How to Turn an Internal Hard Drive Into an External Hard Drive

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So you upgraded your computer’s hard drive and were left with this old and seemingly useless hard drive. Do not throw it away! With surprisingly little effort, you can turn an old (or new) hard drive into an external drive that can house your extra files. Let’s take a look at how you can dust off those old hard drives and save money in the process. If you want, you can head to your local electronics store or your favorite online retailers like Amazon or Newegg and buy an external hard drive at a price that seems like a bargain.

But what looks cheap at first glance is not always cheap. Not only is there no good reason to pay a premium to the hard drive manufacturer to include the hard drive on your behalf, but there are actually more than a few benefits to including your own external hard drive. Below are instructions on how to convert an internal hard drive to an external hard drive.

How to turn an internal hard drive into an external hard drive

  • Choose an internal hard drive. You can mix and match almost any hard drive and enclosure, but check manufacturers’ websites to make sure the drive and enclosure are compatible, just in case.
  • Mount the unit in the cabinet. Inside the case, there may be a place to mount the internal hard drive to the case, either with screws or fasteners (some slot in the connector). If you are installing older drives like EIDE or IDE, you may see multiple Cables to connect the hard drive. For SATA or mSATA drives, you should see a single SATA connection like those found inside the PC.
  • Plug in the connections. The connections you must make differ depending on the type of hard drive connector you have. For most modern drives that use SATA or mSATA, there is a single 7-pin connector that is the interface connection and provides power. For PATA (EIDE or IDE) drives, there is a 40-pin connector and a 4-pin power connector.
  • Seal the hard drive case. Once it’s connected, seal the case tightly once more, with the internal hard drive inside. Most hard drive casings have simple screws or fasteners that you can use to seal the drive. You now have an internal hard drive that acts as a portable external storage device. All that remains is to connect the cabinet to the PC.
  • Connect the enclosure. The cabinet comes with all the necessary cables to connect it to a PC. This is usually a USB cable, which provides both connectivity and power to the drive.
  • Connect the cabinet to the PC. Connect the USB cable to the PC and let the unit turn on. If you have a power switch, turn it on.
  • Plug and play hard drive. Once you plug it in and turn it on, your Windows machine should recognize that you added new hardware and allow you to “plug and play.” You can browse the drive, open it, drag files and folders to it, or set it to receive backup and recovery files.

Final words: How to Turn an Internal Hard Drive Into an External Hard Drive

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Editorial Staff
Editorial Staff
The Bollyinside editorial staff is made up of tech experts with more than 10 years of experience Led by Sumit Chauhan. We started in 2014 and now Bollyinside is a leading tech resource, offering everything from product reviews and tech guides to marketing tips. Think of us as your go-to tech encyclopedia!


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