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03-22-2019

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M91p Tower - how to add a secondary drive (2.5" SSD)?

2019-03-22, 16:13 PM

I want to upgrade my older M91p Thinkcentre Tower (big version) which still runs fine for my purposes with an additional hard drive, preferably a 2.5'' SSD to run the Operating System and the main programs.

 

The M91p came with an optical drive and a primary hard disk drive preinstalled. However, the hard disk drive is attached in a special drive bay / tray to the tower, a sort of chassis which allows easy access. I'm referring to this "hard disk drive cage" and chassis thing with the blue brackets, that allows easy removal of the hard drive.

 

According to the maintenance manual, there is a specified location to install a secondary hard disk drive (or SSD as in my case). But it assumes that there is another drive bay / tray / chassis present, which is not the case.

 

(See Maintenance Manual p. 105) http://support.harlander.com/upload-artikelsupport/computer/ibm-lenovo/thinkcentre-m91p/win7-x64/documentation/thinkcentre-m91p-sff-desktop-hmm.pdf

 

What is the approach to install an 2.5'' SSD in addition to the existing HDD, when another hard disk drive bay is not being present? Can I just use a generic 3.5'' to 2.5'' adapter to attach an SSD drive in one of the free spaces of the Tower?

 

 Mod:  merged two threads by same author on the same topic together.  You're welcome. 

 

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4808 Posts

01-01-2012

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Re: M91p Tower - Installing additional Hard Drive?

2019-03-22, 18:53 PM

I have used industrial-strength indoor/outdoor Velco to attach SSDs directly to the inside of the case.  I have not had a situation where they have come loose.  

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Re: M91p Tower - Installing additional Hard Drive?

2019-03-22, 19:16 PM
Okay? I have no idea how this would work?
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Re: M91p Tower - Installing additional Hard Drive?

2019-03-22, 22:25 PM

Pictures, half way down this thread.

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2571 Posts

06-13-2013

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Re: M91p Tower - Installing additional Hard Drive?

2019-03-23, 0:07 AM

How about this for an idea:

 

(1) install your newly intended 2.5" SATA3 SSD into the primary 3.5" bay, with a 2.5-3.5 adapter bracket.  I believe there's a standard Lenovo accessory part in their "tower storage kit" which allows you to do just exactly this.

 

(2) move the current 3.5" SATA3 HDD spinner primary drive outside of the M91p tower case, to instead be housed in an external enclosure. I recently had to replace a large homebuilt desktop tower machine (with four internal HDD spinners) into a Lenovo M910t (which only has one 3.5" bay), and used this exact approach to relocate two of the four drives in this way.  I opted for connecting the now external drives using eSATA rather than USB, for performance reasons.

 

(3) To house my now external eSATA-connected drives I purchased two of this very fine OWC Mercury Elite Pro enclosure, which supports both eSATA as well as USB 3.0 connection.

 

(4) To connect both of these eSATA external enclosures and the SATA3 drives inside them to the motherboard of the M910t, I purchased this StarTech 2-port eSATA adapter bracket. Externally you plug an eSATA cable in from the eSATA enclosure/drive.  Inside the case there are two SATA data cable/connectors that you then plug into two available SATA/eSATA controller sockets on the motherboard. The SATA and eSATA sockets are essentially the same, except that eSATA also supports hot-swap of external drives) for this purpose controller sockets on the motherboard.  But otherwise you can use any two open sockets for connection to the two cables running from the StarTech adapter bracket. This also comes in a 1-port version but I went with the 2-port method, which I needed.

 

Seems like that should work. You now have your current 3.5" SATA3 HDD spinner housed outside the M91p case in an external eSATA enclosure.  And the enclosure is connected via eSATA cable through the StarTech adapter bracket to an available SATA controller socket on the motherboard. 

 

In its place, inside the primary 3.5" bay, you now have a 2.5" SSD installed with a 2.5-3.5 adapter bracket, and also connected to power as well as a SATA controller socket on the motherboard using the very same power and data cables which prevously were used for the 3.5" HDD spinner you've now moved outside the case.

 

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M91p Tower -how to add a secondary harddrive (2.5' SSD)

2019-05-16, 15:23 PM

What is the best practice to adding a secondary hard drive, in my case a 2.5' SSD? The SSD is supposed to work as my main drive (for Operating System and main system applications) while the current HDD will become the additional drive.

 

Do I need additional equipment, brackets or can I just install the SSD"out of the box" as bought from the retail shop?

 

Thanks

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05-16-2019

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  • Message 7 of 13

Re: M91p Tower -how to add a secondary harddrive (2.5' SSD)

2019-05-16, 16:34 PM

Am facing the same problem. Hope anyone here can help me too. Thanks in advance. Regards,

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05-12-2019

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Re: M91p Tower -how to add a secondary harddrive (2.5' SSD)

2019-05-16, 20:04 PM

It's sloppy but yes you can just install it out of the box. It will work the same, it will just be unsecured in your tower.

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Re: M91p Tower -how to add a secondary harddrive (2.5' SSD)

2019-05-17, 20:00 PM

Thanks! So I will just connect the cables and lay down the SSD drive on the floor inside the tower. I'm not expecting any major issues because SSDs don't contain mechanical parts, but are there potential issues regarding heat / temperature?

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Re: M91p Tower -how to add a secondary harddrive (2.5' SSD)

2019-05-18, 21:22 PM

Read my post in this other thread, asking about installing additional drives inside M920s SFF (which is a VERY small case). You'll find details, explanations, and links to suggested hardware products.

 

Best, safest, easiest approach is to use external enclosures. That way you can use any size or type drive you like, 2.5" or 3.5", HDD or SSD. You don't have to fight with trying to find space or proper mounting cages or adapter brackets to fit inside your case, which might be limited to supporting 2.5" drives as is often the case in Lenovo cases.  The other advantage is that an external enclosure plugs directly into wall power. If you use an internal drive you have to not only connect its "data" connector to a SATA connector on the motherboard but you also must contain its "power" connector either to the PSU (which may not have an available SATA power connector) or to the motherboard's 4-pin power sockets (of which there are only two and both might already be used), or rig things up with a Y-spliiter cable for power to two devices from one plug. External enclosures avoid all of these internal power cable concerns.

 

You can either use a 2.5" or 3.5" SSD or HDD installed in an enclosure of your choice.  You use (a) USB 3.0 approach connecting an external cnclosure which interfaces through USB 3.0 to a USB 3.0 port on you PC, or (b) you can go with an external enclosure supporting eSATA cable connection by installing an inexpensive 1-port or 2-port eSATA adapter bracket in an open expansion slot on the rear of your case, with the internal SATA data cable(s) going from the inside rear of the adapter bracket to one or two open SATA connectors on the motherboard, if the external enclosure supports eSATA.  This latter eSATA approach really is exactly the same as having the SATA3 drive installed inside your PC and connecting directly to those same SATA connectors on the motherboard... except that the physical drives are in an external enclosure physically outside of your case. 

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