Install A Hard Drive Or SSD In Your Notebook's Optical Bay

Step 1: Replace The Hard Disk With The SSD

First, we replaced the notebook's internal hard disk, a Samsung Spinpoint M8 M500MBB, with a 120 GB Samsung 830 SSD and installed Windows from scratch. Then, we put the original hard disk into the OptiBayHD caddy. Finally, we replaced the notebook’s optical drive with the OptiBayHD caddy.

This is the test notebook, Dell's Latitude D630. It's not particularly new or sexy, but it remains a good candidate for an upgrade like this one.

1. Remove the hard disk mounting frame:

2. Put the SSD into the mounting frame:

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  • thehidecheck
    Lol, this reminds me of the floppy disks of yore. Still, there is alot of utility in this, I see it having a good future.
  • phamhlam
    I thought about doing this. It gives you the speed of a SSD and the space of a HDD. When you need your DVD drive, slide it back in or just use a USB one. I ended up selling my laptop and getting a desktop haahaha.
  • Xajel
    I think having a 128 - 256 GB mPCIe SSD will be much easier to have :D

    + it will give you the ability to have another HDD for large storage if you can't life with just 128 or 256GB :)
  • mswezey
    I've already done this 2 months ago! Best thing you can do for a laptop!
  • Anonymous
    But what about heat? As far as I can see there are no venting holes or I might just be mistaking. :)
  • Reynod
    Great idea ... I like it.

    Can you run some tests on the drive please?

    Compare it to the main drive for speed?

  • serhat359
    I also thought about this but it's just too expensive!
  • Pyree
    But what about heat? As far as I can see there are no venting holes or I might just be mistaking. :)

    Have that set up on my laptop. SDD in the normal HDD bay, HDD in OD bay. No issue on heat for HDD. HDD about 38-40c on load.
  • ivyanev
    Isn't eSATA usb 3 and other ports designed to accommodate external hdd? I agree that external isn't as convenient as build in ,but can be used in several laptops.
  • jamesedgeuk2000
    Lmao I did this back in 2006, the dell drive bay in your pic is one of the multibay drives used in the first ever XPS and the i9100.

    Hears another newsflash, you can also replace the optical drive with hot swappable extra battery's for extra power time! :O
  • __-_-_-__
    insane prices on toms hardware and confusing article.

    ICH2-8M chipsets: uses sata or pata
    ICH9M or newer: uses sata
    ODD sizes: 9.5mm or 12.7mm

    you can also put 1.8" drives if you get a 1.8" to 2.5" adapter.

    There's 2 types of ODD to HDD adapters:
    -Adapter only
    -hotswap capable ones that allow the odd caddy to slide

    "At about $68 (plus international shipping) the caddy isn't exactly cheap" o'really? toms is trying to rips us off.
    here way more cheaper and dozens of models:

    and even cheaper:

  • Yuka
    I've been looking for one of those for my Asus N3 fro quite some time now 8(

    I really think that using that space you could fit even more with custom "bays replacements". We still waste space. Also, making it into a real hdd bay could be great as well.

  • bennaye
    1. Cut a hole in the box.
    2. Put your junk in the box
    3. Make her open the box.

    And THAT'S the way you do itttt~ It's my SSD in a box!
  • hunshiki
    Because Lenovo's UltraBay is made so poorly, that it won't fit any computer.
    Just check the reviews at Lenovo:
  • jhansonxi
    I think this is a great idea for enabling software RAID 1 on a notebook. That would help performance and provide redundancy. With software RAID on Linux you can remove one drive and still boot so it is possible to swap the CD/DVD drive back in, use it, then swap it back out and let the RAID resync.
  • hunshiki
    It's a laptop, can get stolen easily. I think having Wuala, Crashplan, or any secure sync service is a better idea to prevent data loss. Also, never forget to have an encryption if you have business-sensitive information.
  • freggo
    That's a great idea. Will have to check it out. Can definitely breath some new live in older Laptops.
  • __-_-_-__
    hunshikiBecause Lenovo's UltraBay is made so poorly, that it won't fit any computer.Just check the reviews at Lenovo: [...] MIGR-73170

    it fit's. there's specially design odd converters for's a special 7-8mm thing. it's very rare but it does exist. probably cheap on ebay.
  • mrkdilkington
    Just bought one of these off ebay for $15.
    Also what effect does this have on the battery?
  • masterofevil22
    Why didn't I think of this??