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Do you still use DVDs? No? Then, why would you need that optical drive in your laptop?

If you take that out, you can place a second HDD in your laptop. Or you can go for an SSD + HDD combo, for a low boot time of an SSD and a high storage capacity of an HDD.

This is very easy to do and will be done in 5-10 minutes. I've done it in my two laptops now, and I actually chose my current laptop because it had an optical drive. (That's weird, choosing a laptop for something that you are going to take out...)

Things needed:

  • Second HDD (or SSD)
  • HDD caddy
  • Ruler
  • Screwdriver (of course) (Phillips (+) & slot (-))

Step 1: Backup Your Files

Firstly, backup all your important data to a USB flash drive or an external HDD.

Step 2: Take Out Your Optical Drive

Unscrew the screw(s) that hold the drive in place. At ifixit.com, you may find a guide for your specific laptop. I've put a second drive in two laptops, and with both laptops, a screw was on the back that held the optical drive.

Look for a screw that is about 15cm (6 inch) from the side of your laptop (the side with the optical drive). If your laptop has a panel on the underside, try taking that off, and search for the screw of the drive.

Step 3: Measure the Optical Drive

Get a ruler and measure the height of the optical drive. This is often 12.7mm or 9.5mm.

Also, make sure that your optical drive is a SATA drive (as seen in the pictures).

SATA: Serial AT Attachment

PATA: Parallel AT Attachment

Step 4: Order an HDD Caddy

Go to your favorite store/webshop and buy an HDD caddy. The caddy has to be the same height of your optical drive. Maybe, you can even buy a caddy for your specific laptop model.

Step 5: Preparing Caddy

Straighten a paperclip, and push it in the hole in the front of the optical drive. This should open it.

There are two clips on the bezel of the optical drive. With a flat screwdriver, press on the clip at the flat side of the optical drive, so that it comes loose. Do this for the clip on the other side, and the bezel comes off. After the bezel has come off, put it on the caddy.

If there is a metal thing (often on the back) that holds the optical drive in place, unscrew it from the drive and screw it on the caddy.

Step 6: Insert HDD

Insert the HDD or SSD in the caddy, and screw it the screws in.

I like to have the fastest drive (on which my OS (windows) is installed) (SSD) in the place that the HDD was when I bought my laptop, but my HDD was too thick for my caddy, so I put my SSD in it.

Step 7: Put the Caddy in the Laptop

After you finished all the previous steps, slide your caddy in the slot of the optical bay, and put all the screws back. After you finished, you maybe have some screws left. Don't worry, this is totally normal. There are two options. You can disassemble and assemble everything again and end up with even more leftover screws, or just ignore it and enjoy your second HDD/SSD.

Step 8: For If You Added an SSD

If you added an SSD, you probably want to move your OS to it. There are two options:

  1. Clone your OS to your SSD
  2. Reinstall your OS

With option 1, you will still have all your settings, but with option 2, your laptop will be much faster.

For option 1: http://lifehacker.com/5837543/how-to-migrate-to-a-solid-state-drive-without-reinstalling-windows

About This Instructable

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Bio: Studying Mechatronics Engineering in the Netherlands
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