How To Convert An Internal Hard Drive To An External One?

How To Convert An Internal Hard Drive To An External One?

External Hard Drives Are Usually Sold At A High Price, But If You Have An Old Internal Hard Drive, You Can Easily Convert It To An External Hard Drive.

One of the common problems when buying a computer hard drive is choosing between an external hard drive and an internal hard drive. Both types of hard drives have their advantages and disadvantages. An internal hard drive is a perfect choice when you don’t need to transfer data; in contrast to external hard drives, they can be moved.

Now, if you can convert the internal hard drive to an external one, you can enjoy both benefits in one format. In this article, we introduce the methods of converting an internal hard drive to an external hard drive and introduce you to the uses and tips you should consider before doing this.

Internal hard drive compared to external hard drive

Computer hard drives, whether internal or external, are both used for data storage. When the data storage device is directly connected to the motherboard, it is called internal memory or internal hard drive. When the storage device is connected to the motherboard with an external cable, it is called external memory or hard drive.

Regarding speed, internal hard drives, especially NVMe movements, offer the best rate. These hard drives are close to the motherboard and processor and, as a result, transfer data faster. On the other hand, external hard drives are usually slower and more vulnerable if they are not adequately protected.

Advantages and disadvantages of internal hard drives

Internal hard drives are installed inside the case of computers or the body of laptops and use the system’s electricity for their operation. These hard drives are not readily available and are not portable, and since they are placed inside the system, they are usually not shockproof or waterproof; Of course, these vulnerabilities do not cause problems for the internal hard drive until you try to remove them from the case.

Advantages of internal hard drive

  • Faster data transfer speed
  • More storage space
  • The dependence of life and durability on the number of reads and writes
  • More resistant to physical damage

Disadvantages of internal hard drive

  • Challenging to move and replace
  • Not portable

Advantages and disadvantages of external hard drive

The most important feature of external hard drives is their portability. Usually, the parts of this type of hard drive are made shockproof, waterproof, shockproof, and more resistant so that data is not damaged during the transfer. The power required for this type of hard drive is provided by USB cables and their connection to the system.

Advantages of external hard drive

  • Being portable and connecting to any computer that uses USB
  • No need to install it on the computer
  • Use it to free up computer storage space
  • The price is lower than the internal hard drive due to the use of older technology.

Disadvantages of external hard drive

  • Calculate the price per terabyte or gigabyte of storage space

Advantages of converting an internal hard drive to an external hard drive

The computer’s internal hard drive usually stores a lot of important information. Sometimes, you may need this information in another place or while traveling, or your computer is damaged due to hardware reasons, and you want to transfer the data from its internal hard drive to a new system. In such a situation, the best and most cost-effective way to move data and protect it is to convert the same internal hard drive to an external one.

Disadvantages of converting an internal hard drive to an external hard drive

When you convert an internal hard drive to an external one, it may be damaged by being portable and moving a lot. In addition, connecting and disconnecting the power supply harms internal hard drives and reduces their life to some extent.

Methods of converting internal hard drive to external hard drive

To convert an internal hard drive to an external one, you must first make sure that your internal hard drive can be converted to an external hard drive and be aware of the differences between a 2.5-inch internal hard drive and a 3.5-inch internal hard drive.

Dimensions

Internal hard drives are usually divided into 2.5-inch (laptop hard drive) and 3.5-inch categories, with the first being 2.5 inches (6.35 cm) wide and the second being 8.89 cm wide.

2.5 inch and 3.5 inch hard drive

Most 2.5-inch internal hard drives have a height of 9.5 mm, and the size of some others may reach 12.5 mm, But, usually, the weight of these hard drives is much less than 3.5 hard drives. Note that 2.5-inch internal hard drives typically have a lower speed than 3.5-inch hard drives.

Connection

Hard drives are connected to the motherboard with different connection standards. Usually, if you don’t want to remove your internal hard drive from the case, this matter will not be of much importance to you; But if you plan to change your internal hard drive or convert it to an external hard drive, knowing the type of complex drive interface becomes very important.

Various hard drive connections

SATA, PATA, and NVMe refer to the interface used to connect the hard drive to the computer’s motherboard. Among these three interfaces, PATA or IDE is the oldest, and NVMe is the newest. The SATA connector usually has two flat connectors, and the PATA connectors are equipped with two connectors with multiple pins. The NVMe interface uses the PCIe interface, which gives you a lot of bandwidth.

Before converting an internal hard drive to an external one, we recommend you observe the condition of caution and take a backup of your important data. So far, we have discussed the differences between internal and external hard drives and the advantages and disadvantages of converting the former to the latter. Next, we will introduce the methods of converting the interior to external hard drives.

Hard drive conversion cables

Using a cable is usually the cheapest way to convert an internal hard drive to an external one. These cables are equipped with a hard drive socket (depending on its type) on one side and are connected to the system through a USB port on the other side. Cables are divided into 3.5 and 2.5-inch converters depending on the type of hard drive.

Cable to convert

The 3.5-inch hard drive converter

If the internal hard drive you want to convert to an external hard drive is already installed on the desktop computer, you need to use a 3.5-inch converter to convert it through a cable. To do this, connect one end of the line to the desired internal hard drive and the other to the device.

The 2.5-inch hard drive converter

If your internal hard drive is detached from a laptop, you need a 2.5-inch conversion cable to convert it. Some of these converters have only one USB interface, and others have two USB interfaces, one of which is used for data transfer, and the other is used to supply the required power to the hard drive.

Internal to external hard drive conversion cable

It is worth mentioning that in converter cables with two USB interfaces, you will no longer need an adapter, and to supply the required power to the hard drive, both USB ends must be connected to the system ports.

The particular frame or rigid box

Unique frames or rigid boxes are special enclosures in which the internal hard drive is placed and connected to the system with the help of various connection interfaces that these frames have, such as USB Type-C or Lightning.

Hard box to convert internal to external

These frames are available in various designs and materials (plastic or aluminum) and have capabilities in the market. For example, some are equipped with silicone bumpers, and some have special washers to increase resistance against water, moisture, and dust penetration.

To use the particular hard drive frame, it is enough to remove the internal hard drive from the case and, after opening the cover on the edge, place the hard drive in the box according to the location of the connection interfaces. Then, close the frame cover screw. Depending on the frame type and whether the internal hard drive is 2.5 or 3.5 inches, there may be a power socket on the body of the structure, in which case the required power adapter must be used to power the frame.

Transparent hard box to convert internal to external

Boxes with adapters are usually a better choice; Because the power supply is essential in converting an internal hard drive to an external one, and boxes without adapters may face problems supplying their required power through USB.

Hard drive conversion dock

A docking station or a hard drive is another way to convert an internal hard drive to an external one. Dock hard drives usually do not support old hard drives with IDE ports and are only compatible with a SATA connection interface. Still, in addition to these limitations, it allows installing two or more internal hard drives, and both 2.5 and 3.5-inch internal hard drives can be placed in them.

Dock hard

To convert an internal hard drive to an external one with a docking station, it is enough to remove the hard drive from the case and place it in the dock according to the part and direction of the connection interfaces. Most hard drive conversion docks are equipped with power sockets, and you will need a power outlet.

The rigid drive conversion board

Another way to convert an internal hard drive to an external one is to use ready-made boards. These boards have a USB interface, and their dimensions are minimal, so you can even fit them in your pocket.

Conversion range

Rigid drive conversion boards are often used for NVMe hard drives. Additionally, most boards do not have a power input, So they cannot convert 3.5-inch internal hard drives.

final word

To convert an internal hard drive to an external one, determine the hard drive’s health and its dimensions and interface type before any action. USB conversion cables are usually the cheapest and most accessible, and box hard drives are also considered an essential and expensive method.

To convert an internal hard drive to an external one, it is better to go to older hard drives first and be sure to back up your essential information.