Advantages of 2.5″ Hard Disk Drives

laptop 2.5" hard disk driveThe 2.5” hard disk drive is primarily designed for use in notebook computers and other mobile devices.  They have always trailed the 3.5” (desktop) drive in capacity – for obvious reasons.

BUT – notebook drives should also be attractive for use in desktop computers, too.  There are many reasons:

  • Today’s 2.5 HDD notebook drives can store as much data as the 3.5” drives of just a few years ago.  Notebook drives are now offered with fairly large capacities, which should be more than adequate for many users.
  • Notebook drives use less power and generate less heat than 3.5” drives.  For organizations with large numbers of computers in use, these savings could add up.
  • Because of their more compact size, it is possible, with the proper adapters, to mount two or more drives into the same space formerly occupied by one 3.5” hard drive and, with an appropriate controller, multiple notebook drives can be used to create a RAID array in a space where it would otherwise be impractical if only 3.5” drives were available.
  • Solid State Drives are often offered in the 2.5” drive format.  The SSDs enable fast booting, fast loading of applications, and can result in an overall boost in system performance that standard hard drives cannot.

For the reasons listed above, and for other reasons, it is often desirable to be able to transfer data between notebook, desktop, and SSD drives.

Some of the other reasons:

  • An organization may be upgrading the hard drives in its notebook computers, replacing them with drives having higher capacities.  (Following the replacement, software can be used to create a new partition using the extra space, or enlarging the current drive partition).
  • There may be a desire to duplicate a notebook hard drive to a desktop hard drive, for use in a desktop computer.  For example – an organization’s IT department may create a master disc image for use in its desktop and notebook computers.  This image will be copied to BOTH notebook AND desktop drives.  Being able to move from 2.5” to 3.5” drives could speed the process.

Although notebook and desktop hard drives use the same connectors, it isn’t always easy or convenient to use a computer to duplicate the drives.  Such an approach will usually involve opening a computer that will be used for making the copies.  The computer would have to be turned off and source and target drives would have to be connected to the computer’s SATA interface and power, and the computer restarted.  Special software may be required to be able to make an exact drive copy.  If you were planning to duplicate many discs, you may wind up snaking a SATA and power cable outside the computer to speed up the drive duplication – this approach would be neither easy nor elegant.

Fortunately, Aleratec offers products that help to simplify the process.  In the next blog, I’ll take a closer look.

Mark Brownstein is a technology journalist and technology consultant who specializes in explaining and interpreting new technologies, and clarifying how to integrate these new products into current systems. He has been Editor-In-Chief at computer technology and networking publications, has held significant editorial positions at major technology magazines, and is a frequent contributor to various technology magazines. He has written seven books. He is Microsoft Certified, and spends much of his time testing hardware and software products, running his own networks, and learning the best ways to get computer systems running and to keep them running.

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