Pros: Simple to install; Ideal for transferring large files; Good speeds
Cons: No UK mains cable included; Hard disks can be easily damaged when in use
Bottomline: A good way to move files from one computer to another, as long as you're careful
The All-in-One Hard Disk Link from Sandberg allows users to take the hard disk out of a computer and connect it to another PC using a USB connection, allowing files to be transferred from the disk to the computer.
Power is supplied through the same USB port, but if that's not enough the supplied mains adaptor can be used. Confusingly, this came with a continental plug, but we found that the cable from our PC was an acceptable substitute. The adaptor also has a power switch allowing the hard disk to be turned on and off. There are two kinds of internal hard disk, but this product works with both.
It's true that physically removing a disk from a computer in order to copy the files off it is quite a bit of work, but it's not too tricky (with one caveat, of which more below). But if your old computer is no longer working, the hard disk might be intact, in which case the Hard Disk Link is an excellent way to get at the files it contains.
There's also a speed advantage: once connected, our hard disk was recognised immediately and file transfers took place at a rate of around 480MB per minute. That's slower than we would expect from an ordinary external hard disk but still much faster than using a USB memory key or creating a DVD.
There's also the advantage of being able to copy files directly from disk to disk without having to go through another medium in between. The All-in-One Link, then, is an especially good way to transfer large amounts of data, such as a music collection, to a new PC. For this purpose, it scores favourably compared with other methods.
Although installation and file transfer went swimmingly, we had concerns about the safety of the exposed disk: when it's plugged into the Hard Disk Link it is exposed to the elements, to stray cups of coffee and to being tipped off the desk, all of which are fatal. If you are careful, though, the Sandberg USB Hard Disk Link is a cheap and simple way to move files around.