DriveDock V4: The Swiss Army knife for hard-drive docking

A device that connects any consumer level hard drive to a PC via USB2.0 connection.

The switch from IDE standard to SATA standard in hard drives has been going on for years, and at this point you'd have a hard time buying a new PC (Dell, Hewlett-Packard, or any other brand) that supports IDE. The fact that there are millions of computers that came with IDE hard drives, means that you cannot close the door on it just yet. Once in a while, you need to copy data from an old hard drive to a new one, and many times that older hard drive happens to be of the IDE variety. It can sometimes be a huge pain to have to hook an internal hard drive to a PC, especially for a temporary purpose. Working in the Labs, I run into the problem a lot.

DriveDock V4 hooked to a laptop hard drive. Dong Ngo

For this reason, I was thrilled to find out about the DriveDock V4 from WiebeTech. About the size of a matchbox, this little device allows for connecting virtually any consumer internal hard drive to a PC via an USB 2.0 connection. It supports both SATA and IDE/PATA standards and has enough port types for both desktop (3.5 inch) and laptop (2.5 inch) hard drives. It's really nice to be able to quickly hook a hard drive to your PC without even opening the case. Moreover, you can even hook a desktop hard drive to a laptop and vice versa.

The DriveDock v4 comes with a power adapter that's bigger and heavier that the device itself. You won't need this adapter, however, if you don't mind opening the PC as the DriveDock V4 can also draw power from the four-pin power connectors found in the power supply of most desktop PCs. It would be nicer if the device drew power from the USB port using the same data cable, but for now, and for $50, I am just happy with what it does do.

About the author

CNET editor Dong Ngo has been involved with technology since 2000, starting with testing gadgets and writing code for CNET Labs' benchmarks. He now manages CNET San Francisco Labs, reviews 3D printers, networking/storage devices, and also writes about other topics from online security to new gadgets and how technology impacts the life of people around the world.

 

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