Jumper Settings When Using Hard Drive Enclosures

Hard Drive Enclosures are getting increasingly popular, which, given their cost and ease of use is not surprising. Enclosures are a great way to re-use on old or salvaged hard disk drive from a computer and whilst these older hard drives are always as large as the current models (in terms of storage capacity) it’s a real shame not to use them

HDD Jumper Settings

Rear HDD Jumper Settings

By way of example a salvaged 120GB hard disk drive will hold up to 30,000 songs, 150 hours of video, or 25,000 photos and the old work file of course! So even at the rate that people are saving files today that’s still a huge amount of information that the hard drive is capable of storing.

Hard drive enclosures will of course support new hard disks as well as any salvaged hard disks you happen to have lying around at home or work. If you do use an enclosure with a new hard disk then you could install a 1.5TB hard disk into the enclosure and create a very substantial back-up solution

For most people though the real benefit of an enclosure is that it allows the recovery of data from a hard disk taken out of an old PC and it then allows you to use that same hard disk to create a new back-up solution. By doing this you get real cost benefits combined with a sense of satisfaction that you are re-cycling what would otherwise be a scrapped piece of hardware.

If you are using an IDE or ATA Hard Disks with an enclosure then it’s important that you set the jumper settings on the disk to “master” and not cable select or slave. If the jumper setting is incorrectly set then the hard disk will not be recognised when connected to the PC. The default setting when removing a hard disk from a PC is not always master and whilst it seems logical that any disk installed in an external enclosure is set to “salve” but it does need to be set to “master”.

Changing the jumper settings is easy to do and only takes a few seconds. Typically the hard disk manufacturers will have put a label on the top of the hard disk illustrating how you set the jumpers.

Jumpers are just metal pins that have small black plastic sleeves that slot on them.
SATA hard disks have no jumper setting to worry about

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