The most exciting Hardware Mod I have performed to date: I have added a second Hard Drive to my Inspiron 1525. The modification may have also been my easiest yet, taking a mere 1:30 to complete. By simply replacing my DVD Drive with a Sata to Slim IDE drive bay adapter, I have added a second hard drive performing at near-SATA2 speeds. This additional drive completely replaces my need for an External USB backup drive, and allows for much faster backups. It also allows for automated backups of my documents through Time Machine as the drive is always connected. The drive is recognized by OS X as an internal drive and identifies as a HDD in the BIOS (see picture below). As an added bonus, Disk Utility also reports that it can read the HDD’s S.M.A.R.T. Status.
I suspect that adding an additional Hard Drive to my 1525 will negatively affect battery life (albeit minimally), though I prefer data protection to an extra couple of minutes of web browsing. I haven’t actually tested the claim about battery life, so take it with a grain of salt. You can purchase your own DVD Drive-HDD adapter for ~$20 USD on eBay by searching for “Sata 2nd hard drive caddy.” Note that the Inspiron 9200 version is also compatible with the Inspiron 1525. In fact, it’s the one in the video and also the one I use. Plus, it costs about 50% less than the Inspiron 1525 version (the only difference is the labeling; they’re the exact same product).
Embedded below are two videos: one of the installation process and one of my 1525 booting from the second drive. Please ignore the man behind the curtain. If the text in the video is cutoff, click on the videos while they are playing to be taken to YouTube. If you have any questions, please feel free to post them below.