Replace XPS 15z optical drive with a HDD/SSD? - General Hardware - Laptop - Dell Community

Replace XPS 15z optical drive with a HDD/SSD?


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Replace XPS 15z optical drive with a HDD/SSD?

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I know that they make various modular bays for laptops to replace the optical drives with hard drives or solid state drives... but I wanted to know if this was possible with the XPS 15z, since it is so thin and is a slot-load drive.  Can anyone link to a specific modular bay that would work?


Thank you!


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  • There isn't one for this model - not yet anyway.  It's brand new and no doubt, no one has had time to make one (and Dell doesn't offer one).

  • Do they usually come out with one for most laptops... even with slot-loading drives?

  • My guess would be, not until there's a critical mass of systems on the market.  This model will likely be a challenge for anyone to design and implement such a device.

  • Is it possible to open it up and see how the slot load drive is fitting in there?  It's possible that just a generic one will fit in, but I'm really not sure.

  • You can try that, but anything that happens likely will not be covered by the warranty, if that's a consideration.

  • I think the warranty will still be valid. After all - you are simply attaching a SATA device into a SATA connector.


    I tried it. Here is how I did it and how it went.

    1. I removed the DVD drive

    2. I inserted a SATA cable from the connector where the DVD drive was to the hard drive (both are SATA)

    3. The power connector is not the same for the DVD drive as for the hard drive (the dvd drive has a slimline version of it). But an adapter fixed that easily (it's just two cables, one is 5V, the other one is Ground).


    But, when starting up, Windows would not complete the startup sequence. I could not go around it. What was even more frustrating is that at one point I could browse for a file while trying to fix the problem, and I could browse through the files on my HDD. But still, Windows 7 didn't pass the startup sequence.

    Also, in the boot, it still says CD/DVD Drive, although a HDD is connected there.


    I had to remove the HDD, but still Windows wouldn't start completely.


    After a reinstall, I tried to simply remove the DVD drive only. Windows 7 could not start after that. So that is the problem.....

    I simply had to put the DVD drive back and everything works, but my idea of having one SSD and one HDD is crushed at the moment. I hope someone will figure this out someday.

  • Check out the following. I haven't used it myself because I don't yet own a 15z but I plan on buying one will plan to replace the optical drive with a hard drive.

  • Has anyone had any luck on this so far. I am also tempted.

    Petpap: Did the BIOS recognise the second SSD drive? Which SSD drive did you use? I'm just wondering if the BIOS was too old to recognise the new controller on the SSD drive.

  • hmm... I don't remember for certain, but I don't think that the BIOS recognized my SSD-disk when connected to the DVD-SATA-port. But I use my SSD disk instead of the ordinary HDD and that works very well - my XPS15z is really really silent.....still it would have been nice to have an extra disk drive instead of the DVD drivewhich I never use....

  • I've have successfully got this to work.

    I am using the Intel 520 120GB SSD with the A08 BIOS.

    The trick is to install SSD and perform a clean installation of Windows from the optical drive.

    Then remove the optical drive and replace it with your standard HDD.

    Any questions, let me know.

  • Yes, I have some questions. I´m planning on replacing the primare drive with a ssd drive of some kind. And then replace the optical drive with the original 750 GB drive as a second hard drive. I´m wondering if the connectors are the same or if I need some conversion. The connectors to the optical drive that is. I also wonder about which bay you used. Or did you just use sticky tape?

    Any other input on the matter would be very appreciated.



  • Jerry,

    I have done exactly what you are describing and you don't need a converter. The original SATA drive plugged into the connector of the DVD drive just fine. The only thing you need to keep in mind is that the optical drive is hidden within the plastic enclosure and you will basically have to take the entire thing apart to replace the optical drive with the hard drive. Since the entire laptop is made out of plastic (and very poorly made as compared to other Dell laptops I have owned), you will need to be very careful in taking it apart and putting it back together again.

    Good luck!

  • Just to clarify, you still need a caddy/bay of some sort. The actual dvd connector from the motherboard is slightly narrower than the hard disk connectors (sata data & power), thus you can not connect the hard drive directly into motherboard (you can only do this on the primary hdd connector).

    I used a optical caddy for the second hdd here:

  • Thanks for the clarification. That is the caddy I ended up using as well.

  • Thanx guys. Have seen a couple of good movies on the tube about how to get the xps 15z apart without breaking anything. So I feel somewhat comfortable in that aspect :).

    The bay at newmodeus was the one I was looking at. Nice to know that others have used it and that it works. Thanks again.