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How can I add a second  hard drive to my ThinkPad  W520? I did not see an additional internal bay or slot the way some ThinkPads like the W700 or W701 series have which supports a second drive.


There is a drive tray or carrier - ThinkPad Serial ATA Hard Drive Bay Adapter III, which can be install instead of DVD drive. Is it the only built in option?


I know that there are connectors which appear to be different from common SATA. (6+7 pins instead of 7+15 pins). Any limitations on port speed?


There are several ways to add a second or third drive, including the use of  USB 2.0, USB 3.0, Firewire, eSATA, eSATAp, across the wire with NAS, etc.


Ultrabay III.gifMost people prefer using the Ultrabay hard drive adapter and a 2.5" HDD or SSD.  The correct ultrabay adapter is 12.7mm high (P/N 0A65623) and if one accidentally uses the 9.5 mm thick ultrabay tray used on a T420s (43N3412), there will be a gap.  The 12.7mm drive tray can support the use of either 7mm or 9.5mm thick drives, however 7mm devices will need adapter rails to fit properly.



Another option  would be to use an external HDD connected to either USB or the 1394 firewire connection.  The industry seems to be moving toward USB.  The W520 includes the following external ports:



  • Two USB 3.0 (blue), one Powered USB 2.0 (yellow), one USB 2.0/eSATA combo port
  • IEEE 1394 FireWire 400 (4-pin connector; 1394a-2000 standard)

Lenovo offers variety of external USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 attached HDDs like the 500GB USB 2.0 external drive, Option part number 45K1690 or the new USB 3.0 secure 750GB drive.  secure HDD.gif



Not sure whether to go with USB 2.0 or 3.0? Here's a neat 3rd party write up on speeds and specs of the interface.


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