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Externalize a hard drive? Answered

I've found many instructables, but they all require an expensive SATA to USB adapter. Are there any projects that don't require this item? It would also be acceptable to find one that would let me wire multiple drives to the same SATA port.


Hi everyone, just wanted to mention the World Start website. I buy most of my computer products from them and they are truly reasonable. There are also many tips and low discounted software as well as hardware. Hope this helps, as I purchased a usb to sata adapter for about 7 bucks a little while back.


3 years ago

Not entirely sure what you are looking for but depending on your hardware and what you are willing to do there are a lot of options.

You don't need to hook a drive into a system using USB.

Just open the case up and use a SATA cable and plug it directly to the board then connect to an open power plug and you are done. Most new systems have hot swapable SATA connections so it should just pick up on it and make it part of the system.

As far as multiple drives the limit is the number of SATA connectors you have,

You cannot connect more than one drive to one SATA port. IDE can handle 2, a slave and a master but SATA was designed to only do one drive.

I don't want a direct connect, I'd like to use USB to make it an external hard drive. I have three drives installed on my computer, newer drives, but I have a lot of 80gb hard drives I'd like to make external.

In that case you will need to get a USB docking bay. Or just a USB dongle. You don't need a drive enclosure.

Since USB 3, 32 and 64 gig pen drives have become available hard drives under 100 gig have become pretty useless even for external storage. I know, I have a lot of them. I have also been replacing notebook drives for people with SSD drives and they often don't want the original hard drive So I have a few of those as well. I keep them for a few months in case the customers SSD fails but then just add them to the stack of spare parts.

With something like this :


you just plunk in the bare drive and use it. You can usually daisy chain them together, that depends on the model.

I agree with Vyger. I too had a number of old SATA HDDs, so I made an extra long power cable and purchased a long SATA cable and threaded them to the outside of my PC. Now I can connect or disconnect the extra HDDS at will.