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Author Topic: Any experience with bare SATA I/II Hard Drive Docking stations  (Read 3719 times)
michaelbiondo
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« on: July 07, 2010, 08:02:50 PM »
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Hi, Does anyone have any experience with this type of setup?

NewerTech Voyager S2 “Dual Interface” USB 2.0/eSATA - SATA I/II Hard Drive Docking solution

http://www.newertech.com/products/voyagers2.php

Currently I am working off of Lacie Quad drives connected to my mac pro via an e SATA cable. I devote one drive to a job (or specific client) and then clone that drive via Supper duper. The hard drives and cables are piling up here, seems kind of wasteful to have all of those cables and hard drive enclosures around. The only downside I can think of is that the bare eSATA drives are not designed to be swapped out that often (or are they) and the contacts may not take the wear & tear very well.

Would be nice to save the space, lower the cost of storage and cut down on the cable clutter a bit...

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DarkPenguin
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« Reply #1 on: July 07, 2010, 11:38:19 PM »
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I have a thermaltake version.  It works.  But the concern is that I'll fry the drives because I end up handling them a lot more.  Zot!

Have you considered something like the seagate free agent line?
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Paul Sumi
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« Reply #2 on: July 07, 2010, 11:57:21 PM »
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Quote from: DarkPenguin
I have a thermaltake version.  It works.  But the concern is that I'll fry the drives because I end up handling them a lot more.  Zot!

Ditto.  But I use this only for quick transfers from bare drives that are in storage, not as a long-term external storage solution.  For that I'm using a Nexstar MX dual SATA enclosure, which is the only one I've found so far with its own cooling fans.

Paul
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Steve Weldon
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« Reply #3 on: July 08, 2010, 01:16:45 AM »
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Quote from: michaelbiondo
Hi, Does anyone have any experience with this type of setup?

NewerTech Voyager S2 “Dual Interface” USB 2.0/eSATA - SATA I/II Hard Drive Docking solution

http://www.newertech.com/products/voyagers2.php

Currently I am working off of Lacie Quad drives connected to my mac pro via an e SATA cable. I devote one drive to a job (or specific client) and then clone that drive via Supper duper. The hard drives and cables are piling up here, seems kind of wasteful to have all of those cables and hard drive enclosures around. The only downside I can think of is that the bare eSATA drives are not designed to be swapped out that often (or are they) and the contacts may not take the wear & tear very well.

Would be nice to save the space, lower the cost of storage and cut down on the cable clutter a bit...
I'm using a Thermaltake dual bay docking station as well.  It accepts 2.5" and 3.5" SATA I/II drives.

I don't think there is any fear the contacts will be an issue if carefully handled.

I do think there's a fear that the drive is open to the environment and spills, drops, etc, can be an issue where with an enclosure these same issues are minimized in proportion to the quality of the case.

I use my docking station for routine maintenance, and for off-site archiving.  Currently I've converted a military grade hard case with high density foam (by converted I mean I cut out new foam) which can hold 24 3.5 inch drives.  Each drive holds a years archives and is kept off site.    The case is dust, pressure, humidity, and water proof.. and shock proof to a great degree.. you can drive a Humvee over it.  Still, fire worries me.

Because of the fire issue I'm watching for a great sale of 2.5" drives.. at which time I'll buy a small highly rated fireproof safe, fill it with high density foam with the appropriate cutouts.. and that will be the best I can manage short of cloud storage which I find expensive for my requirements.   Some years require a 20g drive, others a 200-300g drive.  I depends.. but it's nice to know it's there.  And since I use other means (RAID, NAS, redundant in case backup) for backup throughout the year.. really I'm only putting a new drive in the docking station one time to SMART test it, format it, copy the data to it, and verify it.  So the connectors aren't a concern.

But to have it sit on a desktop full time like you would with an enclosure.. you're probably asking for an accident to happen.

But I totally agree.. a collection of external enclosures and their related cables and power supplies.. what a mess to manage.  And if the enclosure of power supply fails.. you'll be removing the bare drive anyway hoping the enclosure used a standard format..

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K.C.
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« Reply #4 on: July 08, 2010, 05:04:34 AM »
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Quote from: Steve Weldon
Because of the fire issue I'm watching for a great sale of 2.5" drives.. at which time I'll buy a small highly rated fireproof safe, fill it with high density foam with the appropriate cutouts..

There are highly rated fire safes and then there are data safes. Withstanding fire and preventing what's inside from melting are two different abilities.

You might have some foam shrink-wrapped drives if you use the wrong safe and have a fire.
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Steve Weldon
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« Reply #5 on: July 08, 2010, 06:28:30 AM »
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Quote from: K.C.
There are highly rated fire safes and then there are data safes. Withstanding fire and preventing what's inside from melting are two different abilities.

You might have some foam shrink-wrapped drives if you use the wrong safe and have a fire.
Yes.. fireproof is a bit misleading.  Safes, including data safes, are only rated to withstand certain temperatures for a certain amount of time.  Short of a study to find out how long it would take the site to burn down and how hot it might burn, all you can really do is buy the best you can afford and hope the fire department arrives in time.

And.. they'll soak it down with high pressure water.. so a water tight safe in addition to fire resistance.. might be a good idea.

The entire reason for off-site storage is so that what may happen on-site (fire, theft, flood, etc) doesn't happen to your off-site storage AT THE SAME TIME.. otherwise either set of data can be replaced.  I think floods are a bigger threat in more areas than fires as they tend to cover entire swathes or area.. but I might feel differently if I lived in a forest..
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Nill Toulme
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« Reply #6 on: July 08, 2010, 08:51:49 AM »
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I'm using the Thermaltake BlacX single dock with Samsung 1TB drives for offline archive and second-tier backup.  As mentioned above, this is usage that only requires very occasional use of the drives; otherwise they stay tucked away in a drawer or at the next-door neighbors.  (Regular online backups are external firewire drives.)

It works well and painlessly so far, but I'm only using the USB 2.0 interface because I don't have any eSATA ports.  Any recommendations for a cost-effective card to give me a couple of external ports?

Nill
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kdphotography
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« Reply #7 on: July 08, 2010, 10:23:26 PM »
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I started with the Thermaltake dock, which I do keep tucked away for portability.  When transferring large files or amounts of data you need to take care with the the HD overheating and shutting down.  I found a USB powered fan (also by Thermaltake) that works great to direct air at the HD.

But I also didn't like the clutter of wires on my desk around the computer.  I've since acquired the Wiebetech RTX100 and it works great as an internal docking station (3.5" SATA HD) hot swappable without the clutter.  Small write-up on my blog with links to the RTX100.  Wiebetech also sells plastic cases, similar to VHS video tape cases, for bare HDs.  I take a screen-shot and print out the HD index of files and insert it in the case.  Add a labeler and you're set!

http://kendoophotography.wordpress.com/200...y-disk-returns/

ken
« Last Edit: July 08, 2010, 10:23:46 PM by kdphotography » Logged

kdphotography
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« Reply #8 on: July 08, 2010, 10:32:22 PM »
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Quote from: Nill Toulme
I'm using the Thermaltake BlacX single dock with Samsung 1TB drives for offline archive and second-tier backup.  As mentioned above, this is usage that only requires very occasional use of the drives; otherwise they stay tucked away in a drawer or at the next-door neighbors.  (Regular online backups are external firewire drives.)

It works well and painlessly so far, but I'm only using the USB 2.0 interface because I don't have any eSATA ports.  Any recommendations for a cost-effective card to give me a couple of external ports?

Nill

Nill, It's easy to add an eSATA card as long as you have an available PCI Express slot.  If you only have a PCI slot, there are also eSATA cards available for that, but I believe speed slows down though still much faster than either USB or Firewire 800.  I use the Vantec PCI Express card to expand my available eSATA connectors.  It was easy to install and no problems.  Inexpensive.  There is also a 2Port eSATA PCI bracket available for those that have an available internal sata connector, you can splice/connect in and simply add the bracket into a slot opening in the back of your computer.

ken
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Thomas Krüger
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« Reply #9 on: July 09, 2010, 01:02:13 AM »
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I use something like a "SATA to eSATA  Plate Adapter Serial ATA internal to external panel - 7 pin Serial ATA - 7 pin external Serial ATA" connected with a free SATA pin on the motherboard, see http://bit.ly/bThBnZ
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Nill Toulme
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« Reply #10 on: July 09, 2010, 07:32:05 AM »
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Thanks guys.  

+1 on the Wiebetech cases.  I searched high and low for something like them, and they were the only thing even close that I found.  I bought a carton of them.

Nill
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John.Murray
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« Reply #11 on: July 09, 2010, 10:11:48 AM »
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Inside I use nothing but bare drives.  An enclosure pretty much allows you to handle the drive in any fashion; as long as you handle a bare drive only by the edges, avoiding any contact on the top or bottom, you are fine.  For field use, i've been quite happy with the WD passports.
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