I knew I could transfer the files off of the desktop harddrives by putting each drive in my desktop system on the IDE bus. What has been bothering me was how I was going to access my old laptop's harddrive. The only device I have around here that will interface with a laptop is my new laptop, and if I put the drive in it, how could I transfer the files off of it, when there is not a working OS on the old disk?
I finally decided to retrieve my long lost files off of these drives. I bought the Easy IDE, or it's official name: Koutech IO-UIC120 USB2.0 to IDE Converter. It was a bargain at NewEgg at only 16.99, plus 4.99 shipping. It also had an average rating of 5 stars after 77 customer reviews. I bought it, and as usual, NewEgg had it out to me within 2 days. NewEgg is so good, but that is a story for another day. Here's the NewEgg link to the EasyIDE.
The EasyIDE comes with the main unit that plugs into the IDE interface on the back of your harddrive. You plug the power supply into the wall, then the other end into the main unit. Plug the 4-pin Molex connector into the back of your harddrive. Plug the unit itself into the back of your harddrive. Connect the USB cable to your computer. Hit the power switch on the unit and you are ready to go.
The unit comes with a driver disk. I am running Vista Home Premium on my laptop. Vista HP identified the device and it was ready to use within 20 seconds, without having to install anything. Your mileage may vary with others OS's.
When you browse to My Computer, the drive attached to your EasyIDE shows up as another drive in your list. At this point you can browse through the drive just like you would a thumb drive, for instance. It couldn't be easier. To transfer files, you just select them, then Copy and Paste them onto your computer.
On my first transfer, I moved 15,211 items totalling 26.1 Gigs. It took 31 minutes to complete the transfer, and everything went without a hitch. That really is not bad when you consider you are moving that amount of data across a USB interface.
Also included is a 2.5-3.5 inch converter so that you can connect laptop drives to your EasyIDE. Laptop drives actually get their power through the IDE interface, so the Molex connector also plugs into the 2.5-3.5 inch converter. This works flawlessly.
I have no idea how these guys are making money on this device. It is so cheap and useful. Anyone that builds their own systems or finds themself constantly fixing friend's and relative's computer should get one. Awesome product!