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Recycling old HDD

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August 15, 2012 8:05:44 PM

Quick question guys, Im building a new pc:

i5 3570k cpu
z77x d3h mobo
8GB Corsair ddr RAM
Aerocool strike X 800w PSU
Kingston Hyper X 3k 120GB SSD (Primary Drive)

Now the question is, I have a HP laptop which died a few days back, It has an SATA HDD 320GB 5400rpm Toshiba inside. Which I plan to use as a secondary drive to my new build. The question is, im not sure if its an IDE or AHCI drive; it was bought since 2008.

If I use it via SATA2 port in my new build, will it be safe? will I not lose my data?

I was planning on a proper transfer of files and I was about to organize my old laptop data for migration. But unfortunately the video died on me and I cannot access my drive.

I also dont want to buy an HDD enclosure, as it will just be redundant if I am able to just add it inside my new PC.

Can I just plug it in after I finish my PC and would it work normally? Im afraid about the AHCI and IDE interface as this things are new to me. Its my 1st time trying a SSD drive and AHCI environment.

My new PC will be complete at the end of this month...

More about : recycling hdd

August 15, 2012 8:17:19 PM

I can't imagine that hooking up an older SATA drive to an AHCI-based controller would be an issue, much less be the driving factor for data loss. In my experience I have only needed to utilize IDE mode, (which is honestly more of a compatability feature rather than an interface now days) when certain drives refused to boot to an OS because of the master boot record (this occurred when cloning an old image from an older drive to a newer drive in the same PC).

In sum, I am not aware of any issues in regards to harming the drive or it's data in relation to the AHCI/IDE controller setting. The worst I've ever had to deal with is the system partition refusing to boot unless it was set to one or the other.

Hope that helps.
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a b G Storage
August 15, 2012 8:18:59 PM

hi,

1- off if you plan on using the old HD: you will need to reinstall windows

2 - the laptop hd is a 2.5 inch disk and you don't have anywhere to physically install it because you have 3.5 inch bay in the tower unless you don't care that it's loose in the casing

3-if you plug the hd, unless you erase or format the disk you will not lose any data, regardless of ahci or ide but so long it's sata, not ide

4- AHCI or IDE is only important for disk with operating system, you can install windows on SSD then plug your laptop HD and boot up.

5- your ssd will work with AHCI or IDE but will perform a bit faster

good luck

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August 16, 2012 12:56:57 AM

@dextermat at 2nd answer I realized that too, but I was contemplating on using double sided tape on it.

And just to be clear, as long as I dont use my laptop hdd as the OS drive I wont have any issues right?


@nullifier thanks for the reassuring reply.

I am really afraid of using a hdd enclosure, as I had an experience before of a laptop hdd burning up when transferring large volume of files.

Anyway guys thank you both...



I just want access to my data, and when I buy a WD caviar black I could use the laptop hd as an extra eSATA for hot swapping; after I transfer all my files.
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a c 359 G Storage
August 16, 2012 1:41:52 AM

It is VERY likely that the old laptop's HDD is SATA. Fortunately, on SATA drives the power and data connectors on 3½" and 2½" HDD's are the same, so connecting is not an issue.

Assuming that is the case, the only problem you should have to deal with is the physical size issue, and how to mount the smaller unit securely. Look around for a set of adapter pieces to allow you to mount the smaller unit in a 3½" wide slot.

Let me correct a something dextermat said.

1 - reinstall Windows. NO you do not need to do that. You say you will install this older HDD as a SECOND drive in your new system. I assume that means you will have a new HDD on which you will install Windows and run from that. So the previous installation on the old HDD is not going to be used at all, and does NOT need to be altered.

1a and b - However, there are two things to note here. (a) When you install Windows on the new machine, do NOT install the older HDD at first. Do your Windows Install with ONLY your new HDD in the machine. This is a way to defeat a Windows "feature that helps you recover easily from future malfunctions of the boot drive, BUT it also causes some problems if you ever try to remove the second drive unit. AFTER you have Windows installed and running, shut down and install the older drive as your second unit. It should be detected and usable automatically.

(b) IF the old HDD in your laptop was set up in BIOS with its SATA Port Mode set to IDE (or PATA) Emulation, you may have to set its Port Mode the same way in your new machine. Sometimes HDD's written in this Port Mode can't be read properly in AHCI mode. On your old machine, it was common to set a SATA port to IDE Emulation mode if you were running Win XP, so maybe that's how yours was. But note: there is no harm in trying to set the mode in your new machine to AHCI - in fact, that is the preferred way to deal with a SATA drive. But if you have trouble reading and using that old with this setting, try switching its port to IDE Emulation.
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August 16, 2012 3:59:19 AM

wolfrahm21 said:
@dextermat at 2nd answer I realized that too, but I was contemplating on using double sided tape on it.

And just to be clear, as long as I dont use my laptop hdd as the OS drive I wont have any issues right?


@nullifier thanks for the reassuring reply.

I am really afraid of using a hdd enclosure, as I had an experience before of a laptop hdd burning up when transferring large volume of files.

Anyway guys thank you both...



I just want access to my data, and when I buy a WD caviar black I could use the laptop hd as an extra eSATA for hot swapping; after I transfer all my files.


I don't blame you for not wanting to use an enclosure, they make 2.5 to 3.5 conversion brackets so I think that would be the cheapest and easiest way to use your old drive in the system. I second everything paperdoc said.
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August 16, 2012 10:20:04 AM

Paperdoc said:




Let me correct a something dextermat said.

1 - reinstall Windows. NO you do not need to do that. You say you will install this older HDD as a SECOND drive in your new system. I assume that means you will have a new HDD on which you will install Windows and run from that. So the previous installation on the old HDD is not going to be used at all, and does NOT need to be altered.

1a and b - However, there are two things to note here. (a) When you install Windows on the new machine, do NOT install the older HDD at first. Do your Windows Install with ONLY your new HDD in the machine. This is a way to defeat a Windows "feature that helps you recover easily from future malfunctions of the boot drive, BUT it also causes some problems if you ever try to remove the second drive unit. AFTER you have Windows installed and running, shut down and install the older drive as your second unit. It should be detected and usable automatically.

(b) IF the old HDD in your laptop was set up in BIOS with its SATA Port Mode set to IDE (or PATA) Emulation, you may have to set its Port Mode the same way in your new machine. Sometimes HDD's written in this Port Mode can't be read properly in AHCI mode. On your old machine, it was common to set a SATA port to IDE Emulation mode if you were running Win XP, so maybe that's how yours was. But note: there is no harm in trying to set the mode in your new machine to AHCI - in fact, that is the preferred way to deal with a SATA drive. But if you have trouble reading and using that old with this setting, try switching its port to IDE Emulation.


I already removed the laptop HDD and confirmed that it is SATA indeed, I will be using a Kingston Hyper X 3k 120GB as primary, so thank you for clarifying that I dont have to re install windows before I could use the laptop HDD.

I will also install the laptop HDD as a temporary secondary, after I finished all my build and setup all the necessary updates and hardware tweaks. And when the money comes I could afford a bigger and faster WD Black as my permanent secondary.

The only thing I am just scared as of now, is the power cable from the new PC, I hope it is the same voltage rating and amperage that will be fed to the laptop HDD. Because, like I mentioned before, I still have visions of the experience I had before, with a enclosure and it, burning up under heavy load!

I have absolutely no back up of all the data inside my laptop HDD, so I really need it to be as error proof as possible,
btw this is my laptop hdd:

http://reviews.cnet.com/internal-hard-drives/toshiba-mk...




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August 16, 2012 4:45:42 PM

btw, my case cm690II advanced has supports a 2.5 sata disk as well, so I dont have to worry now about keeping my hdd inside. Thanks so much guys, I gladly appreciate all your answers...
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August 16, 2012 4:46:01 PM

Best answer selected by wolfrahm21.
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a c 359 G Storage
August 17, 2012 3:37:29 AM

Re: your power cable comments / fears

I'm assuming you mean the power supply from the PSU of the desktop to the HDD's you mount in it. First, the voltages WILL be the same as what your HDD was designed for, so no problem. As to current, the HDD will draw as much current as it needs and no more, while the PSU is capable of supplying much more. So the drive will not be starved for power.

If you had an external HDD overheat, it is most likely to have been a heat removal issue, NOT an over-supply of power. One dilemma with externals is removing the heat from the HDD inside them, and from the electronics on its boards. Most have little trouble with this, but some are worse than others. You do need to keep vents open and unobstructed, though. Inside a desktop case, you are VERY likely to have much better cooling for the HDD than you had in the external enclosure, so don't worry.

And thanks for the BA!
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August 17, 2012 4:18:46 PM

^ you deserve it! Btw the enclosure b4 has 2 usb ports accdg to d manual, it is to supply addtnl power if needed! When i first plugged it in, it was not detected and no motion on d plates as well! So i plugged the addtnl usb cable! It worked and i started transferring 5gb data np! After that i started another 45 gb on a partition and i smelled burnt plastic and hdisk fail! Thats it bye bye!!!

But tnx again, now i can supply my hdd from the psu with no doubts anymore!
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