Microserver N36L/N40L side panels?

Discussion in 'DIY Computers' started by Mike Tomlinson, Oct 8, 2014.

  1. Anyone know how to get the plastic side panels off these? Googled
    without much luck. Wiggled, poked and probed but they won't shift and I
    don't want to damage them. It looks like the bottom panel has to come
    off first but I can't see how to do that either :)

    I want to fit a hot-plug SATA tray in the optical bay, but it needs the
    side brackets to be screwed to the chassis; it doesn't have rigid sides
    like an optical drive so flaps about when installed using the screws HP
    supply which slide into grooves in the chassis.

    There are holes in the chassis intended for conventional mounting
    screws, but to get at them means taking the side panels off and buggered
    if I can see how 'tis done.


    ps. the traditional uk.d-i-y solution of an angle grinder will not be
    appreciated :)
    Mike Tomlinson, Oct 8, 2014
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  2. I didn't manage to work it out either. Everything appears to be
    plastic-riveted together, and tracking down the
    disassembly-for-recycling PDF from HP that doesn't show the sides coming
    off either.

    Looking under the hood, I don't see anywhere to bolt in a standard drive
    - mine have holes for the slidein 5.25" tray and a spring clip. I
    suppose you could use overlong bolts and washers... after drilling out
    the melty plastic rivet bits to get the sides off.

    Might do better reinforcing the floppy sides of your SATA tray insert -
    or squeezing it inside a hollowed out old CD case.

    Cheers - Jaimie
    Jaimie Vandenbergh, Oct 8, 2014
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  3. Mike Tomlinson

    Daniel James Guest

    I'm not sure the plastic comes off at all. There are plastic clips that
    hold the plastic onto the metal chassis, and it looks as though you
    *might* be able to separate them by sliding the plastic panels
    forwards, but (as you say) upcurve on the front of the base of the case
    prevents that unless you can remove the base.

    You may be able to remove the metal side plates and the plastic
    together, but that would mean stripping the case right down.

    There is a service and maintenance manual for the Microserevers, I
    managed to find a copy online some time ago.

    Seems to be this:


    It doesn't help much ... it annoyingly shows the case apparently
    without the plastic side panels (e.g. in the illustration showing you
    how to remove the top panel to fit an optical drive) but doesn't tell
    you anything about removing them.
    Aha ... I've fitted an optical drive in my N36L, and I don't remember
    exactly how I did it ... but I don't remember taking the sides off so I
    guess I just used HP's screws.

    I might suggest that using a more rigid tray would be your best bet.
    Are you sure? My N40L (easier to examine than the N36L because its
    5.25" bay is empty) has a couple of holes on one side, but none on the
    other, and the holes don't seem to be in the right place(s) for
    standard drive mounting screws.

    Your chassis may be different, of course.

    Good luck!

    Daniel James, Oct 8, 2014
  4. It's pretty obvious how they went together (you can see plastic locator
    pins that fit into oblong holes in the metal chassis, so at the factory
    the panels must be positioned then slid and locked into place.)

    But of course, taking them apart again is another thing :)
    Eeeuww :)
    Nah, decided not to bother. This guy has done exactly what I wanted to
    do, with exactly the same SATA hot plug caddyless tray, and it so
    happened I had one in my bits box that I wanted to use:


    but he does say "The fit is very loose and it might seem like you've
    done it wrong".

    If you look at the first photo showing the tray, you'll see it's
    basically a pair of side brackets with 4 anti-vibration rubber mounts.
    Those mounts are quite loose, meaning the brackets need to be firmly
    fixed to the sides of the chassis to support the tray properly.

    I might try again with some double-sided tape or velcro.

    <fx: sound of galloping hooves>
    Mike Tomlinson, Oct 8, 2014
  5. I think you're right :( saw the holes and assumed (ha!) they were the
    standard-spaced mounting holes a la millions of PC chassis.
    Mike Tomlinson, Oct 8, 2014
  6. Mike Tomlinson

    Daniel James Guest

    Ah, yes, that isn't the most rigid-looking drive bay assembly I've ever

    I've used -- but not in a Microserver -- one of these:


    That's a NewEgg link (and out of stock) but I got mine from scan.com,
    who don't seem to have it any more -- probably an old model -- but


    looks similar (but with more aluminium and less plastic).

    They're pretty rigid, and I wouldn't expect any difficulty fitting one
    into a Microserver. It does have a fan, though, and so isn't absolutely
    silent (but pretty quiet -- my two main PCs both have their hard drives
    mounted in IB-169s and I they're really not audible at all in the
    non-silence of my study).

    Of course, if using a drive bay from the bits box rather than buying
    new kit is an essential part of the exercise this won't help ...

    Daniel James, Oct 9, 2014
  7. Mike Tomlinson

    Rob Morley Guest

    Plane up a couple of bits of wood to fit tightly between the inner
    and outer rails, secure with a couple of countersunk screws from
    the outside?
    Rob Morley, Oct 9, 2014
  8. Mike Tomlinson


    Jan 12, 2020
    Likes Received:
    I know this is a *really* old thread, but as it came to of my search results, and I have an answer, I though i'd post i to help anyone who might come across it like i did.

    1) remove the top, door, hard drives, main fan and motherboard
    2) move as many cables as possible out of the way
    3) see first picture - this is how the cover locks in place. there's a latch that is part of the cover that fits into the hole on the base (although this example is on the side).
    4) second picture shows what you need to do to each latch, 3rd pic shows the desired end result.
    The base, which you do first, has two, one at each side at the back (hence removing the rear fan so you can see them). also on the base, there are 3 clips at the very front that you have to somehow keep out of the way whilst you slide the bottom off. That was tricky, but i see no reason why to not just break them off (aside from perfectionism).
    5) you can then remove the sides in the same way.


    Attached Files:

    DarthMuppet, Jan 12, 2020
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