Archive for June, 2009

Archive for June, 2009

Are IDE/ATA Hard Drive Enclosures facing extinction?

Tuesday, June 30th, 2009

The IDE Hard Disk was first introduced in the 1980’s and since then they have been the de facto hard drive used by PC manufacturers around the world.  The ubiquity of the IDE/ATA standard and its global adoption has resulted in hundreds of millions of units being manufactured. Anyone who has bought or owned a PC since the mid 1980’s, whether for home of business use will have purchased a PC with an IDE/SAT hard drive inside it.

In the last few years a new contender, the SATA (Serial-ATA) Hard Drive has entered the fray and because it provides a significant improvement in data transfer rates it has now replaced the slower IDE disks as the disk of choice.

As well as being faster SATA hard disks also have a completely different physical interface (the way in which they connect to the PC or connect inside an enclosure). IDE/ATA Hard Drives are instantly recognisable from the 2 rows of 20 Pins on the end of the Hard Drive whereas SATA Hard Drives have two “spade type” connectors.

As PC’s with IDE Hard Drives installed reach the end of their natural life or fail it makes sense to salvage the hard drive from the PC and recover the data from the disk and then use the Hard Disk in an enclosure. By doing this not only are you able to take off your confidential and personal data, but also you can clean and reformat the disk and then create a cost effective back up and storage solution.

If its an IDE/ATA Hard Drive recovered from a laptop PC then by using an enclosure you create a truly portable back up solution for very little cost. Enclosures are easy to use, they connect to your PC via USB (or Firewire) they protect the Hard Drive is a case (typically aluminium) and they are either self powered from the USB cable or the larger versions come with a power supply unit.

There is a problem on the horizon with all of this. Whilst there are still hundreds of millions of IDE/ATA Hard Disks in use or awaiting salvage the manufacturers of IDE/ATA enclosures are beginning to reduce their investment in the IDE/ATA enclosures. Many factories have already switched off their production of IDE/ATA Hard Drive enclosures and are now only manufacturing SATA Hard Drive enclosures.

So, if you think you might have a need for an IDE/Enclosure it might be worth buying one sooner rather than later.

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Hard Drive Docking Stations – An Alternative to a Hard Drive Enclosure

Monday, June 29th, 2009

If you’ve got a lot of hard disks drives that you use on a regular basis or perhaps you’re an IT or Support Engineer and your job involves testing hard drives then you might want to consider a Hard Drive Docking station rather than a hard drive enclosure.

Whilst Hard Drive Enclosures are excellent at providing protection for the hard drive and they’re available in a range of interface types, styles and colours they still typically need a few minutes to set up. This is because there are normally a few screws that hold the case together and a couple of screws that are used to hold the hard drive in place in the enclosure. You want these if you are building a permanent or semi-permanent back-up or external storage solution. You want to be comforted by know your hard drive is safe in the enclosure, particularly if you’re carrying it around with you.

But, if you need to check lots of disks on a regular basis and your time is valuable then an alternative is a Hard Drive Docking Station. These relatively new products are typically permanently connected to your PC or Mac via USB and you then simply “slot” or “dock” the hard drive into the “docking station”. They also have their own power supply, which in turn powers the hard drive.

Once installed in the docking station the hard drive will be picked up by the PC and within a couple of seconds you can be interrogating the hard drive, retrieving data or backing up data to the drive. When you’ve finished simply remove the hard drive from the docking station. There are no screws, no connections to mess with you just pop it in and take it out. It that simple that you can do it all one handed!

The Docking Stations support hard drives from laptops (2.5” HDD’s) and from Towers/Desktops (3.5” HDD’s) so not only are they easy and quick to use but they’re incredibly flexible as well.

If you’re worried about losing one of your USB Ports by having the docking station permanently connected then don’t because many version of these have a USB Hub built into the base of the unit to give you 3 extra USB ports as well.

So if you’re looking for speed and simplicity of use and you’re not worried about providing a case around the hard drive to protect it and make transportation easy then you might consider a Hard Drive Docking Station

Hard Drive Docking Station

Hard Drive Docking Station

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RAID Hard Drive Enclosures – When one Hard Drive is not enough

Monday, June 29th, 2009

If you’ve got a large amount of data to back up or store then rather than looking at a standard Hard Drive Enclosure into which you install one Hard Drive you could consider a Dual Bay RAID Enclosure.

DUAL Bay enclosures as the name suggests support two separate Hard Disk Drives, which significantly increases the amount of data you can save externally. But Dual BAY RAID Enclosures go one step further an provide you with a number of additional options:

RAID 0: If you set up these enclosure to support RAID 0 then both of the installed Hard Disk Drives will show up as one large “virtual” drive. So if you install say two separate 1TB SATA Hard Drives you’ll end up with a “virtual” drive of 2TB.

RAID 1: Alternatively if you set up both installed Hard Disk Drives to utilize RAID 1 (Mirroring Mode) then any data saved to the Drives in the enclosure will automatically be mirrored to the 2nd drive. In effect one of the hard drives in the enclosures becomes the primary back up and the other becomes the secondary back up. Data copied or “mirrored” to the secondary back up is copied automatically.

If you have critical data then using a Dual Bay Enclosure with RAID 1 is a sensible option as it give you a real “belt and braces” approach to the back up of your data.

RAID Hard Drive Enclosures illustrate just how far these products have come over the years and reflect how much data we are all now storing or should be storing and backing up on a regular basis.

Whilst there are complete Dual Drive and RAID enclosures already pre-packaged on the market with the hard drives pre-installed an enclosure provides a much more cost effective solution. Once the preserve of businesses Dual Bay Raid enclosures are now making their way into the home. As more people save digital photos, music, family films and movies to their PC this trend is only set to increase.

When shopping for RAID enclosures bear in mind that most of them will only support the newer, faster SATA Hard Disks Drives and not IDE, ATA or PATA Hard Drives.

RAID Dual Bay Hard Drive Enclosure

RAID Dual Bay Hard Drive Enclosure

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Sales of USB Fans soar as Heatwave Predicted

Monday, June 29th, 2009

With temperatures expected to reach 29C in a week of prolonged sunshine (can it really be Wimbeldon week?) sales of our USB Fans are flying off the shelves.  In addition sales to our regular customers many kind hearted employers are taking advantage of our bulk discout deals to keep their staff happy. At little more than the cost of a ice cream but with significantly longer lasting benefits the USB fans are a real bargain but stocks are moving quickly so if you want one don’t wait buy your USB fan today!

A single USB fan is only £3.99 or buy them in a pack of 5 fans and they work out even cheaper!

USB Fan

USB Fan

USB Fans Bulk Pack

USB Fans Bulk Pack

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New Stocks of Hard Disk Enclosure with “One Touch back-up” now in

Monday, June 29th, 2009

New stocks of the Hard Drive Enclosure from the highley regarded manufacturer Hotway are now back in stock. These proved so popular last time we had them that we’ve had to rush more stocks in to keep up with demand. The extra “one touch” back-up button makes backing up your files, musics, pictures etc. a doddle a gives you complete peace of mind.

At less than £10 they’re an absolute steal – the top quality case they come with is worth the money alone!

Hard Drive Enclosure

Hard Drive Enclosure

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Anti-bacterial Waterproof USB 2.0/PS2 Keyboard

Friday, June 26th, 2009

If you’re worried about whats lurking (or living) on your keyboard then fear not – we now have in stock anti-bacterial and waterpoof keyboards. What that means besides being able to tolerate water seeping into the body is it really can be submerged and washed with water! The circuit board & membrane are completely sealed allowing water to trickle off and dry. The anti-bacterial part refers to its ability to inhibit growth of micro-organisms such as algae and bacteria. This happens by using an electro-chemical mode of action to penetrate and discrupt their cell walls.

Anti bacterial PC Keyboard

Anti bacterial PC Keyboard

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New SATA Docking Station with HUB

Friday, June 26th, 2009

Just arrived – USB to SATA Hard Drive Docking Station with built in 3 Port USB 2.0 (high speed) Hub.

Click here for details of the SATA Docking Station – nice little introductory price offer as well

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USB to SATA Hard Drive Docking Back in Stock

Wednesday, June 24th, 2009

The popular USB to SATA Hard Drive Docking Station makes a welcome return today. There’s also a new version with a built in 4 Port USB 2.0 hub that will make its way onto the site today – check out the site today for the updates

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New Range of Hard Drive Enclosures due in on 23rd June’09

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2009

Tomorrow sees the delivery of a range of new Hard Drive Enclosures to add to our already impressive range. Be sure to check back tomorrow if you’re in the market for a HDD Caddy but best leeave it till the afternoon to give us time to get them on the site!

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Are “One Touch Back Up” Hard Drive Enclosures worth the extra money?

Monday, June 22nd, 2009

There are lots of Hard Drive Enclosures available on the market for 2.5” and 3.5” Hard Drives. Often the distinguishing features between them (apart from the obvious size) are whether they are for IDE or SATA Hard Disk Drives and whether they connect via USB or USB and Firewire.

Of course for many the aesthetics of the Hard Drive Enclosure (also often referred to as a HDD caddy or HDD case) are important because you’ll often want the enclosure to match with the other bits of kit you’ve got on your desk or in your home office. For some features likes fans or flashing lights are also key.

One further consideration you might give is ease of use and ease of making back-ups to the Hard Drive in the Hard Drive Enclosure. The later point is particularly pertinent because for many the primary reason to buy an enclosure and build an external storage solution is data back up. Given how much information we now store on our PC’s including family photos, movies, music collections and of course work files, backing up our cherished data (and our work) is critical.

Ease of data backup is helped if you buy a hard drive enclosure with a built in “One-touch” back up button built into it. These enclosures are supplied with software that is easy to load and simple to use. The software allows you to define which directories, sub-directories, folders, files and even specific files that you want to back up. When you then press the backup button on the enclosure the files you have elected to back up with automatically be copied from your PC to the Hard Drive in the enclosure.

This feature, whilst not something everyone will need, is an excellent option. It takes the guesswork out of what you need to back up and because it’s so easy to do its far more likely you will actually back up your important data. A good routine to get into is to press the back-up button before you power off the PC for the day.

The fact an enclosure has a back-up button built in does not impair its use in any other way. You can still copy, save, retrieve data from the hard drive just as you would using any hard drive enclosure. There’s no compromise on the types of Hard Disk Drives that can be used, the connection options or the styling. What you will have do however is pay a small premium for a case with this feature but given the costs of not backing up your data it’s a small price to pay.

Find the correct HDD Enclosure for you. Take a look at some of the following:
External Drive Enclosures
, 1.8″ Hard Drive Cases, 2.5″ Hard Drive Cases, 3.5″ Hard Drive Cases, 5.25″ Hard Drive & Optical Drive, IDE & SATA Cable Kits, Freecom Hard Drives, Fujitsu Hard Drives

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