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Can I use my internal hard drive as an external hard drive?

Answer: Yes, there are external hard drive cases you can buy that will allow you to convert your internal hard drive into an external one. After all, external hard drives are basically standard IDE or SATA drives packaged in an external case. The case protects the hard drive and connects the hard drive interface to the I/O ports. Some external hard drives only include USB 2.0 ports, while others may include USB, Firewire 400 and 800, and external SATA ports.

When buying an external hard drive enclosure, make sure it includes the ports you need to connect the hard drive to your computer. If your computer has Firewire 800 or external SATA connections, you should look for a case that has those interfaces since they will provide faster sustained transfer rates than USB 2.0. Also, make sure it supports your hard drive type, which is most likely either IDE or SATA. Finally, make sure the case is sturdy and made well, since there are few things more important than protecting your data.

Published: August 31, 2007 — by Per Christensson

Answer from the PC Help Center