Solved What to look for in a 2-½ inch SATA HDD external enclosure

Wd Western digital caviar blue wd5000aak...
September 27, 2013 at 20:30:08
Specs: windows 7, 4gb
So I bought a HP Probook 4530s with bad motherboard really just for the memory. But now I want to take the HDD and use it as an external drive. The HDD works as I temp installed it on another laptop. It's a Hitachi 2.5", SATA, 320 GB, 7200 rpm, 5v-800mA. That's all I can tell as they put a revision sticker over the P/N. I really just want to use it like a flash/cruzer. Keeping the OS would be a bonus. Seen them anywhere from $9 to $50 for an enclosure. So is there anything special to look for as far as specs and power options? Or will the cheapest one you can order with the same transfer rate work as good as the others? Also was looking at either USB or Firewire for power. Thanks

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#1
September 27, 2013 at 21:23:01
USB is more universal as all machines have them.
Some have eSATA and USB or Firewire and USB, if that helps you at all.
USB 3.0 has the speed of eSATA and will work on all older machines with USB 2.0 as well as faster on those that support it.
You probably do not need to go with the most expensive, but too cheap may be problematic and unreliable. Look at online reviews and customer reviews from those who purchased them. Any product can have an occasional problem and some problems are caused by those who do not know as much as they think they do, but you can see trends in common problems and those to avoid.
Consider a slim one with an aluminum case, they may get warmer, but that also cools the drive inside better.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.


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#2
September 27, 2013 at 22:00:21
The power thing; I have a WD1200u017-005, plastic case, w/USB but when using a USB extension it wouldn't work. So I was reading that Firewire can be used with longer cords. Or it (FW) can handle more power through the cord. Is that true? ---The case thing; I noticed that none of the cases have fans but is that not an issue with 2.5" HDD like it is 3.5" ones as far as heat.---One more thing since you might know. Also picked up a Hitachi 3.5", 320 GB IDE (2009 model) at Goodwill for >>$1.29. Yes One dollar and 29 cents. Took a chance, and I'm almost finished with the Windows updates. But I would also like to use it as a External Drive. Now do the same principles apply to the 3.5" one as the small 2.5" one as far as cases and power options? THANKS MUCH.

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#3
September 28, 2013 at 04:37:27
✔ Best Answer
3.5" drives require either an eternal power source or a USB 'Y' cord so it can draw power from two USB ports. Some newer motherboards support a higher current draw over USB 2.0 ports, but older boards do not and the original USB 2.0 specs do not cover the higher current these drives require. On that drive, purchase a USB 'Y' connector intended to draw additional current from the second USB port only that is made for external drives, or look to see if there is a port for an external power source.

I do not know if Firewire supports this or not, though Googling might get the answer.

We have a number of 2.5" external drives in the family, some came with USB 'Y' plugs to ensure enough power, some of the newer ones did not (USB 3.0 ones). None of them have fans, None gets more than a little bit warm.

A drive purchased used, should be tested with the manufacturer's test utility before trusting it with important data. While on the idea of important data, portable drives are fine for backing up files from a computer, but is you are using it for additional storage space, make sure there is a copy of those files some where else for security (one drop or improperly unplugging it can make it unusable).

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.


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#4
September 28, 2013 at 14:02:08
So with the 3.5" use a external power supply and the 2.5'' use the USB "Y" cord. I did google the Firewire cord before I asked this question but wanted a second opinion. Thanks for the help.

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