Make an old hard drive new again with this conversion kit from Icy Dock.
Quite some time ago, I had a Dell desktop tower. At the time, it was intended to be used for basic office-type tasks and some light gaming. Over time, I decided to convert it into more of a media box and I connected it to my television. This was a time when Netflix was still primarily a DVD order company and they weren’t streaming 99% of their inventory. I stored numerous movies on the Dell and finally, I had to upgrade my hard drive for additional storage. A friend of mine had a spare drive, but we discovered that the Dell computer required a special bracket in order for the hard drive to fit into it properly. This was another hassle because we had to special order it (from eBay at the time).
I said all that to say that today — there is a better way. Icy Dock, a company that specializes in the design and manufacturing of state-of-the-art hard disk enclosures and removable storage kits, happens to have solutions for problems like mine. And when I recently found myself needing to make a 2.5″ inch hard drive fit into a 3.5 inch hard drive slot, I looked to Icy Dock for a way to make it happen. And they did — with their EZCovert Air Lite kit.
The EZConvert Air Lite kit is made from stainless steel and has a chrome finish to it. The power input is a 15-pin connector and it is made to fit 3.5″ SAS drive bays. Depending on the hard drive speed, the EZConvert can transfer data at a rate of up to 6 Gb/s. The frame weighs 210 grams and it comes packaged with a user manual and mounting screws. The kit supports 7-15mm drive heights and is made to fit the exact 3.5″ hard drive form factor. There are slits in the frame for ventilation so that the hard drive doesn’t overheat.
The kit came packaged in a fairly standard brown cardboard box with some description written on it. When you open the box, the EZConvert kit will slide right out and you will find the manual along with two small plastic bags with screws placed inside the frame. The user manual is pretty straightforward even though there are a lot of different languages included.
I found the EZConvert Air Lite to be pretty easy to use. I’m no IT person, but I found that connecting the 2.5″ drive was pretty simple. The only struggle I had was making sure the connector on the 2.5″ drive lined up with the EZConvert internal connector. Once it did, the drive was a fairly tight fit. I was able to screw the drive screws into the bottom of the kit so that the 2.5″ drive stayed in place. I’m happy to say that the frame and drive really seemed like one piece of equipment rather than two put together.
My original plan to use this converter kit ended up falling a little flat. I have a 2.5″ hard drive that I wanted to use in a Drobo backup system. The Drobo 5D3 holds 5 – 3.5″ drives and since I had a spare hard drive, I wanted to try and use it with that system. So, once I had the hard drive in place, I tried to insert it into an empty slot on the Drobo. The EZConvert Air Lite slid into the slot with little issues, but there is a spring on this inside of the hard drive slot that has a lot of tension to it. When I tried to slide the EZConvert into the slot and lock it into place, I discovered that the frame was too lightweight to engage the spring and I had to push really hard to make a connection with the Drobo. Fearing that I might damage either device, I opted to remove the EZConvert Air Lite kit from the Drobo and use it elsewhere.
I am impressed with the build quality of the EZConvert kit. I think it’s superior to any other adapter units I’ve seen. It’s very easy to install and it’s a very cost-effective option to purchasing a brand new drive. The support team is phenomenal and I’ve had nothing but good things to say about this product. There are a lot of different kinds of options for converter kits so if you aren’t sure if it will work, reach out to Icy Dock support and they will help you figure out the best option for your situation.
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