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Charlotte, NC, USA

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  • Registered: ‎09-16-2015
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M73 SFF: How do I add a Samsung SSD (850 Evo)?

2015-09-16, 23:34 PM

I want to install a 500 MB Samsung SSD 850 EVO into my Lenovo Thinkcenter M73 Small Desktop. There is no specific set of instructions in the hardware manual* that I can find.


I have 3 specific questions:


1: Is there a reccomended adapter kit so I can attach it under the existing DVD drive?


2: Is there a part that allows me to connect to the power cable already daisy chained to the HDD and optical?


3: Can I reconfigue the SATA lines so that the optical drive connects to the SATA 2.0 connector and run all three at one time?


Current Configuration*


SATA 3.0 connector 9a -- HDD

SATA 3.0 connector 9b -- Optical / DVD


Proposed Configuration*


SATA 3.0 connector 9a -- HDD

SATA 3.0 connector 9b -- SSD

SATA 2.0 connector 11 -- Optical / DVD




*see CH 8, Figure 9 "System Board Part Locations", Page 71 of the ThinkCentre M73 Hardware Maintenance Manual


Mod:  edited Subject line to move system type to front and make it more searchable


2571 Posts


United States of America

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  • Message 2 of 3

Re: How do I add a new Samsung SSD to a Thinkcentre M73 small desktop system?

2015-09-18, 16:09 PM

To begin... I know NOTHING about the M73.  So my answers are strictly subjective, based on the HMM you linked to and my own experience.


First, the board has three SATA connectors, two SATA 3.0 and one SATA 2.0.  You can use all three if you have three SATA drives, but you'll obviously have to buy a new short (12"" or 18") third SATA 3.0 cable if you want to add a third drive (SSD) to your existing configuration.


Note that internal drive SATA cables typically come with "locking" adapters, that will snap securely into the matching socket on the drive and not come loose.  They also often offer right-angle connectors for the drive end, in case that works better inside your case than a straight-in connector would.  The other end of the cable simply is typically straight, for a push straight down into board-mounted SATA connectors like you have here.


Second, you should call Lenovo parts/accessories to buy what appears to be a separate adapter bracket to add the SSD underneath the optical bay where your CD/DVD drive currently lives.  See instructions and pictures on pages 148-151 of the HMM.  Presumably this adapter bracket is available for purchase from Lenovo, but the part number is not stated.


Third, as far as SATA POWER for the new third SSD drive, newer desktop machines from Lenovo come with a third unused/available adapter connector in the middle of the power cable from the PSU.  The power cable is typically folded up and out of the way since the third connector isn't used by default in a standard two-drive machine.  If there is already an available third connector on the power cable from the PSU, just unclip the power cable from the chassis brackets where it's probably been held from the factory, and unfold the cable.  Now just figure out how to best use the available connectors going to your three drives... if it's possible, and if there's enough length.  Seems like Lenovo anticipated havng that SSD under the optical drive, so you'd think they would have provided a suitable PSU power cable and third connector.


If your machine's power cable doesn't have a third connector on it or if there is a length issue, you can simply buy a simple "Y-connector" power adapter splitter cable a store or online.  Or, a simple "extension cable" that has several power adapters on it.  In either case you just plug one end of the Y or extension cable to the connector at the end of the existing PSU cable, and then you have the two new connectors from the Y or extension cable to go to two nearby drives (SSD and optical, probably, since they's closest to each other).  The power requirements of an SSD are minimal, so even a fairly small PSU in your M73 should be adequate for the addition of an SSD.


Just be careful and aware when you buy adapter or extension cables online or in a store, to pay attention to the MALE or FEMALE gender of each connector or end.  There obviously is a standard gender for normal Y-adapter and extension cable connectors, but you can order special cables with the opposite genders if you need them (which you don't in your case).  Shouldn't really be an issue, but just be sure you're buying parts that have the proper gender connectors as you need.


Aside from buying the required under-optical SSD mounting bracket from Lenovo, I see no problem with your objective of adding an SSD to your machine. Presumably your plan is to then "clone" your existing spinner SATA hard drive's OS partitions ("system reserved" and Win7?) to the SSD using either Macrium Reflect Free or the Samsung cloning software provided by Samsung with their drives.  I myself am a fan of Macrium, but others have used the Samsung software with no problem.  Don't forget that once you've cloned the two Windows-required boot partitions from spinner to SSD you then need to get into the BIOS of the M73 to change the boot sequence, so that the SSD is first and the BIOS will go there to boot from.


NOTE: you're never going to need the Lenovo "recovery partition" that's probably still on your spinner hard drive.  I'd use this opportunity to just forget it forever.  You really should be using Macrium Reflect going forward, to take regular "system image" backups perhaps weekly (to an external USB 3.0 drive, ideally).  You want backup and recovery capability, but you're never going back to Lenovo factory state (which was on a spinner, not an SSD).  You really want ongoing backup/recovery capability for your existing operational environment. That's what "system image" backups provide.


That allows you to then "re-purpose" your spinner as a second "data" drive.  Once you're now booted and running from the new SSD, you can now use Partition Wizard Free to conveniently delete the existing partitions from that hard drive, and create one or two new "data" partitions.  You can also use Windows Disk Management (DISKMGMT.MSC) to do the partitioning, but I think you'll find Partition Wizard is far simpler and more intuitive and far more flexible and powerful.


Note that you can use Windows DISKMGMT.MSC or Parittion Wizard to CHANGE THE DRIVE LETTERS of your existing and new partitions (other than C, which cannot be changed).  You're not obligated to retain the partition letters that Windows initially assigns.  My own habit is to always re-letter the optical CD/DVD drive to N.  That means my hard drive and SSD partition(s) can start from C and go sequentially up, D, E, F, etc.  They don't need to be sequential, and they don't need to be sequential on each physical drive if you have multiple partitions on multiple drives.  But having drive letters of C, D, E, etc. for partitions on SSD and spinner makes intuitive sense. Having the CD/DVD drive "out of the way" at N is also convenient.


I aso have multiple machines in my home LAN, and have set things up to have specific partitions from multiple machines in the network available as pre-connected drive letters to all machines.  This allows "sharing" with maximum convenience.  So I've established my own "network drive lettering" approach where these shared partitions are P, Q, R, S, etc., being the same drive letters on all machines. That way no matter which machine I sit down at I always know that the network-based partition content I might require is always going to be at the same drive letter of P, Q, R, S, etc.  In contrast C, D, E, etc. are always "local drive locations", and N is always CD/DVD on all machines. 


Don't forget to install Samsung Magician into your new SSD-based environment, to optimize SSD lifetime and performance, and to "tweak" your existing now-cloned to SSD but previously spinner-running Wnidows as appropriate.  If your SSD is large enough so that you don't mind giving up just under 10% to Samsung Magician's "over-provisioning" then that's a way to improve things in the SSD world.  Also, if you have 8GB of RAM (so that a fair amount is typically unused) then Samsung Magician's "rapid-mode" (which uses part of your unused available RAM) is another way to improve things in the SSD world.  I don't think that a 4GB machine would be a good candidate for rapid-mode.


28 Posts


New Caledonia

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  • Registered: ‎07-06-2015
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  • Message 3 of 3

Re: How do I add a new Samsung SSD to a Thinkcentre M73 small desktop system?

2016-03-27, 18:54 PM

You should be able to. You will need 04X2175 (SSD mount bracket for mounting under optical drive) , a sata data cable and maybe a sata Y power cable. For parts try https://lenovo.encompass.com/

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