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USB Enclosure for multiple IDE drives

Discussion in 'Computer Systems' started by fruvos, Feb 20, 2007.

  1. fruvos

    fruvos Member

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    Is anyone aware of a reasonably priced external USB2.0 enclosure that supports more than one 3.5" IDE drive? I'm not looking for any fancy NAS or RAID functionality.

    Currently I'm running one external IcyBox and swapping drives in and out of it as needed, but it would be nice to have one enclosure with 3 or 4 drives in it connected to the mains and to my pc via one USB2.0 or firewire socket.

    Does such a thing exist, or am I landed with hooking up 3 or 4 IcyBoxes?
  2. Azzin

    Azzin Well-Known Member

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    The Netgear SC101 'only' holds 2 drives, but may be of interest?
  3. kjmacphee

    kjmacphee Member

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    No offence but I wouldn't go near it. It is beyond awful! Had about three weeks of trouble before returning it as I could not get it to work stably. Even if I could have the performance was shocking.

    Have a quick search and see that I was not alone.
  4. mark.carline

    mark.carline Member

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  5. Rob_Quads

    Rob_Quads Member

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  6. fruvos

    fruvos Member

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    I've not heard a good thing said about the Netgear SC101, so would defo give it a wide berth.

    The A-Tech Fabrication unit and the Burly both look nice, but if I understand it correctly, I'd need 8 sata connections in my pc? I'd much rather have something that concatanated the multiple drive connections into one lead between the unit and the pc.

    thanks for the suggestions, but I'm still on the hunt, so any further suggestions welcomed!
  7. MacBurp

    MacBurp Member

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    Check out the 'eSATA Port Multiplier' (google is your friend) to get around this issue. A usefu lsite if you fancy speccing your own external SATA solution is

    http://www.addonics.com/products/raid_system/mst4.asp

    but you need to know what you're doing. To use one of these things you'd need a host controller in the PC and a lot of patience to get set up.

    Get a 4 drive NAS, like the Infrant ReadyNAS NV+. Much less aggro to get running and you're not tethered to the PC.

    If you are set on using IDE, have a look here:

    http://www.specialtech.co.uk/spshop/customer/product.php?productid=423&cat=94&page=1

    YMMV - I've no experience of this unit.

    regards,
    Paul
  8. Rob_Quads

    Rob_Quads Member

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    The A-tech case although does have 8 SATA connections they are all fed through a single cable
  9. John-Tropi

    John-Tropi Member

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    The initial enquiry was specific about IDE drives, one USB lead and a single power cable .

    One apparently perfect solution is provided by Addonics, which company has already been mentioned. But the specific selection would include the JBOD back plate, which provides exactly what was asked for.
    http://www.addonics.com/products/io/ad4ideu2.asp
    It appears that it is not necessary that all 4 drives should be fitted in one shot, but may be added casually, one at a time, as available. The unit can be set up to appear as a single drive, two drives or four separate drives.

    With the advent of SATA drives, there must be literally mlllions of replaced/redundant IDE drives, lying around idle, just crying out to be made useful like this. I have four of various capacities, currently just wasted, completely dead money.

    This appears to be the ideal solution, apart from costing around £140 in UK, which is approximately double what I would be prepared to pay! Even the USA price of approx £90 is a little high, but considerable more reasonable.
  10. Mark Grant

    Mark Grant Member

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  11. John-Tropi

    John-Tropi Member

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    Before I discovered Addonics, I spent quite a bit of time raking round the Span site and chatted to them on the phone once - very nice, friendly people. But it seems to me that less than a 4-bay drive is hardly worth the bother and that, in general, unpopulated cases are simply too expensive or, in Span's case, no longer stocked! By the time you have put two USB bridge boards into a 4-bay case, it no longer seems an economically sensible thing to do. I really don't understand why the cases are so overpriced . . . they appear to be squandering what could become a very popular and USEFUL market.

    I think the Addonics Mini-tower is the basis for an ideal solution, even as far as permitting a mix of 3" with 2" bare drives, and adapters for SATA/IDE mixing - but they need to get the price down a good bit. Well, maybe they don't feel a need to, but I need them to! (and probably most other 'normal' people)

    I see the future in very small form factor PCs with a single, small capacity HDD for the OS plus a bit of data, with matching 4-bay cases into which can be slapped virtually any old JBODs (Just a Bunch Of Drives) at the users inclination and financial ability. I don't know why it hasn't already happened . . .

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