Collecting things is in human nature, and in the digital age, we mainly collect data. For a long time, hard drive storage capacities have grown too slowly to keep pace with user demands. We have now reached a turning point. With the help of plenty of free cloud storage and streaming services, it looks like local storage needs are peaking and will eventually level off. It’s not that we collect less, but the way we collect data seems to be undergoing a major revolution.

If you’ve been an active participant in the digital age for the past decade or more, chances are you’ve gone through your fair share of hard drives. Are you wondering what to do with old hard drives? what else works? Let’s see if any of the following ideas work for you.


This article is valid regardless of the type of hard drive you have. You may have SATA or IDE. hard drive, maybe it’s a 3.5″ desktop drive or an old 2.5″ laptop hard drive. It could also be an external hard drive that never lived inside the computer. If you don’t already know, find out what you have and then see if you need any adapters to do what I suggest.

restore old hard drive

These tips may come in handy when installing a SATA hard drive. or to install an IDE hard drive along the way.

Install a RAID system

Rumor has it that the desktop PC is dying out. But if you’re still using one, consider setting up a RAID system. RAID means R edundant. Lots of low-cost computers and you should click on the link to find out what it really means. There are at least three different RAID settings. It’s best to use a spare hard drive to mirror data from another drive (aka software RAID or RAID 1). Thus, you will need a disk that is the same size as the disk (or amount of data) you want to mirror.

reuse old hard drive

Unfortunately, we haven’t yet written a guide on how to set up RAID on your home computer, but HowToGeek has a post on how to set up software RAID 1 on Windows 7, you’ll find an article on setting up RAID on your computer on PCWorld, and, Finally, below is a video on how to set up software RAID 1 (mirrored) in Windows 7.

Play with the new operating system

Always wanted to dual boot , i.e. installing two operating systems side by side on the same computer? It’s disgusting and sounds complicated; maybe too hard if you just want to try a new operating system for fun and without any risk. If you have a spare hard drive, you can experiment and avoid all risks.

You have two options. If you have a free slot on your desktop PC, you can plug in your spare hard drive. If you do not have enough space for and install a new operating system on it; for example, you can also dual boot Ubuntu alongside Windows 7. A much less attractive option is to disconnect the current system hard drive and temporarily install a spare hard drive in its place. Either way, you can install the operating system of your choice on a spare drive, play around with it, and if the project fails or you get bored, remove the test drive and reattach the original hard drive.

reuse old hard drive

You can also dual boot two operating systems. By the way, on one hard drive. You just need to create a separate section about the second operating system on your hard drive.

Create an external hard drive with benefits

You can get an enclosure that will turn your spare internal hard drive into an external USB hard drive. Enclosures are available for IDE and SATA connectors, as well as 2.5″ and 3.5″ hard drives. If you have a spare external drive, you can do a lot with it…

Store backup

Keep in mind that hard drives are more likely to fail and fail with age. Therefore, you should never store anything important on an old hard drive. However, you can simply dump a third copy of your important data onto a spare drive just to be sure. To further reduce the risk of losing important data, you can keep one of the two backups in a separate location, ideally the more secure of the two.

reuse old hard drive

To learn more about data security, check out our Guide to Data Security.

Create a system image

Instead of using a backup drive to back up your data, you can create a system image or clone your system hard drive. If something has happened to your installation, you can replace the spare hard drive and continue as if nothing happened while you restore or repair the failed installation.

Turn it into a media center

A spare hard drive with enough space for your music or video collection can become your own small media center. . You will need a compatible TV or display, and you may need to format your hard drive to FAT32. format format even if it’s actually too big for FAT32 so that the TV can recognize it.

A real fan will build a media center using Raspberry Pi . If this sounds like a strange fruit, you may need an introduction to the Raspberry Pi. and think what Raspberry Pi can do first. And then everything is ready.

restore old hard drive


The spare hard drive can be used for many interesting and practical projects. If you don’t see the benefit, enjoyment, or purpose, make sure you completely wipe your data completely wipe completely wipe before donating the old hard drive to someone who can use it. You can’t miss your potential.

Do you have any other ideas on what can be done to reuse an old hard drive?

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