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A couple of times each month, a friend or relative will hand me a smoldering computer and ask me to retrieve the data then ditch the drive. I connect the drive to my trusty Frankenputer, copy the data, DBAN the disk, then wait for the next request.

Connecting the drives can be a bit of a pain, because I have to dig the computer out of a tight spot, open it, hook up (mostly PATA) cables, etc. I have a USB->PATA/SATA adapter, but that won't work for DBAN.

Is there some sort of connector (maybe a breakout box style faceplate for a 5.25 bay) that allows for a direct-to-motherboard SATA/PATA connection?

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Yes. Google "Lockable hard drive rack pata" and Lockable hard drive rack" which will provide links for a number of 5.25" bays with removeable caddies for SATA drives and PATA drives.

for SATA disks you may be able to alternatively use an ESATA drive enclosure if you have ESATA connector on your motherboard.

Or just leave cables hanging out of your machine !!!

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