USB 2.0 Universal Drive Adapter Review

I’ve been wanting a USB adapter that could make any SATA, PATA, or ATAPI device available to my computer without any enclosure. This type of device is handy because you dont need to open up the computer. You wouldn’t even need to reboot the machine because the device would be considered removable. But up until recently, this adapter wasnt available. Enter NewerTech with their ‘USB 2.0 Universal Drive Adapter’ that came out a few months ago. I had to have one (or two), so I looked online, and eventually purchased them from Other World Computing @ $24.95 a piece.


There are two sides for PATA and ATAPI connections. One is for 2.5″ drives, and the other is for 3.5″ or 5.25″ drives. On the smaller end, there is the SATA connector. The included power brick has a 4 pin connector that plugs straight into the device. If you need a SATA power connector, there is an adapter included as well. The power brick also has a small cable that plugs into the USB adapter to supply more power when connecting laptop drives.


I am quite happy with the device, and I’ve been using it ever since I got it. I do wonder if there is a long term effect when leaving a hard drive on, not in a case, all exposed, all the time.

LinuxWorld SWAG Guide – Day 2

I wasn’t planning on going back to LinuxWorld, but a co-worker dragged me back because she didn’t get as much SWAG as I did yesterday.


The ‘Take the sh out of IT’ shirt is from Splunk. I made a comment to them about the recent publishing of AOL customer search records; the guys laughed and said they had nothing to do with it. The red box contains a nice set of chopsticks and chopstick holders. This was from the AsiaLinux booth. The ‘die hackers, die.’ shirt is another hilarious one I got today, but I dont remember which booth it was from.

LinuxWorld SWAG Guide

Its that time of year again… LinuxWorld in SF’s Moscone Center. And we all know what that means right? Its time to get out the loot bag for SWAG (Stuff We All Get)! Now that doesnt mean I went just for the SWAG, I did talk to various developers about their products.

9 shirts, 2 caps… not bad. The quality on Oracle‘s ’10’ cap is very nice.

I’m surprised I didn’t come home with a lot of pens… I guess I’m finally passing the free pen phase. Lenovo had a kiosk at Novell‘s huge booth and they were giving out a penguin am/fm radio. If you sit through EMCs talk you can get a mini four port usb hub…but its only USB 1.1 so its absolutely useless. Syncsort is giving out lil hand puppets, but if you ask nicely they will give you a 128mb usb key.

I was hoping to go over everything I got today, but I’m really tired from all the walking and talking. Hopefully you got an idea of whats available at the expo.

Vonage V-Phone

Vonage released the V-Phone recently… Its a small usb key with a mic and input jack on it. Very cool device, but I found out that it requires its OWN account! You cant link it into your existing vonage account. Another stupid move vonage. People are angry enough about the softphone option for an additional $10/mo. I was interested in this because I travel often, and so I wouldnt have to bring the big motorola box with me anymore. I guess it was too much to ask.


Fake SanDisk USB device?


I recently bought a 4gb SanDisk Cruzer mini USB flash drive from amazon‘s marketplace. Well, it finally arrived today and I was excited. I opened up the annoying hard plastic casing, then popped it into my machine. Thats when things started to go downhill. I have an older 1gb SanDisk mini, and it detects as ‘SanDisk Cruzer’. This device detected as an ‘AGL’. I was curious why it didnt show up as a SanDisk, so I put it into my linux machine. Under linux I saw the vendor as AGL, revision number as %z!Y, and total space of 1099512 MB!

So do I have a magical 1TB usb key? As you can see from the picture above, I could partition the drive to 1TB, but errors when formatting it :( So is it completely fake? I was able to format a 4gb partition, and fill it all up. I did supposedly buy a 4gb device, and all 4gb seem to be available. But I dont think I’ll be using it that much… who knows when the flash will go corrupt or die.

I did some searching around, and others have been reporting fake SanDisks on the market. SanDisk knows about the problem, but they wont be offering you a trade-in for a legit one :(

So how good of a counterfeit are these ? If it wasnt for my initial observation when windows detected the drive, it probably would have fooled me. After looking at the device and packaging in more detail, I found a few small things that stick out.


Here you can see that the print is not straight.


I dont have another picture for you to compare the SanDisk logo to, because my 1gb one is really beaten up. I ended up comparing it with one my co-worker had. The text is a slightly thicker font, and the flame(?) doesnt go as high in the graphic.

The packaging seemed to be legit. It even came with all the normal stuff… lanyard, three caps, and the cruzer software was even loaded on the device.

Next thing up is to return it. Here I also ran into a somewhat disturbing thing about Amazon’s Guarantee Protection. “Buyers are limited to a lifetime maximum of five claims for Amazon Marketplace, Auctions and zShops purchases.” Oh well… one is gonna be used for this POS device.

So knowing that there are so many fake SanDisks out there, will I buy another one? I’m not really sure…. My 1gb is still working, and I hear that there are other faster (dual channel) usb devices out there.