Changing internal HDD to external

  Spark6 17:09 17 Dec 2003

I have a spare 45.0GB internal hard drive that I would like to use as an external unit.

Any advice on where I would be able to purchase the necessary hardware and info greatly appreciated.

Windows 98SE with USB2.0.

  Taran 17:33 17 Dec 2003

You can get an external case with power supply for very little - I got one in a sale a couple of weeks ago from a local PC store for £15.

You mount the internal drive into the casing then connect it up. Build the casing together and plug it into your USB or Firewire port and to a power outlet and off you go.

You'll get a warning if using USB 1.1 about having a USB 2 device plugged into a slower port, but it works fine at all speeds.

Search on Dabs .com for drive case and you'll find some for 2.5, 3.5 and 5.25 hard drives at £14, £26 and £34 respectively.

  Spark6 19:34 17 Dec 2003


I think I require a 3.5 casing. Is it then just a matter of plugging it in and away to go?

  Taran 20:25 17 Dec 2003

More or less, yes.

There's a couple of connectors to go to the hard drive inside the casing - just the same as there would be if you were installing it internally. There is the ribbon cable and a power cable to connect to the drive, and the outward facing port will be either USB 2 or Firewire, depending on which type of casing you buy. The conversion from hard drive cable to outward facing USB/Firewire takes place inside the case itself.

The case will have a cable leading from the USB/Firewire port to your computer and a power supply cable to be plugged into the wall outlet, just as you would with any electrical mains appliance.

Windows 2000, XP, Apple Mac OSX and many Linux distributions do not require drivers - you just plug in, power the unit up and switch it on. Windows 98 and often ME will need drivers for the external drive to work properly. Most cases supply them or give a web link where they may be downloaded.

I built mine up and had it working in less time than it's taken me to type this out. It seemed a reasonable use to put a spare 80 gig drive to and I plan on using it for video footage as an overflow/backup to the twin 120 drives in my video editing machine.

Over USB 2 or Firewire, things really fly.

It's drop dead simple.

Even I can do it !


Shop around a bit though. The cases are not as in demand as they might be and you can sometimes find some real bargains (a la my £15 special).

Get back if you are still unsure.


  Spark6 12:42 18 Dec 2003

Many thanks Taran. I'll give it a go and return if I need advice.

Merry Xmas

  Jester2K II 12:51 18 Dec 2003

Does any one know of any cheap USB versions available on the net? I need to test others HDD for time to time and it would be handy. Not bothered about the USB 1.1 lack of speed, just a pain to keep disconnecting a drive from my PC and go through the BIOS setup routine and back just to confirm its dead or clean viruses off it...

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