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Thursday, May 23, 2024

Hard Drive Enclosures and How to Choose One

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What is a hard drive cage and how is it used? A hard drive cage (sometimes also known as a hard drive cage or hard drive cage) is simply an external cage that includes a hard drive and turns it into an external device that can then be connected to your PC via USB, Firewire or eSATA.

There are many external hard drive solutions

On the market from companies like Maxtor, Freecom, and Lacie, but these solutions include the hard drive and the enclosure. Great if you just want to buy something out of the box, but if you have a hard drive that you have salvaged from an old PC, then it is significantly cheaper to buy an enclosure and use the hard drive you have to create your own solution. There is nothing intimidating about using a hard drive caddy, think of it as a tray that you insert the hard drive into (secured with a couple of screws) and with external connections that allow you to connect the enclosure to your PC Caddie MAC. They are easy to use, great for recovering data from old hard drives, and great for recycling old hard drives. There are a few options to consider when considering a hard drive enclosure:

1. Hard drive size (physical,

not storage capacity): Hard drives come in two basic sizes depending on whether they are designed for use in a laptop or a desktop (tower) computer. A laptop hard drive is described as 2.5 “, while a desktop PC drive is 3.5”.

2. Interface:

Most new hard drives are now SATA (Serial-ATA) drives, but if you are looking to use a hard drive recovered from an old PC, it will probably have an IDE interface (also described as ATA or PATA). The IDE interface is quite easy to distinguish as it has 2 rows of 22 pins along the connection interface. A SATA drive will have simple, plastic-looking connectors

3. Connection type:

USB and Firewire connections are the most common ways to connect a hard drive enclosure to your PC or Mac. Some newer enclosures also have eSATA as an option. Your choice of connection will often depend on the computer / devices you want to use your hard drive with and if you are unsure whether you can buy cases with multiple interface options, but keep in mind that these will cost more than say a case It only connects via USB.

4. Number of bays

– One and two bay cabinets are available. A dual-bay enclosure can support two HDDs and some support RAID, so both hard drives can be configured to appear as a single drive or support virtual backup options on both hard drives. With any hard drive, whatever the protocol, you also need to consider exactly what you are going to use it for and these four attributes.

Mac Mini User Guide

First steps


Your box contains

a Mac mini

a power adapter

a power cord

an Apple Remote

a DVI to VGA adapter

Basic characteristics

On the front of your Mac mini is a slot-loading optical drive. The built-in infrared (IR) receiver is located to the right of the slot and the power indicator light is in the lower right corner.

On the back of the Mac mini, it has two rows of functions. Along the top row, from left to right, are

The power button

a security slot for cable and padlock

one optical digital audio input / audio input port

one optical digital audio out / headphone out port

Along the bottom row, from left to right, are

a power port

one Ethernet port (10/100 / 1000Base-T)

a FireWire 400 port

one DVI video output port

four USB 2.0 ports

AirPort Extreme wireless technology and Bluetooth® wireless technology are inside your Mac mini.

Power adapter

Remove the plastic film from your Mac mini and the power adapter. Place your Mac mini on a firm surface right side up or on its side and near an electrical outlet. Your monitor, keyboard, and mouse should also be close at hand.

Connect the power cord to the power adapter

Place the plug on the end of the power adapter cable into the Mac mini’s power port

Plug the power cord into the outlet.

Please note: never put anything on your Mac mini. Objects on your Mac mini can interrupt the optical drive, the AirPort Extreme wireless signal, and the Bluetooth® wireless signal.

Peripheral Configuration

Your Mac mini is BYODKM – bring your own screen, keyboard, and mouse. Use the ones you already have (almost all are suitable).

Keyboard and mouse

Connect your keyboard to a USB port on the back of the Mac mini. Connect your mouse to a USB port on the keyboard or Mac mini.

Windows-based keyboards may not have Mac OS X-specific command and option keys. However, the Windows logo key is equivalent to the Mac OS X Command key, and the Alt key is equivalent to the Mac OS X Option key.

To modify the keyboard

click Apple> System Preferences

Click on Keyboard and Mouse

choose modifier keys

follow the instructions on the screen

Please note: When using a USB keyboard and mouse made by a company other than Apple, you may need software drivers. If you don’t already have them, visit the manufacturer’s website and download them.

Apple Wireless Keyboard and Mighty Mouse

If you have an Apple Wireless Keyboard and a Wireless Mighty Mouse, follow the setup procedures in the corresponding manuals.


Use the DVI video out port on your Mac mini to connect a monitor. If you have a VGA monitor, connect it to your Mac mini with the supplied DVI to VGA adapter.

Keep in mind; Your Mac mini supports digital resolutions up to 1920 x 1200 pixels. This means you can connect a 20-inch Apple Cinema Display or a 23-inch Apple Cinema HD screen.

Internet or network

Connect your Mac mini to the Internet or a network wirelessly or using a cable.

Wireless Your Mac mini has AirPort Extreme wireless technology built in. For more details, go to the menu bar; select Help> Mac Help, and click Library> AirPort Help.

Cable. Simply connect one end of an Ethernet cable to your Mac mini and the other end to a cable modem, DSL modem, or network.

Turning on

Power button

To start your Mac mini, press the power button located on the back.

Setup Wizard

When you use your Mac mini for the first time, the Setup Assistant appears. This allows you to set your

user account

Internet access

email details

If you already own a Mac, you can use the Setup Assistant to transfer software and files to your Mac mini. If you prefer to wait before transferring information, use Migration Assistant at a later date.

Select the Applications folder

Open utilities

Double click Migration Assistant.


To change the desktop layout, the first screen that appears when you are done with the Setup Wizard, go to the menu bar and select Apple> System Preferences. For more details on what you can do to customize your Mac mini, select Mac Help and search for “System Preferences.”

Sleep mode and shutdown

Sleep mode

If you intend to be away from your Mac mini for a short time, you can put it to sleep instead of shutting it down.


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