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Other Hardware and Peripherals Other Apple systems and peripherals discussion.

Device to connect hard drives to computer. (not an external hard drive)


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moe daklight

 
Member Since: Mar 10, 2010
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Hi,

I once saw this awesome device that worked essentially like a firewire/usb external HD, only you would plug into it an actual computer HD.

I can't find it anywhere online, all I get is external HD's (G-Drive, etc.).

Advantages:
  1. The price of an internal hard drive is incredibly cheaper than that of an external hard drive. For $99 I can get one that is 50% larger than a firewire drive that's 120 bucks.
  2. They're much smaller, and one device is all you need. You just pop into it the HD you want to use. No need for messing with millions of cables and those huge HD boxes when you (like me) have to deel with many different drives.
  3. (the big one) They are more reliable: I've already had two external hard drives die one me, where as my computer hard drives, one of which has been working since 2004 essentially, is still good as new. — I'm tired of always being paranoid about my HD dying on me any second.

So Anyone know what these devices are called? or how to use an internal type hard drive as the back up drive for my imac and macbook? thanks.
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XJ-linux

 
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I have absolutely no idea what you are talking about or describing. Please describe what you mean when you say "only you would plug into it an actual computer HD". I don't know of any Apple Mac products that have an internal hard drive which in turn, allows another hard drive to be plugged into it without any cable. Are you maybe referring to the Express 34 slot on the left-hand side of some MacBook Pros which allows an Express 34 card containing a small eSATA drive to be inserted into the side of the laptop chassis?

"Those who don't understand Unix are condemned to reinvent it, poorly." – Henry Spencer
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moe daklight

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XJ-linux View Post
I have absolutely no idea what you are talking about or describing. Please describe what you mean when you say "only you would plug into it an actual computer HD". I don't know of any Apple Mac products (...)
it's not an Apple Mac product. why would it have to be? My external HD, my USB drives, my RAM, mey keyboard and mouse... none are Apple and work perfectly fine.

Here's what I mean though.

The device I'm talking about simply connects that hard disk to your computer (Windows or Mac) as if it were an external hard drive. It's just a module where you plug in that disk (much like you plug it into your own computer), but with a fire wire port. — It's also very small and portable and extremely cheap (as there's nothing more to it than a port for the disk to go into.

Make sense?
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bobtomay

 
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What you're looking for is just called an IDE to USB adapter or SATA to USB adapter.
You can find them on newegg or Amazon in the $20 range. They're great for a troubleshooting device. Wouldn't really recommend them as a full time connection to a bare external drive.

Example:
Amazon.com: ide to usb

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moe daklight

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobtomay View Post
What you're looking for is just called an IDE to USB adapter or SATA to USB adapter.
You can find them on newegg or Amazon in the $20 range. They're great for a troubleshooting device. Wouldn't really recommend them as a full time connection to a bare external drive.
Yes! exactly what I meant. What's wrong with using it as a regular HD?
This one, for example http://www.amazon.com/Acomdata-Tango...4798104&sr=8-3

I need these for three purposes:
  1. Music production. — I record all my audio to an external HD, at 32 bits and CD quality AIFF files, sometimes 20 tracks playing at once, This means periods of hours transferring high rates of data (and this must be Firewire; I must admit I haven't tried USB with audio/video in over 5 years, but with my experience, Firewire involves a lot less trouble.

    This is also why portability is important. Sometimes I need to take it places to get sounds.
  2. As my Bit torrent HD: I download all my Torrent stuff to a separate HD. This one should be active for at least 12 hours a day, every day... but it's low data transfer (100-200 kbps at most).
  3. General file storage / backup.
  4. Frizbee: for my old Firewire HD that just died on me for no reason.

I would have thought that, since it uses the same HDD's as a computer, it would be much more stable.

If not, are there Firewire external HD's you recommend that are dependable?

I'm not looking for more than 200 GB. I prefer to spread out my information throughout more than one small HD (also some redundancy helps), than to put all my eggs in one basket. Making that mistake once has already cost me some very important files.

***

sidenote: why doesn't Mac support S.M.A.R.T for Firewire devices? it would be helpful to know if your HD is about to go on the fritz.
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mrplow

 
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There's obviously nothing to stop you using a USB-to-SATA connector.

Just some things to consider - in no particular order:
1. If portability is a major factor then carrying around a 'bare' drive which has exposed contacts and circuitry is an accident waiting to happen
2. The bare drive you are considering is exactly the same as the drives inside external drive enclosures. You can be more choosy over the brand, speed etc so maybe consider getting a drive and an empty enclsure and fit the drive yourself.
3. the usb-to-sata connector will need a seperate power source in the same way as a 3.5" external would.
4. Maybe consider a 2.5" external (again you can buy the drive and enclosure yourself if you don't want to buy an external off-the-shelf. 2.5" externals don't need as much power so you don't need an external power source for these - hence they are ideal as a very portable solution.

5. for the kind of heavy duty use you describe I'd seriously consider buying a firewire 800 enclusure and a server grade 3.5" HDD. Something like a Seagate ST3750330NS Barracuda, or a Western Digital WD3000BLFS VelociRaptor

External hard disk acquisition addict - but admitting the problem is the first step to a robust backup

Please use the reputation system if you think you've been helped - top right of this post
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XJ-linux

 
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OK, gotcha now. The initial description sounded (to me) like there was some product out there that allowed one to plug an external HDD into an internal HDD via some port on the internal HDD like Legos. Macsales.com (Other World Computing) has a multi external HDD connector/adaptor for about $20 that will handle ATA/PATA/SATA/eSATA/etc drives and connect them to your system. Of course you'll probably cook the drive eventually, and it could get get jostled around pretty easily. SMART definitely won't be supported in any meaningful sense on a naked HDD just sitting there outside an enclosure. Good luck and welcome.

Quote:
sidenote: why doesn't Mac support S.M.A.R.T for Firewire devices? it would be helpful to know if your HD is about to go on the fritz.
SMART is supported on a large variety of Apple systems.

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bobtomay

 
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mrplow spelled it out pretty nicely.

The one you have linked to is an enclosure - not the adapter I was referring to. An enclosure is what you want for transport and/or any type of semi-permanent usage.

I can recommend the following enclosure - quad interface - eSATA, FW 800 & 400 and USB.
http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Other...g/MEFW924AL1K/

Not the cheapest enclosure on the block, but it's been worth my money over the last 3 years - think it was $150 when I bought it.
Then go with a server grade drive as suggested by mrplow.

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moe daklight

 
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thanks guys! lots of options to look over
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I operate two 'bare' drives, but sporadically. I have to do things 'on the cheap', so an ATA-USB2 adaptor (two actually) is ideal for my purposes. A good point is made about protecting them, so for portability I made a polystyrene tray into which the Hitachi drive fits snugly [I haven't tested its drop tolerance ].

Another option for bare SATA drives is a drive dock Voyager by NewerTech- Hard Drive Dock for 3.5" and 2.5" SATA Devices provides high-performance and flexibility.

In addition to the suggestions already offered, one thing you should look for in an external enclosure is an Oxford chipset. There are three manufacturers I know of who use it, and it's reputed to be ideal for the Mac interface. OWC states clearly on most of its enclosures which chipset is used.

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I have the "Newer Technology USB 2.0 Universal Drive Adapter"
It allows any bare drive that uses IDE/ATA/ATAPI 40 pin or SATA interface to be connected to any USB equipped computer.

Newer Technology Universal Drive Adapter -... (U2NV2SPATA) at OWC



I used it to clone my OEM 160GB hard drive -to- my new 500GB 7200RPM HD before installing it.
I did not have to format or install the OS. Simply turned the computer on and now had the extra space.
I did how ever had to reset the PRAM, to solve a slow boot times issue.

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