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DIY Hard Drive Upgrade Kit

320GB Seagate drive, Mercury On-The-Go Drive Enclosure, Newer Technology USB 2.0 Universal Drive Adapter By Heath McKnight

If your notebook is getting a little long in the tooth, or you've filled the hard drive with too much stuff, maybe it's time for an upgrade to a new, faster drive with more capacity. After installing the 320GB Seagate Momentus 7200 RPM drive in my MacBook, I am happy to report a significant difference in the speed. Plus, I was able to use Other World Computing's Mercury On-The-Go Drive enclosure with my old MacBook's hard drive, so now I have a great portable USB drive. The best part about all of this? You can get it from Other World Computing, one of the best DIY computer upgrade stores on the web. I also take a look at the Newer Technology USB 2.0 Universal Drive Adapter and 11-Piece Portable Toolkit.

320GB Seagate Momentus 7200 RPM Hard Drive
Installing the Seagate Momentus drive in my 13" MacBook was much easier than I thought it would be. Follow David Nagel's step-by-step instructional to install a new drive into a MacBook here. After I installed the drive, which took less than 10 minutes, start-to-finish, I formatted the drive with OS X 10.5 Leopard, then installed the operating system.

Now, I had the opportunity to use Apple's Time Machine, but I decided I didn't want to fully restore my system to the way it was before. You see, there are too many software updates, caches, etc., bogging down my system, so I decided to just transfer my music, movies, pictures and documents that I'd backed up. I wanted to start fresh. However, you can use any number of software solutions to back up, including Apple's Time Machine (found only on Leopard 10.5), Carbon Copy Cloner, or the included software that comes with the drive: Prosoft's Data Backup, NovaStore's NovaBackup, or Intech's Hard Disk Speedtools.

The Seagate Momentus is fantastic. The 7200 RPM speed is what I need for the work I do, which is mostly writing and editing in Final Cut Pro. Sure, more RAM always makes the difference, but a fast drive does, too. (No, I don't put my video clips on the start-up drive; that would fry the system.) And let's not forget about the 320GB capacity; I can install the full version of Final Cut Studio 2 without worrying that I'll run out of space. I can also load up as many pictures taken with my Nikon D60 (Nikon D60 and Nikkor 55-200mm VR Lens), or move my entire music library over.


Pick one up for only $109.99 at

Mercury On-The-Go Drive Enclosure
Once I pulled out my old Mac hard drive, I had to decide what I wanted to do with it. Fortunately, the Mercury On-The-Go drive enclosure was ready for work. It was easy to drop the old hard drive in, and in no time at all I had a nifty little USB 2.0 portable hard drive. I can carry this little guy around and use it to transfer large files from home to work, to friends' computers, etc. And it's bus powered via the connecting cable, so no plug is needed, but there is a port for an AC adapter.

Mercury On-The-Go Drive Enclosure

You can also purchase drive enclosures that include USB 2.0 and eSATA, or FireWire 800/400 and USB 2.0. A very cool, and affordable way to continue the life of your former hard drive, be it Windows or Mac. For my old drive, I wiped it and installed OS 10.5 Leopard drivers and the new portable drive is ready to go. The price is an affordable $27.95 at

Newer Technology USB 2.0 Universal Drive Adapter
Dubbed "the Swiss Army Knife of drive connectivity," this is basically a portable hard drive kit without the enclosure. Before I put my old drive into the Mercury drive enclosure, I hooked it up to the Newer Technology USB 2.0 Universal Drive Adapter. Again, it was a simple process, and I was able to use my old hard drive without a problem. Plus, it's durable, so you can use this instead of a drive enclosure.

Newer Technology USB 2.0 Universal Drive Adapter

It costs only $29.99 and is an affordable solution for using your old hard drives as externals. Get it at

Newer Technology 11-Piece Portable Toolkit
I used the Newer Technology 11-Piece Portable Toolkit to install the hard drive, and put my old hard drive into the Mercury On-The-Go drive enclosure. It comes with an assortment of Torx, flat head and Phillips screwdrivers, along with pry tools, a scissor clamp, and tweezers. Pretty much everything you need to do basic computer upgrades. It's only $17.95 at

Newer Technology 11-Piece Portable Toolkit

As I said earlier, Other World Computing is one of the top places for DIY computer upgrades, Mac or Windows. They also sell the ModBook, which is a MacBook or MacBook Pro set up as a tablet PC. Find out more at

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Heath McKnight is a filmmaker and author who has produced and directed several independent feature and short films, including Hellevator, 9:04 AM and December. He is currently web content manager for doddleNEWS. Heath was also a contributor to VASST's best-selling book, "The FullHD," and has written for TopTenREVIEWS and Videomaker.

Related Keywords:storage, hard drive upgrade, hard drive enclosure

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