I have a Mac Pro tower from 2006. I had installed two 1TB hard disks. These disks are this brand/spec: https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136151

Now, I am contemplating moving away from Mac, and interested in building a custom PC (mostly for web browsing, home office work, some gaming). Since the disks are still in good shape, I would like to reuse them if possible to reduce cost. However, I am not sure if they would be compatible with current components/hardware as I have don't follow them closely.

I did a quick search on Costco's website for recent desktop, and it says it comes with a '2TB 7200 SATA HD'. The drives above are also SATA 3.0GB/s interface.

Will I have any issue or I am good to reuse?

I do plan to buy an 128/256GB SSD for the OS, but these disks will be used for data storage. Thanks.


With SATA, the rule is: if it's also SATA, it will work. (Exception: 3.5" drives won't work in laptops because laptops don't provide necessary 12V rail)

SATA is backwards compatible, both on controller and drive ends. It means that drive and controller will use the fastest standard supported by both devices.

However, using 2006 drives may be risky. Backblaze report shows that under their conditions (constant usage) consumer hard drives have high failure rates after the 3 year mark.

Diagram showing 11,8% HDD failure rate after 3 years and onwards

Of course your drives aren't constantly on and spinning, like at Backblaze, but they are also 12 years old. Using them is risky. If you really, really don't want to replace them, check their SMART status and make sure your backups are always up-to-date and restorable.

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  • Thanks for this. I have checked the SMART status on both and it says 'Verified' on my Mac. These drives barely had any significant usage as they are current 2nd/3rd drive on my computer. But I will heed the warning regarding failure rates. Looks like I'm good on this front. – user4979733 Apr 26 '18 at 7:26

No hard drive lasts forever, of course, but today's hard drives are darn good, even the "consumer off the shelf" ones like most of us peasants use. Just make sure you format it with the NTFS file system using your new Windows machine, do a system check right out of windows, and enjoy.

And of course, every drive should have its data backed up to another location -just in case-

Your 7200 rpm drives will run a little hotter and a little noisier. 5400 rpm drives are a slightly quieter run cooler and are not that much slower ... especially for data storage.

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  • I don't think this addresses the question? – gronostaj Apr 26 '18 at 14:49

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