01-04-2012 01:59 AM
I've just bought a W520 and I would like to had an SSD.
The idea is to remove the actual HDD, place an SSD in stead, remove the Ultra Bay optical drive and place the (removed) HDD there. I would like to know if I need to order an adapter to plug the HDD on the Ultra Bay.
I called the French Lenovo support center but they didn't answer me clearly.
Thanks for your time.
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01-04-2012 06:44 AM
There are a number of discussions here in this forum about procuring an adapter (an UltraBay tray) that will hold a hard drive. The 'executive summary' is this: Lenovo makes such an adapter, it is about 9mm high and it fits nicely into the 12mm high UltraBay slot. There is a 3mm gap at the top (between the top of the adapter and the top of the UltraBay hole) when it is installed. This gap looks a little odd but does not seem to affect function.
Various third party manufacturers (none of whom are very well known) make a 12mm high adapter tray that completely fills the hole. These are generally less expensive than the Lenovo products.
It seems that the people who have bought both adapters (9mm size and 12 mm size) are happy with them. I have a couple of the 9mm Lenovo adapters, they work just fine.
If you do a keyword search in this forum for the word 'UltraBay' or 'adapter', you will probably find the previous discussion threads pretty quickly.
Apropos of buying a SSD to put in the primary drive bay (inside the machine), you might want to browse the discussions about that topic before you buy one. There have been some reports of difficulties when people have installed non-Intel SSDs in the W520. The only SSD that Lenovo themselves provide with the machine (if one is ordered as a factory-installed device) is the Intel SSD. This one is not the largest capacity, nor is it the least expensive, but it is known to work without problems. So, you might want to consider being conservative with your choice of SSD (rather than joining the 'bleeding edge') and sticking with a 'known compatible' part.
01-04-2012 08:47 AM - edited 01-04-2012 08:48 AM
I've been using the adaptor at http://www.ebay.com/itm/220814491729
I haven't fully tested an array of HDD and SSD's in it, but it's been doing fine with the 750GB Hitachi Travelstar I have in it. I've been using it about three weeks.
01-04-2012 12:16 PM
First of all thank you for your answers.
PanEuropean said : "There have been some reports of difficulties when people have installed non-Intel SSDs in the W520."
I already ordered a Intel 320 SSD 120Gb. So hopefully there will be no problem installing it but thanks for the advice.
It's sound strange that the adapter is not enough big to fit perfectly the slot. That doesn't looks consistent with my idea of Lenovo quality. Anyway, if you say so, I believe you.
Just one thing to clarify: is it necessary to buy an adapter or is there one in the package with the machine?
01-04-2012 02:18 PM
Personally, I don't think it is a problem that the UltraBay cassette for the hard drive is 3 mm shorter than the slot. My guess (strictly a guess) is that there are other models of Lenovo laptops out there that can only accept a 9mm high UltraBay object, and Lenovo made a deliberate decision to ensure that the UltraBay cassettes would fit in all the different machines - rather than having a second version that only fit into the W520 series.
The hard drive cassette does not come with the computer (the computer ships with a CD/DVD reader, unless you have ordered a RAID instead). The hard drive cassette is an option that must be ordered. I ordered mine at the same time I placed the order for the computer.
01-04-2012 11:56 PM
I think you are right about the reason of the 9mm high UltraBay.
Thanks you very much for your answers which makes the situation perfectly clear now.
01-06-2012 02:43 PM
The newmodeus adapters are awesome - no gaps, fits like a glove and looks factory. Makes the lenovo ones with a gap look really cheap. On the functional side, the bay fits very snug, no chance of the drive losing contact. I put an mSata drive in, an intel 2.5" ssd in the primary bay and a WD 750gb mechanical drive in the ultra bay. Plenty of fast storage as well as disk space for VMs.
03-07-2012 06:14 AM - edited 03-07-2012 06:15 AM
04-25-2012 11:33 AM - last edited on 04-25-2012 11:59 AM by andyP
I had used this thread to find the product and wanted to chime in.
I moved my stock drive into the bay and it has some space in the rear so that whenever it gets banged around in my bag, the drive will pop off of the connector.
Was going to try to get some electrical tape and make it snug/secure. Image tries to show drive length vs latch space = wiggle room to pop out.
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