The HP EliteBook 820 G3 manual states that either a hard drive or a SSD might be installed (page 36). And not both at the same time. Thus, as-is, one can't install two SSD modules in that machine.

The reason: apparently, the SSD connector is right there where the (SSD) SATA disk drive would be placed.

I guess, if one really wants to install a 2nd SSD (in addition to the SSD that occupies the mSATA slot, cf. page 39) one could try following options:

  • install a very slim SSD with SATA connector
  • install a SSD into the WWAN slot (possibly also needs to be slim)

For both options, I need hardware recommendations.

And perhaps some details, e.g. how the WWAN slot is actually called (mini PCIe?), what modules are compatible (mSata?) and how slim a module would have to be.

Preferably, the SSD module should come from Intel or be of comparable quality.

Here is a combination of the drawings from page 36 and 39 of the manual showing the same drive bay for better visualization of the problem:

image showing overlapping msata port and HDD drive bay

  • 1
    I have installed a SATA SSD drive in the HDD slot toghether with the original mSATA SSD drive. It's a tight fit, and I haven't even used the caddy for the SATA drive, but they fit nicely and it works. – user1784 Feb 13 '16 at 14:12
  • One could also get a tertiary HDD/SDD optical drive caddy, if they do not care about using optical that is (or if in my case, their DVD-RW bit it, and they don't want to send the entire laptop in to MSI for RMA) – NZKshatriya Dec 4 '16 at 6:40

Edit: After understanding that the mSATA port will block the HDD drive bay I would suggest a Dual mSATA HDD adapter. Feedback is appreciated from anyone who is actively using such a setup as a boot drive on any OS.

Edit 2016-04-17: I hoped that Skylake equipped business laptops (HP, Lenovo, Dell…) would offer plenty of M.2 slots for SATA or NVMe storage, but the mobile chipsets don't offer as many PCIe lanes as the main or performance class desktop versions, which made some manufacturers come up with unexpected designs and decisions against a 2nd storage port or slot. Another example: Lenovo removed the small M.2 slot from the previous generation (T550) in favor of a combined 2.5 inch port where you can either install a SATA drive or a U.2 NVMe drive.

This is explained just a few pages below (p. 39) in the manual, it's an mSATA port. mSATA to SATA adapters exist, but are not suited for use in laptops. mSATA is replaced by NVMe in newer product generations, which achieves higher speeds by avoiding the SATA layer.

Here is list of recent mSATA SSDs for Europe/UK with capacities starting from 120 GB. I currently have a Samsung 840 EVO 120 GB which works fine so far, but there may be options that suit your needs better. Once you nailed down the features you want, look if the products are available in your country and for which price.

Guessing by your name you probably want to use the German version of the site for Austria and Germany.

Edit: the following video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dF9gqAtM2U4 shows the installation of a second SSD in this model showing that it is possible.

| improve this answer | |
  • Yes, the 'official' SSD port is described as mSATA (p. 39). But my objective is to put 2 SSD devices in total into the laptop. Thus, one option is to put a mSATA module into the p. 39 port - and a 2nd SSD module into the WWAN port (p. 45). The question regarding this is: is the WWAN port compatible to mSATA - or do I need NVMe for that? – maxschlepzig Jan 24 '16 at 9:13
  • Unless explicitly stated that a port is an mSATA port expect that it does not support mSATA and mSATA modules will not work. (I tried it with an older Probook.) There have been PCIe Mini Card SSDs before mSATA arrived, I had a Thinkpad SL500 with a 3rd PCIe slot under the palm rest that was labeled as such, but these modules are no longer offered and are said to be slower than mSATA modules. You first sentence in your question is a bit misleading btw. you typically can install an HDD/SSD in the HDD port and use the mSATA port (and even the ODD if there still is). – LiveWireBT Jan 24 '16 at 12:31
  • Yes, you typically can - but apparently not in that HP model - they write: 'NOTE: Only a hard drive or an SSD can be installed.' They note that 2 times: in the 'Hard drive' section and in the 'SSD' section. This also matches the figures - both figures picture the same corner and surroundings. – maxschlepzig Jan 24 '16 at 12:54
  • Ouch, now I see, in that case if you want to go with mSATA look for a dual mSATA adapter like geizhals.de/250735608 geizhals.de/560062216 and check if it works. – LiveWireBT Jan 24 '16 at 14:05

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.