Sunday, October 30, 2011

Installing a 2.5" Laptop Drive into an Empty Floppy Drive Bay

My company decided to standardize our computers more than previously. For Desktop computers, this meant the Dell Optiplex 980. These have full-size DVD drives, but otherwise no extra room for extra hard drives.
Being a tech, I needed more "working space" than a regular computer, plus I wanted extra local storage to blow away my C: drive and re-image on a whim. So I decided to try installing a laptop drive into the empty floppy drive bay. That really was the only choice inside the crapped case.
I took the steel floppy drive blank filler home and carefully marked and drilled three holes for mounting. Then I cleaned the holes up.
Back at work, I grabbed three rubber pointer nubs - those extras that come with laptops in case you need to replace the little finger nub in the middle of the keyboard that no one seems to use. Quite a few of them have accumulated over the years. I drilled them out so that a screw would fit through them. These were my shock-mounts.
Last, I chose three longer screws so that they would bottom-out inside the threaded holes in the hard drive case. This is so the screws would resist unscrewing. Since I was using shock-mounts, I wouldn't be able to screw the hard drive rigidly against the steel bay, so the screws either needed Locktite or they needed to bottom-out.
It was a quick and easy project.