USB disk over IDE/SATA bus: is this even possible?

cat_food

n00b
Joined
Jul 28, 2021
Messages
5
Hello [H]ard|Fourm! Long time visitor of the website, today I decided on finally creating an account.

I'm in a bit of an odd situation. I work with a lot of older computers (e.g. 80s/90s/early 00s), mostly IBM PC compatibles, and I have been looking for an ODD and VHD emulator (physical device) to replace the dying drives in some of my systems. I recently picked up this thing from Scamazon which looks like it will accomplish what I'm looking for (haven't received it yet btw), the only problem is that the device uses USB. That's okay for the most part with newer computers, but I have a feeling some of the older systems I have, especially the ones that don't support USB booting, won't like this thing. That lead me to thinking, is there any device out there that will allow me to connect this thing (which looks to present itself to the computer as a real USB ODD/hard disk, depending on the setting) over a SATA or IDE bus? My theory is that, if this can be done, the computer in question will see the device properly and work without issue.

I've done a lot of research on this before posting here, to little-to-no avail. I know I've looked this up before and, from what I recall seeing, the ultimate answer was "USB drives are too slow and would be borderline unusable as a SATA/IDE disk." I, personally, don't mind turtle-speed drive access, especially on systems running MS-DOS, for example, where anything faster than a floppy disk is pretty usable. Furthermore, as USB 3.0 speeds are pretty decent, that "too slow" comment might not be as applicable as it was back when that was posted (maybe that comment was regarding flash drives?).

Any input on the matter would be appreciated. Cheers!
 
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Smoblikat

Limp Gawd
Joined
May 28, 2020
Messages
431
I love that thing! I use it all the time at work and home (I call it the IDDQD), ive never tested the VHD function though. I just did some looking, and I couldnt really find what youre asking for, plenty of things that do the opposite though (USB to SATA).

As far as boards without USB boot support go, that might be tricky, but you could head over to WinRaid and see if you can get that support added, lots of boards will do things they never knew they wanted to do :D

The next best thing I can think of is to try out PLOP or some other bootloader and try to chainload the IDDQD.
 

cat_food

n00b
Joined
Jul 28, 2021
Messages
5
Hi everyone, sorry for the delayed response. I just came back from a vacation.

Interesting situation. May I ask what you do with these old computers?
I collect them for fun. Play old games on them for the authentic experience, use them to aid in tasks older computers work better at (such as VHS digitization), things like that.

I love that thing! I use it all the time at work and home (I call it the IDDQD), ive never tested the VHD function though. I just did some looking, and I couldnt really find what youre asking for, plenty of things that do the opposite though (USB to SATA).

As far as boards without USB boot support go, that might be tricky, but you could head over to WinRaid and see if you can get that support added, lots of boards will do things they never knew they wanted to do :D

The next best thing I can think of is to try out PLOP or some other bootloader and try to chainload the IDDQD.
Thanks for the suggestions! I forgot about PLOP. Haven't used that in years. IIRC I wasn't able to boot USB devices with PLOP on an older, non-USB-boot-supported system before, but I probably did something wrong back then. It's worth a shot to try it again!

I've seen retro guys, like Clint on LGR, use CF card -> IDE adapters. They don't need USB, and they are recognized by older BIOS.
Something like: https://www.amazon.com/StarTech-com-Pin-Compact-Flash-Adapter/dp/B0026OYEEQ
Hey, that's a good idea, too. While not exactly fitting what I'm looking for, it does make data transfers quicker, and smaller disk sizes are more doable that way (I bought some 64MB CF cards for this purpose a while back). Better than nothing, at least from a VHD perspective.

I received the IODD in the mail, but haven't tried it out just yet.
 

cat_food

n00b
Joined
Jul 28, 2021
Messages
5
I finally got around to setting up the IODD and, as I've been using it, I've realized that if a "USB disk to IDE/SATA bus" adapter were to exist, it wouldn't play nice with the IODD.

At a minimum, the IODD will mount a virtual optical drive. If you want to mount a VHD/IMA/RMD image, or mount the image repository, the virtual ODD will always be mounted with it. I haven't figured out how to disable that. Switching between "CD/HDD/Dual" doesn't work the way it sounds.

Thank you regardless for the suggestions. While I won't be able to achieve exactly what I was looking for, I can still use something like PLOP to get as close as possible. :)

Cheers!
 
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