Trayless Removable Harddrive System

Posted on 7/6/2007 1:51:00 PM

Harddrives are inexpensive these days. Typical external harddrives requires AC Adapter with slow USB connection. This is a permanent way to expand your system storage without lots of different enclosures.

I have been using these mobile drive rack for a while. It gives your system virtually unlimited storage capability. There're lots of external enclosure or removable drive rack out there. This one is very cheap ($22) and you don't need to buy trays for each additional harddrive.
   KINGWIN KF-1000-BK 3.5" Internal hot swap rack
   StarTech HSB100SATBK 5.25" Tray-Less SATA Hot-Swap Bay

It connects to your computer's internal SATA port. There isn't another layer of data conversion like most other enclosure (SATA->USB or SATA->Firewire). You just slide in and out a harddrive like this because SATA is hot swappable.
The only inconvinent thing is since the computer system sees it as an internal harddrive, the OS holds write behind cache so it's better not to just unplug the drive. You won't be able to use the "Safely Removal Hardware" icon in the tray area to stop the harddrive also. You need to use the Device Manager to uninstall the harddrive before unplugging it.
If your computer equpied with eSATA port, you can consider getting the BlacX dock that includes both eSATA and USB connections.
Thermaltake BlacX eSATA USB Docking Station

Now as time flies, you will have lots of harddrives around. I bought a "envelop sorter" stationery at Office Depot to hold them.

The advantages of using this trayless removable system are,
  They are relatively cheap. Less than $30. I bought one for my desktop, one for my media center PC. For my laptop, I mount one to an USB external enclosure too.
  SATA harddrives are cheap these days. You can plug in any SATA harddrives in. Instantly, it shows up as another hdd in the system.
  SATA hdd are hotswappable. Which mean you can plug in and unplug it while you computer is still running. Your harddrive becomes like a giant floppy or DVD-RW disc.
  Unlike other removable tray system, this one doesn't require you buying additional tray to fit each hdd you want to use. It instantly becomes unlimited storage.
  It's a SATA to SATA connection directly to your motherboard. You got the fastest speed (SATA-II 300) without another layer of data conversion. Unlike using USB or Firewire enclosure, it goes from SATA to USB/Firewire to SATA again



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