cover and keyboard and it will all be there for you to see.
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Re: mSATA: SSD /vs/ WWAN ?

#17 Post by hellosailor » Thu Sep 10, 2015 7:27 pm

George, it is even easier than that. Since there is an AT&T SIM card provided with the computer by Lenovo, I *know* there's a cellular modem card in there, and since those are apparently always called a WWAN adapter and apparently always installed in the mSATA socket (when available)....

Don't really want or need to disassemble the computer for this. Don't like to lift the hood at all, unless there's a real good reason for it. I need this one to be working properly, don't need to take risks with nudging a ribbon cable or dropping a screw, small as they may be. (The risks, not the screws.)
"The only good silicon life form, is a dead silicon life form." [Will Rogers]
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Re: mSATA: SSD /vs/ WWAN ?

#18 Post by ajkula66 » Thu Sep 10, 2015 7:31 pm

hellosailor wrote:George, it is even easier than that. Since there is an AT&T SIM card provided with the computer by Lenovo, I *know* there's a cellular modem card in there, and since those are apparently always called a WWAN adapter and apparently always installed in the mSATA socket (when available)....

Don't really want or need to disassemble the computer for this. Don't like to lift the hood at all, unless there's a real good reason for it. I need this one to be working properly, don't need to take risks with nudging a ribbon cable or dropping a screw, small as they may be. (The risks, not the screws.)
Does the machine have an OS installed right now?
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Re: mSATA: SSD /vs/ WWAN ?

#19 Post by hellosailor » Thu Sep 10, 2015 7:41 pm

Forgive my poor Engloish, George. When I said I need this one to be working (THIS ONE) and not to TAAKE ANY RISKS, I thought it was clear that I am talking about the machine I cam currently USING, so yes, it had darn well better have an OS installed on it. Probably the OS in my sig line.

Unless, as I said, it was abducted and probed by aliens, or the TSA is correct in assuming there's a bomb inside and it only *looks* like an OS is booting and running.

As I also said before, the OS doesn't seem to refer to any equipment as "WWAN" or "mSATA" unless that's some other view in Device Mangler [sic] that I've not seen.
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Re: mSATA: SSD /vs/ WWAN ?

#20 Post by ajkula66 » Thu Sep 10, 2015 8:00 pm

hellosailor wrote:Forgive my poor Engloish, George. When I said I need this one to be working (THIS ONE) and not to TAAKE ANY RISKS, I thought it was clear that I am talking about the machine I cam currently USING, so yes, it had *****Expletives removed by Moderator***** well better have an OS installed on it.
Not for nothing, but what's with the attitude? Both of us have been on this forum for quite some time...
Probably the OS in my sig line.
I don't see an OS of any kind listed in your sig as I'm posting this...
As I also said before, the OS doesn't seem to refer to any equipment as "WWAN" or "mSATA" unless that's some other view in Device Mangler [sic] that I've not seen.
Control Panel>Device Manager>Network adapters. If it's not there, and there are no unknown devices to be found then...I'd venture a guess that the actual card is not installed, regardless of any SIM that you might have found.

Presuming that your Hotkeys are working, Fn+F5 will bring up the WWAN option if there's an actual card installed.
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Re: mSATA: SSD /vs/ WWAN ?

#21 Post by hellosailor » Thu Sep 10, 2015 8:43 pm

Sorry, George, It has just been a long week and I'm always off my feed when 20 posts still manage to not answer what seems a simple question. I'll have to find out where my sig line went off to.

FNF5 does nothing, at least not in Win7/64 here.

I thought I'd gone over the Device mangler before. It does not list a WWAN adapter, however, it lists the Sierra/Gobi card and two miniport adapters, and I believe is simply doesn't use the ambiguous "WWAN" designation when the specific Sierra card is installed.

If there is only one "WWAN" socket, and that is the mSATA socket, and the cellular modems always install in that same socket--never an unmentioned other socket--it sure seems that the rest is all a matter of every party calling the same thing by a different name.
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Re: mSATA: SSD /vs/ WWAN ?

#22 Post by ajkula66 » Thu Sep 10, 2015 9:11 pm

hellosailor wrote:Sorry, George, It has just been a long week and I'm always off my feed when 20 posts still manage to not answer what seems a simple question. I'll have to find out where my sig line went off to.
No harm done. I know I've had my fair share of "those" days myself...
FNF5 does nothing, at least not in Win7/64 here.
You're missing the Power Manager, Hotkeys or both...
however, it lists the Sierra/Gobi card and two miniport adapters, and I believe is simply doesn't use the ambiguous "WWAN" designation when the specific Sierra card is installed.
Well, if it lists the Sierra card, you know that the slot is populated.
If there is only one "WWAN" socket, and that is the mSATA socket, and the cellular modems always install in that same socket--never an unmentioned other socket--it sure seems that the rest is all a matter of every party calling the same thing by a different name.
Now, the real question here - and the one that you'll have to answer for yourself - is whether you're intent on actually utilizing WWAN. My understanding - which may be incorrect since I never use WWAN on my own machines - is that the GPS function will not be enabled unless you're actually subscribed to a carrier service.
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Re: mSATA: SSD /vs/ WWAN ?

#23 Post by hellosailor » Sat Sep 12, 2015 8:05 pm

"You're missing the Power Manager, Hotkeys or both..."
Power manager is here for sure, and if "hotkeys" is a Win7 standard feature (as opposed to a Lenono quirky accessory) that should be here too. All the normal Win7 features are installed and enabled, unless something killed it.

"Well, if it lists the Sierra card, you know that the slot is populated." Right, that was part of the question up front, whether the Sierra card was or wasn't installed as a "WWAN" card in the mSATA socket. "WWAN" is such a broad term it is meaningless. Some of the cell phone companies at one point were trying to push some kind of wifi-on-steroids with enough range for an entire city, and call it WWAN not so long ago.

"whether you're intent on actually utilizing WWAN. My understanding - which may be incorrect since I never use WWAN on my own machines - is that the GPS function will not be enabled unless you're actually subscribed to a carrier service." I can assure you, I was tickled pink to find out this is "real" GPS, not A-GPS, and there's a Lenono applet that allows you to use the GPS all by itself. I can always tether off the cellphone, but having a GPS in the computer makes it much easier than plugging in an external one if I'm running a mapping application.
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Re: mSATA: SSD /vs/ WWAN ?

#24 Post by ajkula66 » Sat Sep 12, 2015 8:17 pm

hellosailor wrote:"You're missing the Power Manager, Hotkeys or both..."
Power manager is here for sure, and if "hotkeys" is a Win7 standard feature (as opposed to a Lenono quirky accessory) that should be here too. All the normal Win7 features are installed and enabled, unless something killed it.
I was referring to Lenovo's utility. Without it, Fn+F5 does nothing.
" Right, that was part of the question up front, whether the Sierra card was or wasn't installed as a "WWAN" card in the mSATA socket. "WWAN" is such a broad term it is meaningless. Some of the cell phone companies at one point were trying to push some kind of wifi-on-steroids with enough range for an entire city, and call it WWAN not so long ago.
You're referring to WiMax, not WWAN. Two completely different things.

WiMax was offered on ThinkPads and it was working off of Intel WLAN cards that were WiMax-capable. WWAN always meant a separate card, although the architecture has changed over the years.
I can assure you, I was tickled pink to find out this is "real" GPS, not A-GPS, and there's a Lenono applet that allows you to use the GPS all by itself. I can always tether off the cellphone, but having a GPS in the computer makes it much easier than plugging in an external one if I'm running a mapping application.
Well, I just learned something new. Thank you - good to know for future reference.
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Re: mSATA: SSD /vs/ WWAN ?

#25 Post by hellosailor » Sun Sep 13, 2015 8:24 pm

George, for no good reason FNF5 worked "as expected" tonight, the Lenovo applet which in this case (choice) brings up radio controls. WiMax, yes. Isn't that just one more type of Wide Area Wireless LAN, aka WWAN ?
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Re: mSATA: SSD /vs/ WWAN ?

#26 Post by ajkula66 » Sun Sep 13, 2015 8:36 pm

hellosailor wrote:George, for no good reason FNF5 worked "as expected" tonight, the Lenovo applet which in this case (choice) brings up radio controls.
Good to hear.
WiMax, yes. Isn't that just one more type of Wide Area Wireless LAN, aka WWAN ?
No, not really. Technology involved and standards are vastly different when compared to what is normally referred to as WWAN.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WiMAX
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Re: mSATA: SSD /vs/ WWAN ?

#27 Post by jcvjcvjcvjcv » Fri Sep 18, 2015 1:52 pm

I never understood why anyone would want yet another data plan for their laptop. I regularly use my phone to internet for my laptop.

In the past it was over Bluetooth (Sony Xperia X1), now over W-LAN (LG P880). Good thing about the LG is that it doesn't overheat while serving as modem. The S.E. X1 would become really hot

Net neutrality legislation overhere makes it illegal for ISPs to ban tethering.
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Re: mSATA: SSD /vs/ WWAN ?

#28 Post by frankparisi » Sat Jun 11, 2016 5:48 am

This thread is a flashback. Back when the T61 was shipping new was right around the time in personal computing when everyone wanted to be online at all time and at almost any cost, but Hotspots where not always easy to find yet. The discussion here about the beeping BIOS especially had me cracking up.

I always used a PCMCIA card. The earlier models had the little antenna sticking out with the red tip at the end of it.
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