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Repair and disassembly guides for adapters of all kinds.

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How to use a Hard Drive Adapter

If I use a hard drive adapter as suggested, such as this one: "Newer Technology Universal Drive Adapter - connects ATA/IDE/SATA to USB2 - 2.5", 3.5", 5.25" Drives", do I still need an enclosure?

I need to retrieve data from a computer that won't boot up due to a bad board. Can I do this using only the adapter and connecting it directly to the computer leaving the hard drive in the computer, OR, do I need to remove the HD, put it in the enclosure and then connect the adapter to the enclosure?

In summary, my mission is to get the data off the Macbook HD of the computer that won't boot up and transfer it to a new Macbook.

Will this scenario allow me to accomplish this, or is there another way to best do it?

Thanks very much!!

Universal Drive Adapter Görseli


Universal Drive Adapter


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Thank you everyone for your help. It was a success and a lot easier than I thought it would be!


You could always Accept my answer so that it can be archived for others to learn from.


Of course! I've forgotten to do that, thanks again.


No, I didn't mean to unaccept it, I thought I accepted it, not sure what happened. When I click to accept answers it doesn't change to unaccept. I'll try again.


I got the piece to retrieve data from my external hard drive but it's still not working what else can I do to retrieve the data from my external hard drive


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Keep in mind you have (2) problems when you disconnect a drive and try to attach it to another system:

1) getting the data bus wired correctly

2) powering up the drive so the platters spin and the heads move.

You must understand whether your adapter covers only number 1) above.

But, if you already have a complete enclosure, it should provide both a data path and power to the drive you insert.

Does your enclosure have only a USB cable coming from it? I would guess that

it also has some power going to it as well. Otherwise you will only be able to operate on rather small amount of power provided by your computer's USB port, insufficient to spin up a drive.

The thing to understand here is that you should be making (2) connections

to the drive itself, 1 for data, 1 for power. This may not necessarily mean that there are 2 plugs - there are connectors/drives where data and power are combined into a single strip of pins.

Then it is up to whatever OS is on the computer you are using as the repository for your recovered data to recognize the USB <-> ATA/IDE/SATA device and the HFS format on the drive.

I have done this before, but its been a while. The USB <-> ATA/IDE/SATA adapter is confusing things and adding an extra layer of complexity, but sometimes thats the way it goes.

hope this helps to some degree

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I use the Newer Tech adapter daily. Hook it up and start up holding down the the option key and select the external drive if it has a system on it. If no system then you need to install one. Hook the drive up, insert your system installation and start up holding down the "C" key. Format and install a system on the external. Next do the option thing, use Migration assistant and move your data from the internal to the external if you can access it.

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Hi Mayer. Oh boy, I don't think I'm explaining clearly what I need to do. So sorry! I'll give it another shot.

I need to get all my data from a Macbook that will not boot up. Do I need to remove the drive and place it in an enclosure in order to transfer files to a NEW Macbook?

If so, do I also need the adapter? Or, will just the enclosure work?

Once hooked up will the NEW Macbook recognize the drive from the OLD Macbook as an external drive, or how does this process actually work.

I hope I've been able to explain it more sensibly this time. :o)

thanks again!


Remove the drive. Either an external enclosure or the adapter will work. Either drag and drop the data you want to recover or use migration assistant to move your data from the external to the internal. Sorry for the mix up.


Glad I could help!


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There is a great deal of enclosures out there, so not sure which one you are referring to. Any 2.5inch SATA external USB or Firewire enclosure will work fine, (firewire 800 if your moving a great deal of data + firewire has some extra options for a mac based computer). Something with firewire and USB may be best if you are planning on using this for different platforms and functions.

These enclosures can be had on newegg and USB only models quite cheap on ebay.

Based on your question this is prob. the best way to retrieve your data from a non functional computer. (mounting the drive an an external, it will appear as a normal external drive so file permissions etc should not be an issue).

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Thanks, Brian. Can you please explain a bit further whatyou mean by "mounting the drive an an external, ..." ? Are you referring to pulling the drive out of the nonworking computer and using an enclosure?

I guess I'm still confused on whether or not I need the adapter or if I can do the transfer with only the using the enclosure. Enclosures, as far as I know don't have instructions, so do I just connect the pulled hard drive via the enclosure to the new Macbook and it sees it as a external drive from which I can drag and drop?

Also, does USB 2.0 or 3.0 matter?

Sorry for my ignorance, just haven't had to do this before.


Great!Thanks Mayer, that's what I needed to know.:D


Like mayer and I mentioned, yes an external USB SATA enclosure. They can be had on ebay for as little as $5.00 for a USB model. Its quite easy to install in the enclosure and a SATA connection makes it just about not possible to do it wrong.Yes the computer will see it as an external drive and you can drag and drop the files you need. Firewire is more expensive, but might be worth it as i mentioned before. So removing your hard drive and installing in an external enclosure is fairly easy, you will need some tools for removing the hard drive from the macbook, i don't know which model you have so not sure how easy that part will be.......there are a quite a few options out there for external connectors/enclosures so i was not specific in my answer. Getting an enclosure might be best if you intend to keep the hard drive for storage. You mentioned this old laptop is a "macbook". i assume its a newer model which would have a SATA hard drive. If SATA i can post a link to something that would work if needed.


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