Harddrive Repurposing and Relocation Initiative




80GB of harddrive isn't much these days, even in a laptop.
So, it was time for an upgrade(1/2TB fit nicely).

The down side being, now I had a 2.5" Harddrive, with no laptop to use it.
With 256GB thumbdrives, and multi-terabyte external harddrives... these was no reason to put this in a case, as an external.

So what to do?
Increase desktop storage.
But 2.5" drives don't fit in normal desktop cases.
So here's how I fix-d-it.

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Step 1: Get Your Stuff Together

First, get yourself one of these pretty, hopefully free 2.5" sata harddrive.
Next, grab a broken 3.5" harddrive. Any capacity will work. Ide(pata), Sata, Scsi even MFM will work.
I used an old IDE Seagate that had developed terminal errors.

Step 2: Dissassemble the 3.5" Drive

Each drive will be different, in little ways, but most follow these general steps.

If my pictures don't work for you, there are plenty of 'ibles explaining the process :-)

Step 3: Blueprint or Kludge. the Choice Is Yours.

Now that you have the bare aluminum drive porting, you can either measure and layout the hole pattern from a pattern/blueprint, or Kludge through like I did.

Step 4: My Kludge Layout

Paper, pencil and Sharpie. Simple.

Step 5: Drilling

When drilling the holes, make them slightly oversized.
This allows for a little bit of fudging, if you don't drill exactly center.
Keeps the screws from binding.

Step 6: Mounting and Installing

8 screws and some cables later, and you're done!

Step 7: Final Thoughts and Future Edits

Some 3.5" HDD's don't have that nice flat surface to mount to.

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    8 Discussions


    10 months ago on Step 7

    it would be interesting to extend this project so that the SATA connectors align, allowing use of drives in NASs or cheesegrater style MacPros or other 3.5" sled based (cableless) cases.


    4 years ago on Introduction

    Thank you for posting this. I am on my way to installing a 2.5 in ssd in an older pc that has no replacement face to put in place of the optical drive, hence, gut the optical drive! The screw placement image that you've posted here will help a lot.

    Also my credo. If I can fix or make it, I won't buy it.

    Dragon Maze

    9 years ago on Introduction

    For me, I just pop 'small' HDs into a Tvisto enclosure, OR in a regular enclosure, and use a Western Digital Media player, and use them as portable entertainment centers when I want to share webshows with friends I visit: just hook it up to any TV, and voila!

    1 reply
    ironsmiterDragon Maze

    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    I also have one of those neat WD media players...
    Mine's actually the first generation version(2usb, no networking). As portable entertainment centers, I find my 500GB and 1.5TB 3.5" external drives MUCH more useful... The WD just doesn't supply enough power though usb to fuel most of those enclosures. :-( and if i have to plug a drive into power anyhow, might as well be one that holds ALL my media, not just a bit.

    Plus... after the third enclosure... they get a bit annoying. To me at least. I now keep ONE low-power enclosure, with a 40GB 700mA laptop drive in it(2 usb ports dote job for powering, unlike this drive. Although it SAYS 700mA, it actually draws over 1A at full tilt) ... II find it useful for those files that exceed 8GB(my largest thumbdrive) but that I still want to be ultra portable. All the other drives either find homes in my towers, or get relegated to "spare parts"... andI like my storage too much to spare prt a drive, if I don't have to :-)


    9 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks, I missed the fact you were using a SATA drive. Actually, you can get a very inexpensive adaptor to use the other type of 2.5" drive also.


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    laptop SATA drives use the same exact connectors as 3.5" desktop harddrives.

    the adapter mounts just like it did when it was a functional harddrive(same slot, same screws, etc.)