Finding the right enclosure for external drive


Elrich

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I have a G-Tech G-Drive. It has an issue which I've found, looking at iFixit and elsewhere, is common with this product: the USB connector port has come loose and is rattling around inside the case; it's impossible to plug the USB cable into it.

I talked to G-Tech and they said they'd replace it, but because accessing the data is more important to me, and because the replacement could potentially have the same issue down the line, I've decided it'd be better to keep this drive and get a new enclosure for it.

I've pried open the current enclosure. The loose connector port is hidden behind the green circuit board that I don't know how to safely remove, but the drive itself is screwed in and should be easy to take out. (See attached photo)

Problem is, I've never done this and I really don't know how to judge whether an enclosure is a good match for this drive. For example, would these work?

https://www.amazon.com/product-reviews/B01N0L4UWT?tag=60002a5-20

https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817182313&cm_re=rosewill_enclosure-_-17-182-313-_-Product

Rosewill was recommended to me (the 2nd one), but it says "screwless". Does that mean I won't be able to screw the drive into the new enclosure? Is that OK?
 

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Cory Cooper

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Hello,

Be very careful removing the drive from the board/enclosure, as you can easily damage the SATA connector on the drive.

I prefer and use drive enclosures from OWC - External Drive Enclosures for 2.5" Drives. I have the Elite Pro mini, and it is super simple to install the drive and works perfectly. I do know that a lot of the ORICO and Rosewill enclosures are sold, and from what I gather, they would work fine as well.

Hope that helps.

C
 
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Elrich

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Thanks. Does this case have a place to screw the drive into it?
 

Elrich

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Well, I've got my enclosure, but now also a new problem. I realized that none of the screwdrivers in my set will click with the screws holding the drive in the old enclosure. I posted the attached photo on Facebook and was told that I need a star bit screw driver. But I looked into it and found that there are various sizes of star bits, and I don't know which size I need. Trying not to spend a lot of money on this, since I don't anticipate needing it again (hopefully!).

Should also note that I'm in Japan, so I'm at the mercy of what might be available here or who will ship here.
 

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Cory Cooper

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Hello,

Which enclosure did you purchase?

The screws in your photo are actually the screws that hold the cover on the drive itself. No enclosure should require that you remove those, or use them to secure the drive in place. If you remove them, you will void the drive warranty and could introduce dust and other foreign matter that could damage the platters and internals of the drive itself. DO NOT remove them!

Can you upload some other photos of the drive and the sled that it is attached to. We should be able to determine which screws are holding it in place. Actually, it should slide off the drive from the SATA/power connector. If there are any screws to be removed, they will be on the bottom side of the drive/drive sled board.

Disassembly of G-Technology G-Drive Mobile

The screws may be under some form of sticker.

C
 
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Elrich

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I bought an OWC Mercury Elite Pro mini USB3/eSata6G. I'm attaching a photo of it.

I don't really see how the drive could be attached by anything other than those 6 star-bit screws....
2017-09-03-13.26.jpg
2017-09-03-13.27.08.jpg
 

Cory Cooper

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As you can see in your OWC enclosure photo, there are normally 2 to 4 screws that attach to the bottom of the drive to hold it in place...usually they have black rubber grommets around them. The 6 screws you are referencing are definitely not to be removed, as they are part of the had drive case itself.



This is a photo of the bottom of my OWC Mercury Elite Pro mini enclosure and the four screws that hold the drive in place.

Can you add a photo of the bottom side of the G-Tech enclosure, so I can see if there are screws to remove to free the drive.

C
 

Elrich

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2017-09-03-22.26.jpg

It's actually attached to the top, and nope, nothing. (The bottom is what I've removed.)
 

Cory Cooper

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Hmmm...

Then there has to be a way to carefully remove the board/drive assembly. Then you will see the screws I am referring to.

Is that a G-Tech mobile USB? It only has USB 3.0 port, correct?

C
 

Cory Cooper

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You may have to figure a way to pry that silver panel from the black frame like you did previously.

C
 

Elrich

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Oh, sure enough! I hadn't even considered that!

2017-09-03-22.40.jpg



But I'm still not seeing the screws. Also, a little piece popped out, as you can see. Ulp.
 

Cory Cooper

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There aren't any screws in this enclosure. They would be attached at the four arrows.



The piece that came off looks like the USB connector. Now, you just have to figure out a way to get the whole assembly (drive/connector board) out of the black frame. Then you should be able to slide the connector off the drive and be good to go. Careful though, you don't want to put any undue pressure on the connector, as they can be slightly fragile, and if it breaks or cracks, you will have problems in the new enclosure.

C
 

Elrich

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Mission accomplished! It mounted! Now I just have to screw the new enclosure back together. Thanks!!!!!
2017-09-03-22.54.jpg
 

Elrich

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Uh-oh, new problem. When the disk is mounted, a bunch of "mdworker" items show up in Activity Monitor, and my cooling fan goes nuts.
 
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Cory Cooper

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Excellent! Good job.

You'll love that new enclosure. They are made very well. As I mentioned previously, I have several of them, and haven't had a bit of trouble with any.

BTW - that is a really good hard drive model...one of the most reliable 2.5" SATA drives made. I have a total of four of them in two RAID enclosures and they are flawless.

C
 

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