Have you replaced your hard disk with an SSD or a new disk? Did you have to change the Notebook but the disk is working? Why not reuse the old hard disk, using it as an external memory?

The advantages of turning an internal hard disk into an external one are different. An external hard disk is always useful if it still works well and to do so it is sufficient to buy a box for external memory disks, also called enclosure, which have a ridiculously low cost. These houses can also be reused with different disks as long as they are of the same size. The recycling of old records is really a smart solution and you do not need computer science or a particular experience.

To use a hard disk (intact and functioning) as external you need a box or a docking station, systems that connect to the PC and that in some cases can be connected to the power supply. The box is in many cases without screws and therefore works interlocking.

How to choose the box and how to assemble it

The first thing to do is understand what size the disk in question has. Hard disks can have a diagonal of 3.5 inches, usually disks and SSDs for PCs, and a diagonal of 2.5 inches, so in notebook disks. Based on this information, you can select the size of the box, in many cases these are still compatible with both measures. Another factor to consider is the kind of disk, or if it is SATA, PATA, IDE.

The boxes that are designed to host exclusively notebook disks are self-powered and therefore have a single connection to the USB, without connection to the power supply. The data transfer speed will depend on the port used and not on the disk itself. So you can have the popular USB 3.0 or an old and slower USB 2.0.

If you do not want to close the disk in a box, but you want to mount it and remove it quickly, you can think of using a docking station. This gives the possibility to disconnect a disk simply by extracting it, without opening or disassembling anything. These stations, however, leave the discs exposed to the weather and dust, but it is useful for those who use different discs. Even in the case of the docking station you will have to look for the right measure and the speed of data transfer depends on the USB port. This type of external hard drive box uses power supply.

Features of an external hard drive

To understand what you are talking about when referring to the parameters related to the memory disks, in order to choose which disk to use if you have several or if you have to buy one, here are the peculiarities of this kind of product:

  • the capacity indicates the data space;
  • the dimensions of the device, as already seen, in inches of 2.5 in notebooks or 3.5 in PCs;
  • the speed of rotation, then the speed of access to the data that is on the disk, usually 5,400 or 7,200 for the larger ones at current;
  • the data transfer rate depending on the port used, then USB 3.0 or 2.0;
  • the power supply, we have seen that there are self-powered devices with a USB connection and others with a power cable.

When choosing the box for the disc, also take into consideration the material, depending on how much it will be subject to shocks and movements.


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