My hard drive is too big for your enclosure.
February 19, 2009 10:31 AM   Subscribe

My hard drive is too big for your enclosure! My Thinkpad died. Fortunately, I think the hard drive is ok. I purchased a 2.5" external enclosure to try to recover the data from the 2.5" drive. It doesn't fit. What do I need? Details inside.

The drive is a Hitachi Travelstar 40gb 5400rpm. I bought a Vantec NexStar SX external 2.5" Enclosure.

Not only does the drive not fit in the enclosure, but the connections are not the compatible. I'm not sure if this helps, but here are the best pictures I could find online.Here is a picture of the inside of the enclosure. Here is a pic of the drive.

Is there a different enclosure that I should be using? Or can I fix the current situation somehow?
posted by meantime to Computers & Internet (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I cant really tell from the pics but is the HD IDE? and is the caddy IDE? maybe one or the other is SATA.

Although I have worked on laptop HD's that had an adaptor that simply pulled off and it had normal IDE connectors underneath. That might be the case here.
posted by moochoo at 10:39 AM on February 19, 2009

Best answer: There are two possibilities:

First, there are two kinds of connection that you'd be likely to find in a hard drive/enclosure: IDE (older, not used in many/any new systems but may well be used if your dead Thinkpad's not particularly recent), and SATA. If your HD and enclosure don't have the same kind fo connection, you can't use them together.

Second, some laptops use a kind of adapter that slips over the connectors, or they have a tray that the hard drive is screwed into. Is either one possibly the case?
posted by Tomorrowful at 10:41 AM on February 19, 2009

I think tomorrowful nailed both points. Mismatched connectors and an attached tray/sleeve on the actual drive. Both "problems" are very, very common.
posted by Science! at 10:52 AM on February 19, 2009

Response by poster: Awesome. You're both right. Old HDD is IDE, enclosure is SATA. Can I connect them with a cable?

Any ideas why the drive doesn't fit inside the case? It's not only the connectors - its a bit too wide too.

Is there a perfect enclosure for the hard drive?
posted by meantime at 10:55 AM on February 19, 2009

Response by poster: Second issue solved too. Removed the tray and it now fits.

So is there anything I could use to connect the IDE drive to the SATA enclosure? Or do I have to go buy a new IDE enclosure?
posted by meantime at 11:03 AM on February 19, 2009

Buy an IDE enclosure. They're totally different interfaces.
posted by GuyZero at 11:04 AM on February 19, 2009

Yeah, you're SOL on this - you'll have to buy a new enclosure, sorry.
posted by Tomorrowful at 11:12 AM on February 19, 2009

You could buy an IDE to SATA adaptor but then you wouldn't be able to fit the drive inside the enclosure and you'd end up spending more money. Better to just return the SATA enclosure and buy an IDE enclosure.
posted by junesix at 11:13 AM on February 19, 2009

There are dongles/adapters that will convert an IDE drive for a SATA interface, but they're probably too bulky to fit the enclosure.
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 11:14 AM on February 19, 2009

For data recovery, rather than long-term storage or portability, you might be fine with a a bare IDE adapter, or something like this adapter that plugs into a USB port.
posted by holgate at 11:27 AM on February 19, 2009

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