Can the SATA/USB port on the T400s handle a 5.25" 500GB drive with an appropriate cable, or does that size pull to much current?
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As far as I am aware, the eSATA+USB port on a T400s does not differ from normal USB specifications in terms of teh available power.
The power available from USB ports is not enough to run a 3.5" drive, so you will need an external power supply foto do that.
USB ports can usually only support the power needs of 2.5" drives.
Im afraid that this will be not possible because 5.25 drive needs 5V and also 12V, and in USB/eSata connector is only 5V as I know, In anyway external power supply will be needed.