First Look: Universal Drive Adapter

Universal Drive Adapter

Transferring data from one computer to another can be cumbersome without special file transferring programs, especially if you're trying to move data from an old Windows hard disk to a Macintosh. For an easier solution, just yank a hard drive out of one computer and connect it to a second computer as an external hard disk. Of course, this requires buying an external hard disk case and making sure the external hard disk case works with the particular interface of your hard disk. In case you don't want to worry about learning different hard disk interfaces, Newer Technology offers the Universal Drive Adapter, a product that connects to any hard drive no matter what type of interface it uses.

The Universal Drive Adapter includes all necessary cables for connecting to any hard drive

The product itself consists of a small box that provides three types of hard disk interfaces: IDE/ATA, ATAPI, and SATA, along with the necessary cables. Just find the type of interface your hard drive uses, plug one end of the connecting IDE ribbon cable or SATA cable into the Universal Drive Adapter, and plug the second end of the cable into your hard drive. If you have a 2.5-inch hard drive, you can plug it directly into the product without the need for a connecting cable at all.

IDE/ATA, ATAPI, and SATA hard drive interfaces all work with the Universal Drive Adapter

Now plug the power cord directly in the hard drive, plug the included USB cable into the Universal Drive Adapter, and connect it to any computer with a USB port. This adds the hard drive to your computer without requiring any special drivers at all no matter which operating system you may be using. Your computer simply sees the hard disk as another drive whether you're running Windows 2000/XP/Vista, Linux, or OS 9/Mac OS X.

When using this product, the connecting hard drive remains exposed so this is meant more as a temporary measure than a permanent fixture, such as when you want to transfer files from one computer to another and then move the hard disk to another computer. Besides working with hard drives, the Universal Drive Adapter can also connect to any internal drive that uses an IDE/ATA, ATAPI, or SATA interface such as CD/DVD drives or Iomega Zip drives. This can be handy for connecting an Iomega Zip drive to a computer, transferring files off multiple Zip drives, and then disconnecting the Zip drive after you've safely copied all your Zip drive data to your computer.

The Universal Drive Adapter may not be the type of product that novices may feel comfortable using since it requires connecting computer parts together, but for anyone familiar with yanking computers apart and plugging the pieces back together again, this product can be a handy device, especially if you're a computer technician or troubleshooter. For only $34.99, the Universal Drive Adapter is well worth the cost to insure that you'll always be able to copy data off any hard drive no matter what type of interface it uses.
  1. JoeSlater 04/16, 07:36pm

    I'm sure you meant "ensure", right? ;)

  1. bigpoppa206 04/16, 09:31pm

    Whoo Hoo!

  1. misterdna 04/17, 09:55am

    Wish it connected to the computer with a faster interface than USB, even if it increased the cost.

  1. rytc 04/17, 10:32am

    Well if it is USB 2 then it isn't so bad, and I guess it wants to appeal to Windows users, very few of whom have firewire.

  1. JimMueller 04/17, 12:27pm

    I got one of these to handle the assorted drive swaps we see at work and found that it works best with a USB2 connection and not only speed-wize. When connected to the onboard USB ports of my 1st generation G4 Sawtooth I could not copy over to the internal ATA drive more than a couple of hundred meg of data at a time without the USB Adapted drive disappearing. I finally bought a USB2 card for the Sawtooth and I could then copy the entire 24Gb HD using the USB adaptor in one go.

    This adaptor is well worth the modest cost.

  1. Guest 04/18, 10:42am

    i bought the previous version of this and had major problems. it turned out there was a known issue on some earlier batches. after some resistance, they sent me a new "updated" one, but i still had problems with it spontaneously unmounting and copy errors. i never had enough faith to use it after that. i got the wiebetech drive dock (for 4x the $) and have not had one problem yet - plus i can get fw800 speed with the sata dock.

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