Sheldon G
3 Zinc

Drive rails and cages

I have had many Dells over the year , and a few are now going out to pasture. I am now cannibalizing an old Dell 4300, which had a great setup for the 5.25" and 3.5" drive bays, where plastic rails could be attached the hard drives, and the drive/rail assembly then simply slid in and out of the cage. Ie  cages were wide enough to hold rail+drive+rail.. In my other Dell, if I recall correctly, the hard drive slid into the cage and had to be secured with screws thru the cage into the drive, ie the cage was only wide enough for the drive.

So does this mean that over the years, Dell has had FOUR widths for drive cages ??  ie

 -wide enough only for 5.25" drives ( no rails)
 -wide enough for 5.25" drives plus rails (rail+drive+rail.)
 -wide enough only for 3.5"  drives ( no rails)
 -wide enough for 3.5" drives plus rails (rail+drive+rail.)

I am saving all the old plastic rails, and am curious now if they can be used in modern Dell ( and non-Dell) drive cages.

0 Kudos
4 Replies
8 Xenon

RE: Drive rails and cages

The green plastic rails generally fit the Dell-built plastic case OptiPlex and Dimension series - not the later metal-case contractor-built systems.

Dell once assembled all its own systems - they no longer do (as everyone else did, they contract out the manufacture to Foxconn, Solectron, etc.).  As that has happened, the designs have changed -- the newer OptiPlexes no longer use rails, nor do most of the Studio systems.  The Inspiron/Vostro systems are a mixed bag - most use captive screws, not rails - but the design varies by manufacturer.

0 Kudos
Sheldon G
3 Zinc

RE: Drive rails and cages

Ahh I see, That's too bad. In so many areas things have improved, but in other areas, its really sad how Dell has gone down hill.

I'm in the market for two new PC's, and its most likely they will not be Dells. Nightmares with the last few. And I suspect they still don't supply Win 8 media (USB bootable drive). Heck I can not even configure a new 8700 with an SSD boot drive, 8.1 Pro and a blu-ray burner!

0 Kudos
TomHF
1 Copper

RE: Drive rails and cages

Ahh I see, That's too bad. In so many areas things have improved, but in other areas, its really sad how Dell has gone down hill.

I'm in the market for two new PC's, and its most likely they will not be Dells. Nightmares with the last few. And I suspect they still don't supply Win 8 media (USB bootable drive). Heck I can not even configure a new 8700 with an SSD boot drive, 8.1 Pro and a blu-ray burner!

Sheldon - I am going thru the same thing in regards to Dell computers.  I have a ten year old Dell Dimension 8400 that had the rail system that you are talking about. I always thought it was the greatest way to secure all of the HDD and DVD/CD drives that was ever developed. The clam shell case was another great thing from Dell.  Unfortunately my 8400 is on it's last legs and had to be replaced.

I became so frustrated with Dell's website trying to configure an XPS 8700 that I eventually wound up purchasing one from Amazon without any custom configurations. As an example,  I wanted a Windows 7 OS and Dell offers it as a $50 upgrade option - come on give me a break.  They charge you for an upgrade to an older OS!!!

At this moment I am looking at the old Dimension 8400 (with it's clam shell case opened) next to the XPS 8700 (with it's side panel and front bezel removed) and  I realize how much the Dell computers have gone downhill in quality.

 I just wish I could take the guts from the XPS and put it into the Dimension case.

Just my thoughts - Tom

0 Kudos
Sheldon G
3 Zinc

RE: Drive rails and cages

The frustating with Dell has been building for year. Each time I say never again, but then I goahead and by another Dell..

I finally broke the cycle!!

Downhill indeed, ON many fronts.

The last  two straws for me were the major hassles in trying to get  Windwws media for brand new machines ( to be able to rebuild the machine when things get corrupt), and the hassle arrounf hard drive warranties ( where they want drive returned, undamaged, even if it contain perosanl info which you cannot erase).

This year I needed 3 more pc's/ ;I went to Dell by habit..... but could not get it configured the way I always did in the past, so , finally, I said enough was enough.

Ending up deciding to build two from scratch, and bought a pre-configured ASUS. 

Couldn't  be happier!

0 Kudos