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Adding extra storage into to a mPCI-E slot

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November 22, 2012 10:50:14 PM

Hey,

I've got an Acer Iconia 6886 that's just past warranty, and I'm starting to tinker with it a bit. I've got a free mPCI-E slot that's presumably for the advertised-yet-optional 3G capability, and as that's something I have no intention of ever using, I was hoping to stuff an SSD into the empty slot to compliment the existing physical HDD (Which I may or may not upgrade after adding the SSD). I don't expect it's mSATA compatible, though I don't know this for sure, as I haven't had the best of luck finding a complete, detailed spec sheet on this thing. I have seen drives that seem to be actually mPCI-E as opposed to mSATA, so either way I expect I should be able to find something that would work.

This laptop is too much fun not to play around with, but as I don't typically mod my laptops, this isn't something I have a whole lot of experience with. Does anybody have any experience with this sort of thing and could offer some guidance?
a c 79 G Storage
November 23, 2012 12:57:02 PM

Why not just buy a standard USB external hard drive which can be used on several different laptops or PCs if required? They are "hot-pluggable" too.
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November 25, 2012 11:22:14 PM

The main reason is portability, and it's very much a self-inflicted problem. A USB hard drive would certainly be cheaper (Easily 2TB for the cost of a decent mini-PCIe SSD), and is something I actually use when I'm at home. The Iconia's a dual-screen laptop with no physical keyboard. If I need to do any typing beyond the odd web address or email message, or want to use the second screen as a display rather than a software keyboard, that's a keyboard and mouse I have to carry with me. The USB drive would be one more thing in my laptop bag, and one more thing on whatever table or desk I end up using.

Reason two is performance and battery life. I'd want to boot off the SSD if I could, and keep anything frequently used on it. In addition to being a bit faster, this would hopefully let me keep the physical HDD in standby until I need it, saving a little extra battery life. I'm already upgrading to a 9-cell battery - The stock 4-cell is lucky to make two hours, thanks to having two screens to power.

I found an inexpensive device that would let me add a pair of MicroSD cards into the mPCI-e slot. Not as fast as a real SSD, but cheap enough to see if it can be done without breaking the bank on an upgrade that may not work.
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