1 Reply Latest reply on Feb 4, 2017 1:20 PM by N.Scott.Pearson

    Can Thunderbolt 3 Be Used as Boot Device?

    Pone

      I saw a press release that suggested Intel is going to include Thunderbolt 3 support in many of its upcoming NUC releases.   Has anyone tried this on an NUC to build the boot device for the OS on the externally mounted Thunderbolt 3 drive?   I want in my configuration:

       

      1) Two identical SSDs, mounted in an external enclosure by Thunderbolt 3, then mirrored using Software RAID under Windows

       

      2) A set of SATA drives, either connected by USB or by Thunderbolt, to an appropriate enclosure.   The SATA drives will be used to do image backups of the boot devices.

       

      Is there a way to get this to work?   What I am trying to avoid is any need to open up the NUC box and squeeze around inside to mount one or two SSDs.

        • 1. Re: Can Thunderbolt 3 Be Used as Boot Device?
          N.Scott.Pearson

          Hhmmm, you are going to have to open the box and "squeeze around inside" to mount your DRAM anyway, so you might as well use an internal SSD (a M.2 NVMe SSD will kick the pants of any other internal or external solution).

           

          You will certainly be able to mount multiple drives via TBT3, but I haven't used any non-Intel, Windows-based, Software RAID solutions so I cannot comment on their applicability; what I can say is that Intel's RST RAID capability is not applicable for TBT3-mounted drives.

           

          As for SATA drives, some of the NUC7 boxes (the "H" models) will have an internal bay for a 2.5" SATA HDD/SSD/SSHD. If you use a (albeit slower) M.2 SATA SSD in the internal M.2 socket, it is possible to use Intel RST RAID across this drive and an internal 2.5" SATA SSD/SSHD/HDD. This includes a RAID1 configuration where the 2.5" SATA SSD/SSHD/HDD is a mirror of the M.2 SATA SSD.

           

          Having a pair (or any number really) of SATA drives in an external enclosure is certainly possible; USB3 or TBT3 will be your mechanisms for connecting them.

           

          Hope this helps,

          ...S

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