ADS Tech Dual-Link 2.5 Dual-Link 2.5

ADS Tech Dual-Link 2.5 (DLX-188)
Manufacturer:ADS Tech
Retail Price: $120.00

You've upgraded the hard drive in your computer. What do you do with the old hard drive? It still is useful if you buy a hard drive enclosure. You'll have a handy, portable hard drive to back up files, use as an emergency boot disk, store seldom used programs, etc.

I recently needed a hard disk enclosure. There are several kits on the market. I selected the ADS DLX-188, an enclosure with both firewire and USB ports. I wanted FireWire so that I could have a bootable drive, and USB connectivity because I work with older computers without FireWire ports. The ADStech web site is http://www.adstech.com.

The Dual Link Drive Kit is an external drive enclosure that enables you to convert an IDE Ultra DMA 33/66 or ATA-100/133 drive into a FireWire or USB 2.0. It provides throughput of 400 Mbits/sec for FireWire and at 480 Mbits/sec for USB 2.0, and is backwards compatible with USB 1.1. The enclosure has two FireWire ports and one USB port.

The kit came the other day, and it took about 20 minutes to assemble the drive. The directions
are clear, except the wire to connect the LED to the power supply is not mentioned (but when I connected everything else, there were two wires left with unusual and matching connectors,
which completed the installation). The power supply is built into the unit, which makes a slightly bulkier unit, but no "bricks" to deal with when you plug it into a socket or power strip. The drive is well-designed, and "industrial strength." It is portable, but heavy, and most people will probably just leave it next to their computer.

The installation package contains all the screws (plus extra ones...they're small and easily dropped), plus firewire, USB, and power cables. One tool you will need is a small Phillips screwdriver.

The kit includes a CD with the following programs: Acrobat Reader 5; Retrospect 5.1 trial; Intech's SpeedTool Utility Suite (QuickBench, Integrity, Disk DeFrag, QuickBack, and DeviceTuner).

If you, like me, are using your already formatted old drive, you won't need these programs, but they are a nice addition if you are purchasing an unformatted hard drive to expand your storage capacity. The InTech SpeedTools Suite contains versions for both OSX and OS9. The SpeedTools package alone is a $90 value.

ADStech advertises the drive enclosure as having a "silent ball bearing fan." I can vouch for the fact that the drive is virtually silent, certainly the quietest computer or external drive I have ever used. The kit is priced competitively at $120, although it may be available for less at major electronics stores, and is a good solution to "What do I do with my old hard drive?"

Review by NCMUG member Wayne Till