Attaching regular sata hard drives as external backup drives

Silencing hard drives, optical drives and other storage devices

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klankymen
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Attaching regular sata hard drives as external backup drives

Post by klankymen » Fri Feb 25, 2011 3:21 pm

Hiya!

For my data, which is stored on internal drives, I like to have redundancy. Not a raid system, but a fully redundant 1:1 backup copy. Up until now I've been using external USB hard drives. However for several reasons I'm looking for a new solution.

Ideally I'd like to reuse old internal hard drives whose capacity have gotten a bit too smal for internal use., so that rules out ready-made external drives. However I don't want to have to buy a ton of USB-SATA enclosures, and also I've had some bad experiences with the enclosures killing hard drives.

Therefore, what I'm after is something I can simply plug a naked 3.5" sata drive to, copy the backup files to it, and unplug again.

The way I see it, I have 3 options:

1. Docking Station
Image

2. Storage Bay Adapter
Image

3. just run a sata power cord out the back of my computer, and use an e-sata cable
Image



Potential issues:

1. Comes with a power supply, which adds more clutter to my already large cluster of cables and plugs. Also, I'm not sure whether there's any controller circuits in the way if I connect via esata, or if it just passes the signal through?

2. I no longer have any internal sata ports left. I'd have to get an esata to sata cable, which I loop back into my case through an open PCI slot bracket. This should work just fine though, right? the two signals are identical, just different connectors I think? Also, I currently have a free 5.25" slot, but I was considering getting a DVD drive - however this would have to share the esata port anyways, so I might not get an internal drive at all.

3. would need a fairly long cable, or I'd have to lay the hard drive down directly behind my computer, which would require crawling around on the floor under my desk.



Questions:

What do you think I should do?
Are any models or brands for the above to be recommended?

Thanks in advance!
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mkk
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Re: Attaching regular sata hard drives as external backup dr

Post by mkk » Fri Feb 25, 2011 4:55 pm

Those docks come cheap today (one or two factories seem to make them for scores of different contractors) and come with USB 3.0 if you have that. 7200rpm drives run noisy and hot like that, but for the use you describe it's a very handy solution even with the added power cable work area factor. I've got a lot of spare drives from upgrading quite often the last few years, and a USB SATA dock comes very handy for rummaging through drives for a moment or backing up stuff. If the backups take a lot of space then really go for USB 3.0, with an expansion card if needed.

Fire-Flare
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Re: Attaching regular sata hard drives as external backup dr

Post by Fire-Flare » Fri Feb 25, 2011 6:10 pm

You can buy SATA controller cards to add more internal ports. They start between 10 and 20 Euros.

I believe a slimline optical drive holder and 3.5" drive dock in a 5.25" device would be ideal, but the only ones I've found hard-mount the hard drive.

The next best option would be a 5.25" dock and usb or Esata optical drive.
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porkchop
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Re: Attaching regular sata hard drives as external backup dr

Post by porkchop » Fri Feb 25, 2011 7:02 pm

1. docks are great but i worry about crappy power bricks damaging my hdds... thoughts?

2. great if you have the space, i guess i would would worry about heat.

3. what i'm considering doing with my hdds, a sata power extension cable will enable easier access. i worry about just unplugging the power though, does the hdd spin down when you safely remove from esata?

ces
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Re: Attaching regular sata hard drives as external backup dr

Post by ces » Fri Feb 25, 2011 7:08 pm

I use options 1 and 2. I recommend using both. Sometimes one is more convenient than the other. It is good to have both available. I use them for everything but my boot drive. Option 3 is too inconvenient.

Option 1: Vantec and Thermaltake have worked well for me. Make sure you get one that does both USB 2 and eStata. (I don't believe anyone is making any that do USB3 and esata)

Option 2: Get the startech model. It has fat silicon Cushions
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ces
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Re: Attaching regular sata hard drives as external backup dr

Post by ces » Fri Feb 25, 2011 7:09 pm

porkchop wrote:1. docks are great but i worry about crappy power bricks damaging my hdds... thoughts?
I have never thought about that as a risk. How big a risk do you think it is?
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"Aristotle calls man the rational animal. All my life I have been seeking evidence to confirm this" Bertrand Russell
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josephclemente
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Re: Attaching regular sata hard drives as external backup dr

Post by josephclemente » Fri Feb 25, 2011 8:00 pm

I am using option #2 and like it a lot. I made mine look a bit cleaner by removing the left-side button and right-side esata port. Also sanded off the Antec logo. Filled the holes with bondo and painted.

I like being able to do backups without adding cables or external power bricks.
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