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Has anyone used a USB bridge & converter cables to writeblock non-USB devices?

+2 votes

Has anybody used a USB forensic bridge (i.e. the Tableau T8-R2) and conversion cables to successfully writeblock a non-USB device? Specifically, I'm wondering if anybody has had any success using SATA/IDE to USB for a desktop hard drive or a Device Side Data FC5025 for 5.25" floppy drives (or similar). Alternatively, does anybody know of a reason it would or wouldn't work?

For context, I'm looking at various hardware writeblockers for a digital collections workstation. Much of our content comes in on USB devices (or disks that play on USB devices), making a USB bridge ideal. I'd also like to have the capacity to deal with other media, though, and I'd rather not have a dedicated SATA/IDE writeblocker gathering dust through disuse.

asked Jun 27, 2014 by sarah.barsness (1,060 points)

2 Answers

+1 vote

I have sucsesfully used the Tableau T8-R2 with a Iomega Jaz Disk drive using a SCSI to USB cable. I've also used it with an Iomega ZIP drive that is natively USB.

I would reccommend having the SATA/IDE write blocker hand though – you may encounter cases where you need to remove a portable hard drive from its enclosure due to malfunction of the enclosure. In fact I've encountered such a case today, where a USB drive is having read errors, so my first order of business is to try new cables, and second is to try the drive outside of its enclosure (in order to completely verify that the read error is due to disk failure).

answered Jul 9, 2014 by benfinoradin (460 points)
0 votes

Sorry to answer my own question, but after some research, I found out the following:

Tableau USB bridges are generally not able to work on USB disk drives (i.e. a USB 3.5" floppy), and other users have reported problems with coverting IDE drives to USB and running them thorugh the Tableau bridge.  See: This thread in the BitCurator Users Google Group or this thread in the Digital Curation Google Group

It seems like the remaining options are to buy two or more devices (one for USB and one for IDE & SATA and so on) or an all-in-one device (Tableau TD3 or the T35689iu), though I'd be thrilled if anybody else had other ideas!

answered Jun 30, 2014 by sarah.barsness (1,060 points)