Rosewill SATA/IDE USB 2.0 Drive Adapter

Essential tool for the drive-abundant among us – Joe

SUMMARY: Essential tool for the drive-abundant among us.

If you’re like me, you most likely have a bunch of older hard drives sitting around and probably use them for data backups. There are a number of very good hard drive enclosures around that enable you to use them externally with a USB cable. The problem is every time you want to switch drives, you have to open the enclosure and switch drives – a royal pain.

In addition, most enclosures will not swap between IDE and SATA plugs, so you wind up needing two different enclosures. You can always open the case and use spare ports/power plugs, but also a pain.

The good guys at Rosewill were nice enough to send a sample of their SATA/IDE USB 2.0 Drive Adapter to test out. Now THIS is what I’ve been waiting for and I am chagrined to admit that I did not know these devices existed. This neat little gizmo will accommodate all 2.5″, 3.5″ and 5.25″ IDE and SATA drives without using an enclosure.

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Key Features

  • USB 2.0 Drive Adapter (powered by USB port, USB 1.1 capable))
  • Power Supply with one four pin and one SATA power plug
  • Rubber 2.5″ and 3.5″ drive protectors
  • USB and SATA cables
  • Manual and Driver Disk (if needed)

The adapter itself is not all that big:

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If fits easily on any hard drive and does not interfere with the power plug. The power cable to the hard drive has an On/Off switch with a green LED to indicate that power is on. The adapter features two LEDs to indicate USB power and the usual blinky LED to show drive activity. The only caution I would have is that if your USB port is underpowered, a 2.5″ notebook drive might not have enough power.

Drop dead simple to use – plug the drive into the adapter, plug in the power cable (2.5″ uses USB power), power it up, then insert the USB plug into the PC and you’re off and running.

Performance Tests

I hooked up three different drives to test out the adapter – a 2.5″ IDE, a 3.5″ IDE and a 3.5″ SATA drive. The notebook drive was recognized by Windows XP right away; the larger drives took about 30 seconds before Windows addressed them. If a drive is not recognized, pull the USB plug and re-insert – be a little patient but after a couple of minutes, if the drive is not recognized, re-inserting the USB plug should work.

IBM Travelstar IDE 2.5″ 20 GB 4300 rpm

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IBM Deskstar IDE 3.5″ 82.3 GB 7200 rpm

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Seagate Barracuda 3.5″ 160 GB SATA 7200 rpm

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No real surprises here – Rosewill’s adapter performs in line with other external enclosures I’ve tested – external adapters are not data transfer power houses.

CONCLUSIONS

How I ever got along without Rosewill’s Universal Drive Adapter I’ll never know – this is about the most handy little gizmo I’ve seen that addresses a real need for those of us blessed with a drawer full of older hard drives. If you routinely use multiple hard drives for various back-ups or need a second (or third) optical drive once in a while, this adapter will save a lot of time.

In short – IMHO a must-have.

Thanks again to Rosewill for sending this our way to try out. MSRP $35 – street price about $30.

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