Helping people with computers... one answer at a time.

External Hard Drives are not only a convenient and cost effective way to add storage to an existing computer they're also portable and easily move from one computer to another.

Can I convert an external USB hard drive into an internal one?

External hard drives are handy and portable, but occasionally it might be nice to move all that storage into your PC. You probably can.

Can I install programs on an external drive?

An external drive is just another drive to Windows. Setting up programs on a drive that can be removed, however, warrants some care.

Can I recover the information on my hard drive by putting it in an enclosure?

An encloser is a pretty cool way to access information from a hard drive, if you use the right connection.

Can I take my external drive and install it as a replacement in my laptop?

Computers are configured to run off an internal C drive; and there is also the question of speed and convenience.

Can I use the internal hard drives from an old machine as an external drive on a new one?

When replacing a hard drive or an entire machine, it can be very convenient to have the old hard drive available in an external drive enclosure.

Does deleting and adding information to a hard drive wear it out?

Hard drives are built to expect a certain amount of use. Drives do wear out, but a certain amount of normal use is to be expected.

Does leaving my external hard drive connected put its contents at risk from malware?

An external hard drive does run certain risks when it comes to malware, but often not the ones we think of. Avoiding malware remains the best solution.

How can I make an external drive keep its same drive letter?

Drive letters can be manually assigned. In a multiple-machine environment, it will need to be done on each machine.

How can I tell if my external drive is SATA or IDE?

Today, in 2012, most external drives are created using SATA interfaces. But ultimately, there isn't a good way to know which you have, other than opening up the box.

How do I format and partition my new external hard disk?

Partitioning and formatting a new disk, internal or external, is often not needed but it's easy to do using Windows built-in disk manager.

I plugged in an old drive via USB and Windows Explorer doesn't see it. How should I access its contents?

The drive is showing; what's unfortunate is it doesn't have a drive letter. So, you can assign it one.

Installing my game to an external drive doesn't work, what do I do?

Gaming off an external drive can be very slow, or not work at all. I give my recommendation on where to install the program.

Should I get an additional internal or external hard drive?

Additional internal drives have a role, but with external hard drives being cheap and common, adding storage to your system can be very quick and easy.

Why is there a delay when I try to access my external hard disk?

Most external drives will power-down or go to sleep after a period of inactivity. Waking back up can take a noticeable few seconds.

Why might I not be able to copy long filenames to an external device?

Long file name errors could be happening because of the disk format. The first thing that I would confirm is that the file system can handle long file names.

Why won't my external drives shut down automatically?

External drives normally shut down or go to sleep after some period of inactivity, or when the computer is turned off. If not you may have to manually turn them off as well.