06-14-2015 09:36 PM
I'm thinking about replacing the factory CD/DVD drive that came with my W530 and lives in the stock 12.7mm Ultrabay caddy, with a 12.7mm slim BluRay burner (say something like this Panasonic UJ-265). Since the thickness matches, I believe this is possible.
So, can the factory Ultrabay caddy be removed and completely replaced with a fixed SATA BD drive like this?
If so, is there a SATA cable problem? In other words, do I need a SATA-to-SlimlineSATA adapter, both for data and power, such as this item (which is shown on the same Amazon page as the UJ-265)?
Has anybody done this? Do you have any suggestions and/or recommendations I haven't thought of?
thanks for any help or guidance you can provide.
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06-14-2015 10:21 PM
The connector looks right. If I were GUESSING, I would say that it will probably work, but it won't fit into the mechanism that locks the drive in place.
06-15-2015 03:57 AM - edited 06-15-2015 03:58 AM
I don't understand what you're saying.
Can't the entire existing 12.7mm caddy mechanism (which currently contains the factory CD/DVD drive in it) simply be removed completely, leaving the entire opening now usable to install a replacement 12.7mm optical drive? I would have assumed that this is the reason the Panasonic "slim" optical drive is 12.7mm to conform to the standard size compartment into which it should then fit, but which is currently occupied by the Lenovo Ultrabay caddy.
Or is there no way to remove the complete caddy mechanism? Does anything you want to use in this slot require that it somehow be mounted to the caddy?
06-15-2015 06:41 AM - edited 06-15-2015 06:42 AM
Sure looks to me like the Panasonic UJ-265 slot-loading is an exact 12.7mm replacement for the existing Lenovo factory DVD drive which fits in the same Ultrabay slot. The existing drive isn't in a caddy... the existing drive simply is a slimline drive sized and shaped to fit in the Ultrabay slot of the Thinkpad and connect using the slimline SATA data+power connector.
Here's a picture of the UJ-265, which appears to be an exact shape/size match with the Lenovo factory DVD drive that I've removed from the W530 just to see what its connector looks like.
And the slimline SATA connector on the back of the drive looks the same as the slimline SATA connector on the Lenovo factory DVD drive.
I'm going to go for it. Worst case, I return it for refund if it doesn't fit or doesn't connect. But now that I've unlocked and ejected the existing Lenovo factory DVD drive to see how it is removed and what it looks like, it seems to me like a simple replacement for the identically shaped UJ-265.
06-15-2015 06:52 AM - edited 06-15-2015 06:54 AM
Well, in the end I went with the LG BT30N instead of the Panasonic UJ-265. Looks like exactly the same shape and type of slimiline SATA drive.
A bit less expensive, but that wasn't the real motivation. The LG drive had better reviews, and was described as fairly quiet, which was the opposite of what was described for the Panny drive.
06-18-2015 12:16 AM - edited 06-18-2015 12:17 AM
Well, the LG BT30N arrived today.
And the answer is: NO! Close, but no cigar.
This particular drive cannot be used in the W530, because the front edge of the W530 expects a right-side "notch" in the drive's front bezel, as is present on the standard Lenovo-provided factory CD/DVD drive. But the front bezel of the LG drive is purely rectangular, and consequently does not fit inside the Ultrabay slot opening on the W530 chassis.
Here is what the Ultrabay slot opening on the W530 looks like. Note the "notch" on the right side, which expects a "thinner" bezel on the drive on the right side to fit in that smaller right side opening.
Note from the following picture the complementary shape of the Lenovo CD/DVD drive (below, in the following picture) vs. the wider purely rectangular shape of the LG drive front bezel (above, in the following picture).
One more comparison shot of the front bezels of the two drives follows. Again, the LG crive bezel is purely rectangular. The Lenovo drive is not only thinner on the right side (to fit in the "notch" of the W530 chassis), but also has a bevel on the lower left running most of the length of the bezel, which again marries very nicely with the bevel in the slot opening on the W530 chassis.
One final note. There is a black plastic "plate" screwed on the back metal edge of the Lenovo drive, using two pre-machined holes in the drive for the two tiny screws to secure it. In the middle of the plastic plate is a tiny plastic pin, which inserts into a matching third pre-machined hole in the drive. On the outer side of the plastic plate is a plastic appendage, which has a "tongue" at the end of it that serves to latch onto a "catcher" all the way inside the slot. This allows the drive to be pushed all the way into the Ultrabay slot and "catch", locking it securely until you eject it by sliding the two ejectors.
Well these exact same three pre-machined holes on the bottom edge of the drive are also on the LG drive, exactly where they obviously are expected to be for this black plastic "catcher plate" to be fastened with the two tiny screws. I did remove the plastic plate from the Lenovo drive and attached it to the LG drive before attempting to insert the LG drive into thw Ultrabay slot. So I was really ready to go.
It was only then that I discovered the incompatibility of the large rectangular front bezel of the LG drive with the notched thinner right side opening of the W530 Ultrabay slot, which unfortunately made it 100% impossible to get the LG drive far enough into the slot for the rear "catcher" plate to have its appendage-with-tongue latch into the matching "catcher".
So... a complete failure, although it really was very very close.
I'll have to see if the Panasonic drive front bezel might be compatible, or perhaps even if there's a replacement bezel for the LG drive that would fit into the odd-shaped slot of the W530.
06-18-2015 01:36 AM
Looks like the Panny UJ-265 has the same straight rectangular bezel that the LG drive had. So it, too, will be unusable.
Now Lenovo theoretically offered a BluRay drive as an accessory (43R9150):
Although that picture is small, note the obvious "notch" on the right side of the bezel, obviously designed to fit perfectly into the Ultrabay slot shape on the W530.
Unfortunately, this part is actually not available. And even if it were, the going price is $600+!!!
So, unless I can figure out if the front bezel on the Lenovo CD/DVD drive can be removed and remounted successfully onto the LG drive (which I've already RMA returned), or unless I can find a substitute Lenovo-compatible bezel for the LG drive on the Internet, I guess this project is apparently finished "without a happy ending". Fortunately, it was never a really important project, but at $80 for the drive it was at least worth a shot.
06-18-2015 09:08 AM
06-18-2015 09:26 AM - edited 06-18-2015 09:28 AM
As you can see by my pictures comparing the two bezels, it's not only the notch on the right side which narrows the bezel to say 10mm from its "standard 12.7mm" dimension in that final 1" of length. Lenovo's bezel also has the location of the EJECT button down from the seemingly "center of the rectangular bezel" location that the LG bezel has their button in. And the Lenovo EJECT button itself is also longer and thinner than the LG EJECT button.
So it's clear it's impossible to swap bezels. The LG bezel is an inexpensive stock 12.7mm rectangular shape, while the Lenovo bezel is "exotic" in its shape and well-made and machined, and obviously more expensive.
The only possibility would be to cut off metal from the right side of the LG bezel, if that could be done. I didn't see how to physically remove the bezel to do such an operation if I wanted to, but I'm sure it must be possible. Of course if there's a screw there which secures the bezel to the metal drive, well cutting it away just lost one of its fastening points. Seems like a low probablity of success for this idea, I'm afraid.
Bottom line: the Ultrabay slot is simply NOT a standard 12.7mm opening that can accept standard retail 12.7mm equipment. It is only capable of accepting Lenovo-designed accessories, specifically built to fit into the odd shape of the slot with that thinner notch on the right that is no longer 12.7mm. Also, the bevel on the lower lip of the slot, that works for the Lenovo accessories which have a matching front bevel on their bezel, well it doesn't work at all for products like the LG drive which has a perfectly rectangular 12.7mm bezel and no bevel between the bezel and the bottom metal of the drive to which it attaches.
I've actually located a Lenovo 43R9150 from an outside supplier (since Lenovo doesn't even have the part listed internally any longer, and no longer sells it). I will hear back this afternoon whether or not they really do have it in stock at one of their two warehouses. Then we negotiate on price, since the $385 price they have listed for it is clearly unacceptable to me. I realize there's no other source on the planet, but I also don't really need it, except to satisfy my dream of the past few days to upgrade easily to a BluRay burner with an $80 LG drive that I thought would present no problems.
We'll see later if they actually do have one, and if so what price they would be willing to accept. No one needs this product at that price. I also found it "available" at a second source, for $650!!! Sure.
06-18-2015 03:25 PM