How can I turn my IDE hard drive into a USB drive?

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Marcella asks:

Both my desktop computers have died (electrical surge), and I’m using my laptop. I need a device that I can hook my desktop hard drives to and access/retrieve the files. All the storage devices I’ve found operate from an existing computer setup and need an O/S to run. Does a device exist that I can just attach my hard drives to and retrieve/store/access my files? In short, I don’t care about the computers, only about retrieving my data.

As a matter of fact, you can convert your drives to USB drives with a relatively inexpensive kit. Then you can plug them into your laptop and access all the data and even use the external drives as backups for your laptop. Here’s one link: http://www.usb-ware.com/tt-firewire-400-usb-2-drive-kit.htm.

Cheers!
The Geek

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