Articles: Bare Naked Drives
The longer you use a computer, the more your data piles up. Sometimes you migrate those files from one computer to another. Other times those files stay locked up, forever entombed inside a retired computer.
If you are anything like me, you have old computers sitting in your garage or tucked away in closets. Perhaps you ditched the computer, but removed the hard drive and saved it. I have a small stack of those drives sitting on my desk right now. For years I asked myself why I was saving those drives. As it turns out, I was just waiting for Newertech to develop their Universal Drive Adapter.
The Newertech USB 2.0 Universal Drive Adapter is the Swiss Army knife of drive connectivity. It can connect any SATA, PATA, ATAPI, or 2.5" IDE drive to a USB 2.0 computer. That means that you can connect practically any internal drive to your computer, whenever you want. The only exception is floppy and SCSI drives.
You are not limited to hard drives with this adapter either. It will also work with optical drives and zip drives; even ATAPI JAZ drives. A USB 2.0 cable with a matchbox-sized three-way plug at one end is included in the adapter kit. The kit comes with an AC/DC adapter that converts a standard outlet into a 4 pin Molex connector in order to power the drives. An additional 4 pin to SATA 15 pin power cable and a SATA data cable is included.
This drive adapter has more than a few uses. Probably the most obvious use for the Universal Drive Adapter is in your tech toolbox. When you upgrade the hard drive in a Mac, you will often want to clone the information over to the new drive, or when you buy a new Mac you will want to import your old system with the Migration Assistant.
Very few Macs made today have the ability to house two or more drives. Upgrading a Mac's hard drive will almost always mean that you have one drive on the bench. With the drive adapter, it's very easy to clone your drive onto a new drive.
This is also an invaluable tool for recovering data from a non-booting Mac. Not only does the Universal Drive Adapter provide quick connections to drives, but its minimalist design makes it easy to connect to drives without having to remove them from their drive sleds and mounting hardware. For a price of less than $26, this is probably one of the cheapest tools in my toolbox.
Another great application of the Universal Drive Adapter is as an archival tool. Of course, that includes keeping all your old drives as you retire old Macs. It is a good security practice to remove your hard drive before you recycle your old computer. (If you are trading in your old Mac, or just passing it along to someone new, you should at least format your drive securely.)
Beyond security, pulling old drives is a great backup mechanism. Hard drives can last a long time when stored in a warm, static-free environment. If you ever lose a file, then there is a good chance an old copy lives on a retired hard drive. The Universal Drive Adapter will let you grab an old drive off the shelf, and within seconds you can be scouring through old files looking for an archived copy. With drive prices as cheap as they are now, old 10GB drives have little value, but the files on them can be priceless.
Zip Disks, DVD-RAM, and Jazz drives are just a few examples of media that are becoming obsolete. Finding a working drive can be difficult for some formats. The Universal Drive Adapter allows you to safely store the internal drive with the disks, meaning you don't have to keep the whole antiquated computer around just to read your old files.
The price and versatility of the Newertech USB 2.0 Universal Drive Adapter makes it an essential item for many computer users. Even if you have only a small collection of drives, this adapter still costs less than nearly all drive enclosures. Even though enclosures provide added protection for drives, there is no other driving reason (excusing the pun) why you have to mount a hard drive in a case. So go ahead and run your drives naked. They won't mind at all.