What to do with the outdated exhausting drive you simply eliminated out of your laptop computer or desktop? You may simply hold it round as a spare—however putting in it into an exterior enclosure and successfully remodeling it into a transportable exhausting drive could be much more helpful. You’ll be capable to entry all the recordsdata on the drive at a second’s discover, however you might additionally use it for backups or just transferring information between techniques.
There are a slew of exterior enclosures out there for exhausting drives, and just about all of them are dirt-cheap—lower than $10, in some cases, with probably the most feature-filled fashions topping out round $40. You’ll discover all the things from easy aluminum sleeves to bigger multi-drive docks that may connect with a wide range of completely different ports. USB enclosures are by far the commonest, however eSATA, Thunderbolt, and Firewire enclosures can be found too.
Exterior drive enclosures are pretty merely gadgets. For instance, they will take an ordinary 2.5-inch SATA drive and bridge the SATA interface to USB, or one other interface of your selecting. Some enclosures are sealed and switch your previously inner drive into a transportable storage machine, whereas others operate as extra of a dock, the place drives could also be linked at will.
Exterior enclosures are usually not only for exhausting drives, both. An outdated SSD could be an ideal candidate for a high-speed exterior drive—particularly because it most likely price a fairly penny. The USB interface present in most enclosures could not be capable to exploit all the efficiency advantages of an SSD, however an SSD in an exterior enclosure geared up with a USB three.zero port will nonetheless shift recordsdata round at a speedy fee.
There are some things to contemplate earlier than putting in your drive into an exterior enclosure. If the drive is encrypted, for instance, chances are you’ll need to re-connect it to the unique system to entry it and again up any vital information on the drive. Even when the drive just isn’t encrypted, it’s most likely a good suggestion to again all the things up beforehand.
On very uncommon events, compatibility points could stop you from accessing a drive put in into an exterior enclosure with out re-formatting it. A lot of the exterior enclosures out there immediately, nonetheless, function mature know-how and are pretty dependable. Regardless, it couldn’t damage to again issues up—simply in case.
The meeting course of
Putting in a drive into an exterior enclosure is normally very simple. For the needs of this text, I picked up a Kingwin ATK-25U3-BK USB three.zero enclosure on NewEgg for about $27, however the meeting course of needs to be comparable for all exhausting drive enclosures.
The Kingwin ATK-25U3-BK consists of all the cables obligatory to attach it to a PC, together with a easy carrying case. Putting in a drive into the enclosure required just one software—a small Phillips-head screwdriver. I needed to take away 4 small screws from every nook of the enclosure and slide out a small circuit board (the part with the connectors hooked up).
The circuit board includes a bridge that converts the SATA interface to USB three.zero. There’s additionally a skinny, clear protecting defend that protects the underside of the drive being put in, which is the place a 2.5-inch exhausting drive’s controller board is usually uncovered. The drive slides proper onto the small circuit board; merely line up the male/feminine SATA information and energy connectors and push them collectively.
As soon as the drive is linked to the converter board, the entire meeting slides into the enclosure. Tighten the screws that maintain the enclosure collectively, and it’s able to go.
To make use of your new exterior drive, all it’s best to should do is plug it into an out there USB port in your PC. Some enclosures will embody two USB cables (as ours did)—one for information and the opposite for supplemental energy. If the enclosure you select requires two cables, join them each to make sure dependable operation. Many drives will work with simply the one information cable hooked up, as a result of it will probably present some energy. Below load, nonetheless, a single USB port could not be capable to present sufficient juice, and the drive might drop from the system.
You needn’t retire or recycle outdated exhausting drives. Put it into an exterior drive enclosure, and you’ll hold the information with you or use the drive as moveable storage. Within the throwaway tradition of excessive tech, this resolution’s a keeper.
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