Newer Technology has released the
USB 2.0 Universal Drive Adapter, which allows any 2.5, 3.5 or 5.25-inch hard disk drive or optical drive mechanism with a standard IDE, ATA or ATAPI 40-pin interface to connect to a Mac or PC using USB 2.0. The device costs $24.95.
The adapter was developed to let users connect raw hard drives and optical drives to Macs or PC externally for a quick file transfer before or after an upgrade, for example; accessing backup data and more.
Newer claims the adapter will work with all hard drive brands and has been tested to work with Maxtor, Seagate, IBM, Hitachi, Samsung, Western Digital and Fujitsu mechanism; optical drives tested include LG, Lite-On, Panasonic, Pioneer, Plextor, Sony, Teac and Toshiba, as well as removable drives like Iomega’s Zip. It also works with Serial ATA (SATA) I and SATA II drives, according to Newer.
No software is required to get the interface to work on a Mac — it supports Mac OS 8.6 or later, according to a press release (the Web site indicates 9.2 or later). Also included is a CD with drivers if you want to use it with a Windows PC.