How to use an old drive for external storage

Upgrading from one internal storage drive to another? If so, don't ditch your old hard drive — use it for more external storage!

Old hard drives — either HDDs or SSDs — make for a great external storage device at a fraction of the cost of a new one. And turning an internal hard drive into an external hard drive is easy.

The first thing you will want to do is copy across any data you need to hold on to, remove the old hard drive from your computer, and format it.

Now you have two options for converting your old hard drive into an external storage drive:

  1. Use an external hard drive enclosure. An external storage enclosure can be used with both HDDs or SSDs, and connects your old hard drive to USB ports while protecting it, turning it into a fully-portable external storage device.
  2. Crucial SSD Install Kit. The key element in our install kit is a SATA to USB cable, which you can use to connect your old internal SATA solid state drive to your system. Simply attach the SATA cable to your old hard drive and plug the USB end into your computer — you can now use your SATA drive as you would any other external hard drive.

With either option, you'll get more mileage out of your old hard drive and increase your storage capacity at a much lower cost. This means more room for photos, videos, music, and important document backups.

Find out more about Crucial SSD accessories.


What do I do with an old hard drive?

Repurposing old hard drives is easy and cheap compared to buying a new external storage device. Internal hard drives can be easily converted into external PC storage, a portable hard drive for laptops, or even used with gaming consoles, smartphones, and other mobile devices.

Can I create a SATA external hard drive?

Absolutely! Older internal SATA drives make great for PC external storage. You just need a suitable SATA to USB cable[LA1]  [LA1]Use for Internal link: SATA to USB cable.

How can I use an external hard drive?

Creating hard drive external storage from an old internal drive is an easy and cheap way to save more photos, videos, music, documents, apps, and programs.

External storage devices are portable, so you can easily share your files with friends and family or backup important documents somewhere safe for peace of mind.