Archive for the ‘USB Enclosures’ Category

Archive for the ‘USB Enclosures’ Category

Recovering data from an IDE Hard Drive or SATA Hard Drive

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2009

If you’re looking to recover or transfer data  from/ or to an old IDE Hard Drive or SATA Hard Drive (or for that matter a new Hard Drive) then there are a number of options available to you and all of them are pretty easy to use:

For ease you can think about the options in 3 separate groups:

  1. Disk Drive Enclosures (also know as Drive Caddy’s)

    These are excellent because not only do they offer physical protection to the Hard Drive that’s installed in the enclosure but they really do breath new life into any old Hard Drive that you might use in them (you can of course use new Hard Disk Drives as well). The smaller HDD enclosures typically come with a protective wallet, which makes them ideal to take with you as a portable back up.

    All Hard Drive enclosures come with leads to connect the caddy to the PC and some will offer multiple connection options e.g. USB, Firewire and increasingly eSATA.

    The only real downside of the Hard Disk Enclosures is that they are not designed for “popping” hard drives in and out quickly. With HDD enclosures the HDD is held in place with screws and typically the enclosure is screwed together.  So, if you’re an engineer or you test lots of different hard drives then the cable or docking station options might be a better bet.

  2. Disk Drive Docking Stations:

    Hard Disk Drive Docking Stations are relatively new to the market but they have proven an instant hit with technicians and engineers alike. They’re popular because if you have lots of Hard Disk Drives that you need to test/check or that you want to recover data from then a docking station is quick to use. The Hard Drives simply “push in” to the docking station, no screws or connections to mess with and as a result in a matter of seconds you can be backing up or recovering data or just checking the that Hard Drives work.

  3. USB to IDE & SATA HDD Cable Kits:

    The most popular product for recovering data from Had Disks drives is a universal USB to IDE/SATA Cable Kit. This kit is supplied with all of the cables and a Power supply unit to enable you to connect pretty much any Hard Drive to a PC via USB 2.0. The kit support hard drives from Laptops (2.5″ HDD’s) and hard drives from Desktops (3.5″ HDD) and it will support both common types of hard drives; IDE/ATA and the newer standard SATA (Serial-ATA) Additionally these kits work on all the obvious operating systems including VISTA.

A few things to remember when using these Hard Drive enclosures, docking stations and USB cable kits:

  • If you are using a 3.5” IDE  HDD then the Hard Drive will need to be set to “master” on the jumper settings.
  • The HDD ideally needs to be formatted to NTSF or FAT32 and with data already pre-loaded (New HDD’s will need to be formatted and allocated before use)
  • Connect the power supply before you connect the other cables

Finally connect to PC…on some occasions it might be necessary to re-boot

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New 3.5″ Hard Drive Enclosure

Thursday, September 3rd, 2009

We’ve just added another Hard Drive Enclosure, the Smart Drive 3.5″ SATA I & II Enclosure… One of the most sleek and aesthetically pleasing HDD Enclosures we offer!

HD6-SU2S2 is fully compatible with both SATA II and USB 2.0 specifications. It supports high-speed data transfer rates of up to 3 Gbps(SATA II) or 480 Mbps(USB 2.0), and it is also backward compatible with USB 1.1 specifications. In addition to that, all the HD6 series are hot-swappable and Plug and Play compatible.

Supports all major operating systems: Windows 98SE, ME, XP, Vista & Mac OS X.

In addition, we’ve reduced the price to £19.99 as a special introductory offer! We must be mad, I think we are! Click here to grab a bargain.

HDD Enclosure

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NEW 2.5″ Hard Drive Enclosure

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2009

Smart Drive 2.5″ SATA I & II HDD Enclosure

New in and available in Black or White. Great for portable data storage on the move and an ideal backup solution for anyone who values their data. Comes with an integrated ‘Back up button’ like most of our HDD Enclosures, once pressed activates auto-assisted backup to your PC, laptop or Apple Mac.

Suitable for SATA I & SATA II 2.5″ (9.5mm & 12.5mm) Hard Drives seen commonly in laptops. The enclosure is USB 2.0 which means simple connection and high transfer speeds and because it’s USB plug & play supported, it can be used without installing the drivers. Take a look! Here.

Hard Drive Enclosure

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Old or Unused Hard Drives? Make use of them!

Friday, August 14th, 2009

Whether you have an old internal IDE hard drive or you’ve just recently purchased a new SATA hard drive. If your anything like me then you’ll have two or maybe even three hard drives laying around… They seem to accumilate pretty quickly when having to upgrade for a bigger size or faster unit. The other problem is many motherboards will only support up to two hard drives. Let’s say for instance your internal hard drive was USB powered, there’d be no limit to have many you can have! And with our special offers on USB Hubs, you can connnect as many as your USB ports allow!

We have two great options for making use of them!

  1. Hard Drive Enclosures
    Hard Drive Enclosures (also known as Hard Drive Caddy’s) are rigid cases that Hard Disk Drives “sit” inside. They are designed to support standard Hard Disk Drives of all types and sizes and once installed inside the enclosure, the enclosure can be connected to the computer via USB, Firewire or e-SATA.We have a large range of Hard Drive Enclosures…

    HiPoint 3.5″ IDE USB 2.0 External HDD Enclosure

    The new HiPoint 3.5″ IDE USB 2.0 External HDD Enclosure offers an easy and fast way to add storage in the office or at home. Quick and simple installation allows you to instantly store and share music, videos, images and any other file(s).

    Simple setup and endless possibilities make the HiPoint 3.5″ IDE USB 2.0 External HDD Enclosure the perfect solution for your home and small office. The HiPoint 3.5″ IDE USB 2.0 External HDD Enclosure replaces many other devices and is designed to setup easily without network administrator knowledge.

    hard drive enclosure
    £16.99 Buy
    Probox SATA Hard Drive Enclosure

    This version of the new Probox range of SATA Hard Drive enclosures from Hotway will support any SATA Hard disk drive up to 1.5TB. Data transfer from the Hard Drive Case to the PC is via USB 2.0. The HDD case is manufactured from Aluminum which is lightweight, rigid and has superior heat dissipation capabilities – so, no fan needed meaning near silent running! Suitable for Mac or PC. Cables, a UK Power Supply and VAT is included in the price!

    The Hard Drive Enclosure supports SATA Hard Drives up to a whopping 1.5TB (1,500 GB) !!

    hard drive enclosure
    £16.99 Buy
    3.5″ Mobile Disk USB 2.0 – SATA HDD Enclosure

    This version of the new Probox range of SATA Hard Drive enclosures from Hotway will support any SATA Hard disk drive up to 1.5TB. Data transfer from the Hard Drive Case to the PC is via USB 2.0. The HDD case is manufactured from Aluminum which is lightweight, rigid and has superior heat dissipation capabilities – so, no fan needed meaning near silent running! Suitable for Mac or PC. Cables, a UK Power Supply and VAT is included in the price!

    The Hard Drive Enclosure supports SATA Hard Drives up to a whopping 1.5TB (1,500 GB) !!

    hard drive enclosure
    £18.58 Buy
  2. Cable Kits
    USB to eSATA Adapter with One-touch Backup

    This simple USB dongle allows connectivity via USB to any eSATA device (typically a Hard Drive Case with an eSATA output) The kit Includes the eSATA cable (“i” type SATA Cable) to connect from the SATA device to the dongle and then in turn to the PC.

    When connected to an external Hard Drive Enclosure with an eSATA interface you can copy or offload files from the Hard Drive to your PC easily and quickly.

    Plug & Play Support for Win98SE/ME/2000/XP/Vista, Mac OS v9.2 or higher

    usb to ide sata kit
    £9.99 Buy
    USB to SATA HDD Cable + eSATA Outputs (VE444)

    This handy USB to SATA (Serial-ATA) adapter with a Power Supply allows you to recover, transfer and back-up data to/from any SATA Hard Disk Drive via a USB Port (or eSATA and an eSATA cable is supplied).

    The connectivity to your PC is via USB 2.0 or eSATA (the eSata cable is supplied). eSATA offers 3x the speed of USB 2.0. Don’t have an eSATA connection on your PC? Add all the connectivity a professional needs with our multi funtion panel or for Laptops with one of our SATA Express Cards

    The adapter and all cables are supplied (see image gallery for full details). The USB to SATA adapter is easy to use and manufactured from high quality components and its USB 2.0 ready.

    usb to ide sata kit
    £17.99 Buy
    USB 2.0 IDE & SATA Cable (with Power Supply)

    This is an incredibly handy USB to SATA and IDE Adapter and Converter Cable solution for SATA and ATA, IDE Hard Drives. The USB to SATA and IDE Kit Includes an eSATA to SATA cable (Type I – Type L) and a Power Supply unit for the hard drives.

    The USB to IDE/SATA Kit allows you to transfer files from computer or notebook easily and with no fuss, back up files, or store large file archives on hard drives. Its perfect for techies or anyone that needs access to a hard drive, or a fast way to add another SATA or IDE device. The hi-speed USB 2.0 interface provides an almost universal connection for any Windows or Macintosh workstation. The adapter supports all existing Serial ATA SATA drives or IDE drives. Its fine for 2.5″ Hard Disks (laptop sized HDD’s) or 3.5″ Hard Disks (typically found in desktop PC’s or towers).

    usb to ide sata kit
    £18.95 Buy

Help & AdviceHard Drive Caddy’s

Not sure which Caddy you need???
Guide to choosing the right HDD Enclosure

Not sure how to format a HDD???
Help & advice on HDD formatting a hard drive

Not sure how to make a backup???
Help & advice on making backups

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When it’s better not to use a Hard Drive Enclosure

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2009

When it’s better not to use a Hard Drive Enclosure

Whilst Hard Drive enclosures are an excellent way of reusing your old hard disk drive and creating a back up solution there are times when their use is not appropriate.

Hard Drives enclosures are really designed as a permanent or semi permanent solution for your HDD. This is simply because the enclosures are designed to provide a “protective wrapper” around the Hard Drive that then allows you to carry it with you or in the case of larger enclosures for 3.5″ HDD’s to stand it on your desktop.

To use the enclosure you’ll typically need a screwdriver and a few minutes to open the case, carefully insert and connect the Hard Drive, secure the Hard Drive in place and then reseal the enclosure using the supplied screws. Not difficult to do but it does take a little time and its not something you want to be doing every day.

So, if you’ve got lots of Hard Drives that you want to use, to test or recover data from then a dedicated enclosure is probably not the way to go. Similarly if you’re an IT or support engineer and part of your job is to test Hard Drives an enclosure will use up valuable time and just be cumbersome. You’d also have to have an enclosure for each size and type of Hard Drive, e.g. 2.5″ Hard Drives, 3.5″ Hard Drive and then a version for IDE and a version for SATA – simply not practical.

A much simpler option in these circumstances is to use a USB to IDE and SATA Cable kit.

These IDE and SATA kits are worth their weight in gold because they support pretty much every Hard Drive you will encounter, they come with a power supply so that you can independently power the hard drive and they connect via the ubiquitous USB.

They’re not pretty to look at and you wouldn’t use then for a permanent connection but if you’re simply looking for a quick and effective way to test hard drives or to recover data from hard drives then these kits are an excellent solution.

They work with all current PC operating systems and with Macs and the easy set up means you can be up and running in seconds. (Remember for 3.5″ Hard Drives you’ll need to set the “jumpers” to Master before connecting the HDD or it will not be recognised).

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Key Considerations when buying a Hard Drive Enclosure:

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2009

Key Considerations when buying a Hard Drive Enclosure:

Physical size – First make sure you’re clear about the size of Hard Drive you have as this is going to be critical. Hard Drives typically come in three different sizes 1.8″, 2.5″ and 3.5″ with the 2.5″ and 3.5″ being by far and away the most popular.

But beware its no good taking your ruler and trying to measure the hard drive to see which one you have because the sizes refer to the “disk platter” inside the Hard Drive casing. These dimensions have developed as a short hand description over the years and are commonly used to describe the size of the Hard Disk and also the Hard Disk Enclosures they fit.

The actual physical dimensions of each size of Hard Drive (should you want to measure one) are as follows:

1.8″ Hard Drive are 54 mm × 8 mm × 71 mm
2.5″ Hard Drvies are 69.85 mm × 9.5-15 mm × 100 mm
3.5″ Hard Drives are 101.6 mm × 25.4 mm × 146 mm

The 1.8″ Hard Drives are typically used in digital audio players, and very small notebooks, 2.5″ Hard Drives are usd in standard Laptop PC’s and 3.5″ Hard drives in Desktop PC’s

There is one further “gotcha” to be aware of as far as size is concerned for 2.5″ Hard Drives and that is they come in different thicknesses (height) with 9.5mm being the default standard but 12.5mm being used by some hard drive manufacturers for first generation high capacity drives. Most 2.5″ hard drive enclosures are designed for 9.5mm thick hard drives and will not support the larger 12.5mm version.

IDE or SATA – Your hard drive enclosure needs to support the interface on the end of the hard drive. Your hard drive will either have an IDE (Integrated Drive Electronics) interface (subsequently renamed ATA) or a SATA (Serial-ATA) Interface. The IDE/ATA interface is pretty easy to identify as it has 2 rows of pins (40 in total) then some additional Pins for the “jumper” settings. SATA hard drives have no pins as such but two flat “spade” type connectors.

* Interface – Once you’ve worked out which size Hard Drive you have and what the interface is on the end of it you then need to think about how you want the Hard Drive case you’re going to put the drive in to connect to your PC. There are 3 basic options:
o USB
o eSATA
o Firewire
o Combinations of the above, e.g. USB and Firewire

USB is by far the most popular option and providing its USB 2.0 the data transfer speeds are good and broadly comparable with Firewire 400. If you have SATA on your PC and you can take advantage of an eSATA connection from the Hard Drive Enclosure then the data transfer speeds will be around X3 times that of USB 2.0 or Firewire.

Powering the Hard Drive Enclosure – 1.8″ 2.5″ Hard Drive enclosures are BUS powered – that is they draw power from the USB port to spin the hard drive and power the unit. Most of these smaller enclosures are supplied with what’s commonly referred to as a “Y” cable. These cables have a single connection to the enclosure and allow for the other end to be connected to two separate USB ports. Sometimes the maximum 500Ma that a USB port can deliver is not enough to spin the hard drive so connecting the 2nd lead will provide the power needed (note: using the 2nd lead is not always needed. It depends on the hard drive you are using and whether your USB ports are delivering a true 500Ma output)

All 3.5″ enclosures are supplied with a Power Cable/unit to power the enclosure.

Fans – None of the smaller enclosures come with or need a fan but some of the larger 3.5″ enclosures do. Typically the fan can be independently switched on/off but providing you are buying a good quality aluminium enclosure then fans can be more trouble than they are worth. The enclosures are designed to dissipate heat so whilst they might get a little warm adding a fan can make them noisy and intrusive.

There are other less tangible considerations such as design, colour, flashing lights but most of these are just a matter of personal choice. The key is to buy the right enclosure for you hard disk drive with the correct interface from the enclosure to your PC. Don’t always buy the cheapest either because there are some enclosures that not that well made. Read reviews from other customers or speak to people that have used them or sell them and get them to recommend a solution for you. USBNow carry a wide range of Hard Drive Enclosures and are always happy to help.

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Hard Drive Enclosures – The Basics

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2009

Hard Drive Enclosures (also known as Hard Drive Caddy’s) are rigid cases that Hard Disk Drives “sit” inside. They are designed to support standard Hard Disk Drives of all types and sizes and once installed inside the enclosure, the enclosure can be connected to the computer via USB, Firewire or e-SATA.

Enclosures are often used to house hard disk drives salvaged from an old PC but they can also be used in conjunction with new hard drives (You’ll need to format the new hard drive once in the enclosure before it shows up on your PC). The benefit of using a new hard drive is that you will typically buy a hard drive with a larger storage capacity than any hard drive you salvage. Salvaged hard drives are effectively “free” and the motivation for using a salvaged Hard Drive is often to recover data from the drive (particularly if it was removed from a failed PC) and then to put the drive to good use as a back-up by using it in an external Hard Drive Enclosure.

Because hard drive enclosures are external devices they are portable and can be used on multiple PC’s or used to transport large amounts of data between say work and home. The smaller enclosures used to house hard drives from laptop PC’s don’t even require an external power supply because they draw all of their power from the USB connection. Larger enclosures will have their own independent power supply. Key benefits of Hard Drive Enclosures are:

Flexibility of Connection Type: Enclosures give you the freedom to connect your hard drive to your PC in a variety of ways. USB is the most common but you can now buy hard drive enclosures with Firewire or e-SATA connection options. Typically USB is the default connection and Firewire and/or e-SATA available in addition to the default USB connection.. Hard drive enclosures with dual connection options like this are referred to as “Combo” Hard Drive Enclosures.

Interface: Most new hard disks are now SATA (Serial-ATA) disks but if you are looking to use a hard disk salvaged from an old PC it’s probably going to have an IDE interface (also described as ATA or PATA). The IDE interface is pretty easy to distinguish as it has 2 rows of 22 Pins along the connection interface. A SATA Hard Disk will have to simple plastic looking connectors. Ensure you buy your hard drive enclosure with the right interface.

Back Up: External hard drives can be used to back-up selected files, folders or for creating a “ghost” image of the main hard disk installed on a PC. In the event of a failure of the main hard drive the “ghosted” back up can then be used to get you up and running again in no time at all. Some hard drive enclosures come with “back-up buttons” and software that make this easy. If you buy a hard drive enclosure without this feature and you don’t want to manually manage the backing up of files you could consider popular software solutions like Acronis True Image .

If like many the use if the external hard drive is to copy or back-up selected files then it’s simply a matter of selecting the external drive as the target drive to save to or “dragging and dropping” files onto the external drive.

Security: If you have sensitive or financial data then it makes sense to store this on the external hard drive. Because this drive is independently powered it can be turned off when not in use and this then removes it from the threat of any virus, or Trojan horse software. It also gives you the freedom to physically remove the hard drive and store it securely away from the PC

Archiving: Whether you are downloading music and videos from the Internet, saving Digital photo’s from your camera or digitizing your old record collection today are rapidly accumulating very large amounts of data and when all of this data is stored on your primary PC’s drive it can cause problems with access speeds, increase the need for defragmentation of the Hard disk etc.

Hard drive enclosures allow you to move or duplicate this data onto an external hard drive thus enhancing the performance of your primary drive.

Running an alternative Operating Systems: If you ever fancied having a “play” with Linux but don’t want to install it on your PC then you could install it on a hard drive in an enclosure and run it from this. You will need to tweak you Motherboard BIOS settings if you want to boot from the external hard drive as well as the primary drive installed on your PC but it’s not that hard

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