I imagine every home computer hacker one day finds they have one too many hard drives to deal with. Maybe you are migrating to a new system or installing a new OS. Or maybe you’re upgrading the disk in your new Mac Mini. Whatever the reason, a universal way to connect any hard drive to a PC is a very handy thing to have on hand!
Send in the Inland USB to IDE/SATA Adapter. As its workmanlike name implies, it connects just about any IDE or SATA drive to the USB port of any PC or Mac (or just about any other OS, in my experience) with no fuss or hassle. It handles laptop and desktop drives with equal ease, and can provide appropriate power as well. I bought mine at MicroCenter for under $20, but Amazon sells the same Inland brand one I have, as well as a very similar one from Sabrent and others.
The Inland adapter is a USB dongle with three connectors:
- Standard 40-pin ATA connector for desktop parallel ATA/IDE hard drives
- Standard 50-pin ATA plus power connector for laptop parallel ATA/IDE drives
- Standard 7-pin SATA data connector for desktop and laptop SATA drives
The package also contains a few other handy items:
- A power supply with a standard ATA Molex 4-pin power connector
- A Molex to SATA power adapter cable
- A short internal SATA cable
Mixing and matching these three items means you can power up and connect just about any recent hard disk drive, and many old ones besides. I have used mine with 10 year old sub-GB drives and brand new 3 Gbit SATA drives with no trouble. Throughput seems to max out at around 30 MB/s, but that’s plenty fast for most needs. The Mac will even boot from it!
Note: Some of these links include affiliate codes that help pay for this blog. For example, buying an Amazon Kindle with this link sends a few bucks my way! But I don't write this blog to make money, and am happy to link to sites and stores that don't pay anything. I like Amazon and buy tons from them, but you're free to buy whatever and wherever you want.