How to tell what is inside an external drive?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by shreddog, Mar 8, 2008.

  1. shreddog macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2008
    #1
    Is there a website that tells you what type of drive is inside of all the portable drives on the market?

    What I am trying to do is swap out the drive from my 12" 1.33mhz Powerbook into the external enclosure and take the new drive out of the enclosure and put it into the powerbook. That being said, I need a 2.5" Ultra/100 IDE drive. Only problem is...I can't tell what's inside most of these drives. I suspect they are almost all SATA drives, but thought there might be one or two out there that are Ultra/100 IDE's.

    Thanks.
     
  2. johny5 macrumors 6502a

    johny5

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2007
    Location:
    UK
    #2
    you can normally check in the "about this mac" option and drill down into the hardware from wherever that drive is connected like maybe the USB section.
    It should give you some kind of model and then just use that to search in google.
     
  3. shreddog thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2008
    #3
    Thanks, but I meant is there a way to tell before I buy it.
     
  4. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2004
    Location:
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    #4
    You can't. Manufacturers change their builds all the time. Second tier manufacturers source enclosures from the Far East, buy whatever drive mechanisms are the cheapest, and slap on a logo sticker.

    Unless you have intelligence from other users who can match up model numbers / serial numbers against particular innards. I would try Googling the make and model of some of the drives you are looking at perhaps you'll find some forum postings, and look on shopper sites like slickdeals and redflagdeals.

    But why not just buy a bare mechanism? That way you'll get the full manufacturers warranty. If you pull a drive from an enclosure, you'll have at best the 1 year warranty the enclosure came with, and at worst, no warranty at all.

    On a Powerbook, you're going to want a Firewire enclosure anyways -- the PowerPC based machines don't boot from USB drives. I'd go ahead and buy a good quality MacAlly Firewire enclosure and a Seagate Momentus with a 5 year warranty.
     
  5. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #5
    I don't think this works. The hard drive is usually hidden behind the enclosure's controller, thus invisible to Apple System Profiler. Seems a take-apart is the only way.
     
  6. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #6
    If it's larger than 250 gigs, it's a SATA. Other than that, it's difficult to tell.
     
  7. elbirth macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2006
    Location:
    North Carolina, US
    #7
    if you just want to swap drives, your best bet is to buy an enclosure by itself and buy the drive as well. (Make sure the enclosure has the proper connection inside). then just take out your computer's drive and stick it in the enclosure and put the new drive in. This will really be the only way to know what the drive type is before buying it.
     
  8. johny5 macrumors 6502a

    johny5

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2007
    Location:
    UK
    #8
    Actually I was in the same boat as you :eek: I wanted to buy an enclosure with large drives in and swap them with my existing smaller drives then ebay the enclosure.
    I tried for ages searching the net to see if someone like TOM's had reviewed them and written down as to what drives were inside but to no avail.

    its very hard unfortunately without buying them so I gave up.

    btw it does actually give me drive models on 2 of my USB enclosures so I guess it depends what make the enclosure is and what electronics are inside as to whether it forwards on information regarding the drives.
     

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