Last reply by 01-14-2022 Unsolved
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1 Copper
1 Copper

Area-51m R1, replacement of SSHD drive

Hello all

i am reaching out to you with request for advise.

I am proud and happy owner of Alienware Area 51m with following storage configuration: 256GB PCIe M.2 SSD + 1TB (+8GB SSHD) Hybrid Drive

While i am happy with primary SSD disk, i would like to replace SSHD with another SSD.

1) Is it possible?

2) What type of SSD disk will be compatible and able to replace SSHD?

3) Optionally, do you have good experience with any specific vendor / model of SSD in 1T-2T capacity range?

Thanks in advance

Replies (2)
7 Thorium

Storage options, from the manual:


Your computer supports one 7.5 mm or 9.5 mm hard drive and two M.2 2230/2280 solid-state drives/Intel Optane storage.

Table 1. Storage specifications

One 7 mm or 9.5 mm hard drive


Up to 1 TB

Two M.2 2230/2280 solid-state drives/Intel Optane storage

  • SATA AHCI 6 Gbps
  • PCIe NVMe up to 32 Gbps
  • Up to 1 TB (for SSD)
  • Up to 240 GB (for Intel Optane storage


You can either replace the SSHD with a 2.5" SATA, or if you have only one M.2 drive, you can add an M.2 NVMe SSD to the system.  Check to make sure the necessary mounting hardware is present.

You can source SSDs from a host of reputable suppliers -  WD, Samsung, Crucial, and many others.


5 Osmium

Hi @BHE666  Dell Support for Alienware Area-51m Storage says it can have up to two M.2 2280 PCIe 3.0 x4 NVMe drive cards and Crucial database says the drive card can have up to 2TB capacity. Samsung is a good choice because their drive cards have all the full options, such as encryption. Fastest M.2 NVMe SSDs as of January 2022 (Ranking) - GPCB ( 

The fast Samsung 970 PRO or EVO Plus is a good choice. The Samsung 970 PRO is the best gaming drive card and the Samsung 970 EVO Plus is still among the very best in the PCIe Gen 3 category. Search internet for discounted purchase. 

A single OS(C:) boot drive is the most reliable configuration, with the GPT partition format file system to use BIOS boot list option UEFI for fast boot and enhanced security. 

The second slot can store a Data drive and can also be used by Macrium Reflect Free to copy (clone) the standby OS(C:) drive that should be part of the disaster Recovery Plan just in case the original OS(C:) boot drive cannot be recovered. 

The SATA SSHD drive is very slow, but provides good long term archive data retention. A normal HDD with increased storage capacity is a good replacement. If the laptop is being used when traveling, an external SATA HDD is recommended. 

Hope that this is the information you wanted. 

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