After ending up with a couple of extra notebook computer hard drives when I did the Archos upgrade, I ordered some cheap ($4.90) cases from China on eBay that would let me convert the hard drives to portable drives. They arrived this morning. I got a blue one and a black one. One will hold the 40 GB drive and the other the 20 GB drive (the blue 40 GB drive is for Nicole).
To set it up, you just take the end off of the case, plug the hard drive into it, slide it back in place, and screw two tiny little screws into the sides to hold it securely (they include a small philips head screwdriver). They even threw in a cheap looking leather sleeve for it. My computer had no problem recognizing it and I didn’t need the extra USB plug that can provide extra power (the only thing kind of non-standard is that they used the wide USB A end instead of a mini USB or USB B plug for the drive). The connection is USB 2.0, so data transferred very quickly. I moved 3.81 GB of videos over in 3 minutes 39 seconds, so 17.4 MB per second. That is at least a few times faster than the tests I did on my flash drives and way faster than when I connect the USB 1.1 Archos where 3 GB of data would take 20 minutes or so. USB 2.0 will allow faster speeds than that, so the limiting factor might be the hard drive itself or my computer. It is noticeably snappy when opening folders on it, similar to folders on the computer’s hard drive.
Anyway, this is pretty neat and a good use for a hard drive from an old laptop computer.