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  1. #1


    Member Since
    Nov 10, 2005
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    Specs:
    20" iMac G5 2.0Ghz 1GB || MBP 2.0GhzCDuo 2GB || TV || iPhone || Airport Extreme
    Making an internal hard drive external
    I'm sure a lot of you have made an internal hard drive external. I like the maxtor hard drives but don't like the price. I was wondering if there is much of a price difference from building my own hard drive compared to buying one already made. Also, If anyone has any suggestions on how to go about the process of converting an internal to external i would really appreciate it. Maybe name the harddrive, case, and cables used.

    Thanks for your time.

  2. #2

    baggss's Avatar
    Member Since
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    27" 3.4 Ghz i7 iMac-13" C2D Macbook-OSX 10.10.2 -64Gb iPad 2-64 Gb iPhone 6+-ATV 2-14Tb of Storage
    I've done this lots of times. The price point between a pre-built external and a self made external can be anywhere from $0 to a hundred or so bucks. I'm at the point now where I would never bother buying a prepackaged drive unless I needed it immediately.

    Your best bet is to find a good sale on the drives you want. Places like CompUSA will run good specials on Maxtor Drives (Maxtor makes the CompUSA brand drives as well) and will often have 12 hour in store only sales. I've picked up 200Gb internal Maxtor drives for $50 each at my local store. You just have to watch and wait.
    Your other good alternative is E-Bay. I picked up 2 Maxtor 250Gb internal drives for about $80 each including shipping, not to shabby.

    You can get external drive bays at places like compUSA, BestBuy, Fry's or any other big name electronic warehouse store. The run from about $50 up. Many have USB and Firewire available in the same enclosure, although most seem to be USB 2 only.


  3. #3

    coach_z's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jul 23, 2004
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    North NJ
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    Specs:
    i dont have no mac's
    i use the Macally PHR-100AF External Enclosure for my firewire drives...it is like 36 bucks from newegg
    MoTM honor roll...
    when?
    i dont remember

  4. #4


    Member Since
    Nov 10, 2005
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    Specs:
    20" iMac G5 2.0Ghz 1GB || MBP 2.0GhzCDuo 2GB || TV || iPhone || Airport Extreme
    Before I go buying a bunch of stuff can you guys help me out one more time? Seagate sells a 300GB hard drive for a lot less than what maxtor does. Also, they have an ATA/100 and an SATA/150. What is the difference? Sorry for the noobie questions, but would getting a seagate harddrive work with my imac? I plan on getting the macally PHR-100AC enclosure. Will these two devices work together? This is my first time ever doing anything like this so any help is much appreciated. Thanks.

  5. #5

    baggss's Avatar
    Member Since
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    27" 3.4 Ghz i7 iMac-13" C2D Macbook-OSX 10.10.2 -64Gb iPad 2-64 Gb iPhone 6+-ATV 2-14Tb of Storage
    They will work fine together. I don't think it matters which drive you get, but I would go with the ATA/100 myself simply because that is what everything else I have is.

    You do have USB 2 on your Mac, right?


  6. #6

    BigBear's Avatar
    Member Since
    Feb 19, 2005
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    Phoenix, Arizona
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    Specs:
    ibook G4 14in
    i was kind of apprehensive about building my own external edd, but my cousin swayed me. basically took a trip to fry's electronics and got a seagate 200gig internal hdd and a metal gear external hdd enclosure (this one metal gear box).

    it only took a few minutes of plugging in the appropriate connectors and sealing the enclosure. no tools needed! once hooked up i ran disk utility to format the drive. the whole process took maybe 15 minutes at most.

    from what i've read about other hdd's external or internal i don't think you can go wrong with seagate. i got mine for $50 after rebate. i'm not sure exactly if my drive is ata or sata; i'll check when i get home.

    if it matters you may want to ensure that your enclosure has both firewire and usb. (firewire of course allowing you to boot from the external drive and slightly faster transfer rate)

    my apple is bling *tisk tisk, you shouldn't have any bling.. just nice things*

  7. #7

    baggss's Avatar
    Member Since
    Oct 10, 2004
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    Specs:
    27" 3.4 Ghz i7 iMac-13" C2D Macbook-OSX 10.10.2 -64Gb iPad 2-64 Gb iPhone 6+-ATV 2-14Tb of Storage
    Actually, if you are speaking of USB 2, it has a faster theoretical transfer rate (480Mbs) vice that of Firewire 400 (400Mbs). In reality they are more or less the same however.

    Glad it worked out for you and you saved some $$$$$$. Don't you love Fry's?


  8. #8
    jmadden
    Guest
    Hello. I am another "noobie". I teach video production at a high school and our school cannot afford a Mac server for us to help with our video storage issues. But we've been told we can "cob together" a server ourselves for a fraction of the cost, using a Mac and some external drives. I have looked at the new Mac Pro which has expandability for 4 additional drives. A retired colleague used to take external drives and put them inside our G4's when the firewire ports on the externals no longer functioned. Can you suggest whether I should buy one Mac Pro and four externals to put inside it, or try to buy it with four additional Mac drives inside it? Costs would be a factor, as would reliability of the externals. Thanks.

  9. #9


    Member Since
    Jan 19, 2006
    Posts
    54
    Quote Originally Posted by baggss
    Actually, if you are speaking of USB 2, it has a faster theoretical transfer rate (480Mbs) vice that of Firewire 400 (400Mbs). In reality they are more or less the same however.
    Oh no, they are not. Have you ever benchmarked it? I have. The same brand new Seagate 7200 RPM drive in the same case (a MacAlly FW400/USB2 case) run from a Mac Mini: The USB 2.0 was almost twice as slow as Firewire 400 in doing a 1.3 Gb file copy.

    Before you all go crazy on swapping drives around; SATA (Serial ATA) and PATA (Parallel ATA also known as UltraATA, IDE, ATA100 or ATA133) use completely different connections. External Firewire and USB cases are 99% made for PATA (IDE) drives. SATA drives won't work in a PATA (IDE) case.

    The PowerMac G5s and MacPros use SATA drives internally and will not take PATA (IDE) drives without some type of adaptor.

    ALL G4 and G3 machines take PATA (IDE) drives and cannot take SATA without an adaptor.

    One good reason to build your own drive is that you'll get the full 3 or 5 year manufacturer's warranty on the hard drive mechanism. Ready-made externals often have only 1 year, and void the warranty if you open the case (such asm when you are trying to scavenge your data from a drive befre sending it in for warranty repair...). When buying hard drive mechanisms however, make sure you are getting new drives with the full manufacturers warranties in writing, not 'pulls' or used or reconditioned (recertified) or debranded drives with littel or no warranty.

    As far as the MacPro goes, absolutely buy it with the stock drive, and then purchase and install 3 additional SATA drives of your own. You'll pay much less, get the full warranty, and have your choice of brands and capacities.
    Thanks
    Trevor
    CanadaRAM.com

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