Replacing a Hard Drive enclosure

By B1gC72 ·
i have an external hard drive that is starting to act up. it only works if it's sitting a certain way when hooked up to my computer. i have alot of important stuff on there like music, videos, and games and i actually think it's the cheap enclosure that's one the fritz and not the drive itself. so my question is, can i just buy another enclosure and stick the old hard drive in there with no problems? or is it going to be more complicated than i presume? thanks for you help in advance.

oh im running Windows XP Home if that helps.

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Depends on what inside the enclosure

by OH Smeg Moderator In reply to Replacing a Hard Drive en ...

You should be able to fit the drive to another Generic Enclosure but you'll need to get the correct type.

Either a 2.5 or 3.5 inch IDE or SATA Drive will be inside the enclosure that you currently have and you'll need to find out which one of the 4 possible options it is to get the correct enclosure.


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i don't think i asked the question right lol.

by B1gC72 In reply to Depends on what inside th ...

i probably shouldnt have typed the question so fast and put some actual information in there lol. i actually built the external hard drive so i know whats in it and how to take it apart and stuff. i bought the 3.5" 320GB SATA-150 drive and the USB 2.0 enclosure and ive been using it for about 2 years now. i just use it to store files on but i think there is a bad connection or something.

the reason im asking about this is that i once took the hard drive out of a crashed laptop to try to save the files and had a hard time accessing files since the OS was on there. the one im trying to do now doesnt have the OS on it and i was wondering if i was going to have to allow accesses and everything if i just slapped the drive in a new enclosure.

i guess thats the real quesiton lol. thanks in advance everyone and thanks to everyone that helped so far.

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Pretty straight forward

by Jacky Howe In reply to i don't think i asked the ...

Plug in the drive, turn it on, and connect it to your PC via its USB. Windows XP should automatically detect it and install drivers.
You may need to partition and format it. If you do, right click My Computer and choose Manage. The Initialize and Convert Disk wizard should be visible; keep clicking Next and follow the prompts to initialize the drive. When that's finished, the Computer Management window appears. Click Disk Management on the left pane, then scroll down the lower right pane until the new drive appears, and right-click it. Choose New Partition, then choose Primary Partition from the next screen, and follow the prompts to format the drive. Use the NTFS file system rather than FAT32.

You should be good to go.

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by B1gC72 In reply to Pretty straight forward

thanks but i didnt want to loose my files so i may just hold off on it until i get another drive that can hold all my files until i format the old one.

i actually think i would format in FAT32 anyway because i believe thats the format my PS3 can recognize. i like to keep things as unified as possible. thanks for your help.

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Youre Welcome :)

by Jacky Howe In reply to thanks

If all goes well you shouldn't have to format the drive.

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Well in that case

by OH Smeg Moderator In reply to i don't think i asked the ...

Provided that the Dive isn't malfunctioning all you need do is change the Enclosure over to a new better one.

With 3.5 Inch Drives it's better to use Metal Enclosures as this allows the drives to run cooler than if they are inside a Plastic Enclosure. It's also better to have Active Cooling in the Enclosure as well particularly if you want to run the drive for any length of time.

With all external Drives in this type of Enclosure you need to remember that they are not for Full Time Use but only to be used as required. The longer you leave them running the shorter time they will last. So the more that you can cool them the better things are but no matter how much you try they will still run hotter than if they are inside a computer as the entire case acts as a Heat Sink and keeps the drive cool.

But just changing the Enclosure over will not have any effect on the way that the computer reads the drive or where it is located in the Drive Chain.


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well i'll keep that in mind

by B1gC72 In reply to Well in that case

ok well i'll certainly keep that in mind. i usually leave the thing on all the time which could explain it not working right now. the enclosure is just a cheap one i got on sale at Radio Shack and i never even thought "this thing has no cooling system". oh and the guy above you said i may need to format the drive, which is exactly what i didnt want to do. i just wanted to use it exactly the way it is in a new enclosure without losing any files. i knew that may have been wishful thinking. but ill give a new enclosure a try and if it ask me to reformat then ill just put it back in the old enclosure and make do until i buy a larger drive this summer. thanks for all your help.

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There shouldn't be a problem in needing to format the drive up

by OH Smeg Moderator In reply to well i'll keep that in mi ...

Only thing that you may run across is that some Chip Sets used to make the Enclosures are not Vista Compatible so if the Box doesn't say Vista Compatible don't buy that one look for one that you can use on all computers.

As this current enclosure isn?t working properly it very much sounds like the Interface has developed a problem. The fact that the Unit is working when tilted a certain amount tends to point out the the Actual Drive is OK but there is a problem with the enclosure.


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well that sounds good

by B1gC72 In reply to There shouldn't be a prob ...

ok well that sounds great. i dont have Vista so that's not the problem. i figured it was probably something with the enclosure. i opened it up the other day and ever thing was connected right but it could be something wrong with chipset or something from all the heat. either way, ill probably order a new enclosure when i get paid on Friday and give it a whirl.

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Try This first

by Jacky Howe In reply to Replacing a Hard Drive en ...

Inside the case there will be two wires: a power cable and a data cable (either IDE or SATA cable). Disconnect both and then reconnect them to the drive. These are shaped so they can't be inserted the wrong way. Put it back together and see how it works.

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