actually had two old hard drives to try out with the kit,
an 850MB Maxtor and a 20GB Western Digital. My 850MB Maxtor
drive did not work with the enclosure, but the Western
Digital was fine. Assembling the enclosure was straightforward.
Drop the drive into the bottom half. Use the screws provided
to secure it. The enclosure has been designed to allow
for different orientation of threads on the hard drives.
So there's almost no way to have a problem screwing in
the drive. Plug the power and data cables into the hard
drive. Attach the top half of the enclosure. Snap it all
together with the side and front panels and VOILA! You
have yourself an external hard drive.
the one drawback of this kit is the fact that the USB
interface from your computer is not strong enough to
supply the necessary power to run both the enclosure
electronics and the hard drive. Therefore, the unit must
be connected to an A/C outlet for power. Both the USB
cable and power cable are included. The power supply
is built into the back of the enclosure so there is no
bulkly transformer to hog precious space on your power
Windows Me computer recognized the drive as soon as I
powered up the external drive unit's switch. Windows
2000 and XP systems will also automatically recognize
the drive. People running Windows 98 Second Edition must
first install an extra extra driver from the CD supplied
with the enclosure before the computer can recognize
the drive. Once connected, you can use the hard drive
just like you would use an internal hard drive in your
computer. That includes any type of formatting that might
be required after you install the hard drive.
external drive's performance will vary depending on the
type of USB interface you have in your computer. It is
only now that I realize I only have USB 1.0 interface
in my computer. This limits my throughput to 12Mbits
per second. For about fifty dollars, you can purchase
a separate USB 2.0 card to plug into your computer. If
your computer has the faster USB 2.0 interface, your
data throughput jumps to a whopping 480Mbits per second.
Neither the 12Mbit speed nor the 480Mb speed are as
fast as the throughtput a drive enjoys when directly
installed inside your computer. However, even with USB
1.0, the external hard drive will beat the pants off
of floppy disks, CD-ROM or CD-RW drives.
is a simple, straightforward and unassuming piece of
hardware that almost anyone can put together. If your
power strip (and USB ports) can accomodate the space,
I recommend this unit to anyone who has an old drive
which can still be put to good use.