1. You may have noticed things look a little different around here - we've switched to a new platform (XenForo) and have some new forum styles and features. This how-to guide will help you find your way around. If you find anything that looks strange, post it in this thread.

DIY: Adding SSD or HDD storage using an optical bay caddy

Discussion in 'Hardware Components and Aftermarket Upgrades' started by User Retired 2, Jun 9, 2009.

  1. User Retired 2

    User Retired 2 Notebook Nobel Laureate NBR Reviewer

    Messages:
    7,897
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    0
    <table bgcolor=Gainsboro><tbody><tr>
    <td>Introduction - This article contains details on how to make best use of an optical bay caddy to extend notebook storage with a 2.5" SSD or HDD in place of the standard or slot-loaded optical drive. Included are links to buy the correct caddy plus some configuration items: hotswapping, setting spindown timeout on secondary HDD.
    </td> <td>[​IMG]</td><td>[​IMG]</td></tr></tbody></table>
    Benefits of using an optical bay caddy
    <br>
    • Inexpensive. Ebay caddy is only US$12-US$26 delivered worldwide.<br>
    • Identical faceplate. Transplant your ODD's faceplate to an ebay Fenvi or some newmodeus caddies to achieve identical appearance to your current optical drive drive. 9.5mm ebay | 12.7mm ebay<br>
    • Improve performance and extend battery life using a hybrid SSD+HDD system. A small, fast SSD hosts your os and apps in your primary bay. A 2.5" HDD in optical bay caddy, in battery-efficient spindown mode when inactive, provides a decent sized data repository.<br>
    • 1TB/1.5TB/2TB of storage capacity using a combination of 9.5mm 500GB and 12.5mm 1TB 2.5" HDDs. <br>
    • Hotswap versatility. Allows the optical bay caddy and optical drive to be swapped in/out as required if used with a primary SSD/HDD. Eg: Can access an optical drive when needed to say load software or watch DVDs, then hotswap back in the HDD in caddy to access your repository of multimedia or document files.<br>
    • If prefer not to hotswap, can use an usb adapter/enclosure to allow either the optical drive or caddy to be used externally. Eg: PATA: 9.5mm & | 12.7mm | adapter, SATA: e-sata/usb cable or enclosure<br>
    • Use SATA drives in older PATA-only systems. Latest 250gb-per-platter SATA HDDs are faster and cheaper per GB than 160gb-per-platter IDE HDDs and are well matched to ICH2M+ 83-87MB interface speed. SATA SSD a good performer over sata-to-pata bridge as astericksed here. SATA SSD/HDD can be transplanted in newer SATA systems in the future. Older notebooks can be resurrected as fileservers or media centers, conditional on 48bit LBA bios support to allow full use of > 137GB storage.<br>
    • Can be better bang-per-buck than a system upgrade. When you consider how a primary bay SSD can provide day-and-night improvements in os and app performance improvements over a HDD.<br>
    • Can provide lower running temperature of HDDs compared to using the primary bay [user reported]<br>

    Optical bay caddy configuration matrix

    <table border=2 bgcolor=white cellpadding=5 cellspacing=0 style="border: 3px solid; border-color: black"> <tbody> <tr style="background-color: #d9d9d9;"><td rowspan=2>I/O<br> Chipset</td> <td rowspan=2>Primary<br>Bay</td> <td rowspan=2>Optical<br>Bay</td> <td colspan=2>Optical Bay Caddy Product Link</td><td rowspan=2>
    Example link/caddy used​
    </td> </tr><tr style="background-color: #d9d9d9;"><td>ebay &</td><td>newmodeus<span style="font-size: x-small"><sup>0</sup></span></td></tr><tr><td>ICH2-8M</td> <td>pata or<br>sata<span style="font-size: x-small"><sup>1</sup></span></A></td> <td>pata<span style="font-size: x-small"><sup>2</sup><sup>3</sup></span></td> <td>7.0mm sata-to-pata<br><br>9.5mm pata<span style="font-size: x-small">#1</span> <br> sata-to-pata<span style="font-size: x-small">#01</span> <br><br>12.7mm pata
    sata-to-pata<span style="font-size: x-small">#0</span></td><td>-<br><br>9.5mm pata<br>sata-to-pata<br><br>12.7mm pata<br>sata-to-pata<td>HP 2510P 9.5mm sata-to-pata,pata/newm+ebay</A><br>Dell M1330 9.5mm pata [slot]/newm<br>Dell Vostro 1400 12.7mm sata-to-pata/ebay<br>HP 8710W 12.7mm sata-to-pata/newm<br>Clevo M570RU 12.7mm sata-to-pata/newm<br><br><br></td> </tr><tr><td rowspan=2> ICH9M or<br> newer</td> <td>sata</td> <td>sata</td> <td>9.5mm sata<br>12.7mm sata</td><td rowspan=2>9.5mm sata<br>9.5mm sata<br>12.7mm 9.5mm</td><td>Clevo P150HMA 14mm/ebay<br>Toshiba R830-835 9.5mm/ebay-Fenvi<br>Alienware M14x 9.5mm/ebay-Fenvi<br>Dell E6400/E6500 9.5mm sata/ebay &newm<br>HP 2530P 9.5mm sata/newm<br>HP Envy14 9.5mm sata/newm<br>Sony Vaio Z12 9.5mm sata/newm<br>Lenovo E420 12.7mm sata/newm<br>Sony Vaio FW51JF 12.7mm sata/ebay<br>HP 8730W 12.7mm sata/newm<br>Dell XPS 1647 12.7mm sata [slot]/newm<br>Alienware M17xR2 12.7mm sata [slot]/newm</td></tr> </tbody> </table>
    <span style="font-size: x-small"><sup>0</sup> 5% discount coupons on their facebook page. Their slot-loading products the same as others linked above minus the faceplate. Their 12.7mm product allowing the use of your optical drive's faceplate as shown here.
    <sup>1</sup> SATA SSD performs best when installed in primary SATA bay. ICH8M: CAP.ISS shows if 1.5Gbps cap applies.
    <sup>2</sup> if sharing PATA bus with primary bay drive, a master/slave jumper gives more config flexibility.
    <sup>3</sup> sata-to-pata chip adds power consumption overhead. newmodeus(Sunplus)=0.8W, ebay (Marvell)=1W. The newmodeus caddy has issues with SSD TRIM - the ebay caddy doesn't. Intel ICHxM UDMA5/ATA100 PATA interface measured to give maximum read of 83-87MB/s. This post compares power consumption/performance for PATA and SATA-to-PATA caddies, benchmarks show great SSD/HDD performance.

    Product Link
    #0 can be modified to improve functionality: faceplate strength for hotswap ability, master pinmod, HDD LED.
    #1 rear connector unscrews to reveal JAE50 like shown here.</span>

    Hotswapping the optical drive and 2.5" drive in optical bay caddy

    Hotswap! provides a Safely Hotswap Hardware system tray icon to simplify disabling the device prior to removal or scanning the system when inserted. Allows hotswapping in/out the optical drive and 2.5" drive in optical bay caddy if using a primary SSD or HDD. Hotswapping is supported by the ICHxM SATA/PATA interfaces. So can for example watch a DVD with the optical drive then swap in a 2.5" HDD to access your multimedia files or documents.

    [​IMG]

    Setting standby idle standby timeout to improve battery life

    hdparm allows control of individual drive standby timeout periods to spindown the HDD if it's idle to conserve power. This would be recommended if running a primary bay SSD and optical bay 2.5" HDD at the same time. The commands below are easily added to a batch file to run in Windows startup folder. <br><br>
    • Download hdparm for Windows.<br>
    • Identify the drive you wish to operate on:
    • Set a batch file to run in startup with standby time of your choice, example 1 min. Refer to the -S parameter in the hdparm commandline options. hdparm can also be used to set drive transfer mode, eg: 'hdparm -X udma5 /dev/sdb'
    Versatility: using 9.5mm caddy in other 9.5mm/12.7mm optical bay systems

    The newmodeus 9.5mm SATA-to-PATA/PATA caddy slides straight into a 12.7mm PATA optical drive bay. A great way of sharing data at full speed between hosts, without having to setup a network or be limited to USB speed. Can then hotswap the caddys between multiple systems. The SATA version likely to offer same versatility.

    Adding a 1.8" SSD/HDD in a 2.5" drive bay

    1.8-to-2.5" adapters allows a 1.8" SSD or HDD to be installed in the optical bay caddy or 2.5" primary bay. SATA adapters shown here. PATA adapter is available on ebay for a few dollars.

    Quirks applicable to Sandy Bridge HP Probooks/Elitebooks using Insyde BIOS

    How to enable Upgrade Bay Hard Drive boot: so can hit F9 and boot off an optical bay caddy HDD or SSD.

    Quirks applicable to PATA optical drive interfaces (ICH8M or older)

    1. Some system's bios sets the pata optical interface into slow UDMA2 mode. See nbruser's software and/or MBR workaround.

    2. Some system's bios sets the timings to use 33Mhz rather than 66Mhz timings. Notably HP 2510P which then caps write performance to < 30MB/s. See software workaround. Consider too hardwiring the caddy Pin 34 (-CBLID) to GND to set "80-pin cable mode" which uses 66Mhz timings.

    3. Phoenix bios directs boot to optical caddy HDD. See software workaround.

    4. Some Toshiba systems whitelist the HDD in a sata-to-pata caddy. See here

    5. May need to do a slave_mod & to get an ebay caddy running as slave. Mod works with the topda branded ebay caddy.

    Followup<br>
    If using an optical bay caddy to extend system storage, please post some details as examples. Eg:

    - which caddy you are using, eg: ebay or newmodeus
    - the look, feel and performance of the caddy. Photos against the chassis compared to original optical drive
    - any gotchas or tips and tricks
    - any mods, eg: on/off switch on the sata-to-pata caddy to conserve power if using it with a SSD.

    Note I have no commercial affiliation with any of vendors whose products are highlighted in this article. This information is provided to assist others in creating a great bang-per-buck storage expansion/performance upgrade.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 6, 2015
  2. Rob41

    Rob41 Team Pirate Control

    Messages:
    2,491
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    56
    Interesting.
     
  3. TehSuigi

    TehSuigi Part-time Acer Moderator

    Messages:
    3,882
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    105
    Great guide - I've always been interested in using the optical bay for a hard drive, especially if I move to a smaller SSD. This way, I can keep the HDD for movies, music, etc.
     
  4. 5482741

    5482741 5482741

    Messages:
    1,530
    Likes Received:
    16
    Trophy Points:
    56
    The hotswap software is very useful, now I can switch from my 500GB HDD to my DVD drive without restarting.
     
  5. ViciousXUSMC

    ViciousXUSMC Master Viking NBR Reviewer

    Messages:
    16,843
    Likes Received:
    73
    Trophy Points:
    466
    Interesting indeed, looks like the newer ICH9 and ICH10 I would guess get full speed due to a SATA interface for the optical drive correct?
     
  6. __-_-_-__

    __-_-_-__ God

    Messages:
    1,797
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    55
    this is really GREAT :eek: I never thought in a thing like this. great find!
     
  7. User Retired 2

    User Retired 2 Notebook Nobel Laureate NBR Reviewer

    Messages:
    7,897
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Confirmed to be correct with the ICH9M equipped Lenovo T400/T500. It can do full uncapped 3Gbps on their primary and optical bay SATA interfaces.

    I will elaborate more on this below as it's important to know if you have a capped primary bay SATA interface to see full streaming performance with the latest SSDs capable of 220MB/s+ (OCZ Vertex, G.Skill Falcon, Intel X25-M), which are otherwise capped to ~140MB/s on a 1.5Gbps interface.

    I/O Chipsets and their 1.5Gbps/3Gbps SATA interface

    ICH5/6/7/8M have both a PATA and a SATA interface on the chipset, with PATA used for the optical drive and either SATA or PATA for the primary drive. Since around ICH6M the trend has been to use a SATA primary drive with the deviations like the HP 2510P and Dell D420/430 ultraportables using a 1.8" PATA primary bay interface instead.

    ICH9M and newer use a SATA interface for both the primary drive and the optical bay.

    ICH8M and newer are SATA-II 3Gbps transfer capable, a drawcard to upgrade from ICH5/6/7/M's 1.5Gbps maximum. You can check if your ICH8M or newer chipset is 1.5Gbps bios capped by viewing the the CAP.ISS value as shown here. If you find you are capped, the could request a bios upgrade from the system manufacturer.
     
  8. Aeris

    Aeris Cyber Daemon

    Messages:
    797
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    30
    Incredible guide, nando4, thanks for posting.

    I will bookmark it for later use.
     
  9. Phinagle

    Phinagle Notebook Prophet

    Messages:
    4,392
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    106
    Is this compatible with the Nvidia 9400M chipset?
     
  10. Aeris

    Aeris Cyber Daemon

    Messages:
    797
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    30
    It should work.
     
  11. octagonalman

    octagonalman Notebook Guru

    Messages:
    52
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    15
    nando4, what's your particular setup?
     
  12. User Retired 2

    User Retired 2 Notebook Nobel Laureate NBR Reviewer

    Messages:
    7,897
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Nvidia 9400M chipset compatibility

    For your NV9400m chipset, just measure how tall your optical drive is (12.7mm or 9.5mm) and look at the plug on the back of the optical drive as shown here to see if it's a SATA or PATA optical drive. Then can just follow the Optical bay caddy configuration matrix, disregarding the I/O Chipset column, to get the optical bay caddy you require.

    To be pedantic with the hotswapping, would need double-checking to see what chip is handling the optical drive interface and whether it supports hotswapping. It appears the nv9400 is a SATA chip, so if the optical bay interface is SATA, it would be handling I/O and would support hotswapping.

    Exceptions using additional boards on the optical drive

    There are some rare systems such as the HP TX2500 that require special attention since they have an additional boards attached on the optical drive as shown here. That board requiring transplant onto the caddy instead.

    Obviously hotswapping would need that same board on both the optical drive and optical drive caddy. So would need purchase of a second board to put on the back of the optical bay caddy, or the supplied board *might* be able to be affixed onto the systemboard such that the optical bay caddy/optical drive just slide onto it.
     
  13. diskfreak

    diskfreak Notebook Enthusiast

    Messages:
    19
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    5
    Please be aware that some HP notebooks with ICH8M seem to have a limitation on the optical bay connection ( maybe in the BIOS) limiting the speed of the hard drive in the optical bay to multiword DMA 2 resulting in a speed around 15 MB/s. Nando4 doesn´t really seem to accept this problem, but it is discussed in the following thread: http://forum.notebookreview.com/showthread.php?p=4955508#post4955508

    Please post if you succeed to get a higher speed with a hard drive in the optical bay on any HP notebook with ICH8M and the primary hard drive on SATA. So far the problem has been described on two 8710w and one 6510b machine.
     
  14. paper_wastage

    paper_wastage Beat this 7x7x7 Cube

    Messages:
    2,488
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    55
    well, my dell m1330 is a slot loading 9.5mm dvd drive... this might be useful if i want more storage, since replacing the dvd drive means taking almost the whole machine apart... oh well, think i will stick to external hdd for now
     
  15. Athinu

    Athinu Notebook Consultant

    Messages:
    169
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    30
    I have been looking for a drive caddy for my clevo m570tu based notebook (sager 5797).
    Problem is the bezel is not standard on this laptop and I want it to look good.
    Went to a site where they sell drive caddies and they didnt support clevo/sager/xxodd (as of yet),
    they have an universal one but I think it will look like crap..
    Anyone perhaps have experience with fitting a hd in the optical bay on a m570tu based notebook?
     
  16. LPTP-LVR

    LPTP-LVR Notebook Deity

    Messages:
    1,794
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    55
  17. Athinu

    Athinu Notebook Consultant

    Messages:
    169
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    30
    Hi thnx for the reply I shouldve added a pic earlier on, sorry this is how the optical drive looks like (bezel adjusted a bit for clarity) [​IMG]
     
  18. User Retired 2

    User Retired 2 Notebook Nobel Laureate NBR Reviewer

    Messages:
    7,897
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Sager 5797's optical drive looks to be a 12.7mm unit with a custom faceplate that tapers on the bottom right corner. It's a ICH9M chipset, so a 12.7mm newmodeus SATA caddy would be suitable. Though the caddy faceplate would require a dremelling workover to allow it to fit all nicely. OR the faceplate can be detached, so the caddy slides in without it, providing extra venting (??). Could also go the ebay option, but 12.7mm SATA requires a bit of legwork as explained in first post.
     
  19. Athinu

    Athinu Notebook Consultant

    Messages:
    169
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    30
    Thanks again Nando
     
  20. bass4040

    bass4040 Notebook Enthusiast

    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    5
    If I don't want to use the original dvd drive, can I remove the internals and connect a hard drive? This is so I don't have to buy another optical bay caddy.
     

Share This Page