Make your own cheap portable hard drive

Make your own cheap portable hard drive

Need a portable hard drive but don’t have the funds? Have you thought about making one from an old laptop or computer?

From as little as £5 you could have a USB3 caddy ready for an old drive to be put in, saves spending £50+ for a new one.

1) Find an old laptop/computer and remove the hard drive, these are fairly easy to take out of most laptops/computers, just google/youtube it if you’re unsure. See image in comments to work out which size you have.

2) If it’s a small laptop drive (2.5”) then buy something like USB3 or USB2 or take a look on for lower priced ones from as little as £5. We normally will go with a branded one (around the £10-£12 mark) as we know we can trust them but you should be ok with the others.

If it’s a larger computer sized drive (3.5”) then something like or USB3 or, USB2 or have a search around elsewhere.
3) Put the old drive into the new caddy and you’re pretty much sorted, depending on what’s on the old hard drive you will either need to take the files off it and save elsewhere (before or after installation) or you might want to format the drive to effectively wipe it.

– The best free software we know of to format a drive (properly) is
To run you will need to create an ISO disk like – Failing that you can use the built in Windows system to format, just google it and you should find some guides.

For anyone wondering we use the USB3 SSD optimised Inatecks ( with a Samsung 1TB drive & Toshiba SSD that’s been taken out of a Optibayed Macbook Pro, the cases are ideal as they’re USB3 + ‘futureproof’ as they accept SSDs so once we upgrade our Samsung Pros we can put those into these cases.

Thanks to Daniel for formatting tip

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