New Range of USB 3.0 Hard Drive Cases Arrive

May 12th, 2011

It’s been a long wait but the new range of Superspeed USB 3.0 hard drive cases are finally in and they look fantastic! The hard drive cases are all from Hotway who have been our main hard drive enclosure partner for the last 6 years. We only tend to bring in new Hard Drive cases from Hotway becuase the quality is always excellent and the feedback from our customers is good.

The new models on the site now include a Superspeed USB 3.0 4-Bay Raid capable of supporting up to 8 TB!!! – there is also a non-raid USB 3.0 version as well.

We’ve got a number of USB 3.0 2.5″ cases and USB 3.0 3.5″ cases that support HDD’s up to 1TB and 2TB respectively. They come in a range of different colour options and most of all of the 2.5″ versions include a top notch wallet.

In the next few days we’ll be adding a range of upgrade cards and cables to allow you to upgrade your current USB 2.0 PC to USB 3.0 so you can take advantage of the blistering speeds now supported by USB 3.0

For details of our USB 3.0 hard drive cases click here

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USB’s Now from USBNow

January 20th, 2011

The shutters are down, the factories are not quite in darkness and machines have not quite been turned off but new orders for branded USB memory sticks with a delivery date before the start of Chinese New Year are no longer being accepted.

So, from today any new order for branded USB sticks will not be delivered until mid February at best and possibly later because there are always delays when the factories return from a prolonged holiday. It takes the factories and the infrastructure that supports them a few days to get back up to speed and this includes the international courier companies that ship the printed USB memory sticks from the factories to the UK.

So, if you’re looking to place a new order for branded USB sticks and you wanted them in a hurry your only option is to find a UK supplier that holds stock and is able to get them printed and branded for you.

This is not as easy as it might sound because whilst there are lots of companies claiming to be the “No.1 supplier” of

USB Flash Drives in 48Hrs

USB Flash Drives in 48Hrs

flash drives in the UK very few of them actually hold any stock. Even when they do its typically just a few hundred Twister flash drives in black and in one memory size; typically 1GB.

Holding a wide range of blank USB flash drives in different colours and different memory sizes is something most UK suppliers try and avoid because it requires a significant investment and has an impact their cash flow. For others they are simply too small to take this commitment on and unfortunately for their customers this means a long wait.

USB2U and USBNow are one of the few genuine large players in the promotional USB market and custom flash drive sector and they always carries a large stock of blank stock to ensure that its customers are not disappointed. As well as making a significant investment in stock USB2U has a dedicated in-house design team who can turn around mock-up requests and concept ideas in just a few hours. As a result USB2U can deliver printed and customised USB flash drives from initial enquiry in as little as 48hrs. So, if you’re in a hurry for branded USB memory sticks or perhaps you’ve been let down by your regular supplier then give the team at USB2U a call on 0800 008 7079

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USBNow Now Stocking USB 3.0 Products

August 26th, 2010

Finally its here! After much hype and anticipation and around 3 years in development we are now starting to see some excellent USB 3.0 (Superspeed USB) products hit the market. Of course the primary benefit of USB 3.0 is a huge enhancement in data transfer speeds. USB 3.0 speeds are are X 10 times faster than USB 2.0 but you do need your PC or laptop to be USB 3.0 enabled and thats the rub.

At the moment most PC’s are still shipping with USB 2.0 on-board and won’t ship with USB 3.0 as standard until 2011 so

USB 3.0

USB 3.0

if you want to take advatange of USB 3.0 speeds you’ll need to upgrade your exising PC or Mac. If you have expansion slots (PCI slots or an express card slot) you can upgrade to USB 3.0 easily with a USB 3.0 PCI card or a USB 3.0 Express card.

You’ll also need to make sure that any cables you use to connect your USB 3.0 peripherals to your PC or Mac are USB 3.0 rated otherwise the data transfer speeds will drop back to USB 2.0 (assuming this is the rating of the cable you are using)

USB 3.0 products are backwards compatible with USB 2.0 so any purchase of USB 3.0 now is not only an investment in the future but the products will work fine with your existing kit (albeit a little slower)

At USBNow we are now offering USB 3.0 expanision cards (PCI and Express Cards), USB 3.0 Cables and a range of USB 3.0 Hard Drive  Enclosures and Caddys.

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USB To RS-232 (Serial) Adapters Now Back In Stock

May 24th, 2010

One of the most popular products we sell is the humble little USB to RS232 adapter so its somewhat embarrasing when we run out of stock of them. Unfortunately this was the position we found ourself in during the last couple of weeks but after a period of mild panic and frantic organisation we’ve now flown new stocks of them in.

So if you’re looking for a good quality USB to Serial Adatper then our popular VE229 and AUM-100’s are now both back in stock. These 2 cables and adatpers use the highly regarded FTDI chipset rather than the Prolific Chipset and thats

USB to Serial Adapter

USB to 9 Pin Male Serial Adapter

simply because we know they work and they work with pretty much anything and connected to anything. Our early experiences of the Prolific version were not as positive and whilst they might be cheaper it shows and for our Corporate clients reliability and performance was key and thats why we now only stock these two cables.

Both the VE229 and AUM-100 have been sold by us for around 5 years and they work – simple as that! Yes, we know you can buy cheaper versions that might “look” the same but we know to our cost that its the chipset thats all important.

If you have multiple devices that you need to connect to a single USB port then take a couple of minutes to check out our AUM-120, AUM-140 and AUM-180 USB to RS232 cables – these connect to 2, 4 or 8 RS-232 ports at the same time.

Spend over £30 with us and we’ll ship your order for free but if you can’t find a reason to spend £30 then carriage is only a tiny £1.95

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Jetting Off On Holiday – Take Your Pebble With You

May 24th, 2010

If you’re one of the lucky ones and you’re travel plans have not been thrown into chaos by the latest round of British Airways strikes then you might consider taking with you a portable charger for your iPod, your mobile phone, balckberry, PSP etc.

The Veho Pebble gives you up to X 4 full charges from its own batter store so you’ll have plenty of usage without the need to hunt down a charge point. These excellent and incredibly handy bits of kit are relatively inexpensive and are an absolute boon to the traveller.

Veho Pebble

Veho Pebble

Even if you’re not an avid user of technology yourself when you’re away from home for work or pleasure the Veho Pebble is brilliant if you’ve got children travelling with you and you need to keep the Nintedno DS topped up or their PSP going – after all its a small price to pay for your sanity!

The Veho Pebble is available from USBNow with free delivery and at only £39.99 its a bargain!

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Phew It’s Hot – Cool Down With A USB Fan

May 24th, 2010

I don’t know about you but in our office the temperature is rising and rising fast and its about know when you think that maybe it was a good idea to install Air Conditioning when we had the chance! – Hey ho….all a little too late now.

Still an option for us and for our customer is to distribute to the team a little USB fan – these great little products just plug into any spare USB port on your PC and away they go – you don’t need any batteries, you don’t need mains power and you don’t need to add them to the list of things that need PAT testing.  Nope, these cute little USB fans will generate a nice cooling breeze that will certainly help keep you cool and tempers in check. At only £3.45 each they are an absolute steal but if you’re buying them for the office there are packs of 5 USB fans available for only £17.99.

So if you’re feeling a little hot under the collar then either get yourself one of these USB fans or put the web page under the nose of your manager and just point out to them how much happier everyone would be with their own controllable fan!

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Why Use A Hard Drive Caddy

April 6th, 2010

Hard Drive Caddy’s (sometimes also referred to as HDD cases or enclosures) are growing in popularity all the time. Not surprising really given how easy they are to use and the relatively low cost of the caddies.

Hard drive enclosures tend to be used in two different situations:

  1. To recover data from a salvaged hard drive and then to reuse the hard drive in the caddy to create a back up solution.
  2. Used in conjunction with a new hard disk drive you can create your own back up solution cheaper than you would by buying a “packaged” solution from some of the leading brands.

If you’ve bought a new PC then you must either ensure the hard disk drive in your old PC is removed and destroyed before you take it to a re-cycling centre or alternatively take it out, pop it into a caddy, format the disk and create yourself a handy and inexpensive back up solution. Whilst the hard disk you’ve salvaged might only be small in comparison to your new PC a salvaged 120GB hard disk drive will hold up to 30,000 songs, 150 hours of video, or 25,000 photos. Given you’ve got to remove the hard drive anyway it seems a real shame not to make use of it!

If you do use an enclosure with a new hard disk then you could install say a 1.5TB hard disk into the caddy thus making yourself an inexpensive back up monster.

For many the true benefit of a HDD caddy is that it enables you recover data from a hard disk taken out of an old PC. When you are using a salvaged Hard Disk Drive then if you are using an IDE, ATA or PATA Hard Disk Drives then you need to make sure that the jumper settings on the hard disk drive are set to “master” and not “cable select” or “slave”. If you don’t get the jumper settings correct then the caddy won’t be recognised when connected to the PC.

Whilst you might expect the hard disk drives to be set to “master” as by default its not always the case so its definitely worth checking the disk before you use a caddy. If you need to change the jumper settings it’s easy to do and only takes a few seconds. Most Hard Disk Drive manufactures will have put a self explanatory label on top of the hard drive showing how the jumper needs to be set up to create the “master” “slave” and “cable select” options.

Jumpers are just metal pins that have small black plastic sleeves that slot on them.

Hard disk drive caddy’s usually connect to your PC via a USB cable but there are options available that also support Firewire and e-SATA. For most USB 2.0 is all that’s needed not least because you’ll pay a premium for a caddy with a range of connection options.

When the caddy is connected to your PC via a USB cable it works in pretty much the same way that a USB flash drive works – a new drive letter is dynamically created and you can then copy, save, drag and drop data to the hard disk drive.

Note that the newer standards of SATA hard disk drives have no jumper setting to worry about

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What are the Options to Recover Data from a Salvaged Hard Disk Drive

April 6th, 2010

If you’ve got an old or salvaged IDE or SATA hard disk drive and you need to recover some data from it then there are several options open to you. They are all easy to use and are certainly worth considering before you pay huge sums of money to data recovery specialists.

Hard Drive Cases (also know as caddys or enclosures)

Hard Drive cases are a great solution because they provide physical protection to any hard disk drive that’s installed in the case as well as allowing you to connect to the hard drive and recover the data from the hard disk.

Hard drive cases as the name suggests are metal (normally aluminium) cases that completely encase the bare hard disk drive. Inside the case is either an IDE connector and ribbon interface or SATA connector (it will vary depending of the type of hard drive you have and whether you buy an IDE or SATA HDD case). The HDD case will typically connect to your PC via USB but cases with Firewire and e-SATA interfaces are also available.

Hard drive cases not only allow you to breath new life into any old hard disk drive but you can also you use them with new hard disk drives as well but remember to “allocate” and “format” them first!

All Hard Drive enclosures come with leads to connect the case to the PC. Smaller cases designed for use with hard disks from a laptop will be USB BUS powered but larger cases are all supplied with an external power supply.

The only real downside of the hard drive cases is that they are not designed for “popping” hard drives in and out quickly. Inside the case the hard disk drive will be held in place by four screws and then the case itself is usually secured with at least two more screws.  So, if you’re an engineer and you test lots of different hard drive cable kit solution or a hard disk docking station might be a better bet.

Disk Drive Docking Stations:

Hard Disk Drive Docking Stations are relatively new but they have already proven to be very popular technicians and engineers alike because they make testing multiple hard disk drives a piece of cake! The hard disk drives are simply pushed in to the docking station. There are no screws or connections to mess with so you can be recovering data or just checking that the hard drives work in a couple of seconds.

You do need to buy a docking station for either IDE/ATA hard disks OR SATA hard disks. There are no universal docking stations on the market that cover both interface types but they do work with different physical size versions of the same standard. So, an IDE docking station will work with 2.5” and 3.5” hard disk drives but not SATA and likewise a SATA docking station will work with 2.5” and 3.5” SATA hard disk drives but not IDE/ATA drives.

USB to IDE & SATA HDD Cable Kits:

One of the simplest and most popular products for recovering data from hard disks drives is a universal USB to IDE/SATA cable kit.

These kits are supplied with a range of USB and SATA cables plus a switching power supply unit that allows you to connect pretty much any hard disk drive to a PC via USB 2.0. The USB to IDE and SATA cable kit support hard drives from laptops (2.5″ HDD’s) and desktops (3.5″ HDD).  Its true flexibility is that it will also support IDE/ATA hard disk drives and the newer SATA (Serial-ATA) hard disk drives. Additionally these kits work on all the obvious operating systems including VISTA and Windows 7. So pretty much every flavour of hard drive, every size and every operating system is supported.

Whichever solution you use you will need to make sure if you’re using an IDE/ATA hard disk drive that its set to “master” on the jumper settings. When the hard disk is connected to your PC it will be allocated a new drive letter automatically and will then work pretty much like any USB flash drive.

Compared to the high cost of employing a professional data recovery expert these options are relatively inexpensive.

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Recovering Data From A SATA Hard Disk Drive

March 4th, 2010

If you’re PC has failed and you need to recover data stored on the hard drive then don’t panic. Whether you’ve got a laptop or desktop PC its a relatively easy task to take the hard drive out – just make sure the power is off and the find out where the Hard Disk Drive is being housed. it normally held in place by a couple of screws to the side of the disk. You’ll have to pull off the interface connector from the end of it and in the case of the larger 3.5″ hard drives from a desktop or tower you’ll need to pull off the power connector.

Once you’ve done this you should have a bare bones hard disk drive with nothing attached to it. There will be a manufacturers label on the top of it that will tell you the brand (e.g. IBM, Hitachi etc.) and also tell you the storage capacity of the drive and whether its IDE/ATA/PATA or the newer SATA type of hard drive.

The easiest way to recover the data from the disk is with a USB to IDE/SATA cable kit because these kits work with any Hard Disk drive irrespective of make, type, size. For this reason they are really popular with IT techies, IT support staff and IT engineers because one of these kits can be a life-saver.

The kits come with all you need to power up the hard disk drive and connect it to your PC using USB. Once connected the hard disk drive just shows up as a new drive letter (e.g. E:) and you can then read/write to and from the disk.

The kits are on offer at the moment at only £15.95 and in 2009 they were the best selling product in the USBNow store

USB 2.0 IDE & SATA Cable (with Power Supply) USB 2.0 IDE & SATA Cable (with Power Supply)
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Add SATA to your Laptop quickly and easily

March 4th, 2010

If you’ve got a new laptop then its most likely going to have a express card slot on it to allow you upgrade the laptop after you’ve purchased it. Express card slots have replaced the old PCMCIA standard and come in two different sizes: 34mm and 54mm. If you’ve got the 54mm slot then any 34mm card will also work.

If you have got an express card slot and want to add SATA capabilities to your laptop then we have a couple of solutions for you. SATA is the new superfast interface and standard that gives data trasnsfer speeds of up to 3GB per second. Lots of new external data solutions are now using SATA becuase we’re all saving much larger files (movies, games etc) that need to be pushed around at faster speeds.

Apiotek Extreme eSATAII Express Card Adapter Apiotek Extreme eSATAII Express Card Adapter

These cards are manufactured by Apiotek and support PC and MAC.

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