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Universal External USB Drive Box

External USB functionality, internal drive prices
  [vote for,

External USB versions of drives (hard drive, CDROM/RW, etc..) cost about twice as much as their internal IDE equivalent. This is fine, except that when you want to upgrade the drive you have to replace the *entire* external box. You are essentially paying for new USB interface hardware, circuitry, power supply, etc.. every time. This is stupid.

I want a small external box with an IDE interface and a USB port. I buy an internal IDE version of the drive I want, stick it into this box, and then connect via USB to my computer. Presto. Instant external USB drive. And I can easily upgrade the drive inside without having to pay extra for all the USB interface circuitry over and over again. The box would contain a little microchip that implements some standard USB drive types so you wouldn't need new USB drivers for each drive.

SCSI drives work well like this. USB can too.

DeathNinja, Aug 27 2003

Google this http://www.google.c...sb+ide+adapter+5.25
I can even sell you a removable hard drive system so you can swap 3.5" hard drives (IDE or ATA serial). [kbecker, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]

Speeze http://www.tigerdir...96303&sku=S457-5003
USB2.0/Firewire enclosure [Elias Serge, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]


DeathNinja, Aug 27 2003

       I find this difficult to believe. Are the drives not IDE internally?   

       While we're on the subject (sorta), does anyone know if there's a company which makes bootable USB flash memory drives?
phoenix, Aug 28 2003

       I've got one, it cost me £35 quid from the aforementioned maplin
neilp, Aug 28 2003

       pheonix, USB sticks are bootable, depending on your bios.
neilp, Aug 28 2003

       Seems quite toasty already.
krelnik, Aug 28 2003

       [MFD] Baked - RodsTiger beat me to the link.
Freefall, Aug 28 2003

       Baked. I have one. Cost me $35. I keep a DVD-RW in it, because I use a laptop. And a DVD-RW drive for a laptop costs an arm and a metaphore.
hackermaster, Jun 08 2004

       If you're not worried about voiding the warranty on your current USB external drive, you can probably open it up and replace the existing, completely normal, IDE or ATA drive that's hidden inside.   

       [marked-for-deletion] Baked.   

       Re: bootable USB thumb drives: not all BIOSes support USB boot, nor are all thumb drives bootable. If you want to boot from your thumb drive, make sure both your BIOS and your thumb drive support it.
Freefall, Jun 08 2004

       Products like this have been around for a while. I personally have an external 640GB drive array (4 drives). They are basically metal boxes with ide cables inside and firewire/usb2.0 ports on the outside. I just buy the boxes then slap in a bog-standard OEM internal drive. Takes about 90 seconds to install each one. The best part is, they are driverless on win2k/xp/linux/osx/whatever. One caveat with these is heat dissipation. Drives can get quite warm, especially the 7200/10k rpm models. Try to get a box that provides decent airflow. You don't need a fan or anything, but you don't want an airtight plastic box. I've had good results with the Aluminum speeze enclosures from tigerdirect, but YMMV.
Elias Serge, Jun 08 2004


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