External life internal storage: make a portable storage device from the built-in

How to turn a built-in computer drive in an external, how difficult such an operation, how much it will cost and what will it take? To such questions we try to answer in this material.

the Reasons for the existing desktop PC or laptop out of business, can be very different, including and sad and unpredictable failure. If the faulty computer is not connected with integrated storage, the latter should be given a chance at a new life, for example, in an external storage.

Capacious hard (HDD) and solid state (SSD) drives is usually required for occupying much space your media. When such storage is provided with another universal interface, it is convenient and easy to connect to many devices with USB ports, including routers, smart TVs, game consoles, and, of course, computers. In the latter case, the preferred interface will not USB 2.0 mode Hi-Speed (480 Mbps) and one of the faster versions of the Super Speed USB 3.2 Gen 1 (5 Gbps) or USB 3.2 Gen 2 (10 Gbps). In the old version they were called USB 3.0 or USB 3.1 Gen 1 and Gen 2 USB 3.1, respectively. Please see more details here.

To begin, recall that the hard drives in modern laptops most often performed in 2.5-inch form factor (2.5″) SATA II (3 Gbps) or SATA III (6 GB/s). In desktop interfaces the drives are usually the same, but the form factor 3.5-inch (3,5″).

as for the SSD, everything is a bit more complicated. In addition to the 2.5-inch SSD with SATA interface, find some more storage in the form factor mSATA, not connected by cable, but directly to the connector on the motherboard of the computer.

in appearance and they resemble the connector of the expansion card mini PCI Express (mini PCIe), but electrically similar connectors are not compatible.

most confusion about M. 2 drives, previously known as NGFF (Next Generation Form Factor), which for the same width of the Board (22 mm) can have different lengths – 30, 42, 60 or 80 mm (refer 2230, 2242, 2260 or 2280, respectively). But, of course, not in the dimensions and design features of printed circuit connectors, which are more significant differences.

So, the grooves for the keys B and M usually indicate the disc compatible with SATA, and the groove under the M key is usually to determine a more high-speed PCIe NVMe interface (defines the protocols for access to SSDs connected via PCI Express). However, the M. 2 SATA connector can fit in the M. 2 socket-PCIe, but the work will not be there and Vice versa. Some motherboards provide two modes, therefore, can operate with both SATA and NVMe PCIe SSD. The fact that, according to the specifications of M. 2, key B indicates Protocol support SATA and/or PCIe with speeds up to PCIe x2. In turn, the device with the M key can Protocol support SATA and/or PCIe with a maximum speed of PCIe x4. But the presence of the keys B and M speaks about Protocol support SATA and/or PCIe, but with limited speed up to PCIe x2.

still, it seems that this question is a little too clever by half. Therefore, before purchasing a case for the integrated M. 2 drive, it is better to look at the documentation on the computer from which you made this SSD.

it is Clear that the first thing to determine what type of internal storage it is planned to make external.

depends on the form factor housing with output 3.2 USB interface (USB 3.0/USB 3.1), which must be purchased.

Some manufacturers, including Ugreen, for 2.5 – and 3.5-inch SATA hard drives offer a universal case.

Or, for example, for a 2.5-inch drive will fit pretty transparent case of a company or Orico Agestar which is A SuperSpeed USB cable (blue insulator) – microUSB B. the Purchase of such kit in the Russian Internet-shop can cost five hundred rubles and above. Less spectacular case of the painted plastic are usually cheaper.

This set will fit for 2.5 inch SATA SSD, which do not contain mechanical moving parts and are therefore considered more reliable than hard drives.

complete with case for 3.5-inch HDD at all it is worth 12-volt AC adapter (for example, 2 A), which is necessarily necessary for such a drive. Because the nominal value of 12 V in USB-connector is simply absent. External storage 2.5-inch format, which all in all is usually enough To 5 volts from the USB connector on the device, be more mobile. Recall that the maximum current from the 5 V for USB 2.0 is 500mA and for USB 3.0 (USB 3.2 Gen 1) 900 mA. Specification USB BC (Battery Charging) allows connectors USB-A to return current to 1.5 A.

for Example, some “smart” TVs have USB connectors, you can sometimes see explaining the marked HDD 5V 1A.

Now about the specifics of the dimensions of built-in storage. The fact that in contrast to the “equal” 3.5-inch counterparts, the 2.5-inch hard drives may differ from each other in thickness. That is why dedicated buildings is usually indicated on what size the height they are designed: for example, 9.5 mm (normal), 7 mm (thin) or 5 mm (ultrathin). But for “fat” (e.g., height 12.5 mm or 15 mm) case still have to find.

If the value of the housing to the external interface USB 3.0 (3.2 Gen.1) for 2.5-inch drives is usually limited to a few hundred rubles, the price tag on brand case for M. 2 NVMe can exceed a couple of thousand, especially if the external USB interface 3.2 Gen.2 (10 Gbps).

due to their multipole connector printed 2.5 – and 3.5-inch drives are well recorded in the case.

But the Board in the form factor M. 2 provides additional mounting hole for screw. By the way, SSD drives are quite hot during operation, especially on write operations. For this reason, they have special radiators so that you only look at the metal case is optional.

to Connect an external drive via a corresponding cable to the USB port of a computer or other device (not forgetting about the 12-volt adapter for 3.5-inch hard drives) is not difficult.

and the finishing touch. As a rule, are all the volume drive to store data even after formatting the first does not work. Let us explain this on the example of the 2.5-inch hard drive Hitachi 320 GB SATA III, shot with a “dead” Acer laptop.

To begin running on computer system utility “disk Management” that opens in Windows 10 where you have to click the right mouse button on the “start” button and choose the appropriate label from the list that appears (alternatively, press the key combination Win+R and then type diskmgmt.msc).

On the screen this program will be presented to all internal and external drives (including USB flash drive), currently connected to the computer. Count of physical disks starts at zero, so for Disk 0 can follow others, if they exist, of course. In this case, this is another built-in drive “Disk 1”.

After the vestments of the hard disk in a 2.5 inch case and connect it to the computer via the USB port, then run “disk Management”.

it is Evident that the existing two physical drives added a third – “Disk 2”. This is an external drive on the basis of Hitachi 320 GB.

In the General case, the boot disk contains several partitions, including system, recovery, main or principal (if more than one). Our, now external, drive was at the time in a laptop a single physical disk, and therefore, a boot so broken in a similar way. For obvious reasons, for the external, but not the boot drive now useless utility partitions just a waste of space. To through them a little to increase storage capacity, use the DiskPart utility, which requires administrative privileges. Note that it is a powerful but insecure the tool, therefore, should be treated very carefully.

To start we must click with the right mouse button on the “start” button, choose in the dropdown “Run” (or simply use the key combination Win+R) and then in the window diskpart gain.

All communication goes through with DiskPart command line. So, the result of the list disk command confirms that the external 320-gigabajtnyj (298 GB) drive system determines how physical “Disk 2”. Then manual sel disk 2 allows you to focus precisely on the disk, and the final command – clean – cleans it. The main thing here is not to make the wrong choice sequence number of the physical drive.

Now we need to make another run “disk Management”, then a pop-up window asking to initialize the “Disk 2”. For him it is recommended to choose GUID partition table, which is better suited for modern systems than the MBR.

Next, left-click select the new external drive by clicking right mouse button on the highlighted field, choose from context menu “new simple volume”. Work is entered by the eponymous “Master”, which creates a simple volume with selecting size, drive letter and format the partition later.

now that the entire capacity of the external storage at your disposal.

Text: News.Hi-tech