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  #1  
04-10-2011, 05:11 PM
Sossity Sossity is offline
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I was informed in another forum that I could use a usb to sata ide cable kit to connect a bare hard drive to a computer, so I would not need a bulky hard drive dock, or expensive screw in enclosures (my desktop space is limited & I like the kits portability)

some questions about these;

do they make a firewire version of these kits for faster transfers?

would using one of these kits be able to do an overnight backup of a bare hard drive connected to my computer? my macbook pro 2010 laptop ie; do a backup of one hard drive to a bare hard drive connected via sata to usb cable only, with disk utility? would these work just as well as a dock? or a hard drive in an enclosure? as I am getting a collection of hard drives & getting enclosures for each one is a bit expensive.

can one of these kits be used like this? or are they only for data rescue? & if they cannot be used for regular backups, why not?
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  #2  
04-11-2011, 02:10 AM
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What those folks are referring to is something like this: http://www.amazon.com/gp/redirect.ht...reative=390957

Those cables run anywhere from $5 to $25, depending on what store it comes from, the brand name of the cable kit (or lack thereof, in the case of generic Chinese "as good as" products), and the quality/length of the cables. Some are integrated single-cable solutions, while others are flimsy plug-and-play "kits" that give you a main wire, and lots of small 6-inch cables to go to SATA or IDE drives.

These are always "to USB" -- never to eSATA or Firewire. At least, I've never anything but USB2 cable converters, and I've looked quite a few times in the past 4 years.

These are dangerous to the drive.

Excluding the arms and other moving parts sealed inside the drive enclosure, the most delicate part of a drive is the PCB board on bottom -- the green board. It is easy susceptible to static electricity damage, and can easily "fry" the board. Simply touching the board can kill it. If this board is lost or damaged, the drive is essentially useless. No amount of "hard drive recovery software" will ever help you. This sort of damage requires expensive ($1,000 to $2,000 range, on average) hardware recovery in a clean-room, by services like OnTrack.

I've had drives fry due to PCB boards going bad, and I've had to pay Ontrack $1,000+ to recover the drive contents. Learn from my mistakes, don't stubbornly re-create/repeat them on your own.

Only use USB<>IDE/SATA for emergency data access, such as transferring files off a now-dead computer, where the new computer cannot accept the new drive. (For example, transferring IDE drive content to a new SATA drive, or transferring desktop drive contents to a laptop/notebook drive.)

A dock is safe.
A USB-to-IDE/SATA cable is not.

Some cheap docks allow the drive to really stick out far, a can be wobbly. I've seen cheap plastic docks easily knocked off a desk -- and in the middle of writing to the disk. Those disks did not survive the fall, as the arm was not secured (due to writing at the time), and it crashed against the platter when it hit the floor. These things have a crap design.

For example, don't buy this: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...SIN=B001HNO3T8
That's fine for temporary use, but not constant or long-term disk access.

Go for docks that more like "quick access enclosures".
For example, the IcyDock: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...SIN=B000KMD1JA

It's $5 cheaper at Newegg.com right now: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817198003
And there's a $10 rebate for purchases from April 1 to April 30. (see attached)
So $45 after shipping (and assuming there's no tax to your location).

Given how many flimsy docks are in the $30-40 range, this is just a few dollars more for a much better solution.

This is USB/eSATA output -- not Firewire.
For Firewire 400, get this one: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...SIN=B000KMD1QS
It's ~$61, after shipping.
(Newegg is more expensive, I just compared prices at several places.)

The Firewire 800 IcyDock is about $200. Waste of money.

While I do (and have, and will continue to) suggest the SATA/IDE USB converter cables, for various uses, it would not be a wise choice for constant backups -- or planned repeated use. The IcyDock would let you STORE the disks bare, in a proper box in a drawer somewhere, but when IN USE it would be safely tucked inside the IcyDock.

That's my advice here.

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  #3  
04-11-2011, 04:13 AM
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Attached Images
File Type: png ICDMB664UEA1S-2.png (56.5 KB, 2 downloads)
Attached Files
File Type: pdf IcyDock Rebate Apr1-Apr30-2011-SG33.pdf (149.9 KB, 2 downloads)

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  #4  
04-11-2011, 05:25 AM
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Thanks for this, that is a coincidence, as this is one of the first things I looked at but the price & the one review;
http://www.amazon.com/gp/redirect.ht...reative=390957
further down the page about how it makes the os hang made me nervous. I need this to work with my macbook pro running 10.6.6 snow leopard & running virtual machines, windows 7 & xp pro through parallels desktop 5.0.
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04-11-2011, 06:11 AM
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That sounds like a drive issue.
Remember, this is just an enclosure. You can still stick a piece-of-crap drive inside, and end up with problem.

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  #6  
04-11-2011, 07:25 PM
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do you think I need the firewire 400? is it much better or faster than usb? does firewire 400 run from the cpu like usb?

also, can you suggest good storage boxes for bare hard drives? that can be carried & protect the drive?

so the main thing when handling bare drives is to avoid touching the green circuit board part?
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04-12-2011, 02:08 AM
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I looked up this model, looked at some reviews on newegg & some said it requires screws to place the drive in, this would be a bit of a hssel if I am just placing a drive in for a backup.

I found this model; http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...SIN=B000W5MY2K

is this as good as the other icy docks you linked me to so far?
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04-12-2011, 03:17 AM
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Quote:
do you think I need the firewire 400? is it much better or faster than usb?
No, not better.
Firewire is sustained 400mbit, USB2 is burst 480mbit. In some situations, it makes a big difference (video capture, for example). In others, it does not (overnight backup of files, for example).

Quote:
also, can you suggest good storage boxes for bare hard drives? that can be carried & protect the drive?
Get one of the $3 cases from Meritline:Regular price is about $6, happen to be on sale right now.
Free shipping, too!

Quote:
so the main thing when handling bare drives is to avoid touching the green circuit board part?
Yes.

Quote:
I looked up this model, looked at some reviews on newegg & some said it requires screws to place the drive in, this would be a bit of a hssel if I am just placing a drive in for a backup.
That model is "screw-less" in the sense that no screws mount it to the case. The drive does, however, mount to a caddy with a few small screws.
I honestly don't know if the other IcyDock you linked to is any different. Maybe it is a fully screw-less edition?
Either should be fine.

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