Hard Drive USB Adaptor – Alternative to Costly External Drives and Enclosures

Back in the day, when I didn’t have a job, I had to cut corners when purchasing computer equipment. You wouldn’t believe the number of eBay auctions in which I participated just to get a single stick of 128 MB SD RAM! But, there was one thing that I desperately wanted more than anything – portable storage.

No, I’m not talking about those puny, error-prone, and data-sparse floppy disks. I’m also not referring to CD Burners either. Those take too much time to write one file! I’m talking about flash drives and external hard disk drives! But alas, thumb drives were not even invented yet and an external hard drive would cost twice as much as its equivalent internal counterpart! I barely had enough money for the internal drive itself! What is a cash-striped, jobless, high school student supposed to do? Buy an expensive hard drive enclosure? When I got older and acquired more money, I found the perfect answer, EIDE disk drive adapters.


Why did I not find these when I was younger? I do not know. Drive adapters are nifty little devices that are like hard drive enclosures without the enclosure. You directly connect the disk drive’s EIDE pins to an EIDE-to-USB adapter and then connect the adapter to any typical USB port on the computer. Then, connect the four-pin power connector to an AC/DC adapter. Set the setting pins to “master” (not “cable select” or “slave”), press on, and you’re in business! Drivers are not even required if you have a newer operating system like Mac OS X or even Windows ME/XP! Most of the time, this even works with optical devices like CD/DVD Burners as well!

Where to Buy
USB 2.0 to IDE Cable Adapter (for 2.5-Inch and 3.5-Inch IDE)“So where do you find these obscure hard drive adapters?” you say. I bought mine for $20 at the PCMicroStore. It works really well. It even includes additional support for 2.5″ notebook disk drives. You can also find more of these products after doing a simple search on Froogle or eBay. This USB 2.0 to IDE Cable Adapter (for 2.5-Inch and 3.5-Inch IDE) from Amazon looks good as well.

Just one word of caution, most of the makers of these adapters claim no responsibility to the potential damage of your disk drives.

Another word of caution, I don’t think these adapters work with old hard drives. My 8 GB clunker turned on but my USB adapter could not recognize it.

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6 Responses to “Hard Drive USB Adaptor – Alternative to Costly External Drives and Enclosures”

  1. Chris V. Says:

    You can get these really cheap. $8.99 at geeks.com
    Or one with a SATA port as well as IDE for $16 or so. I have this one and it works great, though I haven’t tried it yet with a truly ancient hard drive.

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