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Friday, September 30, 2011

I/O Magic Technology Review-

I/O Magic 3.5 IDE/SDA Enclosure, to be exact. First a little back story. Trust me, this may someday be useful information. My scintillating report will embed the information in the back of your mind where it will come forth when technical disaster strikes. It will, someday. Someday.

My wife's desktop computer finally gave up the ghost-in-the-machine, so to speak. Within the cold case lay a hard drive, filled with data. Photos and stuff. Important, in a personal kind of way. Now inaccessible. What to do? The Geek Squad geeks said it would take around four hundred dollars to even determine if the machine could be rebuilt. Recommendation? Yep. The computer retail section.

My wife now has a rather cheap Toshiba laptop, which even in it's cheapness is far better than the machine she just lost. However, the pictures and a few other things remained inaccessible. What to do? See the Geeks, again. Prospect; $100 to pull the data off to the media of our choice. We already have a portable hard drive, so that would be the total cost.

We later stopped by Office Depot to pick up a USB hub, one of those things that gives you a few more USB ports. Part of the Toshiba's cheapness was having only two USB ports. (Office Depot was next door to the hardware store where we were shopping for, uh, hardware.) I inquired as to the cost of getting the data off of the hard drive. It was $50, but I would have to buy a housing to make the hard drive an external hard drive.

"You can use this I/O housing." said the tech. "In fact, if you used this you could probably retrieve the data yourself." We left the store with a four port USB hub and the I/O Magic hard drive enclosure. Once I got home I followed the clear instructions and had the hard drive out of the old computer and into the new housing in about fifteen minutes. The kit includes everything you need, including cables, a power supply and very clear instructions.

As to using the drive, there were no instructions for that.  Fear not. It was much like plugging in a thumb-drive or any other USB file saving device. I searched the old drive, found the files we wanted, and moved them to the new machine. Total time, less than an hour.

Now we have a spare external hard drive. I haven't done anything with it, yet, but I figure I could reformat the device and use it for extra storage or as a back-up device. The old computer still has some usable memory, a DVD drive, and a wireless interface that can be cannibalized. Parts is parts, you know.

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