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can a old internal hard drive be modded to use as an external hard drive? Answered



Best Answer 9 years ago

No mod necessary, just need to buy proper enclosure to supply power to the drive and make it accessible via USB (if it's a desktop 3.5" drive). If it's a laptop drive it may even be powered entirely by USB with no external power necessary so the enclosure is even cheaper. Google hard drive enclosure.

Look out for USB CD(R) drive enclosures at thrift stores... I got one for $15. It works great with DVD-RW drives, but I haven't tested it with a hard drive. Make sure it is USB 2.0, though.

Those guys have some awsome deals but have you ordered from there before, are they safe, and do they ship fast?

I've only ordered two times from them, but I think they're safe, shipping takes about one to two weeks though, depending on your location, they ship with regular mail from Hong Kong

It might just be a better idea to buy the harddrive encloser, if ur looking to use a desktop hardrive you will need to get the 5.5 inch one, and the 3.5 are for laptop drives. im not sure if thats the right mesurments. dsome of the laptop drive enclosures even give u the option of powering it entirely off usb. i think segate sell them. but not worth the effort of stripping cables etc and risking ruining ur harddrive or any associated electronics

oh yeah thanks. i was just thinking at the time that the laptop drives look much smaller then that.

Tiger direct has good deals on the enclosures all the time as well as user reviews. Fungus is right about the 3.5 size. Also given that it is an older HD you probably need an enclosure that takes an IDE drive. I got one on sale at Radio Shack a while back for about $20. you should be able to find one on sale for about that much. For $20 from computer with a dead mother board to 80 gig external HD! If you are running XP it should auto detect right away.

goodgnus nailed it. Check ebay also for cheap enclosures. You're looking for an IDE not a sata though (if it's an older drive). So use the -sata when searching. You should be able to find one for under $10. Most come with a built in PS for 3.5" drives. I bought some on sale at Tigerdirect.com for $20. IDE USBII/Firewire capable J.

If your just looking to hook up the drive to format it or to repair it etc, you can also get cables that just plug straight into the drive.