How to Switch to a new drive enclosure
1 Follow a video guide
Use Google to find a teardown video for your hard drive model on the web, and have it playing on your iPad or Mac within sight of your external drive as you work through the process. Start following it to remove the first piece of the enclosure. Be firm, but gentle.
2 Pop- up tabs
Most drive enclosures aren’t conveniently held together by screws; instead you’ll need to ‘pop’ plastic tabs using a combination of skill, force and luck – using plastic tools like guitar picks helps to minimise the damage you can cause while doing this.
3 Identify and remove disk
Make a note of the disk’s markers: its size (3.5 inches in this example) and the interface (SATA in most cases), if you don’t already know these details. Then lever the disk out of the chassis and remove any additional housing that the maker may have used to hold it in place.
4 Fit to new enclosure
Once you’ve got a bare disk, you can fit it into its new enclosure. This should be a much easier job. In some cases, you simply slide the disk into the enclosure’s bay and click it into place – no screws required – then seal the enclosure, sometimes just by closing a door.
5 Fit a portable enclosure
2.5-inch disk enclosures are less sophisticated. Unscrew the main housing to pull out a small circuit board. Slot the disk into this, then screw it in place before sliding the whole thing back into the main chassis and securing it in place.
6 Attach to Mac
Now comes the moment of truth. Connect your new drive enclosure to a spare port – USB, FireWire or Thunderbolt, as appropriate – on your Mac, plug it into mains power (desktop drives only) and wait for the disk to spin up. Hopefully it will appear in Finder soon after.