Like a bridge over troubled hard drives

Bytecc USB 2.0 to IDE/SATA Adapter
I went to help a friend move data from her old computer to her new laptop last night. The only issue was that her old computer, a desktop, has been reduced to just its hard drive. Always looking for an excuse to invest in new gadgets, I drove to my local MicroCenter where I picked up the Bytecc USB 2.0 to IDE/SATA Adapter for about $30.

As the name suggests, the adapter plugs into an IDE (either a 3.5" or 2.5") or SATA drive, and then lets you attach that via USB to your computer. Also included is a power adapter that accepts a standard 4-pin computer power plug. It's compatible with Windows, Mac, and Linux (the triple threat).

Using it was a snap; I didn't even bother installing the included software, just plugged it in, and Windows detected it automatically. Transfer speed was pretty decent; moving all 11GB of her data took about 30 minutes, and we only ran into one file which couldn't be copied—a Barry Manilow song. So, when you think about it, we really came out ahead there, huh?

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