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Internal Hard Drive as External


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#1
hospitaldoctor

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Hi,

I have an internal hard drive (Western Digital WD6400AAKS Caviar Blue) from a dell computer that I would like to use as an External hard drive for my MACBOOK PRO that runs on MAC, not windows.
So how can I do this? What specific wires and products do I need to purchase in order to do this effectively? How do carry this out?
I am a noob, so I would appreciate any help on this please
Thanks

Edited by hospitaldoctor, 24 June 2011 - 05:39 PM.

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#2
Kemasa

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You need to get an external case for a SATA drive. If your Macbook Pro has an eSATA port, then that will be the fastest connection, but you can also use USB. Most come with a power cord (AC power) and a USB or eSATA cable, so you just would plug it in.

Here is just a quick example:

http://www.newegg.co...8-022-_-Product

Personally, I prefer to have one with a cooling fan, but if you are not going to use the drive much, then it should be fine.

Other examples:

http://www.newegg.co...2-016-_-Product

http://www.newegg.co...2-002-_-Product

http://www.newegg.co...7-032-_-Product

http://www.newegg.co...2-023-_-Product

These are just random examples from NewEgg, but you can find similar products from other places. I don't have experience with these specific enclosures. If you don't think that you will ever use eSATA, then you can just get a USB version.
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#3
hospitaldoctor

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I won't be using the hard drive much. This is the Macbook Pro I am referring, so I dont think it has an eSATA port.
i just want something cheap that gets the job done...
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#4
hospitaldoctor

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Do I need to get one with a USB cable and power supply?
Or is only a USB drive sufficient? What size do I need?
I found a $1 on ebay:
Can I use any of these?

http://cgi.ebay.com/...=item2a1111c39c

http://cgi.ebay.com/...=item53e66cceaf
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#5
Kemasa

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The Western Digital disk that you mentioned that you wanted to use is a 3.5" drive, not a 2.5" drive, so that items from ebay will not work

Often the power needed for a disk exceeds what the USB port can provide, which is the reason for a power supply. If you don't need a lot of additional space you could consider a thumbdrive or a memory card reader (which can be slightly bigger than a thumbdrive). The price goes up the larger it is though.

What is the job that you want it to do? A cheap external case that does USB might work, but it would need to be plugged in, so I don't know if that will do what you want.
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#6
hospitaldoctor

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Thanks... I want to store videos and pictures and documents on the hard drive...
I already have about 50 GBs on the hard drive and I want to add more from my MAC... more videos and pics... but I will not be using it often... maybe about 3 times a year... just for back up purposes
I think I may need the enclosure kit that comes with a fan then so it doesnt overheat and burn?
Do you have a good recommendation for a cheap enclosure kit that has a power supply that will fit my hard drive?
Because I also dont want my hard drive to burn out or anything...
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#7
Kemasa

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It does not sound like you will use it much, so you might be able to use one without a fan. I have some external cases without fans and have not had a problem, but I also have a small fan that I use to blow on the case when using it for an extended period of time. There are some drives which run hotter than others, but I think overall most drives tend to run cooler than in the past. If you don't get a case with a fan, I would not run it for hours transferring data without an external fan on it. It is good idea to check how the case feels every now and then.

I have a couple of Rosewill external cases with fans which I like. it has a USB and SATA connection, which is nice. I don't have eSATA, so I have to turn the drive on before I turn the computer on (desktop), which I do if I need speed, otherwise I can just use the USB interface.

Rosewill case black

Rosewill case silver

There is a newer version for USB3:

Rosewill USB3

It does not have the SATA external interface though, which might not matter to you.

There are many external cases, but I really don't know which ones are best. I got these as they were on sale and looked to have the features I was looking for (fan, aluminum - helps to cool it even with a fan, and SATA & USB interfaces).

Disclaimer: I have no association with NewEgg nor Rosewill other than as a customer.
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#8
hospitaldoctor

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Will this be compatible with using a MAC? Mac OS?
Thanks
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#9
hospitaldoctor

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Is the Rosewill the cheapest option if I want to get it with a fan?
What is the best option if I choose not to buy one with a fan? Which is the cheapest but best value?
Thanks
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#10
Kemasa

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If you click on the details, it says:

USB Supports Win 2000/ME/XP/VISTA, and Mac OS 9.x/10.x and above, Linux kernel after 2.4.1.0


I don't have a Mac, so I can't say for sure, but USB is pretty standard. The only issue might be the filesystem on it, so if you are only using it with a Mac, you might format with a Mac filesystem.

I can't say that the Rosewill be the cheapest option with a fan. All I can say is that I have that external case and like it and it has a fan. Your opinion might be different. I have not researched cases without a fan, so I can't say what the best option would be. My opinion is that when you are using the device to have your data on it, you don't always want to go with the cheapest option as it might cost you more in the end, which is why I tend to prefer a case with a fan. Those Rosewill cases actually have a switch to turn off the fan, but I don't know why you would ever want to do that. That tends to indicate that you could run it with the fan turned off, but again, why would you want to as cooling is a good idea.
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#11
hospitaldoctor

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Can I get an enclosure where I dont need a power supply?
Which enclosure kits can I use that does not need a power supply?
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#12
Kemasa

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There are some 2.5" hard disk enclosures which seem to not need a power supply, but then you would need to get a new disk. You also could have issues if you have other USB devices as it might say that you have exceeded the power. I don't think that 3.5" drives can be powered from the USB as they take more power than can be supplied. Some drives might work, but I would not count on it.

If you want to not have a power supply, again I would suggest getting a thumbdrive, multiple perhaps, then back up the data to the external disk at home where a power supply is not an issue.
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#13
hospitaldoctor

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You see, I have the internal hard drive from my dell computer that has a lot of pictures, videos, docs on it that I would like to transfer to my MACBOOK PRO laptop....
I also want to continue to use this hard drive as an external hard drive for my macbook sometimes.... thats why I want to use this specific hard drive... not thumb drives
any suggestions?
Thanks
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#14
hospitaldoctor

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Is the rosewill my best bet then?
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#15
Kemasa

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There are various ways that you could transfer the data from the old disk to the new machine. An external enclosure would work. You could also use that as a backup disk or you could use it for other things.

I think that the Rosewill would work, as would other enclosures. Only you can determine what will work best for your needs. I like those enclosures and they work for me, but I can not say that it is your best bet, only it is what I bought.
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