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Guide How to convert an external USB HDD to an internal

Discussion in 'Modding' started by teejayhoward, 1 Jun 2005.

  1. teejayhoward

    teejayhoward New Member

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    How to convert an external USB HDD to an internal
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    The first thing you will need is obviously the USB enclosure. I picked this one up at CompUSA for $30. You can get one off eBay for about half that.

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    This is what is included in the package.

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    And when you open it up...

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    First, disconnect the front LEDs. You can use these later if you wish, but I decided not to. My case is cluttered enough, as is.

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    Unscrew the circuitboard from the chassis and disconnect the power switch.

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    Remember the location of the hole that the power switch connects to.

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    See this? It's big, it's bulky, it's... Useless. Keep it or toss it, I don't care.

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    You might want to test it first, though... Note that I placed a HDD jumper in the place of the power switch. It now is on full time.

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    More testing is always good.

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    WARNING - What I am about to do is dumb. I had to buy a soldering iron because mine is a bit... Uhh... Broken and lost.

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    I told you I was dumb. I cut up a 3-pin to 4-pin fan pass-through dohickey and soldered it to the wires on the board. It would have been smarter to replace the existing right-angle molex with a different gendered one, or to solder the wires right into the board. If I create another one, I will do it the "right" way. I then proceeded to wrap the wires in electrical tape, seperating each wire so they don't short out.
     
  2. teejayhoward

    teejayhoward New Member

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    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Example.

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    Here I screwed the circuitboard on to the back of a 40GB WD HDD utilizing 2 motherboard screws and spacers.

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    Unfortunatly only one side fit. This isn't that side

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    This is.

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    I used a molex splitter and some garbage ties to connect the HDD and the circuitboard to one power socket.

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    Here I attached a USB socket to my mobo tray, and connected it to the header on the mobo. Plug in the HDD, and cross your fingers.

    I'm sure a lot of you are wondering WHY the hell I did this. In theory, it's possible to have nothing but USB cables cluttering up a computer case, and these are easily hidden. In addition, every HDD installed this way is "theoretically" hot-swappable. In practice, a custom drive enclosure (Like those $15 IDE racks at CompUSA... Hmm...) would make it hot-swappable. In reality, I was just bored.
     
  3. mattthegamer463

    mattthegamer463 New Member

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    Interesting. I agree with you, i think that you went through some extra work to make it all concieled with the wiring, but if your happy...
     
  4. GuardianStorm

    GuardianStorm Active Member

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    looks cool, i was thinking of converting my external enclosure to internal, but then i found a 2 port non raid serial ATA PCI controller, so im just buying a new HD to go with :)

    il bookmark this just in case tho :)
     
  5. kickarse

    kickarse New Member

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    bored?
     
  6. theshadow27

    theshadow27 New Member

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    nice crosspost: http://hardforum.com/showthread.php?t=909940

    and i say agein:
    and if this realy was:
    there are so many better things to waste $$ on. like sending it to me?
     
  7. deadly-app

    deadly-app New Member

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    shadow, get the stick out of your buttocks :p
     
  8. Da_BaCoN

    Da_BaCoN Active Member

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    sorry, but i don't quite understand - what's the point? why would you want to convert it to be internal?
     
  9. teejayhoward

    teejayhoward New Member

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    There's a couple possible reasons.

    1) Hot swapability. If you can work with metal, it's easy to see how you can make a custom drive enclosure and set up a USB hot-swap 5.25" drive.

    2) Smaller cable size. You've got an IDE drive, and you want SATA-sized cables.

    3) Your PCI slots are full, so you have no room for a controller card. Hell, you've already got everything you need on the mobo already. Make use of it!

    And to those complaining about speed loss - Believe me, you can't tell the difference. The drive is a 5400RPM ATA/100 anyway. Nothing too fancy. Gimme a benchmark to test it with. I'll show the difference. (Actually, come to think of it, I have Sandra Pro... BBIAB!)
     
  10. mattthegamer463

    mattthegamer463 New Member

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    hummm..... me likes that idea of hot-swappability with HDDs...... to the drawing board!!!!
     
  11. teejayhoward

    teejayhoward New Member

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    http://www.uccs.edu/~thoward

    Ehh, I guess I won't be that lazy. Here ya go.

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    17744kB/s USB
    vs
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    19895kB/s IDE

    Yes! It is slower! BUT! This is a 5400RPM USB ATA/100 drive compared to a 7200RPM IDE ATA/100 drive. Do take that in to consideration.
     
    Last edited: 5 Jun 2005
  12. teejayhoward

    teejayhoward New Member

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    (Was a double post, I'm changing it to respond to Shadow)

    I've yet to see ANY IDE drive take the full theoretical 133MB/s. And you seem to be correct about it consuming CPU cycles. However, this computer does two things - folds and serves. I've got 3 USB drives in it, (Only one's internal) and haven't noticed a slowdown. Then again... I've never used the machine as a desktop.

    :)

    I've got 3x 73GB U160 10K SCSI drives on the way in. :)

    Anywho, where can you get SCSI cheaper than PATA? (Seriously! I CRAVE some more low-profile drives!)
     
    Last edited: 5 Jun 2005
  13. theshadow27

    theshadow27 New Member

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    E to the B to the AY
     
  14. mattthegamer463

    mattthegamer463 New Member

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    wait a minute, SCSI drives are faster than PATA?!? i though they were old and obselete! ive got tons of SCSIs lying around, i should make use of them!
     
  15. Ghlargh

    Ghlargh New Member

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    Old SCSI drives were faster than ATA drives from the same time, new SCSI drives are faster than new ATA drives.

    SCSI has been around for a really long time, some of IBM's 286 machines used SCSI drives, and you can't seriously think those are faster than new ATA drives just because they are SCSI...
     
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