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Vaio VGN-Z - Second Hard Drive (or SSD) - Working Solution

Discussion in 'Sony' started by psyq321, Oct 28, 2008.

  1. psyq321

    psyq321 Notebook Evangelist

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    I managed to figure it out :)

    Actually, it is 50% done as I am waiting for my second SSD and then I will also create slim and thin connector wire so I can stuff everything inside without any problems :)

    So, what is this all about? As you all know Sony Vaio Z, unlike TZ or TT, has only one 2.5" HDD/SDD fitting, and it is not possible to swap the optical drive with the HDD, as it is possible in TZ/TT. Sony allows two SSDs by sandwitching them together and connecting through a custom RAID cable, that does not seem to be available in service part listing :(

    Luckily, I realized that the DVD drive is connected to the motherboard with "Slimline SATA" kind of connector, which is a new SATA standard that is to replace slim ATA connectors still being widely used in slim optical drives aimed for notebook market. Slimline SATA connector is 100% compatible with "desktop" SATA when it comes to the data lane. Power lane is different, but it has the same voltage - 5V (note: slimline sata DOES NOT have 3.3V - so most 1.8" drives will not work with this method!!!)

    So, with some extra cabling and a bit of patching, it is actually possible to >convert< slimline SATA to a regular SATA connector! You can't just use same cable as one used to connect HDD/SDD to Motherboard, as it looks like - the motherboard connector pin out is different. So, the only way - as of today, is to create the "adaptor"

    So, what do you need?

    - One Slimline SATA male connector (one example: http://www.delock.com/produkte/gruppen/Kabel/Cable_SATA_Slimline_male_ _4pin_power_SATA_84376.html)

    - One SATA power to molex power cable (there are bunch of those available everywhere) - you can even use SATA power connector from some old desktop PC PSU - just cut it from the rest.

    Now, you need to cut the molex connector of the SATA power cable, as well as molex connector from the Slimline SATA male connector. We do not need them :) Then, wire the same-colored wires together.

    So, in essence you just got yourself "Slimline SATA to SATA" adapter :)

    Which is just what I did - and for testing I connected it to Vaio Z's DVD connector and other side of the cable to original Toshiba HDD...

    Well, here is the first result (not for looks, this is just proof of concept, for checking if the drive would work at all):

    [​IMG]

    And, drive works!!! - now, all that needs to be done is to cut / shape the cables to make the whole thing small enough, and also to find spacing for the second SSD - which, with some luck, should be achievable by removing its casing and leaving the PCB only. This way, it might even fit on top of the optical drive that will not be used.

    Perfect solution would be just throwing the DVD drive out... However, this might not work as the DVD door cannot stick without the DVD loading mechanism :( If only Sony would make a plastic fitting like they did with TZ...

    Here is a picture of a device manager with the drive perfectly recognized (note that DVD drive category shown holds a virtual DVD drive from Daemon Tools):

    [​IMG]
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Sir Punk

    Sir Punk Notebook Deity

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    that is so awesome! Although I miss the point. do you want more storage or just two separate storage devices to back things up?
     
  3. pracola

    pracola Notebook Enthusiast

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    I am just wondering what the internals would look like on a Type Z if you made to order a model with the SSD RAID + DVD ROM.

    From my understanding Type Z can only be HDD + Blu Ray OR SSD RAID + DVDROM

    If you ordered SSD RAID + DVDROM on the Type Z doesnt that mean Sony needs a way to put 2 SSD drives and the DVDROM Drive as well?

    *Shrugs*
     
  4. fredguy

    fredguy Notebook Consultant

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    Sony stack 2 HD in the same position and use special cable to connect the HD one on each side.
     
  5. psyq321

    psyq321 Notebook Evangelist

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    Actually, I need two SSDs as one Samsung 64GB SLC is not enough for me :)

    Anyway, I really do not need internal DVD drive in a notebook, and I really do not understand why Sony made the decision not to allow replacement of the DVD drive with HDD in Z, like they do allow in TZ/TT...
     
  6. sonoritygenius

    sonoritygenius Goddess of Laptops

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    o m g.. my blondeness just hit sky rocket.. and I even forgot what I was going to say - o ya COMPLEX dude!!!!!! Lol but CooL!

    now they have a 256gb SSD RAID 0 FYI :) (for people like me, cant figure out molex a from b) :D
     
  7. psyq321

    psyq321 Notebook Evangelist

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    Nah, it is a RAID of two MLC drives, and I am not a big fan of MLC drives :)

    So - I'll stick to my SLCs which I got pretty cheap from e-bay hehe :)
     
  8. novk9999

    novk9999 Newbie

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    Thanks,Psyq321..
    I made it.
     
  9. Ramalama

    Ramalama Notebook Enthusiast

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    Hi, im interrested too, there are Intel 1.8" SSD 160GB... I want to connect 2 of them through a raid.... like sony does and use my blueray burner too...

    Is there a way to get 2x 1.8" SSD working with Blueray Burner? How that make sony?

    Cheers
     
  10. Metsn

    Metsn Maiku Hama Yokohama

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    I believe you would have to get somewhere the Sony cabel to connect that SSDs in RAID0. Also the frame which is keeping the SSD/HDD on the place is different...

    There shouldn't be problem with Blu-Ray burner, as with the Z's refresh it's possible to buy combination of SSD and Blu-Ray on the Sony webpage...
     
  11. Ramalama

    Ramalama Notebook Enthusiast

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    Hi, one other thing compared to the SSD....

    There is a brand new hard drive! HDD...

    Seagate ST9500420ASG (Momentus 7200.4, G-Force Protection)
    -500GB
    -7200 U/min
    -23,0 db(A) (normal use) / 25,0 db(A) (On Searching Files)
    -1,55 W (On Searching Files) / 0,67 W (On do Nothing)
    -Data Lost: 1ms=175G(running), 2ms=350G(running), 1ms=1000G(Off)
    -Fall Sensor in the HDD included!
    -SATA300 / 2,5" / 110g / 70 mm x 9.5 mm x 100 mm

    Speed Benchmark:
    http://www.barefeats.com/note05.html

    PS: It's 7200 (fast), but it eat lower energy as a 320GB(5400)....
    --------------------------------------------------------------

    This drive is very cheap, costs in Germany 100&#8364;.... And there is much Space (500GB)

    I would buy one next week...
    And replace it with mine...

    What youre thinking about?
     
  12. defcon6

    defcon6 Notebook Guru

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    So did you finally manage to get everything to fit inside the notebook? I'm looking to do the same setup (64GB SSD/ 320GB 7200RPM HDD) and would like to know if you have any updates on this.
     
  13. abthegreat

    abthegreat Notebook Enthusiast

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    Please update even i am interested
     
  14. FenderP

    FenderP Notebook Deity

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    Only in the 1600x900 resolution, not 1366x768.
     
  15. defcon6

    defcon6 Notebook Guru

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    Finally got a chance to test the setup myself. Everything fits once the optical drive is removed. I still need to find a way to secure the optical drive cover though.
     
  16. HDTV4me

    HDTV4me Notebook Consultant

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    Is there way to jam SSD in optical drive bay without actually removing optical drive? Then cosmetically it will still look good.
     
  17. psyq321

    psyq321 Notebook Evangelist

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    Yes, in theory - if you remove the chassis of the SSD and leave the PCB only - however you'll have to use 2.5" drive since I am not really sure that the second SATA connector (for DVD/BD) has 3.3V lane (if somebody could check/confirm that it would be great - as fitting 1.8" drive would be much easier, even without removing the optical unit).

    I tried that as the first solution, but the "sandwich" of optical and SSD drive was too thick so the right side of the Z was looking a bit awkward (there was a ~1mm gap between the keyboard and optical drive cover)

    But removing optical drive is really easy - just put all the parts in a anti-static bag once you're done, so you can reconnect it later if you want to.

    I did it with super-glue from inside - completely invisible and relatively reversible without too much mess :)
     
  18. HDTV4me

    HDTV4me Notebook Consultant

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    Can SSD that you put in optical drive be set as a boot drive for OS? That way I can buy small size but fast SSD for OS and use regular HD I have now for storage. Thanks!
     
  19. defcon6

    defcon6 Notebook Guru

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    I was unable to fit the SSD PCB without removing the optical drive. The SATA connector itself is too thick to be sandwiched between the drive and keyboard without producing a noticable bulge.



    This was the other problem... My Z will always boot the original SATA hard disk connector before the Optical drive one. Changing the boot sequence in the BIOS yielded the same results. I ended up replacing my HDD with SSD, and moving the HDD to the optical connector. The optical drive cover is secured in 3 places by double-stick tape as I didn't want to make it permanent yet. So far it's holding up pretty well.
     
  20. HDTV4me

    HDTV4me Notebook Consultant

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    With the tape do u feel any significant vibrations from HDD?
     
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