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Dual Hard Drive Enclosure Answered

Hey i'm work'n on use'n and old computer as a harddrive enclosure. So it house 4 or more hard drives i seen where you can buy one but you know how the site works it is better if we make them. I have like 20 160gig harddrives needed some thing to do with them. Any help would be great.


I Googled and found this site. This is exactly what I want to do. Concert an old tower case to a HD/CD-DVD remote server connected to my laptop via firewire. My vintage laptop has USB1 ports and a firewire port. The USB1 is just too slow to be useful, hence the firewire port will be my outboard connector. I need reliable external operation for my DVD-R's. How can I connect maybe 2 DVD-R's and one or 2 HD's in a tower case and connect to my Lap Top via firewire. Also I want to use the tower case to provide power to my drives. Nabzaf and me basically want to do the same thing!!!!! how??? I don't care how much power it uses (since its use is task specific)

You make no mention of how you expect to use the drives. You could cobble up some sort of USB setup. You could also do the same thing with Firewire or eSata. But not with regular PATA (parallel IDE) or SATA as they're designed solely for inside the box connections, not between boxes. There are what are called "bridge boards" that can make a single external connection (firewire, usb, eSata) and then spread it out to multiple drives internally. But again perhaps you miss the point about power consumption. You'll waste a lot of electricity (and money) powering up a bunch of old small drives instead of just using a new, and pretty cheap, higher capacity one. That and not have to deal with trying to arrange and manage multiple drives.

ok well you guys make it hard on me grrrrr.. I use'n the drives as a sort of storage hub i have a homenet work i just wanted a storage hub really. I seen them for business (no it is not a server )and i wanted to make one for home use.

No worries, if you want to try it then go for it. Just be be aware of the downsides. Given how inexpensive disks are these days it's truly going to be less expensive to just get, say, two new drives and set them up in a mirror. By the time you get the cables and, presumably, the necessary bits of USB-to-IDE adapters you'll spend more then the cost of new drives. And then with USB you'd still be stuck with the drives being choked being a slow USB connection. This slow connection would be a serious performance drain if you wanted to even THINK about getting into drive array mirrors or RAID. Sometimes instruction means letting people know what NOT to bother with.


9 years ago

OK to make it clear i have a old case has power suppy no mother board about 1 year old. the hard drives are new they just came out of a a bunch of DTV DVRS i have a hold bunch of them that are SATA and Some that are IED Just wanted to know if it was possable to use the old case as an enclosure and add the hard drives and about how many i can use would i need another power suppy to help run the drives i know 20 hard drives are a liitle much in one enclosure. Let Say that i want 5 max in a enclosure.

Do the math on the power consumption. Running 20 low capacity drives will undoubtedly waste a LOT more electricity than new drives. Ask yourself if it's better to pay a lot more for electric to run old drives (wasting fuel in the process) or just recycle the drives.

. If I were going to do that, I'd find an old PC with plenty of drive bays. Or buy a new case - they're pretty cheap nowadays.
. I bought a case with 6 full-size bays from TigerDirect* a while back. It and a 700W PSU was, IIRC, about 120 USD (on-sale bundle). I used the mobo from an old computer and added RAID (25 USD cheapie) and Ethernet cards. I now have a nice 500GB RAID1 server. When I finish putting my car back together, I plan on upgrading to a 1TB RAID5.
. Most mobos have two dual-channel EIDE ports. Reserving one drive to boot from, that gives you three drives to play with. If you want to add more drives, EIDE controller cards are pretty cheap (15-25 USD).

* No connection, just a happy customer.

An old server or CD copying tower would be best since they have as many as ten 5.25 inch enclosures and are designed for cooling in such applications, you may have to run them off of a separate PSU and have multiple masters and slaves to make the system work...

grrr. i was hope'n to use the power suppy and a controller board cheap and easy.

Oh mine was just a suggestion but a simple controller board for the purpose would be effective if they're about, you'd probably need a pretty serious PSU to hack running that many extra drives though.

A standard harddrive uses anywhere of up to 20 watts at start up and 12 watts in normal operation. With standard psus @ 300 watts plus, there is really no need of a "pretty serious" psu unless he plans on running more than 15 at a time, (depending on his wattage psu)

ok padlock i seen you around. you seem to have a good head on you. ok i have like 20 160gig harddrives just wanted to do something cool with them like build a tower for like 4 of them at this time. but i want to use and old tower that i have that has the power suppy but no mother board. Is there a cheap way to do it. (think'n tower, power, cable to controller board on main pc)what do you think

Personally, I'm thirteen, and have practically no experience with computers. However, the only way i could think of was 4 separate IDE (or SATA) to USB converters coupled with a Hi-Speed USB 4 Port Hub, Then attach the power supply to the hard drive as usual. Or the only other way I could think of would involve a motherboard... Just a old slow motherboard with a 62.5mb stick of memory in it configured with a network drive to create 4 different network drives. I have seen articles on how to partion each drive so they all appear to be one drive, but never have figured out how to do it...Or maybe they make IDE network drive converters, I have no clue. Try google-ing it...

so you think i could use and old tower with about 4 drives and hook up an controller board on the new pc.

It's not my area of expertise but it sounds reasonable, granted what I was saying about the power supply is important, if it can't hack it you risk bricking components so before hooking it all up check the specs of the drives and the power supply, if it can't hack it grab one out of an old tower to run them.

Like twenty of them... My point is he'd need to have either a two pretty standard size PSU's because the rest of the other computer must run off the original or a second smaller one for the HDD tower, also the wiring would be simpler at the end of it.