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Product review – SATA disk case

August 28, 2014

One aspect of computer security which is often overlooked is what you do with the hard disks in computers which are being scrapped. If you are sending the computer off to an e-waste site and you don't clean off the hard disk you are allowing anybody with access to the computer to see anything that was stored on the disk. As a matter of course I always suggest to people that hard disks should be removed from computers when they're being scrapped, but what can you do with the disks afterwards?

I recently scrapped three laptop computers. One of them was a laptop which had been around for about five years and which suffered a terminal failure when some clumsy person spilled beer into the keyboard just before I was about to give a presentation in a hotel dining room. The second one was a small netbook computer which had decided that it was going to stop working randomly and there didn't appear to be any way to fix it. The third one was another notebook that someone kindly gave me replace the one that wasn't working but which had a completely non-standard power input socket and did not come with a power supply to charge the thing. The machines are being taken to the local council tip which has an e-waste collection facility, but before they go I've taken the hard disks out following my own advice.

I'm left with three 2.5" SATA drives of varying capacities. There is nothing wrong with any of the disks and it would seem to be a waste to simply smash them up and throw them away. A search on eBay found someone selling aluminium hard disk enclosures for these drives, so I bought three of them for the very reasonable price of $9.85 each, inserted the drives and now I have three external hard disks which can be connected to a computer at USB 3 speed.

The one labelled iTunes plugs into my laptop computer and uses the same drive letter as the iTunes library on my main machine. This allows me to synchronise iTunes between the main office computer and the laptop so that everything including the appearance of the iTunes screen is the same in both machines. One of the other drives plugs into my television set-top box and gives me additional capacity for recording television programs. The third one is just used as an ordinary external hard disk when needed.

So for less than $30 I have acquired three USB 3 external hard drives and the only other thing it cost me was about five minutes to install the drives and format them.

If you are getting rid of computers I thoroughly recommend using these cases so that you can reuse the drives. I bought them from an Australian company called Happybuy and you can find them by a search on eBay.

Disclaimer: I don't get any commission for referring you to the supplier, but my experience has been that the product is good and the service is great. And the price is right.

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