I frequently need to access bare drives for backups and need a quick, high-speed way to deal with them.
There are a multitude of SATA hard drive docks (for example), but I have a lot of IDE/PATA (hereafter "IDE") drives that I would like to be able to use similarly. There are IDE-to-SATA adapters so you can plug your IDE hard drive into a SATA port, so I don't see any reason why you couldn't use the same technology to have a native dock, yet none seems to exist.
Now, I'm aware that 3.5" IDE drives do not have a specification for the layout of the connector, and therefore can't be slapped into a dock the same way a SATA drive could, but 2.5" PATA drives do. In fact, I'm not terribly interested in supporting 3.5" drives. It would be nice, but I deal with them far less frequently than 2.5" drives.
Also, I'd very much like for the connection to the computer be faster than USB, preferably eSATA, I don't want to be spending time mounting a drive inside an enclosure, I don't want bare drives lying around with a cable hanging off of them, and I'd prefer a single dock rather than two.
What seems like the ideal solution to me would be a regular SATA→eSATA dock and some sort of screwless adapter for IDE drives, but I'm open to any suggestions, regardless of my stated preferences, but which are, in some sort of order of preference:
- high-speed (faster than USB, at least)
- holder for drive (not just a cable)
- no complicated enclosure
- support for 3.5" IDE drives
- single dock
Here's a 3.5" IDE to 3.5" SATA docking adapter that could be part of the solution. Weird. I figured that would be the impossible part.
I was hoping to find something like this 2.5" to 3.5" SATA chassis that would take a 44-pin IDE drive internally.
It looks like the Vantec EZ Swap EX comes awfully close. It has its own bay dock, but it looks like the SATA ports on the back are spaced properly, even if they're not aligned quite properly. Unfortunately, the proper position is at the very edge of the drive, which means that the docks' connectors are at the very edge of their recesses, which means there's no way to fit it in there.