I recently bought a new SSD to replace an older one that's been in use for almost 10 years and that I strongly suspected was failing due to an error I got during the boot process. It turns out that the problem isn't one of hardware at all (evidenced by my restoring a Windows image of the original SSD to the new one and the problem still persisting), and probably more likely relates to Windows user profiles.

I've decided to use the new SSD as a boot drive anyway just in case the old one is on its way out, which I'm planning to use as a data drive until it dies. Assuming I've got the extra cables in place for this extra unintended drive, I only have one problem left - where to put it.

My case is a mini tower with no more drive bays and very little space. Can I simply place the old SSD in the drive bay that it was formerly in, but on top of the new SSD? I still have the 2.5mm spacer that came with the new SSD - would placing this between the two drives be enough, or would having the two in such close proximity cause heat issues?

How about sticking it with adhesive to the top of the case (the only remaining area of the case that is free)? I know the orientation of an SSD won't affect it in any way, but would the adhesive itself on a drive that generally reaches temps of up to 55C be a problem?

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    Yes the adhesive in a drive in a case that reaches 55c could cause the glue to melt and could cause problems removing the drive later as well.. Maybe you can drill a small hole in the case and screw in at least 1 screw, or mount a 3.5inch bracket and screw that in, or 3d print a custom bracket? – davidgo Dec 1 '18 at 5:48

2.5 inch SSDs shouldn't thermally throttle (and in many cases are a half or quarter sized circuit board in a big empty case anyway) so stacking it isn't an entirely bad idea. They also have no moving parts, and generally don't run that hot. I think many of the elements of the answer I got here - that the case might act as a heatsink, the tape may loosen over time and so on, are still true.

I'd say - if you're using tape - use something like mounting tape that will remove cleanly, but otherwise I don't see any issues in the short term. There's even commercial off the shelf units that do something similar, with a slight gap between drives that let you mount a pair of 3.5 inch drives in a 3.5 inch bay.

I would consider the probability of dislodging and position of the power and data cables, since sata cables are slightly fragile, but other than that, I don't see any major flashing red lights with your idea.

  • This was very informative, both the answer itself and the links. I didn't even know that a 3.5" bay converter to hold two 2.5" drives existed, the more I think about it the more attractive that solution looks, although I might try and see if I can source one for cheaper than the linked one. I'm curious, is there any particular reason you refer to this as a commercial unit? – Hashim Dec 1 '18 at 23:11
  • As opposed to a diy one. I do many strange diy things on my system and that it's COTS - commercial, off the shelf is an essential factor in some decisions. – Journeyman Geek Dec 1 '18 at 23:13
  • I see, I thought by "commercial" you meant "corporate". – Hashim Dec 1 '18 at 23:21
  • Clarified. There's similar converters for 5.25 inch drives too I suspect – Journeyman Geek Dec 1 '18 at 23:22

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