Putting new HD in old FW400 and USB enclosures

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by eji, Jan 28, 2007.

  1. eji macrumors 6502

    eji

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2004
    Location:
    Inland Empire
    #1
    I've got a few FireWire 400 external drives, one of which is an IceWarrior, but I've found that I'm once again running out of space to hold all my digital junk. So I was going to buy new, larger HDs to replace the 80GB drive in the IceWarrior as well as an oooold BusLink USB 1.0 model with a dead HD. (Then again, maybe I'll just put the IceWarrior's 80GB HD in the BusLink.)

    Anyway, what exactly do I have to keep in mind when I do this? I want to believe that it's as simple as finding a nice 500GB 3.5" HD on DealMac and then popping it in, but I know that that might be exposing my naivete. Do I have to use IDE? Can I throw in a SATA or SATA II drive so there's an element of safety and failure warning, or won't these external enclosures work with those newer technologies?

    Has anyone done this before? Was it really simple, or am I in for a chore? Anything I should keep in mind?

    Thanks in advance...
     
  2. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2001
    Location:
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    #2
    First: You'll definitely need an ATA drive--more or less every external case I've seen, and DEFINITELY any older one, uses ATA internally, not SATA.

    Second: I assume what you mean by the "element of safety" is the SMART reporting. That exists on SATA as well as ATA drives, but I don't believe the computer can get that data from most firewire bridges, so you wouldn't get it either way. If you had an eSATA card in the computer and an eSATA drive, then of course you could, but that's not what you're asking about.

    Third: Not all cases support all sizes of hard drives; I know at least some older ones only support up to 120GB drives, for example. Others listed the max as 250GB, but I don't know if that's a limit of the hardware or just as big as they tested it with. Since yours is older, though, I'd be wary of trying to put a 500GB drive in it--it might not recognize the whole capacity.

    Fourth: Yes, it's generally quite easy to swap drives as long as you're careful. I have an OWC case that is physically identical to that IceWarrior one, and I've put a couple different drives in it--no issues at all.

    Fifth: Even an 80GB drive in a USB1 enclosure sounds absolutely nuts to me. Even if it worked, in ideal circumstances it'd take 18 hours just to trasfer 80GB of data to or from the thing. A 500GB drive, were it even supported, would take 5 days.

    Oh, and I'm assuming the old USB1 case is 3.5", do make sure before you buy anything for it--you can't stuff a big drive in a little case.
     
  3. eji thread starter macrumors 6502

    eji

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2004
    Location:
    Inland Empire
    #3
    @ Makosuke:

    Thanks. I know the 80GB in the USB1 enclosure sounds nuts, but I wouldn't be transferring the entire amount of data to it at any given time. I'd probably end up using it as a big-ish repository for all the annoying little .ipk files for my Zaurus. I often spend ages hunting for them online, and I like to stick them to the side so they're there when I need them again.

    The FW400 drive has been upgraded to the latest Oxford firmware, so it should recognize larger HDs. I was thinking about ordering 500GB drive which comes with a free USB2 enclosure, and then seeing if the drive would go into the FW400 box.

    I really appreciate your laying everything out. I don't fiddle with the guts of hardware very often, so it's good to have answers in plain English.
     

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