Author Topic: Can you put a USB-IDE adapter on an IDE cable in line with the drive?  (Read 422 times)

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Offline Mp3

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Would this actually work?

  • IDE cable with 2 drive connectors and 1 motherboard connector (Female, Female Male
  • USB to IDE adapter
  • USB Male to Male adapter

Connected as such:

Female connector 1: IDE Hard Drive
Female connector 2: IDE Male to Male into USB to IDE adapter
Male connector: Motherboard

The idea would be to access the hard drive over USB only when the machine is shut off assuming the drive is remaining powered.
« Last Edit: January 22, 2019, 11:12:04 am by Mp3 »
 

Online Nominal Animal

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Re: Can you put a USB-IDE adapter on an IDE cable in line with the drive?
« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2019, 12:44:57 pm »
No, it won't work with any of the USB-IDE adapters I know of.  They all only support the USB connector for the host, not the device (and the IDE connector for the device, not the host).
 
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Offline macboy

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Re: Can you put a USB-IDE adapter on an IDE cable in line with the drive?
« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2019, 02:58:20 pm »
Would this actually work?

  • IDE cable with 2 drive connectors and 1 motherboard connector (Female, Female Male
  • USB to IDE adapter
  • USB Male to Male adapter

Connected as such:

Female connector 1: IDE Hard Drive
Female connector 2: IDE Male to Male into USB to IDE adapter
Male connector: Motherboard

The idea would be to access the hard drive over USB only when the machine is shut off assuming the drive is remaining powered.
First, no IDE cable cable has a female connector. They have 3 male connectors (the odd single drop cable may have only two male connectors). You would have difficultly connecting the (male) connector on the USB-IDE adapter to the cable.

Second, either the unpowered USB-IDE device, or the unpowered motherboard would load the IDE bus down with some low impedance causing this trick to fail. The USB-IDE might even siphon enough power from the bus lines to power itself, resulting in two controllers on the bus, which also just doesn't work.

An alternative is an IDE tray / hot swap bay of some kind, plus a USB-IDE docking station. This would allow the drive to work normally in the computer, and you could physically slide it out and connect it to the USB dock or adapter. An IDE hot swap bay might be hard to find these days, I don't know.
 

Offline tsman

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Re: Can you put a USB-IDE adapter on an IDE cable in line with the drive?
« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2019, 03:15:16 pm »
I've seen this done before on old IDE based MP3 players but that was with a custom design where the designer had control over everything. They used a USB IDE chip that could tristate the interface and they made their own IDE interface which could also be tristated. Add some logic to ensure only one is active at any point in time.

I doubt this will work on off the shelf computer components as the unused and/or unpowered interfaces will affect the IDE bus.
 

Online Nominal Animal

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Re: Can you put a USB-IDE adapter on an IDE cable in line with the drive?
« Reply #4 on: January 22, 2019, 03:19:09 pm »
An alternative is an IDE tray / hot swap bay of some kind
Hot-swapping IDE devices requires support from the IDE controller; and those are really rare.

Hot-swapping SATA devices also requires some support from the controller/motherboard, but that is fortunately common; check the motherboard manual.  Often there is at least one port with an eSATA connector (or a cable from the motherboard SATA connector with an eSATA female at the other end) with hot-swap support.  Sometimes most or all SATA motherboard connectors support hot-swap, although there may be some limitations.

USB-IDE adapters can be hot-swapped with the same limitation: you'll want to park the drive before you power it down, and power up the controller/bridge before you power up the drive.  Many docks do this internally, so all you need to worry about is turning the drive off in software before powering down the dock.

(I use USB/eSATA docks constantly; currently, most used one is an old USB 2.0 Akasa DuoDock, that supports both 2.5" and 3.5" SATA drives.  I use a two-inch thick soft foam pad underneath for acoustic isolation, as my old 3.5" drives are noisy.)
 

Offline Flenser

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Re: Can you put a USB-IDE adapter on an IDE cable in line with the drive?
« Reply #5 on: January 23, 2019, 03:35:49 am »
+1 for macboy' suggestion:
Quote
An alternative is an IDE tray / hot swap bay of some kind, plus a USB-IDE docking station.

The original post specified
Quote
access the hard drive over USB only when the machine is shut off
so hot swap is not required.

Cheap plastic IDE trays used to be common. They are still available like this example https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Mobile-Rack-Locking-SCSI-IDE-HDD-Removable-Storage-Case-Plastic/262742023595?epid=27012065595&hash=item3d2ca51dab:g:JAEAAOSwA3dYPttD:rk:8:pf:0
You will need a 5.25" drive bay to fit one of these trays.

Search ebay for "ide hdd rack"

USB to IDE & Sata adapters are still common and cheap. Note that the docking station style adapter may not work with the drive still in the tray so the plain cable type adapter might allow you to plug the hdd in while still in the tray.

As this a a 3.5" drive you have to provide power to the drive via the molex connector. The docking station type adapter has this built-in but for the cable type adapter there is a seperate power supply with cables.

If you have 2 x 5.25" drive bays you could put in a 2nd rack and plug the HDD to USB adapter into the back of it. You would still need to provide power to the 2nd rack when the PC was turned off.
« Last Edit: January 23, 2019, 04:11:00 am by Flenser »
 


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