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Brando Hooks Up (S)ATA Drives To USB 2.0

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June 30, 2006 11:01:58 AM

Do you need to access data on a regular hard drive, but the only interface you have available is a USB port? If so, Brando may bridge your interface gap.
June 30, 2006 1:17:21 PM

Thanks for telling us about this neat tool!

In your report, you said "(Note that the device can only handle one drive at a time.)" [on page two]

Yet, on it's website, Brando's Workshop clearly show the device connected to an ATA and a SATA drive at the same time in more than one picture.

http://usb.brando.com.hk/prod_detail.php?prod_id=2

The implication clearly is that one can transfer data between two connected devices (which would be most useful!).

You indicated there are others who offer similar devices. Could you name a few?

Thanks, again, for the very nice article/review. :-)
Related resources
June 30, 2006 2:18:20 PM

I guess I find this particular Toms review to be odd. This device has been available from several different manufacturers for a very long time. Geeks.com has a couple of different variations available at almost any time for the price of between $10 - $15. The Brando includes SATA functionality which is indeed nice, but nothing that an internal or external DVD-RW drive can't get around when moving data from one machine to another.

I've been using this $12 device for more than a year and a half:
http://www.geeks.com/details.asp?invtid=USB2IDE-25-35
June 30, 2006 2:24:33 PM

It states in the text clearly, rather than just implicating...

"Now you do not have to worry about the data in your old hard disk because the new version USB 2.0 to SATA / IDE cable helps to transfer data from IDE hard disk to SATA hard disk, it can work with SATA hard disk and IDE hard disk at the same time."
June 30, 2006 5:08:18 PM

Ya,
Sometimes THG is a bit late on some products. If they find something very cool, they will write an article even if it's a bit old. This doesn't bother me any. At least I got to read it sometime.
I think more focus is on CPUs, graphics cards, etc which is never a day late.
I do actually need something like this when I copy all my files in the 250 gig ATA drive to the new 750 gig SATA drive. (250 gigs ain't what it used to be 8) )
It's good to know about these things.


Off the subject, the new Divx 6.2 codec and converter seems to work WELL. Well enough to convert all my old Divx 3.11/mpeg video and the converted files work well in my handheld video players!! So I will be doing a WHOLE lot of file converstions while I upgrade my drive. 4 cores working overtime! :twisted:
June 30, 2006 5:28:59 PM

Versions 9 through 10.1 tested with easy installation and fast performance.

- gurutc
June 30, 2006 7:06:53 PM

I got mine at a steal from eBay, shipped from HK for about £10 totally.

Mine looks identical and likewise, I can't get the 2.5" 44-pin connection to work. The drive spins up but is never recognised or Windows reports it can't identify the attached USB device.

I actually got it to low-level access (direct I/O) a SATA drive but it turns out you can't do that on USB to SATA bridge (should've guessed really). All the same, it will be useful for the reasons listed in the review.
June 30, 2006 9:05:50 PM

That's funny it looks just like the bytecc (read identical) I bought from newegg for $25. Pretty handy for formatting a drive with Partition Magic BEFORE trying to load windows on it. I saved probably an hour on my last build this way. And with the handy partitions I created I was able to transfer important files on it before I loaded the OS.
a b } Memory
July 1, 2006 4:42:14 AM

i got my bytec about 6 months or so ago....$19 cad....going to get the sata(ngear) one too....

I have used it on 3 laptop drives without issue(500mb for kicks, 60gig and 20gig)

http://www.ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=17762&vpn=NG...

EDIT

anyone who has latop drive probs make sure it is set to Master as CS and Slave do not work on this thing...same for all drives with this.....
July 1, 2006 11:34:49 AM

id guess that 2.5" drives do not work with this adapter because they draw their power via the 44pin hd conector (not 40pin as mentioned else where) - 40 pins for data, 2 for +5v 2 for ground

as the adapter does not have any conection for an external power source it means that all power for the adapter and drive is being oulled from the usb2 port, which according to the usb spec can only provide 500ma - every 2.5" drive ive seen to date states it needs 1A at 5V - this is the reason most pocket 2.5" drive cases have 2 usb connectors on their cable - to spread the load across 2 500ma ports and get the full 1A

this would also explain why thg was able to get the laptop frives to work using a 3.5 - 2.5" adapter - this would have had its own power connector and would have supplied sufficient power to the drive

also, the 3 pin uk mains plug from this kit shown on thg would be illegal to sell or use in the uk as it does not incorporate a fuse, not much of a problem as its just a standard iec lead, but dosent really insoire confidence in the build quality - i wonder if the adapter meets any CE / UL standards?

hope this helps a bit

TSR
July 1, 2006 1:01:12 PM

Whilst it's a theory, it's not true. I have used many 5V 1A marked drives with only 1 USB port (i.e. 500mA) with no issues and many drives I have come across are in fact marked 5V 0.5A (most HGST drives are 1A, but many other brands such as Seagates and Fujitsus are rated below 1A). The drive spins up as well, if there is not enough power to spin the drive (which occasionally happens on some newer drives I've used) it makes a knocking kind of sound and doesn't fire up. With this, it does start, it just doesn't initialise correctly.
a b } Memory
July 1, 2006 3:00:31 PM

True...

I just happen to have USB ports that don't seem to care about the power draw :) 

that old 500mb drive is like 1.1amps @ 5 VDC...... works great if u got the power :) 

Also my compaq laptop seems to spin anything i toss at it up too....

My guess is one could have probs on a USB 1.1 port(i only tried the DVD/HDD on that computer)
July 1, 2006 10:36:11 PM

I like the idea. I had a similar idea and addonics still hasn't got it right. I thought why not take "SATA" or "SATAII" hard drives that are already hot swappable and add USB/FIREWIRE/e-SATA capabilites or some combination that allows you to pull out your existing drive and use it externally. Need to upgrade you computer no problem, move data no problem, bring files with you no problem. Utilizing a case like the Thermaltake Armor that allows for 10 5.25" drives, you could easily have 2 Optical drives, and up to 8 removable/external drives. Even raid if you like on the internal side.
July 3, 2006 8:26:02 AM

I picked up one of these from ebay a few months back and have noticed that the one by Brando only has 1 usb connector on it, the one i received (which is blue and has a sticker with R-DriverIII on it) has two usb connectors on it. When hooking up a 2.5inch drive I must use both connectors for it to work (and thus doesnt need any external power, very very handy) if i use just one usb connector, I get the same wierd noises etc just like some of you other guys have mentioned. Some drives do occasionally work off one usb connector though. But I never have problems when using both usb connectors (so maybe the extra current from the 2nd port helps). Theres nothing like having 60 + gigs of storage on a nice slim drive that can for example slip into a jacket pocket :) 
Hope this clears some things up.
July 4, 2006 12:31:42 PM

Wel nice, but what about ESATA?
That's more interesting for in the near future :) 

Although, i would like to see ESATA > Ethernet :p  , if possible.
July 5, 2006 5:44:36 PM

Would Ghost recognise a drive hooked up this way to copy an image to or from booting from a floppy?
July 8, 2006 1:37:22 PM

Quote:
i got my bytec about 6 months or so ago....$19 cad....going to get the sata(ngear) one too....

I have used it on 3 laptop drives without issue(500mb for kicks, 60gig and 20gig)

http://www.ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=17762&vpn=NG...

EDIT

anyone who has latop drive probs make sure it is set to Master as CS and Slave do not work on this thing...same for all drives with this.....


I have tried to transfer the files of my old machine to the new one using this cable but failed. I have already set the HD as master. Windows XP just tried to install then advise me there is problem when installing the device, then just show and "!" beside the USB mass storage device :cry:  Not sure whether because my old HD has Partition Magic installed and make it not recognisable. Any of you have experienced the same problem before?
July 11, 2006 8:18:49 AM

I used to use Ghost and a floppy for copying images to multiple hard drives when we got a whole load of identical laptops in. Since using this device, I have swtiched over to TrueImage 9 by Acronis (www.acronis.com). It works through windows, and provides quite a few features with being easy to use. And being able to unplug your hard drives without specifically needing esata etc or turning your pc off first is a handy feature of the usb adaptor. Try out the software and see what u think, they offer a free trial.
July 20, 2006 1:19:42 AM

http://www.cooldrives.com/seatatousb20.html

The problem with the reviewed adapters is that they do not have dual-USB cables to solve the power problem with 1.8 and 2.5 inch drives.

Also, the SATA adapter does not allow you to use SATA power, so if you have a 2.5 SATA drive, or a Seagate drive that only has SATA power, you cannot access it.

The CoolGear adapter (url above) solves both of these problems.

It comes with an SATA adapter, that has a molex power socket on it, this allows you to provide power through the SATA connector.

It comes with a dual-IDE adapter, that can run either 3.5 or 2.5 drive connectors, either with or without power.
July 24, 2006 2:25:27 AM

Yeah i too have noticed that this model would be better off having the extra usb power for the smaller drive options. I had a problem with a 2.5" one being detected at work but i had no probs with one at home i was testing.

I think it is a good little tool though and will come in quite handy :) 
August 12, 2006 9:30:24 PM

I believe you all when you say you've had issues with your 2.5-in IDE HDD powering up via the USB port. I've tested two drives, one Toshiba 30GB and Seagate 20GB. The Toshiba powered up, while the Seagate did not.

In case you need one of these converter adapters, we sell them here:

http://tekgems.com/Products/kl-usb-sata-ide-25-35.htm

We ship domestic & international!
June 15, 2007 10:42:07 PM

I am using this tools for my windows xp to connect to my Seagate 250GB SATA harddisk. But once I unplug it and replug in to the usb port, normally it cannot found the harddisk and i need to wait for about several hours and it will re-appeared in the windows explorer. Any one could help me figure out this? I suppose this connector is hot plug but turns out to be different than expected.
June 16, 2007 7:41:07 AM

It's not safe to run more than 500mA per USB port and for a total of 1.5 to 3Amp depending on your power supply. The computer that i'm using right now has a busted USB power because i tried a Samsung spinpoint mobile 2.5' rated at 0.8amp. When i pluged it into the USB ports, a capacitor in my computer blew up resulting in loss for power for all the USB ports.

There's a fix for this if this happened to you, get an old cell phone charger rated at 5v 0.5-1 amp, cut the charger's phone connectors, cut a USB cable and leave the male side, connect the 2 cables together, black wires connects to black wire and red wires connect to red wires and green and yellow or any other colour is useless. It seems to me that the power for all the USB ports are shared, thus if you plug in the modified cellphone charger in a USB port in a computer, it acts as a power boost for those power hungry devices.
a b } Memory
June 17, 2007 6:15:38 PM

better yet just feed them 5 volts out the psu. all the power they will ever need. But you are best to make an adapter for just one super power port.

You take those back plate usb ports and just cut the power so they get all there power from the psu and none from the mother board.


a little cutting and you can run ANY thing

Lucky for me, i've run 1.1 amps off both my desktop and laptop usb with no probs
June 17, 2007 11:55:13 PM

LOL... don't ever try to run 3amp+ on your USB. It's not that the power supply can't handel it, it is because it will melt the USB cable. USB cable are designed to handle only 500mamp, if you try to run aggressive amperage, then it'll definitely fail.
a b } Memory
June 19, 2007 9:06:36 PM

most usb cables are awg24 so 2 amps MAX.

thats like ANY laptop hard drive :) 
June 21, 2007 1:11:45 AM

This is kind af a neat thread. But there is also another answer, and thats to buy an IDE adapter for a 1.8 or 2.5 HDD, plug the HDD into adapter, and plug it into a spare molex for power. All you need is an unused IDE header on the MoBo. Instant Drive. Remember to configure for the little guy for UDMA4.

f61
June 21, 2007 2:00:24 AM

I wish they made a EUATA just like they did for SATA (ESATA). THat way you don't have to open your case to plug in the hard drive.
a b } Memory
June 21, 2007 5:43:03 AM

the nice thing about this is a 20$ adapter lets you hot plug(yes i know some ide cards can too...but not all) this sucker in....great at the work bench....but there are some limitations to it being usb. such as running it in dos and some cloning software not seeing it(in dos again) and the speed will be slower....

all in all i like my cheap ngear one :) 
!