HDD instead of a DVD drive in a laptop: setup methods, tips

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HDD instead of a DVD drive in a laptop: setup methods, tips
HDD instead of a DVD drive in a laptop: setup methods, tips

Sometimes, having bought a laptop, a person wonders why this DVD-drive is needed. Nowadays, everyone uses flash drives, the price of which is quite affordable. You can find out how to benefit from a DVD drive and get a decent bonus in performance or HDD storage in this article.

The purpose of replacing DVD with HDD/SSD


Advanced laptop users understand perfectly well why install an additional HDD and do it without advertising the bonuses they use. In fact, the reasons are simple and any computer owner can understand them. The main advantage of replacing the HDD instead of a DVD drive in a laptop is the additional space on the laptop and the speed of work. Manufacturers of such equipment often install small HDD drives and you can add it either by replacing the hard drive or by installing an additional drive instead of a DVD drive.

After SSD drives appeared on the market, such a replacement became simply mandatory, since SSD-drive computer runs many times faster. Thus, by installing an SSD instead of a standard hard drive, you can speed up any system. The main disadvantage of this solution is the small size of the SSD drive and the high price. For this reason, connection adapters were invented that replaced conventional DVD drives with HDD hard drives, which are more spacious and affordable.

HDD connection adapter

Adapter that replaces a DVD drive
Adapter that replaces a DVD drive

There is only one way to connect an additional hard drive to a laptop. Special adapters for connecting an HDD instead of a DVD drive in a laptop are a copy of the DVD drive itself, but with a hard drive bay, usually 2.5 in size. Such adapters are made for any brand of laptops and there should be no problems with selection.

Adapters are most often produced in China, and even if it says "Made in Japan", it is most likely a hoax. Notebook manufacturers do not officially sell adapters for connecting a second hard drive, so you need to buy these devices from trusted sellers with many positive reviews.

Choosing an adapter to replace a DVD drive


First of all, you need to determine what size HDD adapter fits your laptop. At the moment, there are two types of adapters - 12.7 mm and 9.5 mm. The difference is due to the year of manufacture of the laptop. For older models, the height of the adapter for installing an HDD instead of a DVD drive in a laptop will be correspondingly higher, while for new ultra-thin models it will be less. As a rule, the interface of adapters is not higher than SATA II, therefore, the data processing speed will be an order of magnitude slower than the main SATA III interface of connecting a hard drive in a laptop.

Why the laptop does not see the second HDD

Types of adapters
Types of adapters

It happens that after installing a second hard drive, the system does not see it. The problem may arise for those people who have not formatted the new HDD. In this case, you need to use the utility to manage system disks on a laptop and format it. In this process, you should select the NTFS file system, and the problem will go away.

If the disk is still not detected by the laptop, it is worth checking the new HDD for operability. Another reason that the laptop does not see the HDD instead of the DVD drive may be the purchase of a defective adapter. All adapters (adapters) are made in China, and as we know, the amount of marriage in this country is quite large. In the event of a marriage, it is best to return the product or replace it.

Difference between SSD and HDD

HDD: inside view
HDD: inside view

The choice between installing an additional hard drive depends on the needs of each individual. Some users want to increase the total amount of memory on a laptop. Others are chasing the speed of the system as a whole.

The difference between SSD and HDD is due to price and processing speed. As a rule, SSDs are more expensive and not everyone can afford to buy an SSD of the same volume as an HDD. For this reason, small SSD drives are installed.volume as the main disk for fast system operation, and all media files are stored on the second HDD, connected by an HDD adapter instead of a DVD drive to a laptop.

The speed of an SSD drive is on average 3 times faster than a regular HDD. This is primarily due to the fact that HDDs have not changed much since their invention in the 1990s. In the early 2000s, there were attempts to increase the speed of HDD drives from 5400 rpm to 7200 rpm. There was an increase in speed, but it could only be seen in synthetic tests, and there could be no talk of any increase in speed in performing tasks. SSD is a new product, and no HDD can compare with the simplest and cheapest SSD.

The disadvantage of the new SSD drives is the limited number of overwrites. True, an ordinary computer user will not always be able to achieve this number. The inflated price compared to a conventional HDD drive is also a minus. A 1TB HDD is comparable in price to a 120GB SSD.

Installing an SSD drive as primary

Laptop setup
Laptop setup

In order for the system to run faster, you need to replace the main HDD with a new SSD. This is due to the speed of the adapter. The speed of the adapter is 4-5 times slower than the cable that connects the main hard drive to the motherboard. At the same time, the HDD drive is several times slower than the SSD, so it will be correct to install the SSD as the main one. Thus, the complete laptop HDD is connected to the HDD adapter instead of the DVD drive in the laptop, and the SSDput in place of the HDD. After the replacement, you need to install the system on the SSD. The main working drive will be an SSD, and the HDD will serve as an additional storage for large files (movies, games and music).

In order for the SSD to work at full capacity, you need to check which drivers are installed on the system and whether features are enabled that will ensure that the speed of the SSD is fully unlocked. First of all, you need to check if the TRIM function is enabled. This function, when deleting files, tells the SSD that the drive area is not in use and it can be prepared for the next write of information. This does not happen in a conventional HDD, and when, for example, a movie is deleted, the data remains and is overwritten on top of the previous ones. Checking the TRIM function is easy. At the command line, enter fsutil behavior query disabledeletenotify. If the result is DisableDeleteNotify=0, then the TRIM function is working. As a rule, starting with Windows 7, this feature is enabled automatically.

Drive Replacement Procedure

When replacing drive:

  1. First of all, disconnect the battery. Find the drive icon on the back cover of the laptop. If there is no icon, then unscrew the screws that hold the drive.
  2. Remove the DVD drive we want to replace.
  3. Remove the rear access cover to the HDD-drive. If there is no such cover, you need to disassemble the entire laptop.
  4. HDD is attached with 4 screws. You need to unscrew them and disconnect the drive from the wires.
  5. After we connect the SSD to the plug from which the HDD was disconnected. Install HDD insteadDVD drive into the laptop and spin everything in reverse order.

In cases where there is no cover with access to the drive and you need to disassemble the entire laptop, the right decision would be to contact any laptop repair service center.

Notebooks with two HDD slots

Tips for laptop owners
Tips for laptop owners

Of all the variety of laptops, it is worth highlighting special models with an additional slot for installing a second drive. In this case, before buying an adapter for an HDD instead of a DVD drive in a laptop, you need to check how many slots for installing hard drives the laptop has. To check the number of slots, you need to unscrew the back cover, on which the HDD is drawn. This way you can save money and time.

The big advantage (if the laptop has a second drive slot) will be the speed. Standard interfaces for connecting HDD and SSD drives, as mentioned above, have a SATA III interface. The adapter for changing the HDD instead of a DVD drive in a laptop has a SATA II drive connection interface, which is an order of magnitude slower.

Safety precautions when replacing components

Installing an SSD
Installing an SSD

In order not to break or burn anything, first of all, disconnect the device from the power supply and remove the battery if it is removable. If the battery is built-in (which happens), disconnect the connector from the battery by unscrewing the intermediate cover from the bottom of the laptop.

Before installing a second HDD instead of a DVD drive in a laptop, always read the instructions ifthere is one. If you need to completely disassemble the model to replace components, and you are not sure that you can handle it, then contact the service center. You can do it much easier. Call a friend who has at least once disassembled such equipment and installed an HDD instead of a DVD drive in a laptop for someone.

Be careful when loosening the screws as screws come in different lengths. If during assembly you tighten a long screw where a short one should be, then with a high probability you will break the motherboard or any other components. To avoid any breakdowns and problems during assembly, draw the bottom of the laptop on a piece of paper and sign from which holes you removed the long and short screws.

Final tips. Never try to install an unsuitable HDD adapter instead of a DVD drive in a laptop. An adapter designed for thin technology will not fit a laptop with a thickness of 12.7 mm, and vice versa. If something doesn't twist or snap into place when assembling your model, don't use force. You can break plastic. Better double-check everything and assemble the laptop again.

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