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Replace laptop DVD drive with hard drive

Posted on 2011-03-20
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
I have an ASUS F5GL laptop with 160GB X25-M SSD and intend to use a WD7500BPKT 750GB 7200RPM 2.5 inch SATA drive for most of my data.

Could I remove the DVD drive and mount the WD7500BPKT in its place and is this a good idea?
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Question by:p-plater
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by:garycase
ID: 35177754
Basically I'd say it's not a good idea;   but electrically it should work fine as long as you can figure out a way to mount the hard drive in the optical drive bay.

Note, however, that that are other considerations -- most notably whether or not the laptop will dissipate the heat from the hard drive okay in that bay.    I suspect it will (an optical drive generates about the same amount) ... but certainly don't know this for sure.
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by:asidu
ID: 35178188
That connection is possible, you have to make sure that the hard disk is mounted firmly in the housing and do the necessary connections.

I would use an external drive for storing data which can easily connected to the laptop via USB port.
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by:p-plater
ID: 35178516
I agree it's an unusual idea, I'm considering this because:

  1. I want to keep the bulk of the data on this not on the SSD, so it will be attached most of the time anyway
  2. If internally powered it will eliminate another lead for powered enclosure. USB speeds are not an option
  3. (I don't use the optical drive)
  4. Somebody on E-E mentioned the idea.

Any links or articles on it?

Apart from physical mounting, how could I connect inside the laptop to eSATA and power supply? Could I use the data/power connection from the DVD drive?
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by:garycase
ID: 35178579
The DVD drive is almost certainly a SATA drive [It HAS to be for this to work].

Assuming that's the case, you simply use the power and data connectors for the DVD drive.

Therein lies the challenge I noted above, where I said it would "... work fine as long as you can figure out a way to mount the hard drive in the optical drive bay."

Mounting it in the optical bay means not only physically mounting it;  but also connecting it to the SATA power and data connections designed for the optical drive.    Unfortunately, the relative positioning of the SATA connectors is NOT the same -- so you'll need a very short SATA cable for both power and data to connect the drive. [and manipulating these cables in the bay will be "fun"].

These guys sell 4" SATA data cables -- finding a very short power cable may be a real challenge (you could call them and see if they'll custom-make one):
http://www.satacables.com/


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by:booster49
ID: 35179280
Most laptop DVD drives use mini SATA connectors. So in order to connect it to the HDD/SSD u will need something like this
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by:p-plater
ID: 35179382
Thanks Booster49.

What's the plug type for the DVD drive power supply?
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by:booster49
ID: 35179403
The cable I linked to is both for power and data. the pair of black and red cables utilizes the power.
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by:garycase
ID: 35181565
The cable booster49 linked to is NOT what you need here.    It's designed to plug into the slimline DVD -- which has a DIFFERENT arrangement of power/data connectors than hard drives (the power/data orientation is reversed).     It's designed to make it easier to use a slimline laptop DVD in a desktop that has a combined power/data connector.

... it's also nearly 7" long, so even if the connectors were correct, it could be a challenge to fit in the bay along with the drive.
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by:booster49
ID: 35181862
@garycase

Yes couldnt find a picture of the exact thing, that why I said:"you need something like this".
Maybe I should have made it more clear.

A shorter cable with a correct arrangement does exist trough.
Or maybe you could even find a fitting "caddy"
Like this one: (for lenovo not asus)
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=250710607647
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garycase earned 500 total points
ID: 35182070
There are plenty of pictures of the connectors of slimline DVD drives at Newegg ... and it's easy to compare them to a 2.5" HDD.

As for whether a "shorter cable with a correct arrangement" exists or not ... I don't know that for sure  ==> if you are certain it does, you should post a link.   This is, after all, supposed to be "Experts" Exchange.

In any event, it's not necessary to "...  figure out a way to mount the hard drive in the optical drive bay ..."   ==>  it turns out there's a company that specializes in making bay adapters the match the form factor of various slimline optical drives but hold 2.5" disk drives:
http://newmodeus.com/shop/index.php?cPath=2_27&main_page=index

p-plater ==>  The adapters sold by newmodeus are exactly what you need;  but look CAREFULLY at what you buy.    Their adapters include several with internal SATA-IDE conversion, so you can use SATA drives in systems with IDE optical connectors;   IDE drives in systems with SATA optical connectors;  etc.     You need one for a SATA drive using SATA optical connections (i.e. no conversion).    This is PROBABLY the one you need -- but check the dimensions of your optical drive before ordering:  http://www.newmodeus.com/shop/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=2_27&products_id=197&zenid=6236713aa57a021464cd26e87e0bcb93
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by:booster49
ID: 35184023
@garycase
Saw them at the webshop from a wholesaler They where 5 bucks If I remember correctly. I dont have access to the webshop from my home. (as its for retailers only)
A bay adapter is a more elegant solution but it's also more expensive.
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Author Comment

by:p-plater
ID: 35337480
I just want to add that this operation was a success. I'm still waiting for my Scorpio Black to arrive but I tried the old Seagate standard laptop drive in the CD bay adapter, and HD Tune tested as 67 MB/s with 18 ms delay, compared to 43 MB/s with 25 ms delay when the same Seagate drive was the laptop's C: drive. It fit nicely and works well - thanks Newmodeus.com.

Many thanks to all who helped.

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