Tools of the trade…. External USB drive adapter



This is the first of a few articles that will highlight some of the tools/gadgets/gizmos that I find useful. I’m starting off with one that’s almost essential. External USB hard drive adapter. Recently, I’ve been looking for something a bit leaner than your typical usb -> hard drive converter. Yes, I’ve carried something like this for large (3.5″) hard drives to appointments. The idea is if you need to transfer data from an old pc to a new one, put the old drive in an external adapter and copy away.


In some cases copying over a network connection is also possible, but not always so these are almost essential. Now the only problem with the external enclosure is the fact that it’s an enclosure. Not too long ago I started thinking it would be nice to cannibalize an enclosure and shrink up the electronics in heat-shrink tubing of some sort so I just had usb cable->hard drive without a box. (Every enclosure I have has a hard drive plugged and screwed into it already.) Also, along the line I’ve got a little notebook hard drive adapter with slick little case and now I’ve got a notebook drive to leave in it (and screw up tight…) So, I started looking for what I hoped to find….

There are a couple of good options. I also found this laptop to ide adapter, but from what I can see, this is the closest to what I imagined. Power supply to molex connector, usb to ide 40 pin plug. Also, a laptop-ide adapter so that 1 device should be able to deal with any laptop drive/desktop drive that’s ide compatible. (SATA or SCSI are other stories.)

Now… if I were recommending an enclosure for the casual user… I’d probably suggest… something like this (nice aluminum black enclosure, slick/durable to carry back and forth and about the size of a smaller hard cover book. Very nice.) (Check specs for the size of drive supported though.)

The really nice thing about most current usb-external hard drive adapters I’ve found is that they are fairly standard as an external usb-storage device. What this means is that Windows 2000/XP recent Mac and Linux recognize them “automagically” with no driver install necessary. For what I do, that makes life much easier.

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