USB to IDE Cable

I seem to have collected quite a few IDE HDs over time and thought I might try putting them to use - backup purposes - so bought a USB 2.0 to IDE cable - looked straightforward enough - plug in the cables, power up HD and hey presto a nice 60gb USB Drive.

Hmmmmm - not having much luck - basically neither my PC (12 months old) or Laptop (6 months old) finds the disc.

Anybody had any experience with these - Google not throwing up a lot of help.



Debiant by way of Ubuntu
I do not know the internal technicalities of this, but I thought you would need an enclosure that does more than simply cross wire from IDE to USB - I think there are achitectural discrepancies that need some interfacing. USB is typically power carrying also - no idea how that gets resolved in this instance, because clearly the IDE HD needs separate powering, which I guess you are supplying from a spare PSU feed? I presume both your machines are USB2 enabled and you actually do not see anything under device manager? I use a purpose built MAXTOR external drive - it has both firewire and USB options and I must admit in some cases the USB has issues. Firewire has always worked though.


Secret Goat Fetish
Political User
read the page ;)
*Note: The power unit will only work without the Power Supply for 2.5" (laptop) hard drives although some of the larger 2.5" HDD's (typically over 40GB) also need an additioanl power supply. If you can provide a power source to the HDD or peripheral from your PC then the Power adapter supplied with our IDE connection kits will not be necessary

Admiral Michael

Michaelsoft Systems CEO
You could plug it into a power plug from your computer's power supply. Or if you had a old power supply sitting around. You may need to search how to turn on an ATX power supply (involves shorting 2 wires).
Thanks for your help - I actually bought the one with its own power supply. Turned out I hadn't set the jumpers properly to make the drive "master" - never understand what way I should look at the diagram on the HD drives most confusing sometime - anyway finally got it right and drive is now recognised.

For a couple of quid it actually is quite neat - just need to get some kind of soft case for it and I have a nice backup solution.

Anyone care to give me some pointers on the risk of damaging the drive in its "bare" form?

Admiral Michael

Michaelsoft Systems CEO
Mostly static damage and physical damage. Circuitry and static do not go together at all.

If you wanted to use a case they a drive enclosure would've suited you better.
Yeah I know - but I am a cheapskate! Will jus have to take care of the drives.

Next question is to do with partitioning SATA drives - any ideas on software that will deal with these - came across something that said Partition Magic woulnt work with stripes - which I think have something to do with SATA drives
I use one of these and I mounted my HD in an old HD cage from a case. That way I never had to risk static shock and the cage was sturdy enough it protected it well.
HDD's are pretty tough. Unless you go run them frantically on a nylon carpet or take a hammer to them they're just fine anywhere.

As for partitioning you want Acronis Disk director suite. I wouldnt trust Partition magic after its many corrupted disks over the years :)


OSNN Veteran Addict
Avoid sweaters also. (Static magnets.)

The only vulnerable part of a drive is the circuit board on the bottom. The older drives I have all have 4 mounting screws on the botttom. Cut a metal, plastic or wood plate to cover the bottom and screw it on.

You now a setup as good as a carrying case.

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