How to convert a 3.5 internal floppy drive to external

Updated July 19, 2017

Floppy disks are 3.5-inch removable data storage media. Although most computer owners no longer use floppies with the widespread popularity of more sophisticated storage media such as CDs, DVDs and USB flash drives, you may still need to retrieve old data stored on a floppy disk occasionally. Using a SATA adaptor, you can convert an internal floppy disk drive to an external drive that can be connected to your computer through a USB port.

Open your computer case by unfastening the screws on the back panel and sliding the cover off the case. Make sure you are grounded before touching any of the computer's internal components.

Unplug the floppy disk drive from your computer's motherboard. Verify that the floppy disk drive is indeed a SATA drive before continuing. This is usually characterised by a small black rectangular connector rather than the standard, wide floppy drive connector.

Connect your SATA-to-USB adaptor to the back of the floppy disk drive unit. This converts your unit from an internal floppy drive to a USB drive that can be used externally on any PC with a USB port.

Connect your floppy drive to an open USB port on your computer. Wait for the computer to detect the hard drive as a new removable device.

Things You'll Need

  • SATA-to-USB Adapter
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About the Author

Based in New York City, Chris Caruso has been a contributing writer since 1999. His work has appeared in publications such as "Frank 151," "Rebirth Magazine" and "Pound Magazine." Caruso holds a Bachelor of Commerce from Ryerson University in Toronto.