The Dell Inspiron 1720 laptop is among the minority of laptops that features a second, built-in hard-drive bay. The 17" model has enough internal space to support two 2.5" SATA hard drives without having to replace the optical drive.

Adding a Second HDD

The 1720's second hard drive bay is located next to the first bay, and both are accessed from the same panel. Before opening the computer, shut it down, disconnect the power cable and remove the system's battery. Close the monitor lid, and place the device upside down on a flat surface. The hard drive bays are located next to the exhaust fan, and can be opened by removing the two screws along the rim and lifting the panel. Remove the empty drive caddy from the slot, and secure the second drive in the caddy with four screws along the side. The hard drive should be positioned so that the SATA connector lines up with the laptop's on the caddy's open side. Slide the drive in the caddy into the bay so that it securely connects to the SATA port. Secure the caddy with the three brace-screws, and reconnect the panel. The 1720 will recognize the second hard drive in Windows; however, the drive still needs to be formatted with the Windows Disk Utility before use.