Here's another suggestion.
I used to do the same, open the desktop case, plug a drive that either needed work or data recovery and boot up the machine, power it down when done and pull the drive out and close the case, next day, open the case again to play with another foreign drive.
Today someone came over with her daughter's old laptop and reminded me how I told her daughter a few months ago I could recover data from her non-booting laptop. Of course, a laptop has a 2.5" drive, the desktop has 5.25" drive bays, and different cable adaptors.
I bought a Bytecc USB 2.0 Drive Mate. It's an adaptor you plug 2.5",3.5",5.25" IDE or SATA drives into, then plug it into a running laptop or desktop via USB. No need to crack open the case anymore, and drives are not reasigned randomly as the unit is already running when the subject drive is plugged in, the subject drive will always be assigned the next position after the already installed permanent drives in whatever computer I use to work on the subject drive. If the subject drive is from a Mac, I can plug it into a running Mac to make things easier and faster.
I forget exacly what I paid for this adaptor, the only thing that comes to mind is how cheap it was and I wish I would have stumbled on it a lot sooner.
The only caviat, writing to a drive via USB is a little slower than through a SATA or IDE cable plugged directly to the mobo. But considering the time it takes to open the desktop case, risk frying something due to static electricity or bumping things the wrong way, I prefer using this adaptor and not have to get off my butt. Got a weak knee you know.
Last edited by Brains; 11-17-2011 at 04:06 AM.
Reason: Corrected laptop drive size