Ever wonder how you could install different operating systems on your new netbook or backup all your data to a DVD-R? A USB to IDE adapter is one device that might be unfamiliar to novice computer users, but soon finds great value as a necessary, must-have item. In the world of netbooks and similar devices that lack a CD/DVD, a USB to IDE adapter provides a cheap and convenient way to use an internal drive as an external peripheral.
Here are a few common uses for a USB to IDE adapter.
- These adapters can be used to recover files from a computer that has crashed and burned (as long as your HDD is not damaged).
- A USB to IDE adapter can easily convert an internal CD/DVD to an external peripheral.
- The adapter quickly turns an internal HDD into a portable HDD.
- These adapters can be used to install the original or different operating systems.
- USB to IDE adapters allow a quick, easy way to backup your data or store large files that you’ve downloaded.
Newegg features several USB to IDE adapters ranging in price from USD $12.99 to just over $30. It’s important to make sure you purchase the USB to IDE adapter that is compatible with your peripherals. Make sure to consider the following when purchasing a USB to IDE adapter.
- Does the USB to IDE adapter in question feature compatible connections with your drive?
- What power adapters are included? Make sure the USB to IDE adapter features a power adapter. Most USB devices receive their power through the USB connection and therefore do not require a separate power source. However, an internal drive requires a separate source of power than the USB connection.
- What software or drivers are required to use the USB to IDE adapter? Most include drivers and software but are also “plug and play.”
- Make sure your USB to IDE adapter is PC/Mac compatible depending upon your system(s). Most adapters are both PC and Mac friendly.
You should be cautioned that not all netboks play nice when booting from certain internal CD/DVD drives that were originally designed to be internal. I’ve had success booting Linux, XP, and OS X install CDs/DVDs with my USB to IDE adapter on my Eee PC 701 and MSI Wind U100. The success of booting from an internal drive with a USB to IDE adapter largely depends on the internal drive rather than the adapter. Regardless, a USB to IDE adapter is a handy tool to keep on hand for a variety of purposes.