Uses for old hard drives

For those of you who are upgrading to a new computer or simply migrating to a laptop, you may have your old machine in the corner collecting dust. What to do with it?

One thing that I would do is take the hard drive out. In my opinion, if it is at least 40 GB, you could use it for a number of useful things.

Add to an existing PC:
1. You could make it a photo/music/video/documents/etc... drive. Basically a data drive that could store the previously mentioned. This way if you ever have to re-format your machine, you will have your data safely stored on another hard drive. For Windows users, you could re-direct your My Documents to this drive.

2. You could use your hard drive as a scratch disk. A scratch disk is used in programs like Photoshop and Premiere. Basically these programs utitlize your hard drive as a temporary area to cache files. This speeds up performance when using these types of programs.

Go External:
3. Buy an external hard drive enclosure and create a portable hard drive. This is what I do with my extra drives. I have an IDE Enclosure and a SATA Enclosure. These enclosures have become my every day use external drives and I can easily take them from my home to my office. I keep all my data on them and use them as redundant backups of each other. All for roughly $30-$40 an enclosure, so its definitely not breaking the bank.

Keywords: hard drives, old hard drives, uses for old hard drives

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Posted on: Oct 8, 2008 2:07 pm

Problems with some 40 gig HDs is that they are typically 5400 rpm and can be loud, so if your going for quietness, then I wouldn't recommend using it for anything too huge but a external would be fine.