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9.5mm HDD in T420s/X1/X220

Discussion in 'Lenovo' started by vinuneuro, Jun 5, 2011.

  1. vinuneuro

    vinuneuro Notebook Virtuoso

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    So it looks like 9.5mm does fit at least in the X220.

    I'm now almost certainly going to go this route instead of the Z5K500 since it gives the options of 640 and 750gb. 640gb 9.5mm drives are the same price as the Z5K500. There's only a .05 lb weight penalty and no power consumption difference.

    However, I just tried the method in the link above I don't like it. Good news is that a 9.5mm does fit fine in the bay and the cover goes on no problem. Getting the drive in is easy enough, but getting it out is a total b*tch. The drive goes in at an angle which means you have to push the hdd down with one hand to keep it from pulling on the sata connector on the systemboard up; this is fine. But when removing it, unless you have someone to push down while you pry it out the drive does make the connector on the motherboard deflect enough to make me nervous about doing this more than once.

    The root cause of all this is is four small tabs on the upper part of the chassis (facing down) where the hard drive cover goes on. I don't why they even bothered adding that as it does nothing (there are hooks at one end of the hdd cover, a couple along the line and the screw at the end). The fit is so close and tight that once I removed the stickers from the spare Seagate I had it's possible to slide the drive straight in.

    So the solution is to just file/grind down those four tabs and 9.5mm hdd's will slide in/out without any problem at all.
     
  2. LastSilmaril

    LastSilmaril Notebook Consultant

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    Can you take a picture of those tabs? I would love not to waste money on 7mm drives, and am considering simply waiting a bit so I can get a 1TB drive in there. (Take that, MBA!)
     
  3. Thors.Hammer

    Thors.Hammer Notebook Enthusiast

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    Or you could just use a 7mm drive. :D
     
  4. vinuneuro

    vinuneuro Notebook Virtuoso

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    To clarify, just removing the stickers from both sides of the spare Seagate allows it to slide in but with quite a bit of force (there'd be no hope of getting it out without taking the bezel off again). Once the tabs are ground down it will definitely slide in with ease (I haven't done it yet, need to find my Dremel grinding attachment <- magnesium chassis.)

    Drive installed, hdd conver on, all good:

    [​IMG]

    You can see the tabs just are just barely in the way:

    [​IMG]

    You can clearly see them now. Started using sandpaper before realizing magensium is metal and will need to be ground down with the thin Dremel grinding attachment. It'll be much more accurate than the sandpaper as well.

    [​IMG]
     
  5. erik

    erik modifier

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    people actually want large, heavy, mechanical HDDs in their ultraportables? &#160; what's next... everyone wanting to go back to windows 3.11 to speed up boot times? :p

    joking aside, kudos for figuring out the geometry. &#160; hopefully pushing on the HDD cover when typing or the lack of rubber rails doesn't cause any issues down the line. &#160; it'll be interesting to see how this plays out long-term.
     
  6. ZaZ

    ZaZ Super Model Super Moderator

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    I ordered the 500GB Z5K500. I hope it comes, but if it doesn't, I'll make due with the 320GB I have now. It's already 300GB more than my X200 or X200t could offer me.
     
  7. Zuwxiv

    Zuwxiv Notebook Guru

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    I've got to think that, if one seems to fit but little things were put in to prevent them, there's got to be a serious design constraint that required that.

    I doubt the Lenovo engineers would be like "Let's add a 9.5mm height bay, then toss in some tabs that stop you from putting the drive in."

    I can't think of any problems it would cause though, and I hope you don't experience any.
     
  8. John Ratsey

    John Ratsey Moderately inquisitive Super Moderator

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    I did try putting a 9.5mm drive (without the rubber rails) into my T420s. It went in part way and then hit resistance. There seemed to be insufficient height in the bay nearest the front edge of the computer but the shortfall is small. Perhaps if I had forced the drive in it would have gone, but would never come out again.

    John
     
  9. aax

    aax Newbie

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    I needed more space for my virtual mashines so I ordered 640gb drive from https://www.superbiiz.com/detail.ph...00rpm-SATA2-16MB-Notebook-Hard-Drive-2-5-inch ( best price I found , and no, I'm not affiliated with them).
    Putting the drive was a royal PTA. Basically you are forcing the drive in. I had to wiggle it to get it going and to get it out, you had to pry a little on the side of the drive. This is on x220t.
    Works like a charm now.
     
  10. LastSilmaril

    LastSilmaril Notebook Consultant

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    Thanks for the pictures vinunero.
    Is it difficult to use a dremel tool effectively for this if I've never done it before?
    Eh. In any case, it's difficult to justify a basically unnecessary HDD purchase right now. Let's see if I could hold off for a yr and then go for a 1TB drive. This Samsung looks very tempting though:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822152290
     

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