Two USB Gadgets 

While neither of these two items are likely to be needed that often when one or other is it will certainly get you out of a hole.
LRG Slimline floppy disk drive from Gizoo

USB Portable Floppy Drive

Nowadays the majority of new PC's are sold with an 'A' drive, the capacity is small and most situations can be handled with a pen/stick drive. There are occasions when these will not do and one of these could well the one that totally knackers you or me.

Certainly if you have several PC's then if Windows will not boot then a USB floppy could be a 'lifesaver'. Some modern PC's have the ability to boot from CD and for them the problem could be a BIOS upgrade that as far as I know needs a floppy.

It is black 14x10x1.5cm with a USB lead 55cm long out of it's rear. Rearly there is nothing else to say, if you have one you may never need it, if so you are lucky, maybe then you should do the lottery. It is far more likely that if you do not have one you will need it at sometime or other.

Gizoo are selling it at £17.95 link below.

LRG HDD to USB converter from Gizoo

Double Dragon

This is described as a one touch backup device and while that may be so you will first have to extract the hard disc from the PC that you wish to back up from. You would not be likely to use this for a conventional backup but when for whatever reason the PC or notebook refuses to boot.

Not only does it support IDE and ATAPI devices but also SATA and E-SATA ones as well. So whatever hard disc you have can be backed up to another device. The instructions make it sound a breeze, I do not entirely agree unless you are someone whose idea of fun is opening notebooks but you should have everything you need in the box as a power adapter, power cord with 13amp plug, USB cable, IDE cable and even a power splitter are supplied.

It will work with USB 1.1 or USB 2 and all versions of Windows from 98SE onwards. The illustrations show how to connect the 7x6.5x1cm USB to SATA & IDE adapter according to the hard disc size and I note (although I did not try this you can also attach a SATA or IDE CD or DVD-ROM. It also has a dual mode where a SATA and an IDE HDD can be connected at the same time.

I have a notebook that died some time ago the battery works but it does not even get as far as the BIOS so no beeps or advice nothing. As this is basically just a door stop with a lot of trepidation I extracted the hard disc and attached it to the device. I have a spare USB drive (it could equally well have been a 2.5 or 3.5 inch one) and while there was not a lot of important files on the notebook drive there were a few photos that I would like to salvage. This I did mind you during the operation (not being the type who thinks nothing of doing such things) it seemed rather hot around me, I was sweating.

The backup software program is called PCClone EX lite and it is easier to use than the twenty four page manual makes it sound. The illustrations are all you really need as the English in it is to say the least poor, I would think it has been translated by a dictionary so I would suggest you do not read it too closely.

It worked I now have my pictures back, I still have a doorstop (the old non working notebook) and should I need it - unlikely as it has a very small capacity - a 2.5 inch hard disc that works.

The Double Dragon is available from Gizoo at £29.95 link below.

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Comment by Tim, 25 Nov 2007 17:33

There is absolutely no need for a usb floppy drive, if you 'need' a floppy drive to do a bios upgrade or something as you say then if this drive works, so will a usb pen drive... they are both usb...

The floppy disk is dead, has been for the last 7 or 8 years. Dont waste money buying a floppy drive that is effectively a ugly looking paper weight

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