Hard Drive Enclosure Questions

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Nov 29, 2003
My 2007 Dell XPS400 (XP) was working fine 6 weeks ago when I boxed it up in favor of a new Dell XPS8700. Today I tried to boot it without success. The keyboard/mouse would never function, it ran a chkdsk routine that supposedly fixed errors it found but when attempting another boot it beeped a bit and then shut down. I'm not interested in spending any time/money trying to fix it. I will just want to pull the hard drive (which I believe is a SATA WD 250GB) and get a suitable external enclosure so I can access the files I want to save. Is this enough info to point me towards the right one to get from NewEgg? If no, what else do I need? Thanks for any assistance.
The new Dell has both USB 2.0 & 3.0...if one is available that is compatible with both that would be preferred. If not, would rather go with 2.0...transfer speed is not important to me.

Size...I think the old one is SATA 2.5 Again, if there is one compatible with both sizes that would be preferred.
Originally Posted By: mattwithcats
First, what interface will be used?
USB 2.0 or USB 3.0?
FireWire 400 or 800?

Next, what size?
2.5 or 3.5?

Hard drive type SATA or IDE?

Other World Computing has some nice external cases...

NewEgg has cheap ones...
Default is USB 2.0 with a SATA interface...

This is overcomplicating a simple task with absolutely no benefit.

It's a desktop. Buy a 3.5 in enclosure. OP runs a Dell with Windows so obviously a USB 2 or 3, if the price is not an issue get 3.0. They are forward and backwards compatible. For your purposes just get a generic (rosewill or whatever) case that gets decent reviews.

Perhaps get the old hard drive out first. If the cable is thinner than your thumb it's SATA, if it's wider than two fingers it's PATA. Measure it, I really doubt it's a 2.5 in drive. If it were a 2.5 in drive will work in a 3.5 enclosure but the benefit of a 2.5 enclosure is that it won't require a power brick. Still, it would be odd for Dell to put a 2.5 in hard drive in a desktop.

From there it's a minute into the drive and something that size will show right up in Windows. Actually would be handy for an online backup.
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If you want short-term use of the drive then consider a docking station. Try "sata docking bay" search on NewEgg. Or, "usb docking station" on slickdeals.net.
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