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How to Mount a 2.5" Small Form Factor Hard Drive in a 3.5" Large Form Factor Chassis

As you may know, there are 2.5” small form factor and 3.5” large form factor hard drives and their corresponding chassis, currently in production. Today I’ll be showing you just how easily you can install 2.5” Small Form Factor Hard drives into a 3.5” Large Form Factor chassis. I’ll start by explaining why you might need to do this.

Sometimes a 3.5” large form factor drive is no longer available in a particular capacity, however, a 2.5” Small Form Factor drive is currently available in a matching specification. Another scenario is that you’re planning a drive upgrade and the drives you desire are only made in the 2.5” small form factor; this is very common for solid state drives.

You will need a 2.5” hard drive, a large form factor drive tray for your system, a 2.5” to 3.5” Hard Drive mounting bracket, the mounting screws (which are included), and a Phillips-head screwdriver.

You may be concerned as to whether 2.5” Small Form Factor drives perform as well as the 3.5” Large Form Factor models. The only difference between platter based drives of similar specifications, is the surface area. This is typically why Small Form Factor drives have smaller maximum capacities in current production models. In terms of actual performance they are nearly identical, indeed, the form factor of the drive is completely transparent to the computer.

Attach a 2.5” drive to the mounting bracket using the screws provided. There are 2 screws required. Insert them here, and here.

Next we attach the drive to the proper tray adding 3 more screws. 2 on one side and 1 on the other. Now this 2.5” small form factor drive will mount and function perfectly in a 3.5” large form factor bay.

There are multiple manufacturers of hybrid brackets including Western Digital, Dell & generic models. The Western Digital Ice Pack model is unique as its chassis acts as a large heat sink. For most purposes the Dell adapter is the simplest and most cost effective.

As with the majority of our IT components, we stock these items for same-day shipment. It’s easy to find & order these parts on our website, however, if you have any questions regarding compatibility or integration please do not hesitate to open a web-chat or just pick up the phone. Our technical engineers are available daily, during regular business hours.

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