There are many ways to store and backup data but nothing compares to portable hard drive which offers large storage capacity, easy access, plug-and-play (PNP) capability, and of course they are portable. Although new dimension of hard disk drive will come out in the market soon, there are currently three different sizes available for portable hdd... the 3.5-inch which is used for desktop computers, the 2.5-inch which was used for laptop computers, and the 5inch for external hdd. Of course, the 2.5-inch makes a more portable hard drive since it is very slim and can fit in your pocket. The current maximum capacity for 2.5-inch hdd is around 500GB but there will be higher storage capacity coming out. On the other hand, the 3.5-inch and 5-inch hdd offers up to 2TB (that's Tera) of storage capacity.
Creating a portable hdd using 2.5-inch laptop hdd is very simple. You only need three things: 2.5-inch laptop hdd, the 2.5-inch enclosure kit, and a small screw driver. For the laptop hard drive, you have the freedom to choose the storage size depending upon your needs. If you have a laptop and you are looking to upgrade the hard disk soon, you can use the old laptop hdd as your portable hard drive. Almost all the laptop hdd are standard in size and interface. But just to be absolutely sure, check for compatibility with the enclosure kit or laptop computer before buying the 2.5-inch hdd.
Next, you need to shop for 2.5-inch enclosure kit which can cost around $10. The kit includes the case itself, the IDE-to-USB interface, high-speed USB cable, and the leather case or jacket. The case is usually made of plastic or aluminum which is hard enough to protect the disk inside. The IDE-to-USB interface connects to the storage device and serves as the front cover with LED indicator and USB interface. The high-speed USB cable connects the portable hdd to your computer. It does not matter what type of computer you are using since it is plug-and-play. The moment you connect it to the computer, it is instantly accessible without the need for any software.
Now, the fun part... assembling the portable hard drive. First, unscrew the IDE-to-USB interface from the case. Get your laptop hdd and attach the interface properly. Observe the proper orientation when attaching the interface and take extra care with the pins because they can easily bend. Insert the portable hdd with the interface into the plastic or aluminum casing then screw it tight. That's it! You now have a 2.5-inch portable hard drive.
When you connect it to the computer, it will be identified as removable disk drive. If your hdd is new, you may need to format it before you can start saving data. Simply right-click the drive letter of your portable drive and choose "Format". It may take a while depending on the capacity. If you used an old hdd, then there is no need to format and you can access your files instantly except for system files or folders under password protected username.
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