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Got a drive?

I came to be in the unfortunate position of owning a spare hard drive recently.
I'll explain a little further.
As with all computers, they never have enough memory, hard drive space, speed etc.
I back up most data to DVD, but, you know what it's like, there's stuff you can't be bothered looking for and want it instantly available!
So, I bought a 500gb Sata drive, and installed it.
Simple enough, easy to fit, and no configuration problems since it was Sata, no jumpers  to check.
Of course, a couple of months later, my DVD-writer started giving read problems.
No problem, back to the shop and bought a shiny new Sata DVD-writer.
Lovely bit of kit, again, easy to fit and no configuration problems, or so I thought.
Every time I accessed the DVD, the hard drive emitted strange whooping noises and it would get "lost" on the bus, requiring much rebooting to get it to appear again.
Disconnecting either would result in the other performing flawlessly!
Giving up, I removed the Sata hard drive, besides, I got a deal on an external 750gb drive.
Now, that was fairly long winded, but the upshot is  I now had  a spare 500gb drive.

So, what to do with it?
Since the kids were  continually running out of space as well, I went for the option of turning the drive into an external one.
I suppose I could have sold the drive on, but after looking around, I thought I'd have a try at making up an external.
I like to use the computer shops up in Glasgow, and have always found Budget Computers to have a helpful staff and very reasonable prices.
I had thought of making it a network drive, but found that unless you were willing to pay a lot more money than I was prepared to do, it could be problematic with the cheaper units.
Anyway, after talking to one of the staff at Budget, I bought a cheap (under 20) box.
I liked this one, as it was capable of holding either an IDE or SATA 3.5 drive.


This is an ISmart unit.
It is capable of holding either a 3.5 inch IDE drive or 3.5 SATA drive.
Capacity is rated at 500Gib, and works on either USB 2 or 1.1.
The box comes with the drive case, power supply and the USB lead.
The case itself has an on/off switch and indicators for power on and drive access.
It also comes with a stand.

drive front

The finished unit from the front, showing the two indicators and power button.



Back of the unit showing the power and data socket.
A major bugbear for myself was the lack of any documentation
telling how to strip the unit down as this is how it looked (minus the stand)
when it was removed from the box.

Thankfully, it wasn't too difficult to discover that the rear panel unclipped from the frame and then the sides slid out.


Undoing the frame, you slip in the drive, and retain it using the screws provided.
this is the underside showing the screws.


This is the front, showing the clip which closes the drive holder, and the sata connections.
Underneath the red SATA lead, you can see the IDE header.
The drive comes with the IDE cables in place, but were changed for the SATA, since that was the spare drive I had.


And last, here's a close up of the drive connections.
Building this was a matter of moments, once I figured out how to split it down.
In action, the drive is fairly cool, even though I've filled it a couple of times to try it, and speed tests on it have been comparable to the results from the
Maxtor external that I bought.
The drive has behaved flawlessly since being fitted and the rest of the household use it to keep all their files that would otherwise clog up their laptops.
A nice addition to the storage in our household and a cheap option to those wanting an external drive (if they have a spare drive) without a large outlay.
Since it is capable (and comes with cables) of both IDE and SATA, it shouldn't get outdated too quickly.

RIYAN Productions

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