Making a Remote USB HD

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Steve CDN

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Is it possible to buy a conventional hard drive and make it into a remote USB conected device?? If it is possible, would you kindly walk me through the process?
 

Ned

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There are enclosures that take an ATA drive and include a USB interface.  A Google search should turn up several sources.
 

Tom

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Ned/Steve

I saw one of those enclosures at Best Buy yesterday. Cost a little over $70. Figured I'd wait until I get to Fry's.
 

John From Detroit

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I've purchased "Drive Shells" with USB for less than that at Comp-USA  (I'm thinking 25 bucks)

You can also get shells already filled, however beware.

I have 3 USB externals

1: Adcom 160 Gig,  This was my first USB external drive, It failed the "Bounce test" so I had to replace the drive, I bought a Western Digital 120Gig which simply did not work well in the case (Win-98 would see it, win-xp would not, however 98 would not install it)

I finally had to replace the 120Gig drive in the shell with another 160, both Hitachi (which is not installed permentally in my main computer) and Seagate (OEM) worked fine

2: Western Digital 80 gig, no comment, original drive in shell, works as advertised

3: The WD-120 is now installed in a low-cost shell from Comp-Useless.  The only problem I had with this instalation was HEAT, the drive (and shell) got very very warm.  A small (About 1-1.5 inch) wisper fan and a few holes in the shell (Fan installed near the back, holes in the front) and you can now store data and cool your drink at the same time (used to keep the coffee warm, Ok, Ok, it's not that cold or hot but you get the picture)

Installing the drive in the shell was simplicity in itself

Step one, open shell
Step two plug in drive (note cable select generally not a good idea, jumper drive as single master or dual master read instructions here)
Step 3, bolt drive into shell
Step 4: close shell
Step 5,6,7: Plug in power up and use

Tool needed, Phillips head screwdriver (note tool, not tools)

That's all there is to it, comes with screws
 

Tom

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John In Detroit said:
I've purchased "Drive Shells" with USB for less than that at Comp-USA (I'm thinking 25 bucks)

I figured the one at Best Buy was a ripoff and chose not to buy it. Thanks for confirming my suspicions John.
 

Ron

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I can't see why I would bother making a remote USB external drive from a internal drive with the low costs of a new external drive.  Saw a 160GB external drive on sale at Fry's for as I recall less than or just around a hundred bucks.  I have a 200GB drive that I bought at Compusa a couple years ago for less than $100.00. Just shop the sales.
 

Tom

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Ron

I agree with you. My motivation was a little different from Steve's. I have an external HD that's quit working and I was going to try Ned's suggestion of popping it in another case.
 

Steve CDN

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I'm back to using my laptop , having left the new desktop back home.  I currently have a Buslink external HD which I use as a backup storage location, but that HD is now over three years old.

With all the pictures and music I like to carry around, I thought I might get a couple of large capacity internal HD's to use as externals.  Based on reports here about compatibility and heat issues, maybe I should check the sales, as Ron says for a couple of dedicated externals.

Hope I can find very large capacity drives, like 200 GB.

 

Ned

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The externals with USB are the same drives as the internal ones, so you can either build your own (if you already have a drive) or buy it already assembled.
 

John From Detroit

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Tom said:
I figured the one at Best Buy was a ripoff and chose not to buy it. Thanks for confirming my suspicions John.

Well Comp-Useless had a bunch of drive shells.. Different prices, from low to high (I'll do some quick research)


COMP-USA has external USB drive cases from 25 to 125 from the looks of it,  They also have a multi drive enclosure that's considerable more expensive (2xx) Now, you will have to go to their web page (www.compusa.com) I entered "usb drive shell" in the search window

Look at the advantages and disadvantages.  As I said, with the 25 buck drive I had to add a fan,,, And the instructions were less than clear on how to install it in win-98... (Choose the wrong driver and it works... but other things are seriously messed up.  Get the right driver and it works. well, which driver depends on date of manafacturer of the shell)

My case is mostly plastic, there are also aircraft aluminum cases (more expensive) so there are advantages to all of them, Some the advantage is cost, others it's cooling, others it is material of construcition,, And finally there is ability to use multiple drives in the same case.  It all varies.
 

Tom

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Thanks John. All I was after was an alternate way to hook up the drive itself i.e. remove it from it's outermost (cosmetic) shell and pop the inner case into a new shell. I'll wait until I go to Fry's. They always have a much better selection of this stuff and I like to pick things up and stare at them before buying  ;D
 

Tom

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LOL Ron, I've been visiting Fry's stores since the first one opened in Sunnyvale, CA and have spent my share there. Every new store they build is bigger than the prior one. They even went back and rebuilt the original store across the street. When we lived and worked in the SC valley I had several Fry's stores to choose from, all within easy driving distance. Now I have to schedule my visits to coincide with a trip to our daughter's home  :(

BTW Fry's effectively put Quement Electronics, my prior favorite electronics store, out of business. They were a great resource, but couldn't compete with Fry's.
 

Ron

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Fry's sure beats Radio Shack.  Unfortunatley there are no Fry's stors near Sam's Camp so we have to get our Fry's fix when we are near one.
 

Tom

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Thanks Jim. I hadn't dealt with them before, but just Googled and found them.
 
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