Sign in to follow this  
stuppid

Upgrade hdd in External USB Box.

Recommended Posts

I have a Western digital Dual option USB external Drive. It has 160GB in it when I bought it. I am wondering if I can open it and remove the smaller and install a bigger drive like 320GB ? Have anyone done it? Can I still format it as FAT32? I know the original 160GB hdd was formated in FAT32.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes and yes- although if you want to format it FAT32, you might need to dig around a bit to format the drive- depending on your OS.

Regards,

Spinme

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"I have a Western digital Dual option USB external Drive. It has 160GB in it when I bought it. I am wondering if I can open it and remove the smaller and install a bigger drive like 320GB ?"

Yes, probably. There shouldn't be any capacity limitations above 137GB (128GiB), though BIOS manufacturers are masters of creating inexplicable bugs resulting in capacity barriers that are unrelated to specification.

Since the original drive is >137GB the enclosure's built-in BIOS is capable of 48-bit LBA and theoretically can handle a HDD in size up to 144 million gigabytes. There's going to be a 2200 gigabyte (2.2 TB or 2.0 TiB) limit before that due to software limitations. But I wouldn't expect that all BIOSes could handle even sizes up to 2 TiB. BIOS manufacturers have always lacked the capability to understand the rate of growth in supply and demand capacity. They always have managed to scr3w things up.

Usually HDD enclosure manufacturers guarantee functionality up to 137GB (28-bit LBA), 300GB (unofficial limit), 400GB (unofficial limit), etc. That doesn't decessarily mean bigger drives won't work but possibly that it's the biggest drive tested. Then again, some of the limitations may be real, due to some buggy BIOS on the enclosure. The IC chip that makes the conversion is the only part that defines these barriers, and it's not easy to find out capacity barrier information on their sites. (That supports the idea there's no known limits before 144 petabyte 48-bit LBA barrier and enclosure manufacturers just play it safe and don't make too much promises. Too bad they don't always tell whether it's a barrier or jus the biggest capacity tested.)

I have replaced 250GB Maxtor with a 320GB WD in Maxtor OneTouch (I) enclosure. 320GB is bigger than the biggest capacity variant of OneTouch (I), but no data corruption problems.

Some other people have reported some very dubious occurrences if a non-Maxtor is installed into a OneTouch II enclosure. They say the enclosure permanently(?) disables a part of non-Maxtor drives capacity. We'll at least most of us don't have the expertice to fix the clipped drive back to original capacity. But I didn't suffer such capacity loss. I've just read about it in this forum. Smells pretty much like Maxtor trying to monopolize the replaments used for refurbishing crashed OneTouches, because I find it quite unlikely that the enclosure would "accidentally" clip HDD size permanently.

So, do at your own risk. I've had good luck with my experiment. And you don't a OneTouch to experiment with.

"Can I still format it as FAT32? I know the original 160GB hdd was formated in FAT32."

Yes you can. But not in Windows XP. The reason for limiting FAT32 to 32GB is probably just Micro$oft trying to monopolize the market and decrease compatibility with Mac & NIX based operating systems. FAT based partitions were just so easy to handle and too public knowledge.

Win SE could format it, but I would probably try Ultimate Boot CD (UBCD) first. UBCD has many utilities (including HDD diagnostics for most manufacturers, etc.) on a single CD, so it's pretty much a must have anyway. Freeware @ http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not sure if I should call USB bridge firmware a "BIOS", even though it has some of the tasks common to motherboard BIOS. Then again, PCI addon controllers are said to contain a "BIOS". So where exactly is a thin line between "BIOS firmware" and "non-BIOS firmware"? I don't know. I'm not sure if I even care.

Edited by whiic

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the replies.

Out and bought a Seagate 7200.10 320GB. Open up the WD Dual option drive is a piece of cake. Remove and install the new harddrive. FAT32Formatter downloaded from WD will not format the drive. so I use Winxp Disk Management program to format it as NTFS(for now). Running test now. Looks fine. However HDTach gives me an error... it exits before outputing the result.

NB:

WD Dual option has 2 very big heat sinks installed on the sides of the harddrive to keep it cool. WD is cool!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I retract my statements.

Compuapps Swissknife V3 - Crap out in the middle of formating.

on/off button on the enclosure now doesnt work as intended.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Easterday I managed to clip my 7K250 to 128GiB by mounting it in a 1st generation OneTouch. Apparently it's not just 2nd gen OneTouches that cause permanent or semi-permanant "damage" to non-Maxtor HDDs mounted into the enclosure.

(Sorry for the making identical post in several threads, I just don't want to be responsible for someone other's data loss caused by my not-so-brilliant ideas. Someone might still find these old thread by searching or Googling, so I'm sorry to resurrect them all.)

Main topic: http://forums.storagereview.net/index.php?...403&hl=OneTouch

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

boy, aint I lucky?!

i didnt read about the danger of clipping by mounting diff brand (or maybe same brand) hdd on certain enclosure.

without knowing the danger, I mounted a 7k250 with "valuable" data into a IOGEAR ION box. It couldnt read the data in 7k250. It didnt cause any damages either.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this