miércoles, 9 de noviembre de 2011

Adding an extra hard disk to a Dell Inspiron 1720

I've bought a new hard disk for my computer some time ago. This disk was bought with the intention to replace the 120gb drive that came with the laptop. The disk to be replaced was not broken it just became small. I knew that I needed a caddy to use the extra space to add another disk. So I just replace the old 120gb drive with a new 500gb drive  using its caddy. I had the 120gb drive on my desk and I thought that may be I could connect it to the laptop using a standard s-ata plug. And so I did.
Once you open your laptop you have to find this section and remove it.
This is the conector that I removed. I tried to remove it by applying heat with an soldering iron but I couldn't, But with a flat screwdriver I managed to separate the connector enough from the pcb to reach the contacts with a wire cutter and cut them.
I cutted a S-ATA cable and expose the inner cables to solder them into the pcb. I used the info on wikipedia to recognize the pins. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serial_ATA
I forgot to take a pic before of drilling the hole for the cables... so I used this pic to show how it was before I did drill the case.

I took a Molex to S-ATA cable and cutted the Molex connector. Then I pulled out the cables from the S-ATA end. Then, I cutted one side of the connector with the help of a little saw and placed the cables again.
I used some glue to avoid the cables to move freely and most important, to avoid short circuits.
I soldered the S-ATA cable to the pcb...
Then soldered the power cables... This was a great fail! Because I soldered the cables on the same side the adaptor was!! So When I tried to put the pcb in place I realized that it didn't fit...
The previous fail made me realize that the hole I had drilled was not enough to the cables to fit in. So I took a needle-nose pliers and made a hole big enough to allow the cables and plugs to fit.
I soldered the cables to the other side of the pcb.
This is how the hard disk fits in the second hard drive bay of the Inspiron 1720