When you turn an internal hard drive into an external drive, you can connect it to your PC using a standard USB connection.
1. Select a hard drive that is internal.
You can mix and match almost any hard drive and enclosure, but just in case, double-check the manufacturers’ websites to make sure the drive and enclosure are compatible.
2. Install the hard drive in the enclosure.
If you’re installing older drives, such as EIDE or IDE, you may see several wires to connect the hard drive to the enclosure, either by screws or fasteners (some slot into the connector). If you’re installing older drives, such as EIDE or IDE, you may see several wires to connect the hard drive to the enclosure, either by screws or fasteners (some slot into the connector). You should see a single SATA connection for SATA or mSATA drives, similar to the ones found inside the PC.
3. Connect the wires together.
Depending on the type of hard drive connector you have, you’ll need to make different connections. Most modern drives that use SATA or mSATA have a single 7-pin connector that serves as both an interface and a power source. A 40-pin connector and a 4-pin power connector are available for PATA drives (EIDE or IDE).
4. Seal the hard drive enclosure.
Seal the enclosure tight with the internal hard drive inside once it’s connected. To seal the drive, most hard drive enclosures come with screws or simple fasteners. You now have a portable external storage device in the form of an internal hard drive. All that’s left to do now is connect the enclosure to the computer.
5. Connect the enclosure.
The enclosure comes with whatever cords are necessary to connect it to a PC. Usually, it’s a USB cable, which provides both connectivity and power to the drive.
6. Connect the enclosure to the PC.
Connect the USB cable to the PC and turn on the hard drive. Turn on the power switch if it has one.
7. Plug and play the hard drive.
When you plug it in and turn it on, Windows should recognize it as new hardware and allow you to “plug and play” with it. You can access the drive by browsing it, opening it, dragging files and folders into it, or setting it up to receive security backups and recovery files.