Solved

Bytecc BT-300 IDE/SATA Adapter doesn't seem to work. Am I misunderstanding usage?

I just purchased a SATA/IDE Adapter, specifically a Bytecc BT-300 USB 2.0 to IDE/SATA adapter. I have a variety of IDE drives from old computers and when I attach the cable to one of the drives (and connect it to AC power and connect the USB cable to my laptop) I don't see the drive in File Explorer on my new Windows 10 laptop. There are two LEDs on the BT-300, a red one and a green one. Only the green one is lit and I believe I have properly attached the cable to the IDE connection at the back of the drive.

When I try a second IDE drive, I get BOTH the red and the green LEDs lit. Again, I don't see the drive in File Explorer.

There is no documentation at all in the box with this device.

I have no reason to believe the device is defective but I don't understand what the LEDs signify, especially the red one, and why I'm not seeing the drive on the computer. I expected to see a new drive, just as if I had put a flash drive in the USB port. Is that not what happens? I've never used one of these adapters before so I can only guess.

Hmm, I just googled this device and found a very short PDF (a single page) which says 3.5 inch IDE drives need to be all be set as Master devices. Perhaps the red light is telling me that this drive is NOT a master??

Has anyone used this adapter? If so, could you confirm the meaning of the red LED and tell me if the drive connected via the adapter is supposed to show up in File Explorer like a flash drive or if there is some other way I'm supposed to see what's on it?
14 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about bytecc 300 ide sata adapter work misunderstanding usage
  1. "Perhaps the red light is telling me that this drive is NOT a master??"

    Didn't you think to check?

    For IDE drives, check the jumper at the back of the drive. Make sure it's in the "Master" (MA) position.
  2. Three things need to be done, and you might have missed one.

    1. The adapter needs a device driver installed in Windows to communicate with the computer. Did you install that?
    2. 3½" (desktop size) IDE drives need to have power supplied directly to the drive's 4-pin power input (NOT to the Bytec unit's input) connector from the Bytec unit's power module. 2½" IDE drives (laptop size) do not need this connection.
    3. ALL IDE drives used with the adapter should have their jumpers set to be a MASTER device.

    I don't understand you post comment about what happens when you attach a second IDE drive. This device appears to be designed for use with ONLY ONE drive at a time. That is part of why any IDE drive must be set to the Master role.
  3. "1. The adapter needs a device driver installed in Windows to communicate with the computer. Did you install that?"

    Usually not necessary. I've used many such adapters & hard drive enclosures - - never had to install a driver for any of them. Driver built-in to Windows, plug & play.

    You don't get a driver with these devices anyway, nor do the makers supply one, so your advice is misleading to say the least.
  4. Phillip Corcoran said:
    "Perhaps the red light is telling me that this drive is NOT a master??"

    Didn't you think to check?

    For IDE drives, check the jumper at the back of the drive. Make sure it's in the "Master" (MA) position.


    Long story short, I've got an assortment of drives from my old computers that I want to connect via this adapter so that I can copy any of the files that I still need over to my newest computer. These drives have been unused for years and I no longer have the original computers, just the drives. I've never used this particular cable so I simply don't know how it is *supposed* to work: it is simply a (reasonable?) guess that the red LED means that the drive is not a Master. I have also long forgotten how to set each one to Master, Slave or Cable. I can probably find that out via some googling for each drive. I was just hoping someone could confirm the meaning of the red LED *before* I spent time tracking down jumper settings so that I could avoid the work if it had nothing to do with the jumper settings.

    By the way, I suspect the reason the drives don't show up on my laptop with the cable connected is that they're not getting any power. I had assumed this cable was going to also power the drives somehow but now that I think about it more, I suppose that's not realistic. My drives are 3.5 inch. Hmm, I thought I refreshed this page a couple of minutes ago before I began typing this and your reply was the only one here. Now, I'm seeing additional replies that are dated two days ago. That's odd. But it confirms that a lack of power is why the drive does not show up on my laptop.
  5. Paperdoc said:
    Three things need to be done, and you might have missed one.

    1. The adapter needs a device driver installed in Windows to communicate with the computer. Did you install that?
    2. 3½" (desktop size) IDE drives need to have power supplied directly to the drive's 4-pin power input (NOT to the Bytec unit's input) connector from the Bytec unit's power module. 2½" IDE drives (laptop size) do not need this connection.
    3. ALL IDE drives used with the adapter should have their jumpers set to be a MASTER device.

    I don't understand you post comment about what happens when you attach a second IDE drive. This device appears to be designed for use with ONLY ONE drive at a time. That is part of why any IDE drive must be set to the Master role.


    1. I did not get any such drivers with the adapter and didn't know I needed any so no, I didn't install them. Where do I find them?
    2. Thank you VERY much for confirming my suspicion that the lack of power was why I wasn't seeing the drive on my laptop. I think I thought this was unnecessary because the adapter would take care of the power (based on something I read about the adapter) but I think I misread the bit that said that power was only taken care of for 2.5 inch drives; my drivers are 3.5 inch.

    You haven't specifically said that the red LED means "please set the jumper to Master" but I suppose that is the most plausible theory about what it means. It would have been a better product if it was clearly labelled and/or documented but I suppose I could confirm with the manufacturer if they have a help forum. I just thought I'd try here first since it was convenient.

    I suppose I'd better start researching how to set each of the drives to Master....
  6. Paperdoc said:
    Three things need to be done, and you might have missed one.

    I don't understand you post comment about what happens when you attach a second IDE drive. This device appears to be designed for use with ONLY ONE drive at a time. That is part of why any IDE drive must be set to the Master role.


    Sorry, that was miscommunication on my part. I disconnected the first drive when I didn't see it in File Explorer on my laptop, then connected the second drive. I didn't mean to give the impression that I had both drives connected at the same time. The adapter wouldn't allow that anyway but unless you had it in your hand, you wouldn't know that.
  7. As Phillip Corcoran has pointed out, most times the driver required is actually among Windows' own collection and it gets installed / used with no effort on your part. Now that you tell us you have not been using a power connection to the 3½" drives, that is the most likely cause of all this, so don't worry about drivers.

    Regarding setting Master and Slave via jumpers, there is no "universal" way to do this. HOWEVER, almost all HDD units have a small diagram right on the drive label that tells you which way to do it for THAT drive specifically. Look there. If you see both Master and Master with No Slave Present, use the latter.

    On the question of LED meanings, I agree it's bad that the unit did not come with instructions to make that clear. My guess is that one (Red?) is to confirm the presence of power to the unit OR a connection via the USB cable, and the other (Green?) is to confirm a valid connection to a drive.

    Regarding two drives at once, I understand you did not do that. But hypothetically it is possible since there are separate connectors for 2½" (laptop) and 3½" (desktop) units, so that's why I asked for clarification.
  8. Paperdoc said:
    As Phillip Corcoran has pointed out, most times the driver required is actually among Windows' own collection and it gets installed / used with no effort on your part. Now that you tell us you have not been using a power connection to the 3½" drives, that is the most likely cause of all this, so don;t worry about drivers.

    Regarding setting Master and Slave via jumpers, there is no "universal" way to do this. HOWEVER, almost all HDD units have a small diagram right on the drive label that tells you which way to do it for THAT drive specifically. Look there. If you see both Master and Master with No Slave Present, use the latter.

    On the question of LED meanings, I agree it's bad that the unit did not come with instructions to make that clear. My guess is that one (Red?) is to confirm the presence of power to the unit OR a connection via the USB cable, and the other (Green?) is to confirm a valid connection to a drive.

    Regarding two drives at once, I understand you did not do that. But hypothetically it is possible since there are separate connectors for 2½" (laptop) and 3½" (desktop) units, so that's why I asked for clarification.
  9. Thanks for your help with this Paperdoc.

    Unfortunately, my hard drives are a rather mixed bag. I found a YouTube video several hours back that suggested just what you said: that most hard drives had either text, or a diagram, or both indicating where the jumper had to be set the drive on Master but I'm not finding that on ANY of my drives, except one. They're all widely-used brands too, like Seagate and Maxtor, not obscure brands you've never heard of. I hope there will be diagrams somewhere for each of these models, even the very old ones, otherwise I suppose I'll just have to go with trial and error and hope none of my trials damages anything.

    As for the Red LED, I don't think your guess can be right. When I connected the two drives that I've already tried, neither one was powered at the 4 power pins. The first drive showed just a green LED, the second drive showed a green and a red. Both were 3.5 inch IDE drives. It seems more likely that the red is an indication that the drive isn't set to master and has nothing to do with power, otherwise BOTH drives should have shown a red LED. But maybe it means something else altogether. Darned if I know.

    As for connecting two drives at once to the adapter, I suppose I could actually connect *three* at the same time because the adapter has connectors on three sides, one for SATA, one for 3.5 inch IDE, and one for 2.5 inch drives. :-) I doubt that's the intent of the manufacturer though so I'm definitely not going to try it for fear of shorting out all the drives and or my laptop :-)

    I'm just re-reading the "manual" - it's a single page PDF in the usual dubious English - and the first bullet point seems quite misleading to me:
    =========================================
    For all 2.5” and 3.5” SATA hard drives – Use the 4 pins power
    connector plug onto the BT-300 adapter kit. Then connect the
    BT-300 adapter to the SATA hard drives. Afterward, power up the
    drives by connect the power adapter to the power cord that plug onto
    the wall.
    =============================================

    The way I read that, it sounds like the adapter comes with some kind of plug ("4 pins power connector plug") to attach to the 4 power pins of the hard drive (with the other end presumably being a regular AC plug that I can put into a regular outlet). But I got nothing like that in the package....

    Just a cotton pickin' minute!! I *did* get something like that in the package!! When I opened the box initially a few days ago, I found an AC adapter in it and immediately recognized the standard 3 prong end as being intended for a wall outlet. When I looked at the other end, I saw that it would fit over the 4 power pins of a hard drive. I also noted 4 pins recessed within the adapter itself so I (reasonably?) assumed that my cord was supposed to be plugged into the adapter and that this would somehow power whatever drives I attached. I'd forgotten about the end with the 4 pins until I read the passage of the manual I just quoted. I disconnected that cord from the adapter and put it on my hard drive and the green LED immediately came on. I plugged the USB cable into my computer and got nothing. Then I moved the jumper over one position and tried again. This time, my drive came up just fine on my laptop!!! Wahoo! I *was* making a fundamental mistake and now I've figured it out. I may have to do a bit of diddling to figure out the master setting for some of the drives but I'm much further ahead than I was a few minutes ago!

    Once again, talking your problem through with someone else has helped me solve a problem! Thank you for your help with this!
  10. Best answer
    NOW you've got it right! When I read that poor "manual" I see the three types of HDD's all use a different power connection scheme. All desktop-size SATA drives are powered from the Bytec unit and that REQUIRES that the power supply module be plugged into the Bytec unit to give it that power. For IDE drives, however, whether of desktop or laptop size, the connection from the power module must go directly to the drive's 4-pin power input connector. For that reason, they designed the connector from the power module the same as a standard female 4-pin Molex power output from a PSU. For laptop-size SATA HDD's (which plug into the same SATA connector on the Bytec unit) the instructions claim that no power connection is necessary because all power required by the drive will be supplied by the USB connection between computer and Bytec. That one makes me suspicious, because MANY external USB2 "portable laptop" drives required TWO USB2 cables to get enough power for the drive. However, you don't have any of those to deal with now, anyway.

    If most of your old drives have no jumper diagrams on them, you should be able to get the info from the makers' websites by searching for the exact model number with the search terms Jumper or Master. If you get it wrong, it is highly unlikely that you will do any damage. It just won't give you access to the drive.

    Of course, you MAY find among all those old units some that actually have failed and will not give you data. But at least now you KNOW the right way to do it, so you won't have to worry that you did something wrong.
  11. Paperdoc said:
    NOW you've got it right! When I read that poor "manual" I see the three types of HDD's all use a different power connection scheme. All desktop-size SATA drives are powered from the Bytec unit and that REQUIRES that the power supply module be plugged into the Bytec unit to give it that power. For IDE drives, however, whether of desktop or laptop size, the connection from the power module must go directly to the drive's 4-pin power input connector. For that reason, they designed the connector from the power module the same as a standard female 4-pin Molex power output from a PSU. For laptop-size SATA HDD's (which plug into the same SATA connector on the Bytec unit) the instructions claim that no power connection is necessary because all power required by the drive will be supplied by the USB connection between computer and Bytec. That one makes me suspicious, because MANY external USB2 "portable laptop" drives required TWO USB2 cables to get enough power for the drive. However, you don't have any of those to deal with now, anyway.

    If most of your old drives have no jumper diagrams on them, you should be able to get the info from the makers' websites by searching for the exact model number with the search terms Jumper or Master. If you get it wrong, it is highly unlikely that you will do any damage. It just won't give you access to the drive.

    Of course, you MAY find among all those old units some that actually have failed and will not give you data. But at least now you KNOW the right way to do it, so you won't have to worry that you did something wrong.


    It would have been nice if they'd included some verbiage explaining the different ways to power each kind of drive so that I'd have *some* clue. Even just one of those wordless cartoon strips that show what to do, although I usually find those less than clear. Even if they had mentioned that there WAS a manual online, that would have been a start, although this particular manual left a lot to be desired. But all I got was a box with nothing inside at all beyond the unit, which tends to tell me that this is an item that is self-explanatory and you can't really go wrong. So, Murphy's Laws being what they are, I put it together in a way that seemed reasonable and got it wrong. Thanks a bunch BYTECC! ;-)

    I don't actually have an old laptop drive to use with the adapter - yet - but it could happen. My old laptop - I just got a new one for Christmas - is on its last legs. As long as it keeps working, I can network it and access it that way but once it's toast, I'll probably need this adapter to access it and pull the old data off it. Then I'll have to figure out how to get the drive out and will see if I need a second USB cable for it.

    I'm probably not going to be able to get to all the 3.5 inch drives either; I'd forgotten that two of them were SCSI. I still have a SCSI cable somewhere but I'm not sure I have anything to connect it to an IDE or SATA connector. Also, I see that I marked at least a couple of the drives as "wonky?" before I packed them away so I may not be able to read them. But I've already found a treasure trove of old source code that I really wanted to find so I'm already ahead of the game.

    I'm glad to hear that I'm unlikely to damage anything by putting a jumper in the wrong place. I had hoped that would be the case. Some of those drives are pretty darned old - the oldest was from my first PC, purchased in 1993 so I'm guessing the manufacturer may not clutter their site with manuals for such old drives - and trial and error may be my only option. Then again, if it's possible to make a reasonable-seeming assumption that is actually completely wrong, I'm often capable of making it, as I've already demonstrated :-)

    The one mystery that remains unsolved is what the red LED means. I'm now satisfied that it does NOT mean the jumper is incorrectly set so it's still not obvious what it *does* mean. I suppose I can always write Bytecc and ask. Perhaps they'll even answer in a way that is clear and comprehensible :-)

    Until then, thanks again for your help.
  12. I now consider this question answered. I don't actually know what the red LED means yet but I now have the adapter working and understand how it needs to be connected to a 3.5 inch IDE drive, which was my key difficulty.

    I suppose I essentially figured it out for myself but I can't select any of my own comments as the solution so I will chose Paperdoc's since our conversation got me closest to the answer.

    Thanks to ALL who replied; you were all helpful in helping me get to the solution!
  13. I now consider this question answered. I don't actually know what the red LED means yet but I now have the adapter working and understand how it needs to be connected to a 3.5 inch IDE drive, which was my key difficulty.

    I suppose I essentially figured it out for myself but I can't select any of my own comments as the solution so I will chose Paperdoc's since our conversation got me closest to the answer.

    Thanks to ALL who replied; you were all helpful in helping me get to the solution!
  14. Your story actually is not uncommon. Replies from many people with different ideas and ways of explaining them help people learn new stuff and understand the real issues. So I'm glad you understand that you did a huge part of the work here. Thanks for the Best Solution, and I understand that many others deserve that, too.
Ask a new question

Read More

BT SATA Connection Storage