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My crazy brain came up with this ridiculous idea. "Why can't I have a single 2.5" drive device that actually contains two independent hard drives? I want RAID 1 data mirroring and the security of having redundant drives. This is a thing that must exist!"

To be clear, I am not asking if I can somehow shoehorn two 2.5" drives into a single bay, replace an optical drive with an additional HDD, or anything like that. What I have in mind is a single 2.5"-form-factor device that houses two independent hard drives, with separate housings (likely) and distinct controllers. Probably all they'd need to share is the power & SATA connections.

Probably no such thing exists, but because I know there exist hard drives the physical size of a stack of postage stamps (roughly), I have to ask.

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How would you fit them in? – Journeyman Geek Nov 28 '12 at 9:07
I'll clarify the question a bit. – dgw Nov 28 '12 at 9:54
@dgw: If your laptop has an optical drive then you may be able to replace it with an additional hard drive. But I'm not sure you would be able to use hardware RAID, it would be hardware dependent. Note that some laptops actually have more than one hard drive bay, presumably you have checked that yours doesn't? – James Nov 28 '12 at 9:55
I would also add that some laptops have mini SSD slots (mSATA) which allow you to plug small SSD's directly into the laptop mainboard. It would help if you told use what brand/model laptop you are using. – James Nov 28 '12 at 10:07
If you're really willing to risk your data and put up with poor performance, you might be able to find something from China or Taiwan that uses twin Compact Flash cards/Micro Drives or something. Otherwise, I don't think it's really possible. – James Nov 28 '12 at 10:28
up vote 1 down vote accepted

Perhaps not exactly what you had in mind, but there does exist such a device - the WD dual 2.5 drive - it's a 2.5 hdd + a reasonably sized ssd inside a single 2.5" chassis - the main issue I see with alternatives is that even if you managed to get two small drives in there (say two mSata or similar), the laptop won't have more than one sata connection there, so you would also need an adapter/raid device right there, which would make it more complicate, but guess what - those also exist- look for 2.5 to dual mSata adapters, they will have raid support built-in

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If you can get the drives to physically fit, I don't see any reason why this could not be done.

Be careful though, even if there is space, consider the room required to provide airflow for cooling.

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I don't see how this could possibly work in a normal laptop. Firstly, there would not normally be enough room. But an even bigger problem is that there would not be the extra power/data connectors required. – James Nov 28 '12 at 9:51
Thus the preface here of a giant IF. if the drives will fit, then it would work. the software is all there, the only problem is physical space and connection. – Jared Tritsch Nov 28 '12 at 12:23

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