Enthusiasts are quick when it comes to replacing old hard drives, or when they need more storage capacity. The older hard drives may still hold important data you need to access, though, or you may need to urgently copy something onto a drive for other reasons. This is when quick and dirty storage accessories are just what you need. We looked at four solutions that allow users to access hard drive data in unconventional ways.
Storage Goes External…
One of the most important storage trends for consumers and small businesses has been the extraction of storage out of the conventional PC and into more convenient solutions. Just a few years ago, users had no choice but to exchange or install hard drives inside their PCs, but now more and more people purchase external hard drives and other versatile storage solutions. USB 2.0, FireWire, and especially eSATA have made it possible to conveniently access self-sustaining storage devices that don’t require installation or complex maintenance.
… and less Predictable
However, the failure of external storage solutions is also difficult to predict. What do you do if the power supply of your external hard drive dies all of a sudden? What if the network connection to your NAS server fails due to a broken switch? What if it’s just the dog biting through the only cable you have for your storage product? More versatile solutions may also result in a wider variety of issues.
Being Prepared is Easy
Luckily, many of these issues can be addressed easily, especially if you prepare for worst-case scenarios. But it’s more appropriate to call them use situations, as many issues can be solved by getting direct access to the hard drive itself. We received a few products that all focus on providing access to popular 3.5” and 2.5” hard drives, mostly using the Serial ATA interface. An investment of $30 to $50 will give you nice flexibility, even if you’re not a hardware guru. Let’s look at the products.