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Choosing the Right Hard Drive Caddy

Storage capacity is a very important feature of any computer, and the hard drive that you start off with might not be the right one for you forever. Hard drive caddies make it easier to add more or faster internal storage to your laptop.

What Is A Drive Caddy?

  • While laptop components are often quite difficult to remove and replace, drive bay caddies make it quite easy to install a new hard drive. Drive caddies are essentially trays that hold a hard drive. These slot into a bay in your computer. Many HP laptops contain a dedicated Upgrade Bay, which makes it easy to install a second hard drive.
  • The bays in laptop computers can come in a lot of different sizes, so caddies are also used to act as adapters and make your hard drive fit into the bay. They are sized for the drive that they are designed to fit, so a 2.5 inch drive caddy would fit a 2.5 inch hard drive. See the manufacturer site for size details.
  • Using a hard drive caddy to quickly swap drives makes it easier to switch between hard drives if you want to view files installed on different drives. It also makes it easier to upgrade to a new model, which is very useful if you want to install a larger hard drive or an SSD.

Which Features Might I Need?

  • Not all hard drive caddies are designed to fit into a regular drive bay. Because they use similar connectors like SATA, you can actually replace your optical drive with a hard drive to increase your storage space. To do this, you will need a caddy to make sure that the drive actually fits into an optical drive slot. Manufacturers like HP also make a lot of laptops without optical drives, and if you have one of those this obviously won't work.
  • Hard drives can connect to motherboards in a few different ways. Some of the typical interfaces that you might find in a computer include SAS and several generations of SATA. Different types have different advantages and disadvantages. The hard drive, caddy, and tray all need to be compatible with the same connectors.
  • SSDs vary in thickness as well as in length and width. If you want to install a solid state drive using a caddy, make sure that you view all of its dimensions to make sure that they are right for your SSD.
  • Consider whether or not a drive upgrade is actually the right option for you. If you have several drives that you want access to, you may find it easier to use an external drive enclosure. Alternatively, dedicated external hard disk drives and SSDs are very popular for storing and backing up files. However, using external components is usually less convenient than using internal ones as it gives you extra things to carry around.