If you have some old IDE drives around but can’t access the data, you can get this Coolmax CD-350 converter from Coolmax (MSRP $33.99). Amazon has it on sale for $22.73 at the time of this writing but their prices change requently so you’ll have to look for yourself.
Compared to the Vantec Nexstar, this converter is… well, let’s just say it, ugly. But it does work. It will convert 2.5-inch, 3.5-inch, or 5.25-inch IDE/SATA drives and connect them via your USB 2.0 port to your computer. USB 2.0 is supposed to deliver 480 Mbps transfer rates. I didn’t benchmark anything so I don’t really know if this is true or not.
As for power, for 2.5-inch drives, the power is supplied via the USB bus. For others, there’s a separate power supply that you plug into the drive for power. There’s also a power switch to turn the unit on/off.
All in all, it’s not pretty, but this converter does do what it says it does.
I recently bought the coolmax cd-350 and vista installs a driver but then won't let me access the data on the drive. In disk management it says not initialized, but then won't let me initialize the drive (not ready). Any suggestions?
Strange. Are you sure your drive is OK?