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Tech: Hard drive to External drive?

wilbyhillbilly 26 Jul 10 - 11:10 AM
pavane 26 Jul 10 - 11:25 AM
Arthur_itus 26 Jul 10 - 11:30 AM
artbrooks 26 Jul 10 - 11:31 AM
artbrooks 26 Jul 10 - 11:32 AM
Acme 26 Jul 10 - 11:33 AM
pavane 26 Jul 10 - 11:41 AM
GUEST,Russ 26 Jul 10 - 12:22 PM
JohnInKansas 26 Jul 10 - 03:32 PM
wilbyhillbilly 26 Jul 10 - 05:00 PM
Tootler 26 Jul 10 - 05:52 PM
Leadfingers 26 Jul 10 - 07:26 PM
wilbyhillbilly 27 Jul 10 - 06:27 AM
Bernard 27 Jul 10 - 07:10 AM
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Subject: Tech: Hard drive to External drive?
From: wilbyhillbilly
Date: 26 Jul 10 - 11:10 AM

Since I got my new desktop pc, my old one has been in the attic, we are now having a clear out and I wondered if I can somehow take the old hard drive out and turn it into an external drive, as there is quite a lot of stuff on it that I would like.

Or is it possible to transfer some of it to my new pc.

I have seen some empty cases advertised somewhere (in the past) and wondered if they made it possible to convert it to an external.

Help would be most appreciated.

whb


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Subject: RE: Tech: Hard drive to External drive?
From: pavane
Date: 26 Jul 10 - 11:25 AM

No problem, as long as the enclosure is for the right kind of drive (e.g. IDE).

You can also get an IDE-USB adaptor, cheaper but not as tidy - OK for one-off file transfers. Comes with its own power supply because USB does not provide enough current. Here in UK, it was about £15, I think (I bought one called EasyIDE)


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Subject: RE: Tech: Hard drive to External drive?
From: Arthur_itus
Date: 26 Jul 10 - 11:30 AM

Whb
Yes it is possible to buy a cradle to put the hard disk in, which can then be linked to the PC as an external Hard Disk. I did it myself some time ago.

Here is a link in the states that may help

http://askbobrankin.com/convert_internal_hard_drive_to_external.html

Here is a link to a UK site

http://www.ehow.com/how_5518748_make-hard-drive-out-internal.html

Hope that helps a bit.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Hard drive to External drive?
From: artbrooks
Date: 26 Jul 10 - 11:31 AM

No doubt one of the experts (like John from Kansas) will be on shortly to give all of the gory details, but I'd think there are two things to consider before you do that.
*Is the HD in your old computer compatible with your new PC? Some older drives don't work well (or at all) with newer PCs, and the work-around can be a real kludge.
*Is it worth your time and effort? I've seen some of those drive cases, and they seem to come in at about $35 US, without the necessary cable. Your old drive is likely to be quite small in capacity, compared to more recent ones. I just saw an ad for a one terabyte drive for $75.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Hard drive to External drive?
From: artbrooks
Date: 26 Jul 10 - 11:32 AM

Sorry...that was a terabyte EXTERNAL drive.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Hard drive to External drive?
From: Acme
Date: 26 Jul 10 - 11:33 AM

Those drive enclosures are pretty reasonable. Check and be sure you have the right kind of cable and plug for it. The old ones I've used needed a plug to connect with the wide ribbon but my latest one had the thin SATA plug into a part of the motherboard I hadn't previously attached anything to. Where I still have two spaces open.

Wikipedia on disk enclosures. Not super clear, but it has links. These are what you see more of these days.

SRS


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Subject: RE: Tech: Hard drive to External drive?
From: pavane
Date: 26 Jul 10 - 11:41 AM

artbrooks, it looked like one requirement was to get some files off the old disk. A cable is cheaper than an enclosure, as I said.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Hard drive to External drive?
From: GUEST,Russ
Date: 26 Jul 10 - 12:22 PM

I've done it.
It is doable.
But I've had mixed results.
The drives have all worked short term, but long term I have had more than one such drive fail.
Creating your own external drives made sense until new USB external drives became so cheap.

Russ (Permanent GUEST)


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Subject: RE: Tech: Hard drive to External drive?
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 26 Jul 10 - 03:32 PM

External USB drive boxes should be readily available, but there are several choices and you have to get the right one for the drive you have.

Hard drives come in two physical sizes, nominally the "desktop" size (3.5") and the "laptop" size (2.5"). Since you don't really have to put the lid on to run a drive "externally," the physical size of the box isn't too important, but the two sizes of hard drives have different sizes of connectors, so you do have to get the right box size in order to connect to the hard drive.

The most common boxes come with an internal interface for eitherIDE or SATA hard drives, and the box you get must match the drive you want to put in it.

Since the computer only sees a USB plug, and the hard drive only sees the internal side of the interface board in the box, there should be no "setup" or "compatibility" problems if you get the right box for your drive.

Boxes are also available with EIDE/SATA interfaces built in, at roughly twice the price, with separate internal connectors for the two kinds of hard drives, so you can put either kind of 3.5" drive in a 3.5" EIDE/SATA box, or either kind of 2.5" drive in a 2.5" EIDE/SATA box, just by using the correct one of the two internal connectors and leaving the other connector hanging loose.

The biggest problem with using an "internal" HD in an external box is that the boxes tend not to be well cooled, and the drives may die prematurely due to heat exhaustion; and the smaller mass of an external drive makes it much more sensitive to bumps and bangs if the drive isn't glued down to a desktop or other heavy object.

Generally, 2.5" drives are more rugged than 3.5" ones, since they're designed for use in laptops or other "portable" devices, but omission of the "ruggedizing" is largely what makes the larger drives as much as 10x as fast as the little ones in actual working speed, for drives with the same "published specs." In an external box, the drive speed genrally makes less difference than in an internal drive use, since the USB interface speed is nearly always slower than either kind of drive.

Everybody should have at least one box, since it's the simplest way of transferring stuff from the drive you take out of a dead computer to the drive in a new computer, but drives in boxes, especially desktop drives, have very low survival if they're ever moved for any reason, even if you're very careful about making sure the disk isn't moving when the box is picked up. I have two such running after a couple of years, but have seen about 5 "killed" in a few months after being put in boxes. The ones that died were "used" when they went into the boxes, but I still consider their failures "premature."

Get a box if you need to transfer anything from the old drive to a computer. If you really need an external drive for space reasons, blow the <$100 (US) for a 500 or 750 GB portable external USB drive. Unless you store a significant amount of Video, or a whole lot of audio, on your computer, the 1 TB drive is just more to lose when that drive fails. Get two of whatever you choose, and keep dual backup copies(?) if you really have anything valuable.

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: Hard drive to External drive?
From: wilbyhillbilly
Date: 26 Jul 10 - 05:00 PM

Thanks all, some fantastic info.

I already have two 500gb external drives for storage, what I really was looking to do was use a box so I could transfer files from the old one that I haven't got onto the new one.

Obviously I don't want the program files as I was running WinXP on both machines, so it seems it's a goer, if I can sort out the IDE and SATA bit.

Anyway I'll have a go and see what happens, if I mess it up and loose everything on the old drive it's not life threatening so it's worth the risk...........I think.

whb


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Subject: RE: Tech: Hard drive to External drive?
From: Tootler
Date: 26 Jul 10 - 05:52 PM

If you already have two external hard drives, why not simply copy the data you want to transfer on to one of those (assuming you have space on the external hard drives), then copy it on to the new computer? It might take a little longer, but given what's been said above about the fragility of internal HDDs in external boxes, it seems likely to be a more reliable solution.

That's what I intend to do when I replace my current PC.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Hard drive to External drive?
From: Leadfingers
Date: 26 Jul 10 - 07:26 PM

I had a Mother Board crash on one of my old PC's - I got a new PC which had space for a second Hard Drive and all I had to do was get the correct cabling to install the old drive in the new PC Box !!


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Subject: RE: Tech: Hard drive to External drive?
From: wilbyhillbilly
Date: 27 Jul 10 - 06:27 AM

Tootler, now I've sat and thought about it, it might be the best idea.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Hard drive to External drive?
From: Bernard
Date: 27 Jul 10 - 07:10 AM

Regarding the perceived fragile nature of internal drives in external caddies...

3.5" drives were never intended to be carried around, the 2.5" drives fitted in laptops and portable external units are far more resilient.

I would suggest that a drive taken out of a PC and installed in a caddy is no more likely to fail than a similar hard drive OF THE SAME AGE that has been in a caddy since new.

A drive in a caddy may fail prematurely if:

1. The drive is moved whilst switched on, particularly if it is in a read/write state.

2. Switched on and off frequently - they are more stable if kept at a constant temperature, as are many electrical items. Startup current is usually the killer!

3. Treated roughly even when switched off.

4. Inadequately cooled - some drives run hotter than others, and a caddy may not dissipate suffient heat whereas the same drive in a PC case would have the advantage of fan cooling.

5. Subjected to extended data transfer... often, when a drive has been fitted in a caddy, the next step is to copy all the data from (or to) it, which may take a few hours. A drive is normally expected to cope with intermittent data transfer, allowing it to cool properly.

Well, that's my take on it, anyway!


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