Upgrading 3.5 HD to 2.5SSD


Jun 13, 2021
I am helping out a school for children with special needs with a project to upgrade their ageing ICT Suite. They will pay for the parts, and I will supply the labour, tools and software as a gratuity. The existing 3.5" HDDs drives will be replaced with SSDs, and the RAM will be increased from 4GB to 10GB. (There are x2 slots in the machines, and they currently have 2x2GB, so replacing one slot with 8GB.)

The PCs are Dell Optiplex 3060 Tower PCs.



There is no volume licence for Windows 10. They all appear to be running individually licensed copies of Windows 10 Home. There are two scenarios (depending on their needs/wishes)

a) Wipe the PCs and start again with a clean Windows install

b) Clone the existing drives.

1) I'd be interested in feedback on devices such as this one:

2) In terms of the physical insertion. The product that I'm looking to buy doesn't appear to come with any cables or caddy to situate it in the PC. Does anyone have any suggestion as to what I will need. I have linked to the product below. I appreciate it might be a case of opening the PC case and seeing what I need.



Jan 26, 2010
You probably need to check inside a couple of those machines and see if they come with the caddy for the 2.5" drives or not. Could go either way, but if they don't have the caddies, you can do it the right way or the expedient way.

The right way is to find a source for the right caddies or find a 3.5" to 2.5" adapter you can use and mount it where the 3.5" drive goes. The expedient way is to find a good spot and tape them in with masking tape (painters tape?). It's an ssd, it'll be fine.

If you can, just do clean installs, key should be in BIOS, so it should be easy.


Supreme [H]ardness
Sep 24, 2001
It seems like you're trying to do this in the most cost effective way. Which is fine, I appreciate that. I'll try and be to the point.

a) would be the great preference for me. It always is. Windows always migrates too much trash and the registry always leads to slow downs. If it's possible to do a full wipe, I'd do it every time.

b) Can be done, but unless I'm dealing with fresh installs, I personally run away from this.

1.) I've used "toasters" for over 10 years now. And they do what they're supposed to do. I might recommend getting one from a known brand, mostly for reliability and warranty. Though in theory even the knock-offs these days will likely have reasonably good electronics. If I was buying today, I'd buy the one from Sabrent.


I might also recommend spending slightly more for the MX500 version of the drives that have DRAM and will be faster. Though I'm sure speed isn't much of a concern. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0781VSXBP/ref=twister_B0BQ5JTZ89?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1

2.) There are tons of 3.5" to 2.5" drive converters on the market. As it's just a piece of metal that has to meet certain dimensions, even the cheapest options will often times be more than good enough. Some "nicer" ones have heatsinks or allow for hot swapping. However, I'm guessing one is all you'll be doing per computer and all these extra features don't matter.

Here is Sabrent's: https://www.amazon.com/Sabrent-Internal-Drive-Mounting-BK-HDDH/dp/B00G57BN1M/ref=sr_1_4?crid=16QMO3FIRED1E&keywords=3.5"+to+2.5"&qid=1678836382&sprefix=3.5+to+2.5+,aps,205&sr=8-4

However, like i say, it's just a metal bracket, you could buy likely even cheaper options should you want to.


Extremely [H]
Oct 7, 2000
do like we do in my division; if there isnt a third sata port to hook it too, use the dvd drives connectors(might need a power splitter), clone hdd to ssd, use the cables off the old hdd to connect it and then use double sided tape to stick it somewhere, like the 2.5 drive area it has, or just tuck it in there. ssds dont care if theyre loose.


[H]F Junkie
Jul 9, 2002
One roll of double sided Velcro
Build up one machine with the SSD from scratch, use junk name aka 'template001'
Add all the apps you want, that are free for licensing.
Patch the os, remove the nic from device manager
Make an image, place that image onto the other SSD, boot up, change the name, reboot, add av (or use defender)
good to use
Last edited:


Nov 24, 2022
The product that I'm looking to buy doesn't appear to come with any cables or caddy to situate it in the PC
yes you will need SATA cables to connect the new drives to the mobo.

I have a boatload of them in my parts box (and maybe a few caddies) which I could donate to the cause, if you want them, just pm me with how many & the ship to info :)

And I too would recommend clean installs, so that the kids will have a good fresh OS to start with...

And I have done the velcro/tape mounting several times in the past nottaproblemo :)