Posts Tagged ‘External Hard Drive’

Use External Hard Drive as an Internal Hard Drive

October 23rd, 2012 Comments off

Hi guys. Hard drive prices as you all know have been hiked up terribly. Here in South Africa, internal hard drives 1Tb was R600 = $75. The world shortage caused the hard drives to skyrocket in price from R600 to R1800. That’s a $150 price increase!

Now down to business. I have an external hard drive. Samsung Story. 1TB. I would just like to know what the possibility is, to take the hard drive out of it’s enclosure, connecting it via a SATA port and using it as the internal hard drive. (booting windows, installing games and programs)

You should easily be able to do this, however, I would be careful when removing the case. A lot of them are made not to come off, so be careful not to damage the drive when removing the case. It should be a standard hard drive inside. You might want to make sure it’s out of warranty before opening the case though. Also, I don’t think the enclosure’s controller is doing anything funny with the data, but if it is, you may need to reformat the drive once it’s in your computer.

Use Internal Hard Drive as an External Hard Drive

It is easy and inexpensive to convert an internal hard drive to an external one. All you need is a hard drive enclosure that fits your existing internal hard drive. Hard drive enclosures are widely available at computer stores and online. Prices range from as little as five dollars for a basic one-drive USB 2.0 enclosure to over a hundred dollars for enclosures that hold multiple internal drives in RAID arrays with eSATA interfaces. You probably don’t need to spend more than $20 for a basic one-drive enclosure.

Removing a hard drive from a laptop or desktop is easy. Power down and unplug the computer. On most laptops, you’ll remove a plastic panel from the underside of the laptop with one or two small screws. Remove the drive by gently tugging it free from the connectors, and you’re done. On a desktop, open the system case, and locate the hard drive in its metal bay. Disconnect the power and data cables, remove the screws holding the drive in the bay, and slide it out. Just remember, you’re removing the hard drive, but NOT opening it up. Doing so will damage the sensitive internal components.

You do need to make sure you buy the right kind of drive enclosure kit, so it will be compatible with the drive you’ve removed from the desktop or laptop.

The first consideration is the size of your hard drive. Laptop drives are all 2.5 inches, while desktop drives are usually 3.5 inches. Determine the size of your internal hard drive and shop for a hard drive enclosure into which it fits. Note that 3.5 inch drives generally require an external power supply, while 2.5 inch drives can pull their power from the computer to which they connect.

The drive interface is another critical factor. Old hard drives may use an IDE interface. Many new drives use the speedier SATA interface. Make sure the enclosure you select supports your internal hard drive’s interface. If you have any confusion about the size or interface for your drive, just Google the name. For example, I have an old hard drive that I pulled from a defunct desktop computer. The markings on the drive say “WD Caviar 36400” so a quick search for that phrase tells me it’s a 6.4GB Western Digital, 3.5 inch, IDE drive.

Use internal hard drive as an external drive

Connecting the External Hard Drive to Your Computer

The connector on a hard drive enclosure is the means by which it is connected to your computer. USB 2.0 is a common connector because most computers support it. Firewire is another option if your computer has an available Firewire port. An eSATA connector is faster than USB 2.0 or Firewire, but relatively few computers and enclosures support eSATA at this time.

The enclosure box may be made of aluminum, plastic, or some other material. A box sporting LED indicators helps you observe drive activity. Other bells and whistles are optional.

Installing an internal drive is into an enclosure is easy. You may need a screwdriver, but no special tools are required. Just avoid static electricity and don’t force any connectors. If you are enclosing an IDE drive, make sure to set its master/slave jumpers to the positions recommended in the enclosure’s instructions. SATA drives do not require jumper settings.

Connect the enclosure’s interface cable to the internal hard drive’s interface connector. Plug the enclosure’s power cable into the drive. Fasten the drive into the enclosure with the fasteners provided. Close up the enclosure.

If necessary, plug in the external drive’s power cord. If you don’t need external power, just plug the connector cable into the appropriate USB, Firewire, or eSATA port on your computer. Mac and Windows computers should recognize the new drive automatically. It should appear in your drives list with its own drive letter. Copy a few files to and from the new drive to make sure everything is working. Then enjoy your new external hard drive!

External Hard Drive Speed

October 17th, 2012 Comments off

I am going to be housing large data sets on an external hard drive. From it I will be doing a lot of reading/writing as I process data from my laptop via a USB 3.0 port.

what should I get to make this run fast when using it. Will there be a bottleneck caused by using a USB cable that will make other factors relevant to speed inconsequential?

USB3 has a higher transfer rate than any mechanical HDD so there is no bottleneck from it.

Other choices would be an external HDD with eSATA and if there are multiple devices that may need access to the data sets, NAS with Gigabit would be recommended as well, I’ve found that Synology makes great performing NAS Devices with single to 8 HDD units. They are expensive but worth every penny and perform better than most other NAS boxes out there.

But in terms of USB3, Your HDD will be the bottle neck on this so if performance is really a critical piece to your puzzle, find a USB3 enclosure and throw in an SSD for the max performance.

Toshiba Portable External Hard Drives

November 24th, 2010 Comments off

Toshiba Portable External Hard Drives Toshiba’s Portable External Hard Drives make computer backup simple. They take the complexity out of backing up your computer data by providing easy-to-use backup software for both Windows and Mac users. Powered by USB 2.0, you can take your files just about anywhere. Just one click and you’re on your way to creating a digital safety net to help protect your files.

Toshiba Canvio 3.0 Portable Hard Drives – 500/750GB/1TB

  • Interface: USB 3.0
  • Speed: Up to 5 Gb/sec
  • Drive Warranty: Three (3) Year Limited Warranty
  • Country of Origin: Assembled in China with drive manufactured in Japan, Philippines, Thailand, or China.
  • Compatible: Microsoft Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7
  • Certifications: FCC/CE/UL/cUL RoHS Compatible

Toshiba Canvio for Mac Portable Hard Drives – 500/750GB/1TB

  • Interface: USB 2.0
  • Speed: Up to 480Mb/s
  • Drive Warranty: Three (3) Year Limited Warranty
  • Country of Origin: Assembled in China with drive manufactured in Japan, Philippines, Thailand or China
  • Compatible: Mac OS X 10.5 or later, Apple Time Machine compatible, Mac computers with a USB 2.0 port
  • Certifications: FCC/CE/UL/cUL RoHS Compatible

Toshiba Canvio Portable Hard Drives – 320/500/640/750GB/1TB

  • Buffer Size: 8MB
  • Interface: USB 2.0
  • Drive Warranty: Three (3) Year Limited Warranty
  • Compatible: Microsoft Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7

Toshiba Canvio Basics Portable Hard Drives – 320/500/750GB

  • Interface: USB 2.0
  • Transfer Rate: Up to 480Mb/s
  • Drive Warranty: Three (3) Year Limited Warranty
  • Country of Origin: Assembled in China with drive manufactured in Japan, Philippines, Thailand, or China
  • Compatible: Microsoft Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7
  • Certifications: FCC/CE/UL/cUL RoHS Compatible

Toshiba USB 2.0 Portable External Hard Drives – 320/500/640GB

  • Buffer Size: 8MB
  • Interface: USB 2.0
  • Drive Warranty: Three (3) Year Limited Warranty
  • Compatible: Microsoft Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7. Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later

More details: Toshiba Portable External Hard Drives

5 Tips for Choosing an External Hard Drive

August 23rd, 2010 Comments off

External Hard Drive External hard drives are great way to back up your favourite photos, videos, music and work documents – especially as they can be stored separately, ensuring your important files remain safe should anything happen to your laptop or computer. If you’ve never bought an external hard drive before then there’s a few pointers here that may help to have on your shopping list before you go and make that final purchase.

1. Buy A Brand
Do yourself a huge favor and buy a brand name that you easily recognize. Sure these may cost a little more than brand but with computer accessories like this you really do get what you pay for. If a Western Digital 1TB external hard drive costs $90 and another brand ITB hard drive costs $70 why do you think that is? Because the company likes you? Because they like making smaller profits? No it’s because it’s a cheaper drive made with inferior parts that’s going to break a lot sooner than you might expect.

The other aspect of sticking with a brand is your warranty. For example Maxtor, Western Digital and Iomega are all reliable companies and well known for their external hard disks. If something goes wrong with your drive you can have it fixed. With brand you’ll probably not even be able to find an email address that you can contact the parent company on. Is saving a few dollars worth that risk?

2. Google It
Whatever brand or model you decide on make sure you do some research before purchasing. Always, always Google the exact brand and model of the drive you’re considering buying. Look for reviews and especially any feedback on how reliable a drive is. You’ll be very surprised to find that some companies have particularly bad reputations in terms of equipment reliability and what’s known as the “click of death” in the external hard drive industry. Spend time in Google checking out your prospective purchase. You’ll be glad that you did.

3. Connectivity
When it comes to external hard drives you’ll need to choose carefully when selecting your connection types. Your external hard drive will support either USB or Firewire. Firewire is the fastest option available at the moment but your computer may not support this. The vast majority of modern computers will, however, feature a USB port.

The next question now is what type of USB port do you have – USB 1.0 or 2.0? If your computer only has a USB 1.0 port then your external hard drive is going to transfer data VERY slowly. USB 2.0 is the minimum you should consider as connection options for both your computer and your external hard drive. If you don’t have a USB 2.0 port (also called HiSpeed USB) on your computer you may need to get a USB 2.0 card fitted.

4. Speed
Now of course we need to talk about speed. The faster your hard drive operates the faster data will get transferred to your computer and vice versa. Without boggling you with computer jargon there’s a couple of technical things you need to include on your shopping list.

Seek time – this needs to be 10ms (milliseconds) or less.
Buffer size – more is better. Get a drive with at least a 4MB buffer.
RPM – higher is better. 5400 RPM as a minimum. 7200 RPM being preferred.
Stick to the above basic pointers and you’ll do just fine.

5. Capacity
This is the simple part of the whole “buying an external hard drive” equation. Buy as much as you can afford. If you can afford 100GB then get it. However if you can afford 200GB then get it. Then again if you scraped together a few dollars more you could afford 300GB then do it.

This isn’t a sales pitch. Far from it. There is simply no such thing as having too much data storage space. The 160GB drive that I have here was filled up in a little under a month. Currently 1TB external hard drive sounds good for my future needs.

Always add 50% to your data storage requirements. Honestly. You’ll thanks yourself within the first 90 days of buying your external drive.

Hopefully now you’ll be better prepared for purchasing your new external hard drive. It’s one of the best purchases you’ll ever make.

Things you should know about external hard drives

June 29th, 2010 Comments off
  • Depending on availability of parts during production, the internal hard drive in an external enclosure could be either SATA or EIDE.
  • They can only guarantee drive capacity. They cannot guarantee a particular internal hard drive model, data interface, rotational speed, or cache size in the external hard drive enclosure.
  • Dismantling any single-drive external enclosure to obtain this information will void the warranty of the hard drive.
  • Interface and cache of the hard drives inside the external enclosure does not affect the performance or the data transfer rate of the external hard drive unit.

Note: With the exception of eSATA and USB 3.0 external hard drives, USB 2.0 and Firewire 400/800 have yet to approach the transfer rates of the internal hard drives we use in our external enclosures.