How to Make an External Hard Drive From Your Old, Disused PC

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Buying an external hard drive can be costly, but making one out of a disused PC will only cost $10 or $20. Place an old hard drive in an external hard drive case with help from a Web designer in this free video on computer tips.

Part of the Video Series: Internet & Computer Help
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Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Noah, and today, we're going to learn how to make an external hard drive, from your old, disused PC. This is often a really good thing to do, because purchasing an external hard drive, that's pre-made, can often cost around a hundred dollars, whereas here, by making one from your old PC, you'll only be spending around ten to twenty dollars. It's also a good thing, because instead of just letting your old PC set around and rust, you'll be able to still get some use out of part of it. The first step, is to remove the side panel of your PC. This is usually very easy to do, and only requires you to unscrew the two screws, from the behind of the PC. Then, you can remove the side panel, simply by sliding it towards the back, then it will unclip and you can simply take it off. Now, the inside of your PC, can look a bit complicated and scary, but there's nothing to worry about. Usually, you'll find on top, your CD drive, or DVD drive, if it's a more recent computer, and underneath, you'll be able to find your hard drive, which is a bit smaller and thinner. All you need to do, is remove the screws, that might be attaching it to the case, and then remove the wiring in the back, and then you can take your hard drive, out of your old PC. Then, you'll have to order an external hard drive case or enclosure, from the internet. A simple Google search for external hard drive enclosure, will give you tons of results for this. Once you've received your case, which would cost around ten or twenty dollars at the minimum, or maybe a bit more, if you're going for a higher end case, around thirty dollars. Then, you'll receive it, and it's extremely simple to insert your hard drive into the case. Usually, your case will come with some sort of carrying pouch, or just soft case, to make it easy to transport, so just take your hard drive out, get a small screwdriver, and remove the back panel of the case. Here for the demonstration, we'll be using a 2.5 inch hard drive case, which is made for hard drives coming from a laptop, but if you used a hard drive from your desktop, then you'll need to order a 3.5 inch case, so make sure you get the right one, when you order on the internet, 2.5 inches for laptop hard drives, and 3.5 inches for hard drives from desktops, so simply remove the back panel of the case, which is the one which has spaces for plugs to be inserted, so the other one should just be blank, and smooth. Usually, this is just two simple screws to take out, and then you'll be able to remove the cover very easily. Now, you can simply plug in your hard drive, into the back wiring of the case, the internal part. Do this very carefully, so as not to bend or break the metal connecting parts, from the back side. That's it. Now, you've connected your hard drive. Now, all you have to do, is carefully slide it back into the case. Once you're done, simply put the screws back on the side panel, and then your hard drive will be ready to go. One thing to keep in mind of external hard drives, is that you have to be very careful not to drop them. Hard drives are very easy to make unreadable, by dropping them, and then you'll use all your data, which is saved on it. Now that you're done, to connect a hard drive to your PC, just use the cable that's supplied. Often, this will have a small end to plug into your hard drive, and one or sometimes two ends to plug into your computer, by the USB ports. Now, once you plug it into your computer, before it functions correctly, you may have to use a driver CD, which is delivered with the case, but in most systems using the modern version of Windows, you won't even have to do that. Simply plugging it in will be enough.

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