Sick of backing up all your data on to CD's and DVD's? Not enough dough to buy a portable hard drive? Then this is the perfect solution. You can build your own portable hard drive for about 50% cheaper than you can buy it. And best of all, it is one of the easiest things to do and takes about 5-10 minutes. This tutorial will show you exactly how to. Step 1: Preparation Get a Hard Drive (naturally): I recommend getting a good quality, high capacity 7200RPM IDE hard drive. There is no huge price difference between a low and a high quality drive, and a high capacity hdd will not cost that much more than a low capacity one (unless you're buying a 750gb Seagate raptor). 7200RPM because they are significantly cheaper than 10000rpm ones - and in practice there is no noticeable difference. An IDE drive because once again, there is no noticeable difference between IDE and SATA + the case will be a lot cheaper. IDE also because IDE is compatible with all systems meaning there is no chance that you will need to buy a eSATA port. The cache, should be 8mb, since - once again - there is little (if any) price difference. Something like a Western digital 200gb drive is very good (see:http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16822144129). Also you will need to buy an external case. I recommend an aluminium USB 2.0 one - aluminium due to better heat disapation, and USB2.0 since there is no significant speed difference between USB 2.0 and Firewire + USB 2.0 is a lot cheaper and compatible with all computers. Cases range from $20 to $100 (for a cheapy look on eBay). Naturally you need an IDE case, if your making an IDE drive and SATA for a SATA Drive. Also I recommend one that supports plug and play and hotswap, to make use that bit simpler. Something like the i-rocks IR-9400C is a very nice case for a reasonable price (see: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16817201012). The case will come with all cables etc, so you shouldn’t need to purchase anything else. Make sure you have a good workplace and all the needed tools (probably will only need a screwdriver). Make sure you ground yourself just in case. Step 2: Assembly This is the easiest part. The exact assembly instructions will vary with the manufacturer but you simply need to open the case, insert the drive, connect all cables and close it back up. Make sure you read the user guide though. Step 3: Formatting Ok, plug in your hard drive (make sure the wall socket is on). And your computer should automatically recognize and install it. Please note the following instructions are for Windows XP, I'm not familiar with other OS's and would appreciate someone to post instructions for other OS's. Follow the next steps: 1-Click on Start 2-Right Click on My Computer 3-Click on Manage 4-Click on Computer Management (local) 5-Click on Storage 6-Click on Disk Management This will bring up a block representation of your hard drives, including the new external hard drive. Right click on the Unallocated block on your external hard drive and you will see an option to create a partition on the drive. I recommend that you create a logical partition and not a primary partition on the drive. Once the partition is created, you will need to format this partition before it can be used. This is done simply by clicking format. Your external hard drive is now ready for use. Good luck to everyone who decides to build one. I hope this thread helps some people. Regards, Korrupt Ps: Let me know if anyone has any problems.