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I have a HP Compaq dc7800 Small Form Factor PC, and I have an old WD HDD that has my old files in it. I want to add it to my new PC, but it has barely any room left for an extra HDD. But it does support 2 SATA HDDs. HP support said that I can just remove the ODD and put the HDD in its place.

But how? I've Googled and found posts only for laptops. Also, if it is possible, is it safe?

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@Ramhound i dont want to hire somebody cause i think i can do it. I have an old sata power and data cable here cause i have an old non-working PC. – jeffmangum Oct 19 '13 at 1:38
@Ramhound Uhm.. I'm asking if it's as easy as I think it is. And if its safe. And how will the hdd fit there? Will there be an enclosure for the HDD considering its the space for the ODD? – jeffmangum Oct 19 '13 at 1:42
@Ramhound The ODD is actually a lot bigger than the HDD. i'm not sure if i can just plug it in there and thats it. With the naked HDD and all. – jeffmangum Oct 19 '13 at 1:49
It is. Also, about the ESD precautions, I never considered those before. I just took the hdd of this new pc off and on without thinking of those. I mean, if i unplug the power and take off the ODD, its fine right? Cause i dont have one of those wristbands. – jeffmangum Oct 19 '13 at 1:58
It’s always a good idea to ground yourself before working with electronics, but you don’t have to use an actual wrist-strap; I gave a few suggestions of how you can do it without buying a “real” one. – Synetech Oct 20 '13 at 12:32
up vote 4 down vote accepted

Yes, if your have an extra SATA connector, then you can put a 3.5" HDD in the 5.25" DVD bay, but you will need either mounting brackets (figure 1 and 2) or a 3.5"-to-5.25" adapter (figure 3). If you use brackets, then you will also need a full 5.25" bezel or drive-bay cover (figure 4), and if you use an adapter, then you will need a 3.5" bezel (figure 5).

If you had built the system yourself, then the case would likely have come with the bezels/bay-covers since they don’t know what you would end up putting in the case, but a system from a manufacturer will usually not include them.

You can purchase them online (e.g., on eBay) for fairly cheap (<$5). You can also check with some small “mom and pop” computer shops in town to see if they have some old computers in the basement with them; they will often give them to you for free.

In a pinch, you can also install it without brackets or an adapter by screwing it directly to of the sides of the 5.25" bay (figure 6). However, because it doesn’t fit correctly, you will need to ensure that you screw it in tightly so that it isn’t loose and doesn’t jiggle. You will also want to put something under it to make it stable and hold it still (something firm but soft like stiff rubber is good). The top drive in the photo below is bad because it hangs in the air, the bottom one better because you can put something under it.

You will also want to use rubber washers (figure 7) to screw it in to reduce vibration and avoid it shaking the whole case, but this is true for all hard-drives, optical-drives, and anything that has moving parts that shake or spin.

Figure 1: Mounting brackets

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Figure 2: 3.5" drive in mounting brackets

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Figure 3: 3.5" to 5.25" adapter

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Figure 4: 5.25" bezel/bay cover

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Figure 5: 3.5" bezels

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Figure 6: Photo of 3.5" drives installed in 5.25" bays without brackets or adapters

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Figure 7: Photo of some rubber washers

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Thank you for this! But I guess its not as easy as just plugging my hdd in and i have to get me one of those brackets first. – jeffmangum Oct 19 '13 at 2:06
I added some information about mounting it without the brackets, but it’s best to get one as soon as possible so that it is secure (of course if it’s an SSD, then it’s not really a problem; but a drive with spinning platters will vibrate). – Synetech Oct 22 '13 at 15:55
I think figure 6 is fake, appart from answers and comments. – Alejandro Sazo Feb 5 '14 at 18:27
@AlejandroSazo, of course it’s fake, I had to Photoshop it because I couldn’t open my system to take a picture at the time. The next time my system is open, I’ll take a photo to show a drive attached just like the photo above. – Synetech Feb 6 '14 at 3:07

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