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I have 2 raid disks (a grand total of 360GB) in my laptop. I'm fast running out of space and want to install new drives. I've a pretty good idea how to do this.

My question is what can I do with the drives that I remove? I've got lots of media files on these drives that I'd like to keep and maybe transfer back onto my laptop once I have the new drives installed.

Bearing in mind that I know next to nothing about hardware how do you suggegst I go about reusing the removed drives somehow?


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A hard drive in a RAID is just a hard drive. No More, No less. So, once you have transferred the contents of your RAID to your new larger drives, and you are left with two smaller, older hard drives... you can put each one in an external hard drive enclosure and use them as separate portable hard drives. Take a look at those. There are two different kinds mixed in there... enclosures that would connect to SATA type drives (two plastic blades with copper contacts on the end of the drive), and enclosures that could connect to IDE type drives (two rows of multiple pins - 43 or 44 total depending on the drive). No fancy tools needed. Just purchase the appropriate one for your drives, connect the included USB converter to the end of the drive, slide it into the case, screw it closed... and connect to your computer via any available USB port. The first time you will need to format the drive, to wipe out any existing format, but after that, you can start storing music or movies, or whatever you want on the drive. Then, just store it away, take it with you... whatever you want.

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Would the following procedure be possible? 1) remove old drives. 2) put in new drives.3) add old drives to enclosures. 4) copy files from old drives to new drives. – dubbeat Mar 25 '12 at 12:38
Once you remove the old drives from the RAID controller they are connected to, you will lose the RAID... not for good, mind you. Considering the size of your RAID, I'm curious to know the type of hard drives you have... SATA or IDE. Why? Because although you can purchase WD IDE drives up to 250gb, you can get single SATA drives well in excess of 500gb now, for very little. Meaning you could potentially replace your RAID with a single drive. But no... you need to copy the info off the drives before you disconnect them from the array. – Bon Gart Mar 25 '12 at 16:26
Thats good to know thanks. The drive types are sata. I was considering getting 2 500gb ones. I guess my first step though is to get a regular external drive to backup my existing drives with. – dubbeat Mar 26 '12 at 9:05

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