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Digital Media Transfer Kits: SATA Hard Drives

This guide explains the various devices available for use in Distinctive Collections to transfer digital files from obsolete or hard-to-access media such as floppy disks, zip disks, memory cards, and hard drives in a user's personal collection.


HDD and SSD 20180314

The SATA docking bay is able to connect 2.5" and 3.5" internal SATA hard drives like the ones shown above via USB to your computer. These drives may be found within your desktop or laptop and would need to be removed before getting access through the docking bay.

Using the docking bay

image of docking bay

  1. Follow the user's manual found here for setting up and using the SATA docking bay. There is also a paper version available in the case. Note: do not follow the steps in the "for cloning" section of the manual unless you wish to copy the data on the hard drive in one docking bay port to the hard drive in the other port and remove any current data on the receiving drive.
  2. Once the bay is set up and you have inserted your hard drive(s), it will appear as a removable drive in your file explorer on your operating system.
  3. Click on what has popped up to see if you can view your files.
  4. If so, you can copy and paste them onto your computer (e.g. to a Documents folder) or other more accessible device. If comfortable, you may consider using a tool like TeraCopy or RSync, in order to ensure nothing changes in the transfer process.
  5. Once finished copying your files over, remove your hard drive and disconnect the docking bay, as outlined in the docking bay user's manual linked to above.

Note: These devices are solely for use with personal material and not any of the collections stewarded by the Department of Distinctive Collections.

Warning: The Department Distinctive Collections is not responsible for any data loss or damage to items that may occur in the transfer process. Proceed at your own risk.