What are needed to convert a laptop hard disk into a removable USB hard drive? I want to purchase those stuffs to make my laptop hard disk into a small portable removable hard drive.

Can you also recommend some brand for those stuffs and where to buy them?



The laptop hard disk is Barracuda 7200.7, 160gb, Seagate, +5V 0.72A, +12V 0.35A, Model: 8t3160021A, S/N: 5JS588YR, P/N:9W2001-371, HDA P/N: 100316342, Config: D8H-02, Firmware: 8.01, Date Code: 05467, Site Code: WU, MIC: E-H011-03-0085 (B).

Is it IDE or SATA?

Is it 2.5"?

A side question: How can I remove that four line white thing (belonging to a laptop hard disk enclosure) from the laptop hard disk? I tried to pull it off but failed.

Its pictures are following. enter image description here enter image description here enter image description here

  • An 2.5" external enclosure that will fit the interface of the drive you are using which is most likely SATA – Phillip R. Aug 8 '12 at 21:12

This is the one I use:


It's a 2.5" (SSD or laptop HDD) to usb 3.0. I got it at microcenter and it works very well. However, anything that will convert a 2.5" drive into usb (usually called a drive enclosure) will work.

EDIT: Your drive is not SATA. Looks like IDE. Try this page. These all have IDE connections.

Here is the difference between SATA and IDE

You will have to use more force than it seems to take the connectors out. Once you do, it should be no problem putting it into an IDE hard drive enclosure. Make sure it has the correct output you want (eSATA, USB, etc.).

Also, most hard drives have a power connection and a data connection (usually the smaller section of pins is the data). These enclosures will allow you to connect the data cable and the power cable, as shown above in your picture. The enclosure will also be able to power the hard drive through whatever cable you use to connect to your computer. If not, it will come with an AC adapter (at least from what I have seen)

  • Thanks! Does a laptop hard drive usb encloure usually have its power adapter and power cord and USB cable? – Tim Aug 8 '12 at 21:29
  • Yes, it actually has the SATA data port and power port built into the case itself, and the usb cable provides the power itself and a way to transfer the data. Just make sure you put it in the right way :) – nathpilland Aug 8 '12 at 21:34
  • Thanks! Do you mean the usb cable of the product in your link provides both power and data, so there is not another power cord for the closure? – Tim Aug 8 '12 at 23:20
  • @Tim, I edited my answer, maybe it will help – nathpilland Aug 8 '12 at 23:39
  • Thanks! In your edit, the first link is for 3.5" Enclosures for IDE. I wonder if my laptop hard disk is 3.5" or 2.5"? If 2.5", why not use 2.5" enclosure for IDE? – Tim Aug 9 '12 at 1:55

The big question is whether the hard drive is SATA or IDE. Also, you want to make sure that the maximum speed of the controller in the USB container supports the case.

Finally, depending on your use case, you might want to find a case that supports more than usb. For example, if its a 2.5" SATA drive, it might make a lot of sense to get a case that supports USB and E-SATA.

  • my laptop hard drive is ST 160GB. Is it SATA or IDE, and is it 2.5"? – Tim Aug 8 '12 at 22:06
  • @Tim what do the connectors look like? Post a picture of the rear and top of it please. – Justin Dearing Aug 8 '12 at 22:08
  • Updated with details and pictures. – Tim Aug 8 '12 at 23:05

buy a usb enclosure that will fit your hard drive, whatever its size and interface. just search from x inch hard drive usb enclosure online.

  • Thanks! What is the size of a laptop hard disk usually? 2.5"? – Tim Aug 8 '12 at 21:30
  • yeah, nowadays likely 2.5" though i still have laptops that uses bigger ones. you need to check that. interface would be sata or ide/eide. however, most enclosures will interfaces supporting all the common ones. just need to read the descriptions of the product. sorry, recommending particular brand of hardware would violate the policies here i think. – johnshen64 Aug 8 '12 at 21:37
  • WHat kind of measurement on a hard drive is x inch? The diameter, length, girth, or ...? – Tim Aug 8 '12 at 21:54
  • @Tim it's actually based on the measurement of the platter inside the drive, so approximately the width of the drive. – parashep Aug 8 '12 at 22:23
  • @Tim, you likely have a 2.5" drive. They are either 3.5", 2.5" or 1.5" generally these days. The 3.5" ones are only for desktops. There are exceptions, but that's besides the point. – Justin Dearing Aug 8 '12 at 22:55

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