Build an External Hard Drive

Edited by Train Wreck, Eng, VisiHow

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In the following tutorial we will show you how to build an external hard drive by converting your old 3.5 inch laptop hard drive into an external HDD or SSD. This will help you to have increased storage, and let you benefit from continued use of your old hard drive. That means you won't need to move as much data. Just do make sure you back it all up before following the steps in this article. If you followed our earlier tutorial on how to install a new SSD drive in your laptop, you should definitely consider this option. You can keep using your old hard drive music and images this way.

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What You Need

  • You need a set of Phillips head screwdrivers. We will be using the one in the middle.
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  • You will need an external hard drive case. You can get an external hard drive case in any number of different from $10-$20 and up.
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  • You will need four screws to go in the holes which are there to hold the hard drive in place.
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  • You will need a USB or USB 3 cable as well.
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  • Don't forget that you'll also need a hard drive.
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Build Your External Hard Drive

  1. 1
    Take your hard drive, and place it next to the circuit board of the external hard drive bay.
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  2. 2
    Now connect the hard drive to the circuit board by firmly and carefully pressing them together.
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  3. 3
    Place the hard drive on top of the internal plastic tray which is designed to hold it in place.
    Make sure to line up the circuit board with the USB slot.
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  4. 4
    Once lined up the hard drive, tilt it slightly and then slide it into the plastic tray.
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  5. 5
    Now flip the plastic tray over and place it on top of the metal external hard drive housing.
    Make sure the ports from the plastic tray line up with the ports from the metal housing.
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  6. 6
    When everything looks good, slide the plastic tray into the metal housing.
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  7. 7
    Now that the plastic housing has been slid into the metal tray, you can place the screws.
    With the screw holes facing up as shown in our earlier images, we will take the four screws which came with our hard drive case, and screw them in.
    Build an External Hard Drive 89413.jpg
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  8. 8
    Following this, we will take our USB cable and plug it into the side of our newly assembled external hard drive.
    Build an External Hard Drive 81452.jpg
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  9. 9
    Now we simply plug our new external hard drive into our laptop or desktop computer.
    Build an External Hard Drive 53927.jpg
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  10. 10
    Congratulations, you have created your very own external hard drive.
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This has been a VisiHow tutorial on how to build an external hard drive. If you have additional questions comments or suggestions about this or other tutorials here on VisiHow, let us know in the section below and we will do our best to get back to you. Have a great day and enjoy all that extra space your newly made external hard drive is going to provide you.

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Additional Tips

  • Remember to be careful with platter drives, even when they are in a case. Bumping or dropping them can damage the platters of the HDD. This is especially true if they are in use or moving when you drop them.
  • Always properly eject your external HDD when taking it out. Never just unplug it, especially if you are using an older HDD or platter drive.

See other tutorials on hard disk drives: Format a Hard Drive, Clone a Hard Drive, Save Space on Your Hard Disk Drive, Troubleshoot Hard Disks, and Open a Lenovo Laptop for the Flex Series.

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Categories : Hardware

Recent edits by: Eng, Train Wreck

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