Can an External SSD Be Used as an Internal?
While an external drive offers many benefits to the user, an internal drive is necessary for the computer to function. In fact, internal drives house the Operating System (OS) as well as pre-installed files. But can an external SSD be used as an internal?
An external SSD can be used as an internal drive, but it requires taking the enclosure apart and connecting it correctly. SSDs are a great choice for both as they are fast, energy-efficient, and easy to use.
This article will detail the benefits of using an internal drive, why use an SSD, and how to use an external SSD internally.
Jess here. I made 6-Figures in IT without needing a degree. If you like my blog, you can support it by checking out my progress to $188k per year in tech. (P.S. Now, I work remotely.)
Benefits of Using an Internal Drive
These internal drives can be found within the computer and house pre-installed applications. Additionally, the OS can be found on the internal drive, which is what allows the device to function properly. Internal SSDs offer many advantages to the user, especially when compared to an external drive.
As the name suggests, an external drive is found outside of the computer and is connected manually. This technology offers many advantages, such as portability and security. However, an internal drive is a necessary part of a computer that allows it to function properly.
Internal Drives Are Always Connected
Although one of the main benefits of an external drive is that it can be disconnected and transported, having a drive always connected is also useful. Having a constant connection ensures that faulty electronic bridges or incompatible cables lose no data. Backing up your computer and updating any software is easier when using an internal drive for storage.
That being said, it’s always recommended to back up your internal drive with an external one. This allows you to keep your data safe if any damage or malfunction to your internal drive. For a well-rated external SSD, I’d recommend the SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD from Amazon.com. The capacity ranges from 250 GB to 2 TB so that the SSD storage can suit various needs (and budgets).
Internal Drives Can Quickly Process Data
Many things influence how fast an internal drive is. As they’re directly connected to the computer’s motherboard, external drives tend to process data faster. If speed is important to you, an SSD as an internal drive is the best choice. They’re significantly faster than Hard Disk Drives (HDDs), especially when used internally to boot up your computer or store your main files. This is because external drives must be connected to the computer with a cord.
Internal Drives Are Less Prone To Damage
When compared to external drives, internal drives may be damaged less or suffer from fewer mishaps. A huge positive of external drives is that they can be plugged and unplugged into a computer for easy transportation and portability. However, this may lead to wear and tear on the cords of the external drive.
Although external drives are often password protected and can be kept on your person, they can also be lost very easily. Internal and external SSDs would be similar in size, but an internal one would be difficult to misplace as it is located within the computer. Additionally, they would suffer from fewer drops and shocks as they are transported less. Although SSDs are known for their durability, it’s best to treat any external drive with care.
How to Speed Up Your Current Internal Drive
Although internal drives are high-speed, there are many ways that you as a user can increase the speed:
Clean Up Your Drive
The user can delete any useless or temporary files to make space for other data. Additionally, remove any duplicates if not needed, as this takes up valuable room on your drive. Not only will this speed up your drive, but it will also allow you to use the space for more important files.
If you find that you’re unable to delete as much data as you’d like, SSDs come in a variety of capacities to suit any user. These capacities can range from 250 GB up to 2 TB, depending on the storage needs.
Be Wary of Viruses and Malware
The user can take preventative measures to avoid this ominous software. However, it can drastically slow down your computer if it does happen, amongst other things. Many types of anti-malware software exist and can vary depending on the needs of the user. If you find that you’re having an issue with malware, I recommend downloading Antimalware from Amazon. It scans your applications and removes any malware that it may detect.
Why an SSD Is a Good Choice for an Internal Drive
For many of the same reasons that they’re popular for use externally, SSDs make a great option to use an internal drive. Some of these reasons include:
- Faster boot times, loading times, and overall performance
- More energy-efficient, which can save desktop users money on their electric bill
- Easy to install and use for those with little to no experience
- Less prone to damage from shock
If you’re interested in learning more about the differences between what makes them a superior option to HDDs, watch this informational video from ALL ABOUT ELECTRONICS:
There are many resources available for those interested in moving from HDD to SSD, including videos, blogs, and books. For those using Windows 10, I’d recommend the book Guide How To Migrate Windows 10 Operating System From HDD to SSD from Amazon.com. It provides a lot of background information required to make the switch and will prove extremely useful for those with limited experience updating their computers.
How To Use an External SSD as an Internal Drive
The main difference between an internal and external SSD is that one is outside the computer, while the other can be found inside. For external drives to work, they need an enclosure for protection and some connection to the computer. To transform an external SSD to be able to use it internally, it’s fairly simple:
- Check that the drive will work and it is compatible with your set-up.
- Take apart the enclosure of the external drive (carefully).
- Install the drive to your device as you would with a normal internal SSD.
Obviously, these steps vary according to the make of the SSD and the computer or laptop. It’s best to research each thoroughly and reach out to the manufacturer or help forums if needed. There are many videos also available that can provide step-by-step instructions and advice.
The user must transfer data to the new internal SSD to boot up properly and function well. Before making any changes to your computer, such as upgrading your internal drive, it’s always best to back it up using an external drive. This can save you from losing important data and files.
For a great video on how to install a new internal SSD, check out this video from Kingston Technology:
An SSD is a great option to store your data, whether it be an internal or an external drive. Internal drives play an integral part in your computer’s successful operation, so they must be reliable and functional. SSDs are fast, durable, and energy-efficient, reasons why they’re gaining popularity as external drives.
It’s possible to use an external SSD as an internal drive, as they are essentially the same, save for an enclosure and connection bridging the drive to the computer. It’s important to research and use all of your resources to take the best approach.
- PC Mag: Internal Drive
- Techopedia: Internal Hard Drive
- Tech Terms: Internal Hard Drive
- Tom’s Hardware: How to Use an External Drive for Internal Storage
- Direct Industry: Choosing the right hard disk drive
- SNIA: Solid State Drive Form Factors
- Tom’s Hardware: How to Buy the Right SSD: A Guide for 2020
- Tech Terms: Operating System
- Crucial: The Benefits of Solid State Drives