Window Secrets | April 22, 2015
Network-attached drives for here and there
NewerTech Media Coverage
Transform a drive from internal to external
If you're like me, you remove and retain hard drives before sending obsolete computers to the technology graveyards. There's the security aspect, but those old drives also often have files and archived music tracks that I might want to access someday.
The best way to access those retired drives is with an external drive adapter. I recently looked at the $28 NewerTech Universal Drive Adapter (info). Sure, there are hundreds of these adapters for sale, but this model supports USB 3.0, which should give faster transfer speeds. NewerTech claims transfer rates of up to 300 megabytes per second and support for drives of up to 4TB.
The device (shown in Figure 3) has ports for almost any drive, whether IDE/ATA or SATA. An AC power adapter is also included.
Figure 3. NewerTech's Universal Drive Adapter supports USB 3.0 for faster data transfers.
Powering up a bare (formerly internal) drive is exceptionally easy — no tools needed, no extra cables to lose. Simply match up the correct port on the adapter to the drive, connect the power adapter to the drive, and plug the USB cable into your PC or Mac. An LED connection/activity light confirms that the drive is properly connected. If the drive is fully functional (not always the case with old drives), it'll immediately show up in Windows Explorer.
With its various communication and power cables, the Universal Drive Adapter isn't as neat on the desktop as a drive docking station. But it's certainly less expensive. It's one of those computing essentials that will keep your old drives humming.
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