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ADS Simple Touch HDKit

Inexpensive external USB 2.0 hard disk enclosure By John Virata

The ADS Simple Touch HDKit is an external hard drive enclosure that enables you to take virtually any 3.5-inch hard disk and turn it into an external USB 2.0 hard drive. The kit consists of an enclosure, an AC power adapter, USB cable, and software for backup. This device is ideal in situations whereby you have little or no more internal storage slots for a hard drive, or you wish to have a portable drive that you can move from computer to computer.

The enclosure is made of aluminum and plastic and is a snap to install and configure. I set up this kit with an 80GB Hitachi drive that I bought at Fry's Electronics. The setup is pretty straightforward if you follow the included installation QuickGuide that ADS provides with the simple touch HDKit. Opening the unit requires removing four screws at the back of the unit, setting your hard drive to master or single drive setting, and installing your drive in the enclosure. The enclosure provides screw slots in the event you wish to screw down your drive, but it doesn't provide the screws, so you should save your screws if you are pulling the drive from your PC or Mac. The space is tight enough that you shouldn't really have to worry about the drive sliding around, as long as the unit remains stationary.

Rear of the unit. Image courtesy ADS Tech.

The rear of the unit features the SimpleTouch backup button that we'll discuss later, the USB connection, the AC power port, an exhaust fan to keep the drive cool, and the on/off switch. There are specific instructions provided for Windows XP/2000 as well as Windows 98SE/ME. Follows the instructions for your particular application and you should be up and running in about 10 minutes or less. Also, if your drive has not been formatted, you need to format it so the operating system can see it. If you've got data on the drive, back it up because formatting the drive will erase the contents of the drive.

The Simple Touch HDKit employs Intech's Touchback software to backup your data. The software is straightforward. You choose the files and folders that you want to backup at the touch of a button, choose your destination and close the window. Depress the SimpleTouch button in the back of the unit and the software starts the backup. You can check the progress by mousing over the Intec icon in the system tray. That is it. Pretty straightforward. You can designate a folder for simple backup by simply depressing the SimpleTouch button.

Touchback software. You specify folders and files to backup in this window.

The Simple Touch HDKit ships with several creative applications as well. The HDKit ships with muvee autoProducer 3, a video creation application, and Simple Star's PhotoShow Express, an image management, sharing and light editing application, and RetroSpect Trial, another backup software application. While muvee autoProducer 3 and PhotoShow are entry level applications, they do have the capability to help you to fill up your hard drives. The Simple Touch HDKit is really ideal in situations where you have no more expansion capabilities inside your computer, you've upgraded to a bigger hard disk drive, and you've got a spare drive that you want to get on line. It is an easy enough piece of hardware to set up, and at around $60, it is inexpensive enough to consider when you've got a spare drive laying around. It ships with a one year warranty and is cross platform. The USB connection makes every fairly seamless. For more information, visit

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John Virata is senior editor of Digital Media Online. You can email him at
Related Keywords:external USB 2.0 hard drive enclosures, ads tech SimpleTouch HDKit

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