Repurpose Your Old Drives for Backup

Repurpose Your Old Drives for Backup

Dennis Snider

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For one reason or another, we frequently find ourselves with old hard drives on our hands that are still perfectly functional, even if the machine they were attached to has gone west. Rather than throw them away or leave them around gathering dust, with an external hard drive enclosure and a screwdriver you can make yourself a brand-new backup system for storing your data, keeping a reserve operating system home, etc.

An external enclosure is a simple and cheap caddy into which you can insert an internal hard drive, making it into an external one. All you need to do is take off all brackets and screws from the old hard drive and slide it into the caddy (making sure it’s the right way up). The caddy will have USB cable that plugs into your computer, and you are good to go. If the disk was formatted in its previous life, it should show up straight away in your file systems; if it doesn’t, search for Disk Management and you can right-click on it to format it.

As well as backing up files, you can also use a new hard drive like this to record from your smart TV, store music, etc. With caddies now being available e with USB-C ports, you can even future proof your new storage. Just make sure that you have the right size of caddy, with the correct connectors, to fit your hard drive, and for a few dollars and a few minutes of your time you will have saved a significant amount of cash and done your bit for the environment at the same time!

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