I have a WD Elements 1 TB external drive. I'm in a pinch and I need an internal SATA drive.

How do I find out if the drive in here is actually a SATA drive?

The WD Elements is a really nice external drive. I gently pried open the top and slid out a 1 TB Caviar Green hard drive. There were four black rubber brackets that slid off easily. One screw removed the SATA --> USB, and then I slid it into my computer.

  • Please don't do it. It's like scraping a Volvo S80 because you need an ashtray to fit your Yugo. – Rook Mar 2 '10 at 3:07
  • Is it worth it? Why destroy a nice external drive? – Donald Byrd Mar 2 '10 at 3:26
  • @Idigas - lol, don't worry, that's not what I'm doing here... – Nathan DeWitt Mar 2 '10 at 4:23
  • @ongle - the drive was not destroyed. I now have a nice 1 TB internal hard drive, accessed much faster than over USB. – Nathan DeWitt Mar 18 '10 at 20:16
  • If you are happy with the solution then it's all good :) However it seems that it makes for an expensive internal drive. I would have bought a bare internal drive instead however if that wasn't an option, you gotta do what you gotta do :) – Donald Byrd Mar 24 '10 at 14:24

Since it's 1 TB in size, it's almost certainly a SATA drive. You can crack the case open and find out for sure, but make sure you're okay with voiding the warranty (if it's still under warranty). Unfortunately, many external hard drives have concealed and/or tamper-resistant (i.e., nonstandard) screws, so it may not be possible to open the enclosure without breaking the plastic or drilling out the screws. Then again, it is possible to purchase screwdrivers that can remove certain types of tamper resistant screws (such as Torx drivers with a hole in the middle of the Torx head). If you don't want to use the enclosure again, or if you don't care how it looks afterward, this might be an option.

If you don't want to void the warranty and/or you need to reuse the enclosure and want it to look as unmangled as it does now (but can't find the right screwdriver to remove the tamper-resistant screws), you might want to buy a new internal drive instead.

  • it worked great! no crazy screws, just one standard philips head. – Nathan DeWitt Mar 2 '10 at 4:21
  • Cool, glad to hear WD's external drives are end-user serviceable. – rob Mar 2 '10 at 19:53

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