24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on November 30, 2006
The Bytecc USB 2.0 to IDE & SATA adapter is a must-have for techies. If your intention is to have only one external HDD, the enclosure is the way to go because this device doesn't provide any physical protection, but if you want a quick connection, versatility, compatibility and flexibility, this solution has no competition - four different possible hard drive types/sizes and most likely the ability to use internal CD/DVD drives externally (haven't tested that yet).
This thing will save us many times its value and a lot of time at work and we'll probably buy these or similar devices for a number of our PC technicians.
The little black box (the brain of the device) has to be connected to a HDD and you can then connect the power cable, plug in the power supply and connect the USB cable to the host computer. This system has a stand alone power supply which powers the same type of the four pin power connector used usually inside PCs to power the IDE hard disks and CD/DVD drives. However, this connector's cable is much better and stronger than the regular power cable inside a PC. If you are connecting a 2.5", 3.5" SATA drive or a 2.5" IDE drive, you have to connect this power connector to the black box, while if you are connecting a 3.5" IDE drive you connect both the black box and the power connector directly to the HDD.
Although I was able to power up a 2.5" laptop drive without connecting to the power supply I suppose it is best to always connect the power.
Room for improvement:
1. There's no power switch so you have to unplug the power each time you want to shut down/disconnect the hard drive. When I tested it, the IDE drives would power off upon disconnection of the USB cable from the host computer, but SATA drives won't, so you have to unplug the power cord first.
2. The connection to a HDD is not physically protected by any external enclosure so you have to be careful where and how you are placing the drive once you connect it. I can envision the connector(s) on either this device or a HDD getting a stress crack after a great number of careless connects and disconnects. You also have to be careful that the HDD doesn't touch any metal or any other conductor if it has any circuitry exposed on its surface.
3. The USB and power cables could be longer.
Bottom line: This device is a bit cubersome to use, but with careful handling it is very helpful, versatile and well worth the money for technical enthusiasts and professionals.
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on November 29, 2007
(*) If you've ever had an old PC or laptop die and want a quick and easy way to access the old hard disk, this is the right tool for the job.
(*) If you are a techie who works on other peoples PCs in your spare time, this will save you time and hassle, AND allow you to provide additional services to your customers with little hassle.
(*) Have a PC or laptop that doesn't have a functional optical drive? Just connect one through this device via USB.
(***) SIMPLY BEING ABLE TO CONNECT ANY IDE DEVICE WITHOUT CRACKING OPEN A CASE AND USING A RIBBON CABLE MAKES IT WORTH THE PRICE. (***)
This device lets you bridge between a USB port and one ATA or ATAPI based IDE drive, letting any IDE device function as an external drive. It works best with an available USB 2.0 port, but will work with USB 1.0 (just remember that USB 1.0 access will be SLOW!).
I first used it after the mainboard on my laptop died. I used this device to pull my files off the old laptop hard drive, onto another one of my PCs. I connected the adapter to the laptop drive, plugged the USB cable into an open port, and VOILA!--it was instantly recognized, just like any of my flash-based USB storage devices.
From there, I found other uses. I do a little PC work on the side, so it became an easy way to move files from an old PC's hard disk to a new PC without needing to deal with multiple CDs/DVDs, networking, or without resorting to specialized software. It also allows me to connect suspect hard disks to a diagnostic system, so I may run antivirus and other tools without needing to configure the device in a case.
To use full-size IDE devices, you need to connect the adapter and the included power supply. To use 2.5" laptop drives, you just connect the adapter to the drive (power comes through the bus). Because the laptop drives don't require external power, I've started using some old 10-30 Gb junkers as external backups for my other machines. If you go that route, you will need to store them carefully, but I don't mind--it saves me money from needing to buy dedicated external storage or enclosures for the disks.
A NOTE ON YOUR OTHER LAPTOP to IDE OPTION
This device is under $30. For between $6 and $10, you can get a simpler card-based adapter that will allow you to connect a laptop IDE drive to a regular IDE cable inside a PC. If going that route, remember that you will need to crack open the case, and you might need to set the laptop drive jumpers to the "slave" or "cable select" position if you don't have a primary IDE connection available. Or, if the hard disk and optical drive on the host system are on different cables, you can temporarily hijack the port from the optical drive. To me, the convenience of USB connectivity made this device my first choice, even though my local PC store had the other adapter type available for $6. THIS DEVICE IS WELL WORTH THE MONEY!!!
A SPECIAL NOTE ON OLD 3.5" HARD DISKS
First of all, connect the adapter to the drive. Next, connect the power cable and let the disk spin up. Then proceed to plug in the USB cable. That said, on very old FAT/FAT32 drives (e.g., those with any DOS-based OS, some Windows ME loaded disks), the disk may only be recognized as the Master Boot Record. If this happens, you can delete the partition and start over from Device Manager, but you will lose the contents of the disk. To pull files from such legacy disks, you'll need to do it the old-fashioned way: via LAN, CD-burner, or by adding the disk to another chassis. Once the old data is no longer a concern, delete the old partition, create a new one, format, and enjoy your storage space.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on October 21, 2009
The power supply burning out would have been bad enough, but the fact that it fried my 160GB IDE Barracuda is infuriating.
When it worked, it worked on all 3 kinds of devices that it supports.
However, today, I smelled smoke, and quickly unplugged everything. The case of the power supply was literally melting, and I nearly burned myself picking it up. I am certain it would have caught fire if I left it on for 30 more seconds. What's worse is the fact that this thing seems notorious for its power supply melting and frying HDDs (sometimes catching fire).
This goes to show you that you should read reviews even for cheapie purchases.
Take a look at the reviews for this on newegg. Some people have luck with this product, but 15% have horror stories, and *many* have the same problem I did.
Don't take the gamble.
However, consider this as a special gift for your enemies this holiday season.
12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on August 11, 2008
I purchased this product using recommendations on the Amazon.com site. Upon receiving this product I proceeded to plug in a drive and connect the USB. Discovering that I was receiving no power I proceeded to double-check all of the connections. After about 10 seconds the smell of burning wire caused me to frantically unplug everything as quickly as possible. The power supply began to smoke and spark.. this of course was the end of use of this product. NOW.. returning this product was phase 2 of the nightmare. After waiting 3 to 4 business days for the RMA to be approved just so I was "allowed" to return the product I had to rummage through the return instructions to get the packing and labeling details correct.. and of course it had to be returned within 10 days of the RMA or they would not accept the package or reimburse me. They of course do not reimburse for shipping and they charge an 18% return fee.. SO in summary, it cost me about 15 dollars in shipping for this $25 part which worked for all of about 1 1/2 minutes.! Calculating my time and effort I took a huge loss. Don't waste your time or effort buying this product.. I replaced it with a cables to go version of the same type with NO problems what so ever. You definitely get what you pay for with this piece of ^%$.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on March 15, 2012
All the people complaining that this product roasts hard drives and burns up the power supply, are plugging the power supply cable in upside down. There is a big sheet of paper in the box that warns you of this. Two corners of the power cable are cut off and the cable is only supposed to plugin one way. You can force it to plug in the wrong way and the result is fried HD's and power supplies. READ THE INSTRUCTIONS. I have been using this for over a year with no problems. Highly recommend.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on October 12, 2008
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on September 20, 2010
My IT shop had about 4 of these units, the oldest we bought a couple of years ago. We've never had any problems with them when using IDE hard drives over that time period. However, just recently we had two of the units fail with use with SATA hard drives. In one the power supply actually melted and burned a co-workers fingers. With a different unit I smelled something burning as soon as I hooked the drive to power (we always hook up the drive to the unit first, then plug it into power, then after drives spins up, connect to the computer via USB). As I disconnected the drive (which was smoking slightly), I got an electrical shock and a small burn. The hard drives in both cases were destroyed, and one we had to send one of them off for a costly data recovery service.
Fortunately nobody had any serious injuries, but there is definitely a fire potential with these poor power supplies (if you own one, don't leave it plugged into power outlet, even if no hard drive is connected). Out of safety concerns we went ahead and threw all our units away and are looking for a different product.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on May 4, 2009
I first used this at work getting hard drives backed up onto our network. This paid for itself after the 3rd use, maybe sooner. I loved this tool so much that I bought this for myself at home. If you are in IT or have a lot of hard drives laying around that you need quick and easy access to without hooking inside the computer or enclosure, then this is a tool for you. Keep in mind this tool should not be used as a permanent solution for an internal hard drive or CD/DVD ROM drive but for temporary purposes.
on March 21, 2014
I picked this up at the local Micro Center, so I can retrieve data off my old laptop drive after I got a new drive with OS upgrade image on it at work. I had spent a day with an "Ultra" brand model on loan from one of the IT guys, but he needed it back and the guy doing my upgrade had left my user profile in a bit of a mess, so I hadn't gotten as far as I had wanted.
OK, got the thing out of the package, first thing I had to do was take my laptop drive out of the carrier, since this connector wouldn't fit (the Ultra had separate power and data cables, so they fit just fine without messing with the screws). No problem, spend the day yesterday restoring and organizing my backup files. Towards evening, I noticed I was getting occasional file transfer failures. Sometimes the message was "Access Denied", and there would be a 0-length file on my new drive, and I, with admin rights, didn't have permission to do so much as view the permissions on the file. I figured I'd quit for the night, unplug the device from the laptop and from the power outlet, give the system and myself a rest, and come back next day and see how things went the next day (today).
Well, things are NOT going better today. Fortunately, I think I've got everything I *really* need off the old drive, but my anal self won't let me quit until I've got everything I might want, before I turn the old drive back in. Unfortunately, the occasional file transfer error has deteriorated into intermittent, then frequent, disconnection and reconnection of the drive to the PC. When it's doing this, there are various symptoms: Sometimes I get a file transfer error "Access denied" like yesterday. Sometimes I get a file transfer error that the path to the file could not be found. Generally, my E drive (the old drive connected to this device) disappears from Windows Explorer and then eventually reappears again. Sometimes I get a popup that the drive needs to be formatted (I always cancel). Lately, I've been getting popups saying that I may have lost data because the path to the file could not b e found (I haven't lost any data, but Windows can't see the files any more, so it thinks I might have).
Needless to say, I've checked all the connections, everything looks tight. The indicator lights have always been kind of flaky. There is a bright green light that comes on when the USB plug is plugged in to the laptop. That one is consistent. I had thought that the other light was either bright red or slightly less bright green, depending on the status of - I don't know, maybe data transfer or something. But now that the the drive looks to be statically disconnected, it seems that green is just overflow from the other light, and red means there is power, or data transmission, - or something. There is also a green light on the power supply itself - it is a very faint green, and I do still feel some vibration of the drive, so there must be some power, but I don't think it's much. I don't have anything here to test the voltage.
Looking over the reviews of all the brands of these adapters, power supply issues are a recurring theme. I'm just glad mine didn't heat up, melt, burst into flame, or fry my drive. And I'm glad I'm only reading from, not writing to, my old drive. Even on the ones rated 4.5 stars, 90+% of the complaints are about the power supply. IT here has gone through these things like candy, because they are so useful but so fragile.
I'd still like to get the rest of the data off my drive, but not sure what do do next. I'm a cheapskate, but if I could be sure that the thing would work and keep working, I would in fact pay more for it. But I don't see anyone writing that their $40 version works any better/more consistently than the $15-25 devices that are out there.
After replacing a hard disk due to increasing errors and imminent failure, this interface was a lifesaver when it came to getting files off of the old hard disk that had been removed. It was easy to use, mounted the disk on the desktop (mac) as an external hard disk, and we were able to get those last few files that were more recent than the last backup.
After noting that some people had power supply problems, we first plugged it in on its own, to make sure that it would not overheat or have other problems. Worked fine for us. It had been recommended by the tech guy at work, who uses one all the time to deal with various disk problems, but for the price (about 20 when we got it), I'm really glad to have my own interface at home.