WD Elements Enclosure or Generic HDD Enclosure?

Monster900

Active Member
Looking for a bit of advice from the great folks here, all contributions welcome.

I am shortly going to be upgrading the two hard drives in my NAS which means I will have two, old but perfectly serviceable hard drives looking for a new purpose in life. Using them as USB backup drives seems to be the sensible option. Now the drives that are coming out of the NAS are 4TB WD red drives and there are a few WD Elements enclosures, where the drives have been shucked out, for sale on the well known auction site, so I was wondering whether to buy one and put one of my old drives in it, or whether to buy a generic drive enclosure like this Orico instead. I have heard that WD drive enclosures can be fussy about which disks you put in them, which makes me think that the generic enclosure route may be the better choice. But then again, I have also heard that some cheap generic drive enclosures fry hard drives, so I am now quite unsure which really is the better option.

So what is the view here about which is the better option, a WD Elements enclosure or a generic enclosure?

Thanks in advance for any assistance.

M
 

mickevh

Distinguished Member
It's a slightly different use case, but I use an external enclosure to host an "internal" optical drive in a stand alone enclosure. Most of it is just plastic box and the actual electronics is just a pretty small circuit board with a SATA connector one side and a USB & Power connector the other.

I've had a couple of such devices over the years, including one I "liberated" out of a drive enclosure and used (ad hoc) "bare." I've never had any particular issues with them and tend to imagine they are all much of a muchness.

For hosting 3.5inch HDD's, I imagine they are pretty much the same, but the sort of things I'd be looking out for are that the enclosure can handle the heat dissipation required of an HDD (esp. higher RPM devices such as 7K NAS drives) if I was expecting to run it constantly or for long periods, have a faster USB/eSATA/Firewire etc. interface that can keep up with the drive and can deliver enough electrical power to the drive.
 

next010

Distinguished Member
With the WD enclosure the drive will correctly go into idle mode and should reliably power on/off (not entirely off but in standby) in sync with PC power on/shutdown. It may also work with the WD utilities on PC that give some control over the drive.

Thats assuming the WD enclosure accepts the drive and is not locked to specific model numbers.

Third party enclosures will vary with all of the above, but usually should be okay, if its just a backup drive that is going to be turned on once in a while then third party enclosure is fine for the task.
 

Monster900

Active Member
What about something like this

Amazon product

If you are just using the HDD for monthly type backups.


Thanks for that suggestion.
I had considered a docking station rather than an enclosure but as the USB drive will be plugged in all the time and will be used for automatic daily backups I think a full enclosure is the better option.
 

Monster900

Active Member
..................

Thats assuming the WD enclosure accepts the drive and is not locked to specific model numbers.

.........................

Thanks for the reply.

I think with that comment you have hit on the main problem with buying a WD enclosure. It would seem, from what I've read, that some WD enclosures have firmware which severely limits the choice of WD drives that will work in them. If it wasn't for that it would probably be the better option but with that limitation it all becomes a bit of a lottery.
 

Arfa

Active Member
FYI I have a Silverstone USB3+eSATA two-bay RAID enclosure up for sale in the classifieds. I've had no hassle with various drives in it (Seagates, WDs, Toshiba's etc) or connected to Mac's, Windows or Linux machines. I can also confirm it does put the drives to sleep after a period of inactivity too.
Any use to you?

 

Monster900

Active Member
FYI I have a Silverstone USB3+eSATA two-bay RAID enclosure up for sale in the classifieds. I've had no hassle with various drives in it (Seagates, WDs, Toshiba's etc) or connected to Mac's, Windows or Linux machines. I can also confirm it does put the drives to sleep after a period of inactivity too.
Any use to you?


Thanks for that, but a RAID USB enclosure is rather more sophisticated than I need for my RAID NAS backup. I shall be going for a simple, single bay enclosure probably along the lines of an Orico or RSHTech one, both of which claim to do autosleep when idle.
 

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