swapping optical and hard drives
Originally Posted by GentleStream
I guess the questions I have could be summarized as follows:
1. Is my assumption that optical drives have a standard form factor accurate?
2. Does anyone with a 9860 and an empty optical drive bay have an optical
drive from another fairly modern laptop that you could use to test the
assumption in 1.
3. Does anyone with an 8890 have a hard drive for the second optical drive
bay? If so, does the BIOS know that it is a hard drive rather than an
4. When I finally order and receive my system, I'll be able to test some of
these assumptions myself since my daughter has a Dell Inspiron 600m
which has a removable optical drive. You can also get a hard drive to
use in place of the optical drive.
What really puzzles me is why Clevo did not make one of the optical drive
bays a modular bay like they did for the 7620. I'm not a laptop design
engineer but it seems like it would not have been that difficult to do and
it sure would add alot to the flexibility of the 9860, especially if you wanted
to use the Raid features. It would also have been really great to be able
to put an extra battery in a modular bay. Then you could hot swap batteries
when one got low instead of having to shutdown or plug into a power
I think I know what you are asking.
Hard drives and optical drives have a standard form factor, ie 9.5mm hard drives and slimline optical drives. There is usually a drive caddy - a holder that the drive goes in, then the holder is inserted into the laptop.
I've done what you are asking with an Inspiron 5000.
From what I have asked pctorque, the drive space/caddy on the 9860 has room for 2 hard drives. I'm planning to salvage 80g drive from my Inspiron to add it as a second drive.
As for the optical drives -9860- I'm not sure they use a caddy. From the pictures they look like they slide in - in raw form. Look at your modular optical drive from your dell and you will see the plastic around it is probably held on with 4 screws. Once you remove the screws and plastic, you will have a raw slimline drive. The other concern would be the bezel at the front. Some have a 1/2" front bezel to match the caddy holder. This can be popped off and replaced with a narrow bezel (different manufactures use different arrangements for the holes and pegs that are used to pop the bezel on and off). You'll hhave to get a standard slimline bezel for the model you have.(search web for parts-should only be a few dollars).
I purchased several hard drive caddies for my inspiron and swap the caddies whenever I want a different hard disk in it. My I5000 caddy slides in and is held in with 1 screw. My I5000 modular optical drive has a caddy. I've replaced the original CDdrive with a DVD, then a CD-RW , then DVD--RW, just by buying a slimline drive and replacing the drive in the caddy. Then it slides in as usual.
If anyone with a 9860 is familar with the detailed drive arrangement on the computer we would both appreciate it.