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Best Gaming Hard Drives – 2021

Written by September 3, 2020

Having back up troubles? External storage devices are the best solution for your ideal back up needs. Whether you’re a small business or an individual with all this digital breakout of films, movies, apps, and games, external storage has become more crucial than ever before.

Apart from the high demand for external storage devices, the prices have also fallen sharply due to high competition in the storage market. Manufacturers have been forced to develop generic ways of “packaging” not so good hard drives into a better, and quite expensive storage appliances.

In simple terms, an external hard drive is just an enclosure with many electronics glued in together and an internal hard drive stuck to it.

On the other hand of the spectrum, a lot of detailed models boost networking features and automated backup as well as redundancy functions.

There are a lot of external hard drives out there, and this means the supply is up to the demand. However, all drives get stuck. It’s not unusual to buy a better one every other time to either use it as a backup or replacing the old ones.

Often, some questions need to be answered before deciding to hard a new hard drive to your other collections. What drive is best for my needs? What storage device is worth my bargain?

Shopping for hard drives doesn’t always have to give you a headache. You have enough space to try and error, so don’t be overwhelmed! If you follow the guidelines below, you’ll not need to be worried about making the wrong choice or buying a lousy storage device.

Best Performance

Samsung 860 PRO

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Best Overall

Samsung 970 Evo (SSD)

Samsung 970 Evo (SSD)

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Read Review

Best Budget

FireCuda Gaming Drive

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Read Review

Samsung 970 Evo (SSD)

Samsung 970 Evo (SSD)

Best Overall

“This drive’s speed is the same as that of a solid-state drive and the latency is the same as a PCLe; this can give you the best experience for your money and highly reduce the time it takes your drive to load.”

Excellent warranty

It can make you break the bank

Best quality on the market

You need a modern setup for this SSD

Extremely fast

970 EVO is the fastest available.

It has Proprietary Thermal Guards (PTR) that reduce performance loss and lowers overheating risk

Enough storage space to be used as the primary hard drive replacement

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This drive’s speed is the same as that of a solid-state drive and the latency is the same as a PCLe; this can give you the best experience for your money and highly reduce the time it takes your drive to load.


  • It comes in 4 capacities (250 megabytes, 500 megabytes, 1TB, 2TB)
  • Its technology is the fasted comparing to most models
  • PCIe M.2 2280
  • (SMS) Samsung Software for quick and easy hard disk drive cloning.
  • Up to 3500MB/s read speeds
  • Five years limited warranty

Samsung has always been the mother of hard disk drives. This 970 EVO beats the previously ruling master, 860 PRO. Because this drive has excellent software, fasted speed, and meets the needs of every avid gamer’s dream. It’s the fasted customer level SSD. You can’t understand how switching to 970 will change loading time while playing games or editing videos by just reading unless you try it yourself.

3500MB/s is an insane speed. You will not notice a significant difference with 860 EVO until you strain your PC. Try to multi-task it with photography work or any other heavy work. This drive can run normally under the most massive loads.

Another thing is its warranty. Solid-state drives are durable, but their space is limited. Eventually, your drive’s writing space will run out. Remember that few problems can cause your solid-state drive to stop working. And you need some assurance that your SSD will serve for quite some time. With the five year warranty, you’re given a reasonable time to prove that your drive will work without any problems. It’s no doubt that you might not require the warranty at all because the persistence of 970 EVO can be astonishing. This EVO is definitely designed for outstanding heavy loads, without overheating

Apart from the price, 970 EVO can be the best investment for your buck, and it comes with a storage space of 2 TB. Meaning avid gamers can now purchase the SSD and do away with their traditional hard disk drive. Even though this 970 EVO can make you break the bank, be assured that you’re going to get the best quality and speed. As much as an SSD is more functional these days than ever, unique looks and appealing, LED lighting is rare. However, 970 EVO still looks sassy in a black layout with a simple orange burnt writing, but the case lacks RGB lighting.

Lastly, Samsung gives free trials and a version of its developed solid-state Drive Software Samsung. Although using specialized software might be random, Samsung delivers SSD updates and make the challenging part of upgrading drives much more manageable. Moving your Operating system to another hard drive is a problem, but with the software, a few button presses can make you start cloning your aged hard disk drive.

Samsung 860 PRO

Best Performance

“In case you’re lack M2 slots, you need a cheaper option, 860 PRO assures the best performance compared to a hard disk drive.”

Powerful speed

Slower than NMVe models

Best quality for your purchase

It’s a bit expensive

Free software for hard drive cloning

4800 TBW guaranteed or a five-year warranty.

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In case you’re lack M2 slots, you need a cheaper option, 860 PRO assures the best performance compared to a hard disk drive. And, it can fit all standards motherboards.


  • SATA III (6Gbs)
  • Small 2.5 inch form factor
  • 5-Year limited warranty
  • Five sizes (250 gigabytes, 500 gigabytes, one terabyte, two terabytes, and 4terabytes)
  • Read/Write speeds, 560MB/s /530MB/s in the order given
  • Compatibility with OSX, Windows 7, Windows XP, Windows 10, Windows 8, and Vista

The Samsung series has gone over and beyond with SSD technology. It offers several old SSD as well. Trying to avoid M.2 format can make them cramped to SATA speed. However, they are enough for any regular gamer. The latest king of Samsung solid-state drive is this 860 PRO.

Although these models rotate around old technology, SATA still is incredible. You will see the change the moment you restart your operating system of playing games that need a lot of space, such as GTA. A regular solid-state drives buffs the speeds of all the things that your PC wants to do quickly. With 560MB/s, this SSD is quick. Loading games is better with 860 PRO and windows ten restarts in under 10 seconds. With this hard drive, you can load up the steam, boot your PC, and then boot up the CS: GO in just the same time a regular person takes to boot-up. 860 PRO is reliable, fast, and it can generally improve your life as an avid game.

The durability of this drive is something to pay attention to also. 860 PRO can serve you for a long time if you maintain it well, and it comes with a guarantee of 4800 TBW or a five-year warranty. You know your investment is not at stake when you’re guaranteed the product for a long time!

What does a 4800 TBW mean? This is the amount of space for reading/writing. You can install games worth 25 gigabytes worth data.

Like other Samsung hard drives comes with a Proprietary Software. This is necessary if you need to clone the operating system and move windows into a new PC. Samsung software also aids in monitoring the solid-state drive’s health and easy updates. It’s a powerful software that dramatically helps your SSD to run at the highest speed. It’s generally the best available SSDs in the market.

Sandisk Ultra SSD

Most Portable

“Sandisk is most famous for its portable memory. For SD drives, flash disks, and other types of data storage, Sandisk leads the industry.”

Like other solid-state drives, it’s it an incredible upgrade over HDDs

It’s a bit expensive compared to a traditional HDD

It comes in different sizes, so you have the option of replacing your primary hard drive.

With this price, some consumers prefer an NVMe

It comes with nCache technology, which is even faster compared to other SDDs.

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If Samsung brands don’t excite you, Sandisk offers a competitive solid-state drive that has the same performance and price quote.


  • Several sizes (250 gigabytes, 500 gigabytes, one terabyte, two terabytes)
  • 560MB/s and 530MB/s reading speed and writing speeds respectively
  • Shock-resistant about 1500 G per 0.5 microseconds
  • 2.0 Technology nCache

Sandisk is most famous for its portable memory. For SD drives, flash disks, and other types of data storage, Sandisk leads the industry. Given that SSD works the same way as the flash disk, Sandisk was developed to provide high-quality, durable, solid-state drive technology. The Ultra Sandisks compete with the 860 Pro models from Samsung.

You can get this solid-state drive in four sizes; hence, it can be used for merely upgrading your essential files and the operating system. It doesn’t use M.2, so it’s limited to equal speeds as SATA. However, the rate increases intensively compared to an old HDD. Surprisingly, GTA V reduces almost a minute of loading speed with Ultra 3D.

Like most SSD, the Ultra 3D can fit into a small frame. You don’t need to dwell on finding a place to keep it. You only need to ensure that the cover has a space for your SDD or buy an external case where you can keep it safe.

About durability, this drive is actually shock resistant. This is crucial more, so if you want to use it on your laptop or you haven’t secured your solid-state drive well. Some people set up a solid-state drive in case that doesn’t have brackets; shock resistance prevents it from causing a problem.

Sandisk also has proprietary software that they call nCache, which helps to buffer information much faster compared to traditional solid-state drives. This gives Ultra 3D a preference than most other SDD developers. It also ensures that it’s going to be the fastest solid-state drive you can find without having to change an NVMe format. Generally, Ultra 3D makes a better selection for faster loading speed and data storage.

FireCuda Gaming Drive

Best Budget

“If you don’t have spare money for separating your hard disk drive and solid-state, feel free to try the SSHD developed by Seagate.”

They are faster compared to traditional hard disk drives.

You can’t move them while in use.

They are very cheap compared to traditional HDD

With a 3.5-inches size, it’s hard to use it with a console without having an external drive bank.

They have 5x speed increase, thus makes screens loading pass faster

Improves windows restart speed up to 30%

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If you don’t have spare money for separating your hard disk drive and solid-state, feel free to try the SSHD developed by Seagate.


  • 8 gigabyte SSD portion
  • 64MB cache
  • 3.5-inches form factor
  • 5 Year warranty
  • SATA 6
  • 8GB SSD portion
  • 64MB cache
  • Five-Year warranty
  • SATA 6
  • Up to 5x faster compared to 7200-rpm desktop drive.

Seagate makes another brand that manufactures quality hard disk drives and many other storage devices. They developed FireCuda to cater to avid gamers who might not be having enough to spend. It has an 8 gigabytes NAND memory part. This hard drive operates up to 5x faster compared to traditional hard disk drives, but it doesn’t spare space to trade that.

During information transfer, loading speed is highly increased; thus, you spend a reduced amount of time waiting to maneuver your best games — the thing that makes it stand out, the storage space that it comes with. Apart from operating faster compared to 7200rpm drive, it holds up to 25 gigabytes memory worth of games. SSD is more expensive for a lesser amount of storage space; hence, SSHDs are the best option.

You can connect them to a console as the main drive, but you’ll need a unique dock with the same design and size as 3.5-inch. The problem with SSHDs and hard disk drives are, they break down quickly if you always move them while they are in use. For the sake of solving the console, traditional SSDs tend to be faster, but you won’t compare with additional space, which makes Xbox load faster.



Great Performance

“It has an excellent performance with a bit lesser form factor.”

They are very tiny; thus, you can easily stack them in a case.

The small size that fits the case easily might mean that you have to purchase a unique exact fit SSHD mounting brackets

Extremely fast

They are only available in one size

Decent warranty

Can fit in a MacBook/laptop and supposedly Ps4

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It has an excellent performance with a bit lesser form factor. The WD solid-state hybrid drive is the best combo HDD/SSD in one drive.


  • Solid-state hybrid drive
  • SATA 6
  • One terabyte model
  • 16MB cache
  • 2.5-inches form factor
  • Two-Year warranty
  • SATA 6
  • Lightweight and slim design for perfect case fit
  • 16MB cache, 8 gigabyte NAND memory

This hard drive model has pushed SSHDs’ design a bit further. Regardless of the less footprint, it provides importance to a solid-state hybrid drive at this tiny size. The small size is the best because it fits a laptop, MacBook, and even the PS4. In terms of performance and speed, this drive can meet your expectations.

That’s a noticeable improvement compared to what people have on their machines at home. Assume restarting in just seconds instead of minutes, editing videos faster than average, loading photos in a blink of an eye.

Most people love hybrid hard drives because they’re big enough to serve as a primary disk drive. They also have another advantage of being cheap per GB. The performance additional you’ll get compared to a traditional hard disk drive is also insane. This hard drive will take care of all your storage problems, run fast, and it’s affordable.

Above that, their size is tiny enough to allow many of them into the rig and try a solid-state hybrid drive RAID configuration. However, the size can make you question their durability. But if you’re comfortable dealing with the tiny size, you can win yourself an incredible SSHD.

WD Blue 1 Terabyte

WD Blue 1 Terabyte

Best for File Preservation

“If you’re that person who is fond of deleting data to create room for other files, just stop right there and get yourself one of these drives.”

You can upgrade from 500GB to 6TB

Slower compared to a solid-state drive.

It has a software called Intellisek that helps to reduce the super loud HDD

More susceptible to failure compared to SSD

Unique technology to prevent damage

It has a data LifeGuard that lets you monitor your drive’s health

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Western Digital could be the way out if you want to buy hard disk drive, you want a large hard drive to store all your files and make use of either an NVMe or Solid-state drive for your operating system and your gaming files.


  • Different sizes (500 gigabytes, one terabyte, two terabytes. Three terabytes, four terabytes, six terabyte
  • 64MB cache
  • Two-Year warranty
  • SATA 6
  • NoTouch Ramp loading technology
  • 7,200rpm
  • Intelliseek, a software that reduces noise and power use
  • It comes in many sizes (500GB, 1TB, 2TB, 3TB, 4TB, 6TB)

Western Digital has always been famous for its traditional hard disk drives and among the companies that supply hard disk drives in the world. WD Blue model is sassy. The top specifications of this drive are the 7200rpm, a large cache just as you like, and a number of sizes. The WD blue model hasn’t changed as much in many years because the type of technology still rocks even without having to change any form factors.

Western Digital takes care of its consumers through different unique strategies like developing software that can be used to reduce noise and monitoring the lifespan of your hard disk drive. Intelliseek is an excellent software because it may cut down the noise whirring that most hard disk drives are best known for; additionally, it can also lower power usage. NoTouch Ramp Loading Technology (NTRLT) is somehow complicated, but it’s helpful, especially preventing your hard disk drive from breaking down with small hits and bumps.

With a 2-year warranty, this WD blue comes in standard size with a 3.5-inches. Authentic HDD may start to show signs of failure after like five years or so. The 36 months warranty is long enough to ensure that your device is operating decently. With this price, you might want to consider going for a two terabyte because traditional hard drives are the cheapest that your buck can buy and assures a long-term storage space for an affordable price. If you’re that person who is fond of deleting data to create room for other files, just stop right there and get yourself one of these drives. You might want to use WD Blue alongside an SSD to make substantial performance improvements.

Solid State Drive vs. Hard Disk Drive

You finally decided to buy an external storage device, but first, you need to consider whether you want an SSD or a hard disk drive state. As much as SSDs play the same role as the traditional HDDs (hard disk drives), they have some ups and downs.

Solid-state drives use flash memory, unlike the traditional hard disk drives, which have spinning metals in them. You can think of an SSD as SD card or USB drive

How significant is the difference?

  • Solid-state drives read/write information much faster.
  • SSDs conserves energy by drawing less power, hence, extending your PC’s battery life.
  • Solid-state drives have a longer life span, and they don’t make noise because they don’t have moving parts.
  • SSDs are quite expensive per Gb. This means that they have lesser data storage capacities compared to their counterparts’ hard disk drives at any price tag.

In case you’re on a budget, and you want a lot of storage space, a traditional hard disk drive is recommended. And, if you also want to purchase a hard drive exclusively for long-term storage needs and data backups a conventional hard disk drive is more suitable.

If you’re going to use your solid-state drive to store frequently accessed programs and files or run an OS, then you should consider buying an SSD. Also, if you’re shopping for performance and speed, then, a solid-state drive is more suitable than a traditional hard disk drive.

Hard Disk Drive Size and Interface.

You finally decided on a traditional hard disk drive and a solid-state drive, the next thing to do is choose form factor. Luckily you only have two choices, and your current state determines the right one.

External storage devices are available in 2 form factors — for example, a drive with 2.5inches and one with 3.5inches.

Traditional hard disk drives store their data in spinning disks. This means you need more disks for more storage space. Due to this reason, computer HDDs have 2.5-inches and total storage space of 5TB.

Solid-state drives, as the name suggests, they lack moving parts. Hence, they are made tiny compared to HDDs. Most SSDs have a 2.5-inches form factor. In the worst-case scenario, you want to fix a solid-state drive into a 3.5-inches enclosure. You can get the adapter that will allow you to turn your 2.5-inches drives to 3.5-inches drives.

For the connection, many modern internal hard drives, speaking of both SSDs and HDDs, use serial advanced technology attachment (SATA) connectors. Traditional hard drive disks that were produced before the regular use SATA operate with an integrated development environment (IDE) connectors. However, external storage devices are usually connected to your pc through a universal serial bus (USB) port in spite of being an SSDs or HDDs.

Performance and Specification Of The Hard Drive

Here is what you should consider in modern hard drives:

  • Storage capacity: It is not surprising that the amount of storage you need is determined by the type of solution you will choose. In general, hard disk devices have the right combination of storage space and price. A 1TB external drive may cost as little as $122 or less. If you were to go for DVDs, you would need more than 200 of them or more than 1500 CDs to fit the space of these drives. The idea is to buy a hard disk drive with twice space as your current needs, to accommodate for any future needs. Especially if you consider the fact that upgrading external storage devices is not easy, like when you want to improve your pc.
  • Transfer speed: Several factors are determining how a standard consumer-grade Hard disk drive performs. However, RPMs (revolution per minute) is the most important one. If you need to transfer your data faster to the device, you need a higher RPM.

Just ignore the SATA speed of your drive. For example, modern drives are listed as 3.0 GB and 7200 RPM. The first value represents SATA speed. It describes the total theoretical velocity that connects SATA. There is no hard disk drive that can transfer that amount of data at the same rate. But, 7200RPM drives are usually faster than their 5400RPM counterparts.

  • Cache space: If your hard disk drive wants to transfer files from one drive to the other, it usually utilizes a cache or buffer. This is a special place of an inserted memory.

Larger the cache, the faster the data it can transfer because a lot of info is stored at the same time. Modern hard disk drives have a cache size range between 8MB and 256 megabytes.

  • Access times: Ancient hard disk drives have other several factors that influence performance, like the time it may take the reader to read and write information to the hard drive.

Much as it could be true that two various 7200 RPM may perform differently because of their re-positioning speed, there is no set standard used to compare times. Additionally, most hard disks perform at the same levels nowadays days. Thus, you don’t need to focus on this specific detail.

For the solid-state drives, you’ll need to consider a sustained read/write speeds (called sequential read/write speeds too). And if the rate is within the range of SATA connector’s total speed, of which most of them are, you’ll be good to go.

Most modern solid-state drives tend to stay longer with an average rate of failure being 2.0 million hrs compared to modern hard disk drives, which have an average speed of 1.5M hrs. However, if you want a long-term solution for data storage that is going to be connected for several months or even years, you need HDDs because they stay longer compared to a solid-state drive.

Cost and Price Of The Drives

Just as when shopping for anything, you’ll come across several hard disk drive price ranges for drives that have the same physical appearance. This leaves you at a crossroads to decide what features and factors are not essential or close to what you need.

Alternatively, you can evaluate the value of a drive by dividing its storage space to the price to get the cost per Gb.

For example, take WD Black HDD models.

WD Black model is a 1TB HDD, which is generally an excellent bargain for every consumer costing $0.07 per gigabyte. And if you double the storage space of this WD Black HDD 2TB Internal, it will cost less twice at $0.05 per GB. Again if you Increase it, with WD Black 4TB HDD, it will make it even cheaper, costing $0.04 per gigabyte. This continues for a WD Black 6TB hard disk drive, costing $0.03 per gigabyte.

Which one between them gives the best market value? This 6TB model. The price per Gb of the rest of the models decreases with an increase in storage space. However, other several hard drives don’t change their prices with an increase in storage capacity. And, you need to be more careful because some hard drives are more expensive per Gb at high storage capacities.

Take, for example, Samsung 860 EVO 250GB solid-state drive is cheaper, and the same Samsung of 500GB gives twice space for twice the price, if you go higher to 1TB, you will have the best bargain for your money. However, Samsung 860 EVO solid-state drive goes for a lot more than two times the 1TB’s price.

Internal Drives and External Drives

The last thing to think about is where your drive can be housed. Are you going to use on a laptop body/desktop case? Or will you use it to connect to several devices?

External hard disk drives are the best when it comes to backups, transfers, and storage. They connect with 3.1, 3.0, or 2.0 USB, with the respective 60MB/s, 626MB/s, and 1250MB/s maximum transfer speed. A 3.1 USB is usually recommended. However, it’s not necessary unless you want to transfer data backup worth hours to and fro every other day.

External storage drives are easily portable. You can easily share them around with several computers. Plug your USB from one device and plug it somewhere, and you’re good to go. They can connect them to media centers or TVs also for direct playback.

In any other circumstances, internal hard disk drives are recommendable.

Note: All data storage devices can be either used externally or internally. External hard disk drives are basically internal drives that are put in an exceptional protective casing. Let’s say you purchase an external hard disk drive, and you want to use it as an internal drive, you just take it outside from the case, and you’re good to go.

How to Select External Hard Disk Drives

For the long-term data storage mainly used external hard disk drives, go for a big hard disk drive such as the cheaper WD 4TB hard disk drive. If you use this, you won’t be anxious about your storage space running out running soon.

If you value data security, you might need to consider going for Transcend 2TB Storejet M3 hard disk drive or something similar. This drive comes with an ant-shocker rubber case, military shock, a built-in 256bit Advanced Encryption Standard, and an internal system that persists drops.

Gaming Disk Drives: Xbox, PC, PlayStation

The kind of hard disk drive you buy can highly determine your game performance. That is why solid-state disks are always recommended for gaming. Same as for Xbox, PlayStation, PCs, or any other gaming console.

Give that solid-state drives speed is higher than the rate of hard disk drives, games in SSDs will launch and load faster between stages, level, and maps. Honestly, the variation between the two, if you’re gaming, is like water and oil. You’ll never regret getting a solid-state drive.

When shopping for drives, you must focus on the specifications of the storage device:

  • For Personal Computers: With PC’s all hard drive can work given that you’re aware of your hard disk drive’s form factor bays in the case and connection type of your motherboard. Also, it’s likely to be a 2.5-inches for laptops and a 3.5-inches for desktops and usually SATA connections.
  • Xbox 360: Authentic Xbox 360 uses 2.5-inches hard disk drives set in a customized protective casing. If you want to replace or upgrade, you will have to purchase one of the overpriced Microsoft replacements. You can use third-party hard drives to apply Xbox adaptable firmware.
  • Xbox 360 E and S: The hard disk drives that are used for Xbox 360 E and S gaming console are not compatible with the authentic Xbox 360; the opposite applies too. The 4GB hard drive’s internal memory can’t be replaced or removed. The 250GB has room for expansion up to 500 gigabytes by buying one of the overpriced Microsoft replacements.
  • Xbox One: Xbox One only supports an external hard disk drive through 3.0 USB, this means you’re allowed to use any solid-state drive. Unluckily there is no possible way you can change the internal hard drive.

Xbox One X: Xbox One X supports external hard drive through 3.0 USB, also with the smallest size, 256 gigabytes. Unluckily, there is no way out of replacing the internal hard drive. If you do so, your warrant may not be eligible anymore.

PlayStation 3: Any of the PlayStation 3 series contains 2.5-inches SATA drives, which can be upgraded or replaced by the users without a struggle.

PlayStation 4: Any PlayStation 4 series of PlayStation 4, including both pro and slim, contain 2.5-inches SATA drives, which can be upgraded and replaced by users easily. They too, back the external hard disk drives through 3.0 USB

Mac’s External and Internal Hard Disk DrivesIf you’re using a MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, iMac, or Mac Mini, then you have several factors to consider before finally purchasing a hard disk drive.

Internal Hard Disk Drives For Mac

An essential element is that you can upgrade the Mac internal hard disk drive, and it usually a hassle-free do it yourself project. You need to open your storage device apart so that you can get the internal hard drive, then with care, replace it. Finally, you need to place everything together. This replacement takes about an hour. This might also cancel your warrant or any other AppleCare insurance that you may have.

Any MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, iMac, and Mac Mini models use a 2.5-inches internal form factor apart from the 27-inches iMacs that use a 3.5-inches internal form factor. Lucky enough, some adapters can translate a 3.5-inches to 2.5-inches.

Things get gloomier as long as PCle, NVMe, AHCI, and SATA are concerned. Like, iMac 21.5-inches 2017 models have only a PCle slot if initially the storage device was fixed with fusion drives. You can’t tell which connections might be available in any of your devices; otherwise, you have to search it up particularly.

Mac’s External Hard Disk Drives

With external hard drives, you get a lot of connection options. These drives are listed in the order of decreasing data transfer rates: Thunderbolt 3 (known as USB Type-c also), Thunderbolt 2, USB 3.1, USB 3.0, and USB 2.0. 3.0 USB is usually recommended because it’s the lowest that you should go.

Mac accessories use Apple’s specialized file systems. Thus external hard disk drives are likely to get formatted in both APFS (Apple’s File System) and Mac OS Extended (HFS+) for the highest performance.

NOTE: Most of the devices that don’t operate with Apple can’t read APFS or HFS+ drives! You can find a way to read HFS in windows devices. However, with APFS is not possible to read them because they are very new that the compatibility is highly limited. FAT32 is the format that only smoothly works in both Windows and Mac. However, it’s old, and it has a lot of negatives.

How Much Space Do I Need?

The amount of storage needed differs significantly from user to user, because some users do more than just gaming with a particular hard drive. For example, video editing, streaming, art, photography, and more other media-related hobbies occupy a large amount of storage space, so expect to demand more. A regular user who doesn’t do any gaming or streaming just necessary office files hardly use one terabyte. An avid gamer, on the other hand, who moves from two AAA games, Fortnite, CS: GO, Dota, and overwatch, might need much more space. Also, those people that install mods or other massive items over games.

What Is The Difference Between TB, MB, and GB?

Computers store data in small units that are called bits, which add up to bytes. One thousand bytes make a kilobyte, 1000 kilobyte make a megabyte, and so on. In general, 1Tb is roughly 1000 gigabytes, which worth a lot of data.

How Can you Recover Data If you Accidentally Formatted Your Drive?

The common reason for data loss in most PC’s hard drive is accidental formatting. This is a regular mistake because if your Windows do not appropriately recognize the drive, a pop up will show to notify you that your hard drive has to be formatted before you can use it.

This can also happen if you’re upgrading to a new OS. If you’re using windows and lost your data accidentally, the information below will show you how to recover data from a formatted drive.

What You Should Know Before Recovery?

New hard drives use a file system to logically organize and control how data is read/written to the storage device. It acts as the directory for folder and file names that informs you PC where the files are located on your drive.

When you format your drive, this system is re-written, meaning names on the file are not linked to the actual content on your drive anymore. All the storage in your drive is regarded as free available space.

But, there is good news; your files are not lost in this process. By using Data Rescue Windows software, scan the whole drive to find file patterns, and restore them if they have not been overwritten.

Before you start your data recovery process, you should first minimize your drive or PC usage because simple activities like gaming, audio/video streaming, web browsing can temporarily save files to your PC.

Download, Install and Activate Data Rescue Windows

There are various ways the software can be applied, depending on the type of drive you are using.

  • If, by accident, you formatted the window’s external drive. You can download and install the DRS to your PC like any other application, and then scan the external hard drive with the software.
  • If you reformatted your internal hard drive and reinstalled Windows, like described above, you can download and install the DRS. However, you will have to set a storage location temporarily where the DRS can use to scan the files and prevent them from being overwritten.

Scan A Formatted Drive With A DRS

After installing your DRS, you will be given a few options to choose from. To start your recovery process,

  • Opt for “Start Recovering Files”
  • Select the name of the drive that you accidentally formatted from the source list.
  • After selecting the file, enter the “Next” button to continue.
  • Choose your scan type. You need a deep scan for a reformatted hard drive.
  • After confirmation, press “start” to begin the scan.

Note: scanning might take up to eight hours per 1TB, as long as the hard drive is not damaged.

Preview Scanned Results For A Formatted Hard Drive

The recovered files look slightly different on your screen, and it depends on the files that were stored there previously before the device was accidentally formatted.

In the case of a reformatted device, you have to search in the RFF (reconstructed file folder).

How Long Can a Hard Drive Last?

What is the lifespan of my drive? It’s no doubt that this question runs through your mind every time you’re about to make a purchase. Whether you’re business or an individual, you need a reliable drive to keep your valuable data. Most people don’t realize that their hard drive might fail with time. You must agree with me that with a long enough timeline, the durability of everything drops to zero.

Eventually, your hard drive will fail, but the question is, how long does it take until that time comes?

How long the hard drive will last depends on several factors, such as the size, type, environment, and brand. A lot of trusted companies that develop reliable hardware will have hard drives that stay longer. However, if you write/read more data on your hard drive, it will wear out fast.

Hard drives are at high risk when you keep them in a dirt environment. It’s vital to stay keen on dust and electrical issues.

Typically you can depend on your hard disk for over three years. Backblaze, the online backup company, surveyed the failure rates of their running hard drives. They concluded that 90% of the hard disks stay for three years, and the other 80% for four years. But this statistic varied across brands Blackblaze’s study.

To avoid early break downs, buy hard drives from companies that offer a 12 to 36 months warranties. The more extended the warranty, the effective the hard drive. However, enterprise-grade hard disks come with a five-year warranty or more.

Life Span Of a Solid State Drive vs. Hard Disk Drives

The two most common types of drives have varying life expectations. HDDs write codes physically on the drives’ hard disk platter. Hard disk drives have mini moving parts inside; hence they are easily affected materially. HDD s are mostly found on laptops and desktop computers. There are high chances that they fail fast than SSDs because of their delicate moving parts.

SSDs apply flash technology to store data. Unlike hard disk drives, solid-state drives are more reliable and more expensive.

What are the Signs Of a Hard Drive Failure?

There are several clear signs that your drive could be failing. You should be more concerned if your PC starts to slow down or freezes frequently, or gives a warning for bad sectors or corrupted data. Improper shutdowns and malware viruses can damage your drives too.

If you want to diagnose, try to run your PC in a safe mode. The software automates your drive security by examining the physical or logical problems. It can repair consistency errors and directory issues. There is a new feature in the malware protection, which goes through your old files and new downloads to find the malware.

How Can You Breath a New Life Into a spoiled Hard Disk Drive?

If you have been part of the digital era over the last decade or more, it’s evident that you have been through enough frustrations with hard drives. Have you wondered what you can do with aged hard disk drives that may still be working? Try any of the following ideas and see if they can work for you.

The ideas are applicable despite the kind of hard drive you are using. You could be using an IDE or SATA hard drives; it might be a 3.5 hard drive from a desktop or an old 2.5 HDD from a laptop. It might also be an external storage device that has never been into a computer. In case you’re not aware, investigate what you’re using, then think if you need any adapters to repair your old drives.

Install a RAID System

There is a rumor that desktop PC’s are coming to an end soon. However, if you’re still using one, you should consider installing a RAID (Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks) system. There are about three different RAID setups. A spare hard drive is best used to extract your data from a different device. For example, software RAID or RAID 1. The only thing you would need is the same drive size as the drive you are going to extract your data from.

Play With A New OS

Ever thought of setting up a dual boot? For example, installing two different operating systems side by side on the same computer? That is techie, and it sounds exhausting. It could be too complicated, maybe, if you are trying a new operating system without taking risks or for fun. If you have an unused hard drive, you can experiment with it and avoid risking the hard drive that you’re currently using.

There are mainly two options here, if your desktop pc has a free slot, you can fix your unused hard disk drive and set up your new operating system on it. i.e., you can install a dual boot Ubuntu and Windows. The least attractive choice is to unplug the hard drive that you’re currently using and attach the available hard disk drive temporarily in its place. All the same, you can set up an operating system that you prefer on the unused disk drive, enjoy it, if the project doesn’t go as planned, or if it feels tiring, remove the spare drive and plug the original hard disk drive back.

Just so you know, it is feasible to dual boot two different operating systems into a single hard disk drive. You only have to make a separate division on your one hard disk where you’re going to put your other operating system.

Create An External Hard Disk Drive With Benefits

Always remember that the older the hard drives get, the faster they can fail or break down. And for that reason, you should never store any valuable data on an old drive. However, for the information that is not important to you, you can dumb it into a spare drive for the assurance. If you further want to lower the risk of losing valuable data, you can keep the two backups separately, likely the more dependable of the two.

Create a System Image

Rather than storing your back up data on a spare drive, you can develop a system image or knock off your system hard disk drive. If anything could happen to your set up, you can change the spare hard disk and go on as if everything is okay, while you restore or repair the failed installation.

Make It Your Media Center

That extra hard disk drive with enough space for your video or music collection could be your own small media center. You have to get a compatible TV or a screen, and you might need to format your hard disk drive in FAT32, even though it’s massive for FAT32 so that the TV can recognize it.

How Can You Repair Your Best Dead HDD To Restore Data?

When you realize that your hard drive is breaking down, it’s normal to feel like life is crashing before your eyes, all you can think about is the thousands of photos that you didn’t back up. If you’re determined to recover them, you can actually do that by following the guide below.

External HDD? Check Your Cables and the Enclosure

When you’re your external storage device fails, it does so for the same reasons as when your internal drive fails. Most of the time, the drive doesn’t fail, but the connection with the enclosure! In such circumstances, the drive can be restored quickly.

Before opening any hardware, make sure to discharge the static electricity from your body. Get the hard disk drive out of its casing and use a power connector and a SATA/IDE data cable to set up the drive internally on your PC (desktop). On the other hand, you can get a SATA/IDE to a new USB enclosure or a USB adapter, so that you can connect the hard drive up externally through a USB.

After re-connecting your external hard drive to your PC, if the enclosure was the problem, windows will recognize the same and assign a hard drive letter. The hard drive is supposed to show up under File Explorer. You can check on Disk drives also.

If the hard drive didn’t pop up anywhere, try to find the drive manually to narrow down the issues further.

Internal HDD? Check Cable Connections

Sometimes, the hard drives don’t fail, but the outside cable connection to the hard drive with your PC’s motherboard. You can hope this is your only challenge! So, before you decide to hire an expert to take a look at your device, ensure the power cables and data are securely connected on both ends.

If you want to stop health problems, it’s crucial to turn off your PC and disconnect the power cord. Also, discharge static electricity of your body; as mentioned above, for example, you need to stay grounded before starting to work on your PC’s internals. Then unlock the protective case and confirm that all the connections are okay. Once you’re sure that the connections are subtle, restart your PCs again. Is you’re using a desktop, you can let the case stay unlocked but clear of its internal.

What If Your Hard Drive Makes Sound?

Listen to the sound your hard drive is making, when you want to get it running. Is it still spinning? Or completely dead? How does it sound exactly? If you have any functional hard drives, compare the sounds, and diagnose the kind of damage.

The damage could be either external or internal. For example, if your hard drive has a clicking sound, it means that the head might be malfunctioning, which is internal damage. On the contrary, a hard drive that is entirely dead can be caused by a faulty PCB (printed circuit board), which is external damage.

What if Windows Don’t Recognize Your HDD?

Other times, you might hear the sound of your spinning hard drive, but it doesn’t show up. Or it might be dead. To figure out the type of damage, take the time to check manually if or not your PC can recognize the hard drive.

You can carry this out through a BIOS if it’s the main HDD, and your PC doesn’t restart anymore. After turning your PC on, press a trigger key to enter the BIOS, which can be Esc, F10, F2, or Del; it depends on the manufacturer.

With the BIOS, you can navigate through the menus available to find out where it states which kind of hard drives are connected to your PC. This information can be found under the advanced menu, or you can find it under boot settings indirectly. If you did join the hard drive to a different PC, it’s not necessary to find a BIOS. In windows, press windows + R, which will start the Run input window.

Type cmd in the space and press enter. Which will lead to an immediate command opening. Then type diskpart and press enter to unlock the respective tool. Type list volume in the diskpart window and press enter to show all the hard drives connected to your PC. If your drive appeared under disport, it means that your windows recognized them. But if it didn’t pop up as an accessible hard drive, there are chances that windows know only PCBs. However, the drive itself might be damaged. Similarly, if the hard drive is recognizable in any form or shape, the PCB is likely working and replacing, but it won’t fix the hard drive.

How Can You Tell If The PCB Is Broken?

Relatively the printed circuit board is easy to replace. However, it’s highly discouraged to swap out the PCB by yourself. It might not be as effortless as getting a matching model.

Unless you’re using a traditional hard drive, the hard drive and the PCB will use a special microcode to restart; you can damage your data permanently.

Backup Strategy Advice

If you, fortunately, succeeded with one of the methods above, keep in mind that the fix is temporary! Be ready. Know all the data that you want to backup and how to do it. Have the most reliable software to copy your data quickly, and store on the available space if there is any.

If you decide to copy files manually, keep in mind that you can only copy one set of data at ago. If you start transferring too many files, you will generally slow the process down and increasing the possibility of a fatal head crash.

Should You Consult A Specialist For Data Recovery?

If you can’t risk waiting for a miracle, or you can afford using the help of a specialist, do consult one. Remember to use a well-known company. They need to work with a technician specialist and the right tools to open your HDD in a clean area or under dust-free environments. Follow the company standards, get solid credentials, and have excellent recommendations too.

Revive Your Drive?

Finding the problem in a hard drive and fixing it is a serious matter. Be concerned. But try to see some of the simple-to-fix individuals before you spend hundreds of dollars on a specialist. The more you’re aware, the better. The efforts you put in finding out the problem on your hard drive and fixing it depends on how crucial the data is.

If you’re lucky enough and managed to repair your hard drive and restored all of your data, don’t trust this HDD again. Get a new hard drive or a trusted drive to store all your recovered data to avoid going through the recovery process for the second time.


Hard drives have been in existence for a very long time, and they are here stay for the foreseeable future. But, with the advancement in technology they may one day become obsolete. Fortunately for the time being, they still deliver paramount performance and convenience. Therefore we suggest you make good use of them while you still can.

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