Make Your Own External Hard Drive

Recently my portable external hard drive kicked the bucket. Like anyone would, I immediately felt panic by not having any backup of my things besides some important files I had in Dropbox. So, I needed to buy a new one pretty quickly. I remembered my brother showing me that hard drive enclosures exist (big props to him) and I removed the perfectly working drive from my old Macbook to turn it into an external one, instead of buying something new. This is especially good if you already have an old hard drive like I did! Saves a lot of money. Here’s a quick how-to.

You will need:
– An internal hard drive, brand new or used
Hard drive enclosure
– Small screwdriver

If you have a SATA hard drive (most are) make sure that you purchase an enclosure that supports it. Also, be sure it is the correct size (2.5″ is usually laptop drive size.) I bought a cheap enclosure off Amazon–most come with the USB cable as well. You may not even need a screwdriver as some cool enclosures are tool free. The hard drive I used is a 360GB Seagate. When I removed it from my old Macbook I had to unscrew it from a piece of metal casing so it was totally freed.

If you don’t have an old drive and are buying a new one, I would recommend a laptop drive if you want it to be portable. If you get a desktop drive you will need to connect it to a power source.

The rest is easy peasy. It varies by what you purchased–in this case you match the connecter with the hard drive and slide it in the enclosure. Screw it in & you’re ready to connect via USB.

Now it’s time to format it!

4 comments

  1. Holy…that’s impressive. I’m going to show this to my husband. He’s tech savvy. Maybe he can make me an external hard drive from my old MacBook. ;)

    Amie Reply:

    I’d love to hear if you end up making one!

  2. My external hard drive died today and in an effort to get it fixed and recover some data, I managed to wipe out all the sectors and even wrote over my OS. Next time I’m just going to format it and try this though! Good tutorial, girl. Thanks!

    Amie Reply:

    Oh noes!! on the plus side, you get a fresh new start, right? Glad you found this helpful :)

    p.s. Your (new?) blog is gorgeous!

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