I was recently at a client who needed me to copy a file from her old PC hard drive — which was sitting on a shelf, per my suggestion, for a rainy day such as this. The only problem was is that I had accidentally forgotten the IDE->USB cable — rare, but it happens. I was all set to go back to the office and get it, but one thing I pride myself on is my ability to make it work with what’s available. So I took one last look around, and I saw her husband’s desktop PC, an aging Sony VAIO. It occurred to me that it was likely to be old enough to use IDE (ATA) drives rather than the SATA drives found in newer PC’s, meaning that if I could open the case easily, I might be able to hook the drive up to access its contents.
However, I knew from experience that there was a good chance that the PC had been designed by someone who was ambivalent at best about whether they wanted a user to open it — many of them are simply time consuming to work inside. This VAIO, however, was a dream — for some reason, the top panel was held on by two clips and slid right off, and I was able to access the CD-ROM drive — meaning I was able to disconnect its IDE cable and attach the hard drive’s instead. It took two minutes instead of twenty, and worked perfectly. A few minutes later, the files were on the new Mac, the PC was closed up, and I finished the job satisfied. They should all be like that.