Experience with USB hard drive docks (I'm full of questions)

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Experience with USB hard drive docks (I'm full of questions)

Postposted on Wed Oct 23, 2013 11:37 am

What are some advantages of USB hard drive docks and enclosures over external hard drives? OR the other way around?

Looking for opinions, and maybe some favorite/recommended brands and why?
Thanks!
BrightSide
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Re: Experience with USB hard drive docks (I'm full of questi

Postposted on Wed Oct 23, 2013 11:40 am

If you just want an external drive, get an external drive. They're cheap.

If you need to be able to access multiple bare drives, the USB setup works (recommend a USB3 version), but there are internal SATA docks as well that can be set up for hot swapping, and fit into a 5.25" bay. I use one of those in my desktop, and it's a pretty decent setup that doesn't compromise stability or performance.
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Airmantharp
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Re: Experience with USB hard drive docks (I'm full of questi

Postposted on Wed Oct 23, 2013 12:21 pm

BrightSide wrote: USB hard drive docks and enclosures over external hard drives?

:-?
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JohnC
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Re: Experience with USB hard drive docks (I'm full of questi

Postposted on Wed Oct 23, 2013 1:18 pm

Hard drive docks are nice when dealing with lots of bare drives. It's easy to swap the drive versus taking an enclosure apart. Prepackaged external drives, are more convenient since the manufacturer has taken care of any incompatibilities and size limitations in the bridge chips.

On a macro level, nothing. All three are external drives, and they function the same.

eSATA vs USB is a different question with a different answer.
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Re: Experience with USB hard drive docks (I'm full of questi

Postposted on Thu Oct 24, 2013 7:35 pm

Docks are good for dealing with large numbers of bare drives, such as imaging many systems or data recovery off dead/dying drives. Enclosures are better for interfacing with a single drive, especially if that drive needs to be transported. I personally prefer an enclosure over a premade external drive because the latter often use crappy hardware and I've had trouble with them in the past.

I have two docks, an Eagle Consus at home and a Thermaltake BlacX at work. Both are USB 2 and work fine, though the BlacX has a better reputation for reliability.

My backup drive is a 2TB WD Green in a Vantec USB 3 enclosure. I also have a 1TB 2.5" WD and no-name enclosure in a secure offsite location, it works well enough and it's hard to screw up an enclosure.
NovusBogus
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Re: Experience with USB hard drive docks (I'm full of questi

Postposted on Thu Oct 24, 2013 8:47 pm

What the other guys said about bare drives.

I have the Vantec one; it looks like the Thermaltake BlackX except it's white. The Vantec also allows either USB 3.0 or eSata, takes up to two SATA 3.5" or 2.5" drives, and they don't have to be the same size.

I still have two hot-swap drive bays for my permanent drives; one for 2.5" SSD drives, and the other for 3.5" hard drives. I like the 3.5" version a little better because it accepts bare drives; no drive caddy needed; but both have been wonderful, and allow me to quickly and physically disconnect any drives that I want to be offline.
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Re: Experience with USB hard drive docks (I'm full of questi

Postposted on Thu Oct 24, 2013 9:42 pm

I find Orico internal sata docks work great on intel motherboards with onboard esata, at least the models with fan cooling. The drive stays protected within the PC's bigger metal case and there's no need to futz around with cable and AC adapter, i.e. just the bare drive needs to be plugged in vs. two cables for an external drive. I expect internal USB3 docks to be just as convenient although maybe not as high-performing.

However, external drives are the way to go if non-PC hardware needs to share the drive. For example, I use a Seagate BackPlus+ USB drive to store on-site backups but also my favorite media. So I station the external drive by my Samsung HDTV and use the Samsung's USB media player to enjoy the copied content.
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