How To Convert Your Old Hard Drive To An External Drive

How To Convert Your Old Hard Drive To An External Drive

One of the most common equipment found in homes is an old computer. If you’ve got an old or a dead computer/laptop at home, you may probably want to get the best out of it. Hard disk of a computer is one of the strongest part that doesn’t give up on you and lasts longer than other parts. If you’ve got a computer / laptop that suddenly stopped working, you can use its hard disk and convert it to an external hard disk. As easy as it sounds, you don’t need to be a geek to execute this little task. However, you must ensure that the drive you’re taking is in working condition and not faulty.

 old hard drive

One of the best ways to ensure the wellbeing of an internal hard disk is to check if it made any noise before your machine collapsed. Generally, hard disks don’t get faulty that easily and when they do, they indicate you with all the odd sounds from them. If you don’t recall any such moment, it is time to get yourself a gift of an external hard disk without spending the hefty amount over it.

To get started, you must gear yourself up with necessary tools, that include a screwdriver (based on the screws of system cabinet/laptop and HDD) and a hard disk enclosure. The hard disk enclosure is a casing that provides with all the required ports and power supply for input and output. You may buy a hard disk enclosure online that are available from a range of $4 to $40, based on their specifications and characteristics. It is important to grab the old hard disk before buying an enclosure for it as all the hard disks aren’t of the same size.

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Before you buy an enclosure, make sure you’ve determined the kind of your hard disk as it should be compatible with each other. If you’ve an older computer it probably has an IDE or PATA hard disk. On the other hand, if you’ve got a newer PC, it should have a SATA hard disk. The PATA hard disk comes with a double row metal pin connector, while the SATA drive connector has two flat tabs.

hard drive

Now that you’re confirmed with the type of the hard disk you have, it is the time to measure the size to choose the suitable casing. You must ensure that you buy the matching enclosure for the hard disk. A 2.5-inch enclosure for a 2.5-inch HDD and a 3.5 inch one for a 3.5-inch HDD. It is important to know that a 2.5-inch enclosure is Bus powered, which means it fetches the required power from the connecting port that makes it completely portable. On the other hand, a 3.5-inch hard disks require more power than a port can emit. Hence, the enclosure comes with an AC power adapter that makes it not-portable.

It is important that you decide the interface, you would like the disk to work on. Usually, the enclosures feature either USB or FireWire interfaces due to their popularity. However, you may find a number of enclosures that feature both the interfaces. The physical installation of an internal hard disk to an enclosure is as easy as putting something into its case. Just unscrew the screws with the help of adequate screwdriver and make sure to remove the jumper out of the disk, if it is there (the chances are thin). Once you set the connections of the disk, it is time to connect it to a computer and use it as an external drive.

external drive

Overall, converting an old hard disk to an external hard disk is a piece of cake, if you’ve got the required tools. This conversion doesn’t require you to be a geek and saves a lot of money. About enclosures, it is recommended you go for a versatile casing that provides more options to interact with your computer. This way, you can use the drive on multiple computers that have different types of ports. Also, you may prefer to make your drive portable by choosing the right type of enclosure. If you know about some interesting conversions, do let us know in the comments below.

Rishi Sharma is a technical writer at Systweak Software. Being a software developer, he inclines to write about modern technology and progressive security for computers. One staunch admirer of Cricket, Rishi is also an active social worker and a gourmand.

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