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USB to IDE (and/or SATA) adapter? (Not "IDE & SATA to USB".)

I need to find an adapter, that allows me to boot an IDE and/or SATA mainboard from a portable hard drive. i.e. The portable HDDs that have a single USB male plug for both data and power. (Or a thumbdrive, or anything else that has a USB male plug I guess.)

A search throws up dozens of "IDE & SATA to USB" adapters. But they are all the type with a male USB plug (like the portable HDD has). I believe this means they cannot be "turned around". i.e. The IDE or SATA part of the adapter cannot be plugged into the IDE/SATA sockets on a mainboard - and the USB gender-changed to female, so I can plug a portable HDD in. I don't think it would work!

Surely this adapter must exist. But after hours of frustration I can't find it - because any search just keeps throwing up the wrong version I just described in the last paragraph.

Can anyone help?
6 answers Last reply Best Answer
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  1. At the outset let me say I'm not aware of any existing commercial USB-to-SATA adapter along the lines you require. This is not to say one doesn't exist, only that I'm not aware of one. Perhaps someone coming upon this thread is aware of one.

    Obviously because of its design I take it there's no practical way for you to remove the drive from its enclosure and simply install it as an internal drive in a PC (the usual way we ordinarily employ with a USB external drive). (BTW that problem is one of the principal reasons we ALWAYS advise users to purchase USB external enclosures + drives (SSD/HDD) of their choice, rather than commercial "one-piece" units).

    I assume the drive in question contains a viable OS. Can I further assume that this OS is a clone of an OS that had been installed on a internally-connected HDD or SSD? If that is the case it's possible that you would be able to boot to the OS while it is connected as a USB device. It would depend upon the disk-cloning program used in the original disk-cloning operation. Have you tried the boot?
  2. Thanks for the reply.

    What I'm basically trying to do is have a 'repair kit' at the ready, with every combination - to connect most common HDDs to most mainboards. IDE HDD to SATA, SATA to IDE, USB to IDE, USB to SATA...

    I'm not sure why this device is so difficult to obtain. I mean, if they can convert IDE to USB, and SATA to USB, then why not USB back the other way to one of those.

    I have just had one computer die, and realised my IDE/SATA to IDE adapter is only working on the SATA channel. Since I have to replace that anyway, I figured I may as well finally get a complete 'repair kit' ready.
  3. You might want to take a look at this type of adapter to determine if it partially would fulfill your requirements.
    https://www.amazon.com/Generic-IDE-SATA-Adapter/dp/B000RK89M4

    It's hard for me to imagine why one would need a "repair kit" that would contain an adapter designed for "USB to IDE", but I suppose it serves some sort of a useful purpose for you.

    As for "SATA to USB", we work with USB external enclosures every day that contain a SATA HDD/SSD. And there are cable-type SATA to USB adapters available as well.
  4. Thanks. I have ordered a similar item to that: http://www.ebay.com/itm/322165225684 - it's more robust than the tiny cct boards with no case. But what I want to able to do (boot an IDE or SATA mainboard using a portable USB drive - without going through the USB sockets) doesn't seem to exist. I've found lots of people online have asked about this very device over the years though. So there is demand for it. Well, that is, until people discover they can't get it. Then other options are suggested, the thread dries up, and people must abandon their search I guess.
  5. Just out of curiosity...assuming that one was able to boot a USB drive containing a viable OS via a USB connection, what do you see as the downside to such a scenario?

    Under those circumstances why would there be a need for some special device facilitating a connection directly from the USB external drive to a motherboard's SATA connector (port)?

    Is your quest for such a device based on the fact that ordinarily a MS OS installed on a USB drive is not bootable? And somehow the device you seek would overcome this limitation through a direct connection noted above?
  6. Best answer
    well such a device would have to take sata or ide commands and then convert them over to usb commands.

    I don't really see the need for a device anymore as most computers have more usb ports then you really ever need. and one usb port can be subdivided into multi more using a hub up to I think 250 devices for one motherboard port.

    booting from a motherboard usb port has been support for years now. so just plugging it in the motherboard treats it as a hard drive to boot off of. again only issue is computers that are more then 10 years old.


    so I don't think anyone really thinks there is a need for such a devices as--

    usb ports are bootable
    theres plenty of usb ports
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