One of the few upgrades that can be done to the Inspiron 1525 is adding a second hard disk drive. In some ways it is less of an upgrade and more of a feature swap as the DVD drive must be removed to add the second hard drive. Personally I would far rather have the added storage of a second hard disk versus a DVD drive that is more than likely only used to install the OS. This is probably why I consider this an upgrade.
My first step was to look on ebay and see if I could find a bay adapter that fits the Dell Inspiron 1525. I found this no name adapter for just $10.99. Unfortunately it came from China and apparently took the slow boat… Well not really of course, but the seller waited nearly a week before they even shipped the item.
Humorously enough this caddy doesn’t have any part numbers or compatibility listing on the packaging. Ordinarily I would assume to see something that says fits such and such devices. The adapter included a small screw driver and had some protective plastic that needed to be removed.
This adapter supports all standard 2.5″ SATA drives. I had a number of 2.5″ drives sitting around and picked the largest one I had – 250GB. The drive is also only 5400 RPM, so I would hope that uses less electricity.
The drive gets set down into the caddy and is then slid back to connect the drive. The adapter has two screws to secure the front half (opposite of the connector end) of the drive. The connection end is held in with the connector – which is a common drive retention method on both 2.5″ & 3.5″ drives.
Removing the original DVD drive is very easy. Just one screw holds the drive in place. Once removed I was able to just pull the drive out of the slot. However I did pop half of the drive face plate off while it was being removed. This was no problem though as the face plate is easily popped on and off of the drive.
With the drive already installed in the adapter and the DVD drive out I was ready to install the second hard disk into the computer. Though the drive slid in easily, there is no tab for the single screw that retains the stock DVD drive. I haven’t noticed this to be a problem, the drive adapter seems very securely installed. Unfortunately the face plate that is installed on the drive adapter is not correct for the Dell Inspiron 1525. No worries though, the stock face plate on the DVD easily installed onto the adapter and made the adapter look totally stock. One question I have is, why is the face plate on the adapter printed up to look like a DVD drive? I could understand if they reused actual Inspiron 1525 DVD drive face plates, but what is the point of printing DVD markings on a disk drive adapter bay. I would think that a plain piece of plastic would have been ideal.
After installing the part I booted the computer. I was going to check the BIOS to see if the drive was found automatically. I missed hitting the enter setup input key in time and because I have a SSD installed in this machine I was into the OS before I knew it. When I brought up nautilus (file explorer) I immediately saw the drive in the left panel.
Overall I am very happy with the end result. The installation went very easily, and it is a very easy swap if I need to use the original drive in the future. The next upgrade will be the installation of a Intel T9300 Core 2 Duo CPU – sadly, it too is on the slow boat from China.