Laptops with side slot for hard drive ?

Thread Starter

Externet

Joined Nov 29, 2005
1,873
Hi.
Do you know which brands / models of laptops have a slot on the side to remove / insert the hard drive ? It may not be in newer models, but do you know of any ?
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And :
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This I do not understand the green SSD. The right side is using a CD ROM slot for an extra/second drive.
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( NOT from bottom : )
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Was there a model from Gateway also ?
 

MrChips

Joined Oct 2, 2009
26,530
The price of 1TB and 2TB USB memory sticks has fallen. Hence I don't know of a good reason to be using external hard disk drives.
 

strantor

Joined Oct 3, 2010
5,974
You will catch more fish searching "mobile workstation" than you will "laptop." I have a Panasonic toughbook (neither a "mobile workstation" nor a "new" machine) which has a side-entry HDD slot and I also have a Lenovo ThinkPad (circa 2018-2020?) which has a Multipurpose slot most people use for a DVD drive but I got a HDD cradle for it and I have a big SSD in there.
 

strantor

Joined Oct 3, 2010
5,974
The price of 1TB and 2TB USB memory sticks has fallen. Hence I don't know of a good reason to be using external hard disk drives.
I think he's talking about internal drives, that you don't have to disassemble the laptop to replace. They slide out from the side.
 

Thread Starter

Externet

Joined Nov 29, 2005
1,873
Thanks.
The main use would be for operative systems, not for data storage. Which may distort the convenience of USB performance on hard/SS drives. Yes, to swap drives without disassembling.
Strantor: could you detail models ? Brands have been naming the same for decades and every month they add a different model. Lenovo "Thinkpads"... how many dozens of them exist along the decades ?
 

strantor

Joined Oct 3, 2010
5,974
.
Strantor: could you detail models ? Brands have been naming the same for decades and every month they add a different model. Lenovo "Thinkpads"... how many dozens of them exist along the decades ?
I'm reluctant to give any specific recommendations for that very reason. It would take some amount of research to verify that what I would recommend is something they still make (and is still the same thing as it was last time I knew what it was) and indeed supports the hard drive expansion. But here's where I would start if I were you. Those are the kind of Lenovo hard drive expansion I'm using and if you click any of them it will tell you what models they are compatible with. From there you can look up which models are current models and which are obsolete.
 

Ya’akov

Joined Jan 27, 2019
6,045
One of the best bets would be a refurbished business class Lenovo (IBM) ThinkPad. You can get them cheap, and they have bays that can take a hardrive or a DVD.

I have a couple older ThikPads and they are rock solid workhorses with a lot of support in Linux and while most wouldn’t run Windows 11 without cheating, they will run Windows 10.
 

strantor

Joined Oct 3, 2010
5,974
One of the best bets would be a refurbished business class Lenovo (IBM) ThinkPad. You can get them cheap, and they have bays that can take a hardrive or a DVD.

I have a couple older ThikPads and they are rock solid workhorses with a lot of support in Linux and while most wouldn’t run Windows 11 without cheating, they will run Windows 10.
My Thinkpad is an absolute beast, both in terms of power and of mass. It feels and performs like something that should be in the category "they just don't make them like they used to" - except, they do.

Don't get this if you want a wafer thin unserviceable consumer grade handbag accessory that you can casually deploy inside starbucks and power with a USB-C phone charger.

DO get this if you want something
  • That has separate covers with accessible screws for everything (RAM, HDD, CD, Battery, etc.) because they actually intend for you to access those.
  • That can run parametric 3D modelling software inside a VM with no lag (with 5 other VMs running concurrently)
  • That can heat a small room with its turbojet exhaust
  • That would break a child's leg if it fell off the table (machine would be fine, child would be hospitalized).
 
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sagor

Joined Mar 10, 2019
704
Regardless of type of laptop, if it has a DVD/CD drive, there are many DVD to HDD/SSD disk adapters out there (as in your third picture). Some can found that even match real old IDE ports on the DVD drive, and may include SATA to IDE adapters inside the DVD/Disk adapter itself. But, often these may not be bootable, just usable as data drives. A lot of this depends on the laptop make and model. Shop around on places like Amazon or Ebay.
I have some laptops that the drive can be removed out the side by removing just the one mounting screw, like a Lenovo Thinkpad R61i. Other laptops have dual drives built into them, my old Toshiba Satellite P500 has two SATA drive compartments, both accessible from the bottom.
Other newer laptops often have the NVME M.2 PCI-E slots and a SATA drive bay, giving options of 2 drives as well, but not accessible without disassembly..
 

MrChips

Joined Oct 2, 2009
26,530
I have a huge collection of old computers and I am toying with the idea of putting them to work with hack resistant systems.
I can boot the systems with FreeDOS, WIN XP and Linux Mint on USB sticks.
 
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