You might remember a few days ago I posted a hack on how to turn an old hard drive into a secret safe, well today I've got another hard drive hack that I'd like to share with you. Today we'll learn how to recycle an older, but still functioning, HDD into an external USB hard drive.
I have a confession to make: the main reason I've been featuring all these hard drive hacks lately, is because I was gifted -- or, more accurately, I scavenged -- an older IDE hard drive from my friend's junker computer. He had recently "upgraded" to a new Windows Vista desktop from Dell, and because his old computer was pretty much shot anyways, he decided he'd dump it. Being the thrifty (i.e. cheap) guy that I am, I knew there were still some good parts on that old computer, so I asked him if I could have it. Relieved to get it out of his house, my friend basically threw his old computer at me! Anyways, long story short, I managed to get a fully functioning (albeit slightly used) hard drive to do whatever I pleased with! *insert evil laugh here* }:-]
But, that's the problem, what can I do with it? I thought of putting it in my desktop and trying out a new Linux OS on it. But, my PC is already a dual-boot system and I think triple-booting it might be a bit of an over kill. Then there's the secret safe idea, but as I stated earlier, my hard drive is still working perfectly and I don't want to beat it to smithereens (although those powerful magnets do sound like a lot of fun)! What's left? Well, I was asking myself that same question, when I came across a nifty little hard drive hack on the LifeHacker website. It involves turning an older IDE hard drive (just like mine) into a portable USB drive. This might be just the hack I have been looking for me. A portable USB hard drive would be a perfect peripheral for my new MacBook! Hmmmm... :-)
Anyways, enough beating around the bush, on to the hack! The first thing you need to convert your old hard drive into a portable USB drive is a new casing. This new casing will not only protect your hard drive, but also supply it with power and a USB or FireWire interface for connecting it to your computer. According to LifeHacker, "these enclosures range from as little as $10 on up to around $100," with the more expensive versions having the capability to "connect directly to TVs for video and audio streaming." I don't know about you, but spending $100 on a casing for an old hard drive, that could up and die at any second, is not something I'm willing to do (remember I said I was cheap!). If I were to do this hack, I'd definitely bargain basement this bad boy up: $10-$20 would be my maximum. Look-out eBay, here I come! :D
When your new casing arrives, the next step is to install your old hard drive. How's that done? Well, you're going to have to read the instructions that come with the casing to find out. I know, I know, I hate reading instructions too, but let's face it, we don't want to mess everything up just because we were too lazy to read, do we? Don't worry the hard drive installation should be a breeze and you probably won't need "anything more sophisticated than a screwdriver." Once your old hard drive is properly installed in it's new abode, there's nothing left to do but connect it to your computer, fire it up, and start saving that data! Congrats!
NOTE: I'm still not sure if this is what I want to do with my hard drive, or not. Please let me know what you think by voting in the poll below, and as always, if you guys have any ideas or suggestions, I'd love to hear them. The comments section is always open. :-)
To check out the whole hack, head on over to the LifeHackers site.