If you’re looking to recover or transfer data from/ or to an old IDE Hard Drive or SATA Hard Drive (or for that matter a new Hard Drive) then there are a number of options available to you and all of them are pretty easy to use:
For ease you can think about the options in 3 separate groups:
- Disk Drive Enclosures (also know as Drive Caddy’s)
These are excellent because not only do they offer physical protection to the Hard Drive that’s installed in the enclosure but they really do breath new life into any old Hard Drive that you might use in them (you can of course use new Hard Disk Drives as well). The smaller HDD enclosures typically come with a protective wallet, which makes them ideal to take with you as a portable back up.
All Hard Drive enclosures come with leads to connect the caddy to the PC and some will offer multiple connection options e.g. USB, Firewire and increasingly eSATA.
The only real downside of the Hard Disk Enclosures is that they are not designed for “popping” hard drives in and out quickly. With HDD enclosures the HDD is held in place with screws and typically the enclosure is screwed together. So, if you’re an engineer or you test lots of different hard drives then the cable or docking station options might be a better bet.
- Disk Drive Docking Stations:
Hard Disk Drive Docking Stations are relatively new to the market but they have proven an instant hit with technicians and engineers alike. They’re popular because if you have lots of Hard Disk Drives that you need to test/check or that you want to recover data from then a docking station is quick to use. The Hard Drives simply “push in” to the docking station, no screws or connections to mess with and as a result in a matter of seconds you can be backing up or recovering data or just checking the that Hard Drives work.
- USB to IDE & SATA HDD Cable Kits:
The most popular product for recovering data from Had Disks drives is a universal USB to IDE/SATA Cable Kit. This kit is supplied with all of the cables and a Power supply unit to enable you to connect pretty much any Hard Drive to a PC via USB 2.0. The kit support hard drives from Laptops (2.5″ HDD’s) and hard drives from Desktops (3.5″ HDD) and it will support both common types of hard drives; IDE/ATA and the newer standard SATA (Serial-ATA) Additionally these kits work on all the obvious operating systems including VISTA.
A few things to remember when using these Hard Drive enclosures, docking stations and USB cable kits:
- If you are using a 3.5” IDE HDD then the Hard Drive will need to be set to “master” on the jumper settings.
- The HDD ideally needs to be formatted to NTSF or FAT32 and with data already pre-loaded (New HDD’s will need to be formatted and allocated before use)
- Connect the power supply before you connect the other cables
Finally connect to PC…on some occasions it might be necessary to re-boot