DIY HD kit gives old laptop drives new life

New kits from Other World Computing include a hard-drive upgrade for laptops and an external drive enclosure for the old drives to boost your machine to past 1TB.

Two great tastes that taste great together! OWC

Replacing hard drives in laptops isn't new, and neither is converting old drives into external backup drives. Yours Truly did both those things about a month ago, taking my MacBook's stock 80GB drive, replacing it with a 250GB drive, and then taking the old drive and adding it to a bus-powered 2.5-inch enclosure to make a portable 80GB HD I can take anywhere.

Other World Computing has new kits that combine both a new drive and an external enclosure, as well as all the tools you'll need to do the upgrade and build the external.

What's great is the kits don't just include HDD upgrades; OWC also gives the option of upgrading to a high-performance SSD drive. For those with an older MacBook (or, indeed, any 2.5-inch SATA-equipped laptop) who are looking for a speed boost, $275 gives you a 120GB SSD, an enclosure for your stock hard drive, the appropriate mini screwdrivers, a USB cable, and a stylish, sophisticated (we're assuming) sleeve.

But that's not the only option; indeed the SSD kits go all the way up to 240GB (for $570), and the standard HDD kits top out with a 5,200rpm 1TB drive ($154), or a faster 7,200rpm 750GB drive ($130), any of which would make a 2-year-old laptop last a little longer.

Those are all good prices for a kit, but I'd like to know this: Why didn't anyone think of this sooner (that we know of)?

About the author

    With more than 15 years experience testing hardware (and being obsessed with it), Crave freelance writer Matt Hickey can tell the good gadgets from the great. He also has a keen eye for future technology trends. Matt has blogged for publications including TechCrunch, CrunchGear, and most recently, Gizmodo. Matt is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not an employee of CBS Interactive. E-mail Matt.

     

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