Reuse of SATA Drives in New Containers

A buddy of mine donated a couple external drives to St. John’s a couple years ago. They are USB devices, and I’ve been using them as portable backup devices. A couple months ago, both stopped working. As is the usual practice, in each case I did something else to get the data moved as I was in a hurry.

These were Western Digital model 3107 (120GB) and 3207 (160GB) devices.

I eventually brought the drives home, and decided to take a look at them and see if I could get them working. I was surprised when I opened them up – they were SATA drives! And they were *both* remanufactured. An outfit called Ontrack Data Recovery Services had opened them up and then rebuilt them. My buddy said they were bought new by his dad, who never bought anything that wasn’t first class. So I doubt they were marked as reconditioned or rebuilt or anything like that.

So I am kind of surprised by this. The reconditioned drives are both Western Digital also; usually a good brand, but like all mechanical devices they are subject to failure. The USB-to-SATA interfaces from each container work fine, and so like all interfaces they are potentially very useful, and so they go into the tool kit I carry around (I’ve done a couple SATA-to-SATA clones, and they are bitching fast compared to IDE).

And if I ever buy an external backup drive, I’m going to open the darn thing up right there in the store and check it out.

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