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Is it possible to make an internal HD into external?

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July 24, 2009 5:17:13 PM

From what I can tell the internal HDs are always cheaper than the external. So if I can make an internal one into an external y bother with the added costs of an external? Just curious. I mean there are 1.5 TB internal models for just over $100(caviar green or spinpoint f2 for example) but if I look for a 1.5TB external, the cost are more of the upper $100s.

More about : make internal external

July 24, 2009 5:20:30 PM

because most people won't look up how much it would be to do it yourself
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a b G Storage
July 24, 2009 5:53:42 PM

i use sometihng like this

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

and i keep internal harddrives around like other people do dvd-rws. if sometihng is to be kept permenently but i dont need daily access to it, i just stick it on a drive that isnt connected to anything. i have a small pile of them
a b G Storage
July 24, 2009 6:11:05 PM

There are a few issues you should consider
when building your own external HDD enclosure:

(1) there is a significant speed difference between USB and eSATA

(2) eSATA voltage is different from standard (internal) SATA

(3) the SATA controller -- either integrated or expansion card --
may not support hot-swap

(4) connectors must match at either end of the data cable

(5) cooling should not be neglected, particularly if
multiple HDDs are installed in a single external enclosure


Try searching for "external enclosure" at Newegg,
for lots of examples:

http://www.newegg.com/


Icy Dock also sells a well engineered set of
external enclosure products:

http://www.icydock.com/home.htm


MRFS
July 24, 2009 6:17:04 PM

It is possibly cheaper if you go with an internal OEM drive without a retail box or anything, and find reasonably priced external enclosure that could be found at newegg. Some external enclosures out there are so expensive, they would negate any savings you got by using an internal OEM. They also have the added benefit of being able to actually replace the drive itself when it gets old and fails down the road, With the retail bought externals, you are forced to chuck the whole thing, or spend an hour trying to figure out how to open the user un-friendly enclosure to get the hard drive out without damaging the case.
a b G Storage
July 24, 2009 6:43:50 PM

yes. but as someone pointed out in a thread earlier. oem drives are not warrentied by the manufacturer.

in the case of WD, you would be losing out on a 5 year warrenty.
a b G Storage
July 24, 2009 6:54:11 PM

> oem drives are not warrentied by the manufacturer.

That is NOT correct, e.g.:

http://www.wdc.com/en/products/productcatalog.asp?langu...

WD RE3 (16 MB Cache)

1.2 million hours MTBF.

Best-in-class vibration tolerance.

5-year limited warranty.

Just three of the reasons why WD RE3 drives are the world's most reliable SATA drives

[end quote]


MRFS
July 24, 2009 6:59:17 PM

"there is a significant speed difference between USB and eSATA"

I didn't think about that... thats a good point. Well is it possible to keep an eSATA connection easily available?

The point I'm trying to get at is this. I want to use a higher end HD for the OS(caviar black probably) and running programs. But then I want to use one of the larger, more "green" drives for storage/backup(thats where the caviar green and spinpoint f2 come in). So I want to use the caviar green/spinpoint to backup everything...say weekly perhaps. Thats where an external drive comes in handy. They are easily accesible and get the job done with little hassel. So is there a way to make a 2nd internal HD accesible? Whether it be to have two in the case...I don't know. I hardly know anything. Can you have two HDs in your case that aren't in raid?
July 24, 2009 7:35:06 PM

GoOakland said:
"there is a significant speed difference between USB and eSATA"

I didn't think about that... thats a good point. Well is it possible to keep an eSATA connection easily available?

The point I'm trying to get at is this. I want to use a higher end HD for the OS(caviar black probably) and running programs. But then I want to use one of the larger, more "green" drives for storage/backup(thats where the caviar green and spinpoint f2 come in). So I want to use the caviar green/spinpoint to backup everything...say weekly perhaps. Thats where an external drive comes in handy. They are easily accesible and get the job done with little hassel. So is there a way to make a 2nd internal HD accesible? Whether it be to have two in the case...I don't know. I hardly know anything. Can you have two HDs in your case that aren't in raid?


The simple solution is to get an external enclosure with an eSATA interface. I have a Vantec one I picked up a few years ago for about $40 then, not sure what they run now. Have you considered going with a Network Attached Storage device and schedule data backup / do network file sharing from there? If you have a gigabit network, the speeds are more than adequate. I've set up my network with a small fileserver I built using a cheap atom-based barebones box and some spare drives. This way my data is available across my network without having to keep my powerhog main desktop on all the time.

Also, the way you worded your post makes it sound like the SATA cables that attach to the internal HD are the same as eSATA cables used for external devices... an eSATA cable will not physically fit into a internal SATA connector. You'll have to use some kind of enclosure to adapt the cable form factor
July 24, 2009 7:44:53 PM

Also, the way you worded your post makes it sound like the SATA cables that attach to the internal HD are the same as eSATA cables used for external devices... an eSATA cable will not physically fit into a internal SATA connector. You'll have to use some kind of enclosure to adapt the cable form factor[/quotemsg]

O...well that sheds some light. I didn't know any of that. I just want my HD to be faster than the USB connection. Whether it uses eSATA or SATA I don't think I really care(or should I?). Just as long as its fast. I don't want to back up all of my stuff on USB, that would suk.
a b G Storage
July 24, 2009 8:23:19 PM

i concede if that oem statement was wrong.

its not mine.
July 24, 2009 8:59:53 PM

GoOakland said:
Also, the way you worded your post makes it sound like the SATA cables that attach to the internal HD are the same as eSATA cables used for external devices... an eSATA cable will not physically fit into a internal SATA connector. You'll have to use some kind of enclosure to adapt the cable form factor


O...well that sheds some light. I didn't know any of that. I just want my HD to be faster than the USB connection. Whether it uses eSATA or SATA I don't think I really care(or should I?). Just as long as its fast. I don't want to back up all of my stuff on USB, that would suk.[/quotemsg]

The actual difference between eSATA and SATA isn't huge, I'm not an electrical engineer so I don't know the details, but I think it's mainly that the eSATA wires are fully shielded for best performance out of the case, while internal ones aren't. the SATA to eSATA wire adapters themselves aren't very complex and only cost a few bucks.

USB 2.0 would indeed suck for backups, I have hopes for USB 3.0 when they actually have devices out that can use it.
July 25, 2009 6:28:32 PM

I have considered waiting for usb 3.0... but I don't know.
!