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I am bringing my old laptop for recycling, and removed my hard drive beforehand. The drive is a 320GB SATA drive, which is the same as my current laptop's drive. I would like to be able to easily swap between the two drives, in order to dual-boot that way.

My laptop (Toshiba Satellite A500) needs a tiny Philip's screwdriver to get at the hard drive bay. I would like to replace that with something that is more easily changed, while still allowing the hard drive to rest on the desk. It can stick out a bit due to the laptop's feet, but not too far.

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I looked at the disassembly instructions for your model. You can buy an additional cage for your drive. Yes you still need to have a mini screw driver, but now you only have one screw to remove the entire cage.

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While not quite what I'm looking for, this is probably the best I'm going to get. I'll also do some hunting around, see if I can find a thumbscrew or something similar that will fit into the screw hole. Barring that, I'll try to convince the wife that a new computer is the real solution ;) – lacqui Apr 20 '12 at 22:46
Unfortunately, not all laptops make this easy. – TheSavo Apr 22 '12 at 1:02
Neither do all wives :P – lacqui Apr 22 '12 at 14:12

Why don't you just buy an empty external usb HDD case and put it in that then make your bios see it as bootable first and have it plugged in when you need it and unplugged when you don't? Sure saves opening the laptop case each time and they are pretty cheap to buy.

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That would work great, until someone moves my laptop and not my HD (or vice versa). Happens fairly often at my home & workplace. I have already tried something similar using memory sticks. – lacqui Apr 15 '12 at 3:33
@lacqui get said case, plug it directly into the computer, and you can swap out the HDs in the case externally. – cutrightjm Apr 15 '12 at 4:45
@lacqui get one with a Kensington lock slot and buy a double header Kensington lock and lock them both to with the one cable. No more moving your stuff. – hardlywired Apr 15 '12 at 5:21
@hardlywired My issue isn't with HD theft. I'm thinking more like my 3-year-old son who will unplug the USB just because he can, or my co-worker "innocently" clearing the table on our shared workspace. Those are acceptable disconnections for a data HD, but not for the OS drive. – lacqui Apr 15 '12 at 5:54
Hmm the only other thing I can think of is buying an Express Card HDD and booting from that but that doesn't make use of the drive you have. At least it would be safe inside the laptop and you wouldn't have to pull the bottom off each time. – hardlywired Apr 15 '12 at 6:42

There's hard drive caddies that fit into your optical drive bay - a google search yielded a few, though the specific one would depend on your laptop - if your CD drive is sata based, or you get the appropriate caddy, just pop your drive in there for a hot swappable option.

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