Home > C6100, Dell, Hardware, Home Lab > Modifying the Dell C6100 for 10GbE Mezz Cards

Modifying the Dell C6100 for 10GbE Mezz Cards

In a previous post, Got 10GbE working in the lab – first good results, I talked about getting 10GbE working with my Dell C6100 series.  Recently, a commenter asked me if I had any pictures of the modifications I had to make to the rear panel to make these 10GBE cards work.  As I have another C6100 I recently acquired (yes, I have a problem…), that needs the mods, it seems only prudent to share the steps I took in case it helps someone else.

First a little discussion about what you need:

  • Dell C6100 without the rear panel plate to be removed
  • Dell X53DF/TCK99 2 Port 10GbE Intel 82599 SFP+ Adapter
  • Dell HH4P1 PCI-E Bridge Card

You may find the Mezz card under either part number – it seems that the X53DF replaced the TCK99.  Perhaps one is the P/N and one is the FRU or some such.  But you NEED that little PCI-E bridge card.  It is usually included, but pay special attention to the listing to ensure it does.  What you DON’T really need, is the mesh back plate on the card – you can get it bare. 

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Shown above are the 2pt 10GbE SFP+ card in question, and also the 2pt 40GbE Infiniband card.  Above them both is the small PCI-E bridge card.

2015-06-11 21.19.24

You want to remove the two screws to remove the backing plate on the card.  You won’t be needing it, and you can set it aside.  The screws attach through the card and into the bracket, so once removed, reinsert the screws to the bracket to keep from losing them.

2015-06-11 21.17.14

Here we can see the back panel of the C6100 sled.  Ready to go for cutting.

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You can place the factory rear plate over the back plate.  Here you can see where you need to line it up and mark the cuts you’ll be doing.  Note that of course the bracket will sit higher up on the unit, so you’ll have to adjust for your horizontal lines. 

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If we look to the left, we can see the source of the problem that causes us to have to do this work.  The back panel here is not removable, and wraps around the left corner of the unit.  In systems with the removable plate, this simply unscrews and panel attached to the card slots in.  In the right hand side you can see the two screws that would attach the panel and card in that case.

2015-06-11 21.35.38

Here’s largely what we get once we complete the cuts.  Perhaps you’re better with a Dremel than I am. Note that the vertical cuts can be tough depending on the size of the cutting disk you have, as they may have interference from the bar to remove the sled. 

2015-06-11 21.36.162015-06-11 21.36.202015-06-11 21.36.28

You can now attach the PCI-E bridge card to the Mezz card, and slot it in.  I found it easiest to come at about 20 degree angle and slot in the 2 ports into the cut outs, then drop the PCI-E bridge into the slot.  When it’s all said and done, you’ll find it pretty secure and good to go.

That’s really about it.  Not a whole lot to it, and if you have it all in hand, you’d figure it out pretty quick.  This is largely to help show where my cut lines ended up compared tot he actual cuts and where adjustments could be made to make the cuts tighter if you wanted.  Also, if you’re planning to order, but are not sure if it works or is possible, then this is going to help out quite a bit.

Some potential vendors I’ve had luck with:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/DELL-X53DF-10GbE-DUAL-PORT-MEZZANINE-CARD-TCK99-POWEREDGE-C6100-C6105-C6220-/181751541002? – accepted $60 USD offer.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/DELL-X53DF-DUAL-PORT-10GE-MEZZANINE-TCK99-C6105-C6220-/181751288032?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item2a513890e0 – currently lists for $54 USD, I’m sure you could get them for $50 without too much negotiating.

Categories: C6100, Dell, Hardware, Home Lab
  1. Mad
    July 6, 2015 at 10:54 PM

    Hi, What about drivers on vsphere 5.5 ?


    • July 6, 2015 at 11:12 PM

      I didn’t have any issues, they were detected natively with no effort.

  2. Kane
    June 8, 2018 at 7:50 PM

    Hey vNetWise,

    I recently had to do this on my C6100 as well, your post gave me the courage to take the dremel to it. Worked perfectly!


    • June 9, 2018 at 12:23 AM

      Hah! It took me a while to get up the nerve as well. Glad to see it worked out for someone!

  1. June 11, 2015 at 11:06 PM

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