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Using externally powered portable 3.5" hdd as Internal desktop hdd.

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February 24, 2012 7:02:11 PM

Hi

I have a 1TB externally powered portable hdd but I wan't to use it as internal as I am running out of space+hdd prices are quite high nowadays..
The hdd is powered via 12V 2A DC adapter and USB..

a c 116 G Storage
February 24, 2012 7:54:30 PM

no problem - just remove the HDD from the external case and connect it as an internal drive with SATA power and SATA data cables (assuming it is SATA which most modern drives are).

Restart the computer, get into the BIOS and activate the SATA port that you connected the SATA data cable to. Restart the computer.
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February 25, 2012 3:21:37 AM

Ubrales said:
no problem - just remove the HDD from the external case and connect it as an internal drive with SATA power and SATA data cables (assuming it is SATA which most modern drives are).

Restart the computer, get into the BIOS and activate the SATA port that you connected the SATA data cable to. Restart the computer.

So you mean to say that there will be a normal sata hard drive inside the casing??I am afraid if I rip the external casing and I found a drive inside which I cannot use as internal,then I will loose even the external portable hard disk..
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a c 116 G Storage
February 25, 2012 10:34:19 AM

darksmart said:
So you mean to say that there will be a normal sata hard drive inside the casing??I am afraid if I rip the external casing and I found a drive inside which I cannot use as internal,then I will loose even the external portable hard disk..

External drives consist of an enclosure and a hard disk.

The newer external drives have SATA hard disks in them. The real old ones have IDE (PATA) hard drives in them.

These drives are exactly the same as the drives used as internal drives. So you most probably have a SATA hard drive inside the external enclosure.

There is one more thing to consider. If the external drive (with enclosure) is one of the compact types then you have a 2.5" drive inside. These are the drives used in laptops. This drive too can be installed as an internal drive, but you will need a front bay adapter so that the drive fits in the adapter and the adapter fits in the front bay of your desktop computer.
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February 25, 2012 12:29:54 PM

Hmmm..Its a 3.5" drive,so i guess its not that of laptop.But does the molex connector provides adequate (12V and 2 A) power to hdd??
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February 25, 2012 12:55:44 PM

Yes. As others have explained, an external HDD is actually an internal HDD plus an enclosure.
The powersupply is needed because the enclosure itself consumes power (USB <-> SATA, usually a fan to keep things cool), and because a 3.5" HDD consumes more power than the USB standard allows. That is why 2.5" external HDDs do not need a power brick - they fall within USB specifications because they use less power.

The harddrive you already have in your computer probably looks very similar to what you will find in the external enclosure.

The only reason why you could run into problems is if your computer's power supply is already struggling (usually noticable because your system would be very unstable and prone to crashes for no apparent reason).
The 12V line of your computer's power supply can probably deliver quite a bit more than 10 A (but is shared by all parts in your computer that require 12V to run).
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a c 116 G Storage
February 25, 2012 1:15:16 PM

darksmart said:
Hmmm..Its a 3.5" drive,so i guess its not that of laptop.But does the molex connector provides adequate (12V and 2 A) power to hdd??

Yes the 4-pins Molex connector will provide the power required for the 3.5" hard disk. The hard disk uses about 12 watts of power, so it will not be a problem for your existing power supply.

However, you will need a Molex to SATA power adapter like this one: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

You can pick this up from your local computer store.
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a c 116 G Storage
February 25, 2012 1:21:27 PM

Just make sure that there is an open bay for the hard disk installation. What is the make and model of your computer?

On an old computer that did not have any open bays for an extra HDD, I used the front bay (Optical disk bay) and secured the hard disk by using some tape. I placed a piece of flexible plastic under the hard disk to act as insulation. Working perfectly!
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February 26, 2012 5:57:04 AM

I have Intel i5 2500 on h61 with single 5770 powered by Cooler master silent pro 850w Modular..and the cabinet has empty space for hard drive and I can take out 2 ide drives since the h61 don't have ide connector.
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February 26, 2012 8:20:51 AM

I just opened the hdd casing and inside the metal sub-casing,there was a Seagate SATA hard drive inside (though it was a Maxtor Hdd)..So thanks to all who helped..I am now free of connection the hdd externally each time.
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February 26, 2012 8:27:55 AM

Best answer selected by darksmart.
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