Sunday, February 11, 2007

Hot swappable IDE drives

I have lots of storage needs but I hate having external hard drive cases. So I've taken a couple things to make my own hot swappable IDE solution. I bought a few of these removeable IDE drive trays and installed the tray enclosures in all my desktops. I powered the enclosure like an internal drive, connecting it to a spare power adapter inside the case. IDE drives are not hot swappable in Win2k and later versions, so I used a USB-IDE adapter like this. I routed the other end of the USB cable outside my case and connected it to a USB extension cable so I can easily connect it to the front USB connectors on the desktop PCs. All my spare drives are mounted in the removeable trays, so whenever I need an external drive, I just slide the tray in the rack, connect the usb cable and turn the key on the rack to power up the drive. Then when I want to take the drive out, I just treat it like an external USB drive. I think that's a lot easier than having to find the right power supply for the 5 different external USB cases I probably would have then having to find an open power outlet. I even have a spare enclosure that I can use with my laptop like an external case.

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