I am looking to purchase a second internal 1TB hard drive for my Alienware 17 laptop. There is an empty bay for a secondary drive but I am uncertain whether I can buy a regular internal drive or a slim internal hard drive. What are the slim drives for?

The reason I am slightly concerned about the size is that I took apart my old raptor drive which is really a 2.5 hard drive inside a full size "heat sink" enclosure and it didn't fit in the Alienware. The SATA connector was in the correct spot but the hard drive itself was too thick.

Will a regular internal hard drive fit or do i need a "slim" one.

  • SLIM drives are simply just smaller. You will need to read the specifications on the slot to determine what size hdd fits in the slot. I am going to guess its a mSATA slot. But you have no provided enough information to actually know so I am just taking a wild guess.
    – Ramhound
    Mar 26, 2014 at 19:05
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    Thanks. I figured SLIM probably means smaller. I am not that familiar with laptop components and manufacturer does not state anything other than "hard-drive" in their manual Mar 26, 2014 at 19:17
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    Why is everyone capitalizing the word "Slim"? Mar 26, 2014 at 19:19
  • @techie007 - in my case the intention to capitalize the word was to bring attention to to the word itself. I will consider bold instead. Mar 26, 2014 at 19:37
  • @Jakub there's not reason to emphasize that word. We understand that you're not asking what is a laptop hard drive, but specifically about slim drives.
    – gronostaj
    Mar 26, 2014 at 19:42

2 Answers 2


2,5" HDDs come in different form factors, usually 15mm (for servers), 9.5mm (most usual form factor, most applications), or 7mm (usually for ultrabooks etc.), where 7mm seems to get more and more common. "SLIM" most probably means 7mm height.

  • You might consider flagging it correct if it proves correct. ;) Mar 26, 2014 at 19:22
  • I voted up. If you can provide info that states with certainty that slim (in this context) means a 7mm height drive used in unltrabooks I will accept as answered. Mar 26, 2014 at 19:33

In the 2.5 form factor there is also a 5mm.

Look here and scroll down for all the form factors.

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