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Swapping many 2.5 Inch Hard Disks with a Simple USB Sata Converter Cable

This must be an old man problem because I think most people this day and age won’t have this issue.

I am just not sure whether you guys and gals have so much things to store locally nowadays.

I remember during my time, I have seen:

  1. 5 and 1/4 inch diskette
  2. 3.5 inch diskette
  3. magnetic hard disk
  4. IOMEGA disk
  5. mini disc
  6. CF card, SD card, memory stick and their variants
  7. CD and then DVD
  8. LD
  9. Cassette Tape
  10. Video Tape

And perhaps this generation, they do not have much things to store. In this age, we use storage as a service. So there are not much use cases to store backup or large amount of data.

We rely on syncing service such as Google Drive, Dropbox or

For the entertainment there are Netflix, Spotify such that you do not need to download so much entertainment.

For some reason, I do still have some data to store. Not a lot but you got to back up some stuff in case Dropbox’s decentralized storage farm burns down.

That should not happen.

How I accidentally formatted a Working Partition

Dropbox have saved me in the past.

There was once when I had a brain fart, and accidentally format a used partition. (This is why I hate making a computer dual boot into two OS).

In fact, in my life, I have a lot of these brain farts, such as running straight into a wall thinking I was short enough to go below it (and ending up with stitches, causing my future army colleague to sign extras for it)

Thankfully, most of the stuff that I need to work on are stored in Dropbox.

So to regain back to a working state,

  1. Reinstall the Windows operating system
  2. Reinstall Dropbox
  3. Re-syncing takes place

These storage solutions such as this is helpful

  1. To sync a few device so that you are working on a shared copy
  2. As a form of backup to a server
  3. Usually allow you to restore a previous version of the same file
  4. Access the files from many location
  5. Prevent you from losing your data when your whole office gets burned down

These data sync solutions are not good if

  1. Your PC get some ransom ware, encrypting my whole hard disk, unless you pay them some ransom
  2. Particular segment of the local hard disk to be corrupted. The we end up syncing corrupted files (in truth you may be able to recover a previous version with a sync solution. But how many files are corrupted? You would take a long time to search through them)
  3. Privacy. You do not wish for others to see your data (despite what their privacy policy says)

The old fashion man believes that a once per quarter backup of these data would be good

  1. Identify what are the data you cannot lose. Identify which are the folders
  2. Every quarter either manually copy them over or use a folder syncing application that is available for free out there (there are a few) and sync them to a portable hard disk

For some reasons, I have slowly accumulate a few of these 2.5 inch hard disks. These are the hard disk used in laptops and also most portfolio hard disk.

I like them better than the desktop 3.5 inch hard disk because those 3.5 inch are bulk, and they require another external power source.

These 2.5 inch

  1. Are persistent
  2. Portable

USB 3.0 to Sata Adapter Converter Cable

For most people, they would need to find a portable hard disk case for each of these hard disk.

My problem with those portable hard disk enclosure casing is that, in order for me to connect 4 to 5 hard disk to the computer temporarily, I need to buy 4 to 5 casing.

And the circuit or the cable to those cheaper casing is so flimsy.

Even those hard disk casings that come with portable hard disk tend to get into trouble quite fast.

My solution is to purchase a USB to Sata Adapter Converter Cable

The hard disk it self is rather sturdy, unless you subject it to water. So this cable can be short or long, you just connect to the one you need to use, and it will work.

Get it from AliExpress

The nice thing about AliExpress, which is a Expensive Custom Shop by Alibaba is that the payments are very seamless.

You can use a Singapore credit card and payment will go through seamlessly.

The shipping takes some time, so normally it is not so good if you need something immediately.

I treat it as a surprise for the day when I received it at home.

And for items that are small, AliExpress tends to be good because:

  1. There are a lot of small stuff that you don’t know you need but for some situation you realize you need them
  2. They tend to be slightly cheaper if you buy them in Singapore

So I got this for around SG$4 bucks including shipping. And it worked better than a lot of the casing I bought in Singapore because they stopped working a lot!

This is the one that I went for.

Like I said, probably an old man’s need, younger folks might have a better suggestion.

Do let me know.

I will probably share some of my little cheap purchases here once in a while.

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Mr Robert Hodge

Thursday 11th of July 2019

Hi Kyith, I too am a dinosaur both in age and competing. I too have managed to fall asleep at the computer and then managed to format a partition or even worse a whole head. This cable is a great idea, it is exactly what I thought I had ordered once only to find on arrival that I had bought a "eSata to Sata" cable. I only possess one very old laptop with an eSata port. However, as I also have many sata 2.5" hdd's I will be getting one of these. Regards Robert.


Thursday 11th of July 2019

Hi Robert! Glad this is helpful for you. Not the usual kind of content but think it will be helpful for you


Tuesday 9th of July 2019

I've been using SSDs since they were 30/60Gb in size, I maintain a home network with multiple PCs and also upgraded my laptops to SSD, I find them reliable enough and going through 20+ SSD, i have never had a catastrophic failure which resulted in loss of data.

on the other hand, mechanical HDDs, i have those with the 'click of death' sound... resulting in boot failure, but luckily still got time to plug into enclosure and take the data out before it failed completely.

currently, I still have several 128gb sata SSDs that are working fine. Some I just keep as long term data backup, not plugged into anything (put into camera dry cabinet), some I plug into transparent plastic usb enclosure. This type of enclosure is cheap, transparent can see what ssd plugged in, and no screws, just slide in and out in case need to swap ssds.

My concern is with the current M2.NVME SSDs that run super hot compared to M2.SATA SSD. Wonder if their failure rate will be higher because of the heat.


Tuesday 9th of July 2019

Hi Lim, i didn't keep up with the times but didnt realize today's SSD is different than in the past. You have a lot of SSD! how come there is a need of so many! The best upgrade for laptop is really an SSD hard disk


Tuesday 9th of July 2019


- I have moved entirely to SSD drives as one by one the mechanical drives died. My first SSD failed after a couple of months and was replaced under guarantee. Since then seven years of constant use and no more fails.

Other options which I use are

- a 128 GByte USB 3 very fast USB memory stick for a back-up.

- store "mission critical" data on the mobile phone.

- have a clone of my operating system on a fast USB stick. If the OS drive fails (or becomes infected), I can still boot from a USB port.

As you remark, we are IT dinosaurs with PC's.....


Tuesday 9th of July 2019

wow how fast is that usb stick!


Tuesday 9th of July 2019

Haha! So do I! Relics from a more civilized age.

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