Which external USB HDD enclosure should I use?

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by HiDef, Mar 12, 2006.

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  1. HiDef

    HiDef Registered Member

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    Hi all, I currently have the most up to date version of TI 8.0 (build 937), and would like to purchase a USB hard drive enclosure for my current second hard drive I have in my computer (which contains my backup TI files). I live in New Zealand, so don’t have a huge number of brand name HDD enclosures to choose from. From the following list of HDD enclosures, can anyone tell me which is the most compatible so I don’t run into problems with chipsets causing corruption of data? I’m interested in any of the 10 cheapest HDD enclosures on this list: http://www.pricespy.co.nz/pno_1607.html

    Many thanks for any help.
     
  2. WSFuser

    WSFuser Registered Member

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    id go with the vantec nexstar. i have one and its working great.
     
  3. Menorcaman

    Menorcaman Retired Moderator

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    Hello HiDef,

    It very much depends on the USB to IDE bridge chipset. These can vary between different models from the same Manufacturer. Visit the Manufacturer's Web Site and see whether they provide details on the chipsets contained in their enclosures. The NEC chip has proved to be a safe bet.

    Regards
     
  4. HiDef

    HiDef Registered Member

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    Thanks for the info so far. I've had a look at a couple of Vantec Nexstar enclosures on their site, but can't find any mentions of an NEC chipset. Can anyone confirm if any of the models on the CBCNZ site (here: http://www.cbcnz.com/default.php/cPath/1_33_122 ) are likely to have this chipset?
     
  5. Allen L.

    Allen L. Registered Member

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    I've got a Acomdata external case that I installed a hard drive in, and it works very well with an Intel MB in my homebuilt. As I understand, the motherboards chipsets are also very important...I'm almost 100% sure that Intel MB's use NEC chips, but there is nothing mentioned on the Acomdata Website about the chipset in the external case.
     
  6. HiDef

    HiDef Registered Member

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  7. jmk94903

    jmk94903 Registered Member

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    You might consider a combo case with both Firewire and USB2.

    Firewire (400) is faster than USB 2 and less prone to errors. If you have problems with USB 2 due to either your motherboard or case chipsets, you can use Firewire without having to buy a new case.
     
  8. tayres

    tayres Guest

    Ventilation is critical to a disk drive's longevity, according to drive manufacturers. Be aware that the Vantec NST-350U2 enclosure contains no fan. It doesn't provide much ventilation either, and only the covers are aluminum. While conduction cooling (heat transfer through material such as aluminum) can decrease convection cooling (heat transfer by air motion) requirements, 'high performance' drives (7200 RPM) dissipate more heat. Your drive could prematurely fail if heat builds beyond the drive manufacturer's recommended limits. Unless you're in a cool environment and using a slower drive that dissipates less heat, these types of fanless enclosures can cause you problems in the future IMO.
     
  9. Howard Kaikow

    Howard Kaikow Registered Member

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    Do not use price as your prime factor.
    Not all cases are created equal.
     
  10. HiDef

    HiDef Registered Member

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    Ok, would anyone know anything about the Welland/ICZ ME740U2F USB 2.0 + 1394a HDD enclosure? I can get it for a resonable price here: http://www.pbtech.co.nz/index.php?item=CASICZ740U2F

    I really am confused. If I'm prepared to spend more, what exact model HDD enclosure should I choose from the PriceSpy list at the top of this page that will almost certainly be fully compatible? I do not want to go out and get an HDD enclosure that will let me down when I need that all important backup.
     
  11. Menorcaman

    Menorcaman Retired Moderator

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    Hello HiDef,

    Just to add to your confusion, have a read of this previous thread titled <External USB/Firewire drives that work>.

    You will probably need to contact a Manufacturer's Support Dept if you want to ascertain which chipsets are used in any particular model that you're interested in. Even then, there could still be some compatibility issues between the external enclosure and you're motheboard's USB/Firewire sub-system.

    Personally, I would take the plunge and purchase a dual interface model made by a reputable manufacturer. It would be highly unlikely that both USB 2.0 and Firewire turned out to be incompatible!!

    Perhaps you could provide your preferred Supplier with details of the make/model of your motherboard and obtain their agreement in writing that you can return the unit if it turned out not to be "fit for purpose" ?

    Regards
     
  12. Chutsman

    Chutsman Registered Member

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    If it is any help, I have three different kinds of usb enclosures and they all work with TI. One is a no-name brand ... it doesn't have a label or markings of any kind on the bottom of the case. And another is, in fact, not a case at all but does allow an ide device to be connected to the usb port. I don't remember if the third case has a brand name as I'm not at home right now.
     
  13. HiDef

    HiDef Registered Member

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    A friend of mine owns an external HDD enclosure. I'm guessing that an NEC chipset would have the name NEC somewhere on the circuit board - so would presume the below photo I took of the circuit board shows it's not an NEC one. If it is, then I know where to buy one :)

    http://img139.imageshack.us/img139/571/12aq1.jpg
     
  14. Menorcaman

    Menorcaman Retired Moderator

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    Hello HiDef,

    That's the Prolific PL-2507 USB 2.0 to IDE single chip bridge controller (just Google for PL-2507).

    Unfortunately these <USB Enclosure Chipset Benchmarks> don't mention the NEC chip but hints that the newer Prolific PL-3507 (dual USB/Firewire) is better than the PL-2507. I don't know about better but a quick Google and read on the PL-3507 seems to show that it had a few data corruption problems.

    Although my reply at #3 above states that the NEC has proved to be a safe bet, don't get too hung up on it as it's not the only chipset that works well (as other's have testified in that thread that I linked in Post #11).

    Check out this detailed review of the <Vantec NST-355U2> (it came out well against an Ultra ULT31310). Also, this review of a <Vantec NST-370GX> reinforces my impression that Vantec gear appears to be well made, quiet and cool running.

    Regards
     
  15. HiDef

    HiDef Registered Member

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    Thanks for that info. I have found out that I can get the Vantec NST-355U2 in New Zealand, but am wondering if it has an NEC chipset? Or if anyone on this forum owns one and have had no problems backing up or restoring? I can only purchase one from an online store - so can't really look at the guts of it.
     
  16. Menorcaman

    Menorcaman Retired Moderator

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    I've just visited the <Vantec web site (storage section)> and checked out the Data Sheet and User Manual for the NST-355U2. Unfortunately there is no mention of the chipset used in either of them so have sent a query to their Sales Dept. Will let you know what they come up with.

    Regards
     
  17. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    I have a Vantec USB/SATA enclosure. In SATA mode it freezes my computer after transferring over 2 GB and I have to reboot. It's fine in USB mode. Several emails to Vantec remain unanswered. I also have a USB ThermalTake enclosure and it's faultless.

    I gather FireWire is a problem with Vantec enclosures due to the Prolific chipset.

    http://groups.google.co.uk/group/uk...CFw87%40jasper.org.uk&rnum=1#ef5a271f224e118f

    http://www.archive.freeola.com/c.s.i.p.h.storage/fuqfPP3chd-enclosure-dwp.shtml

    http://www.prolific.com.tw/eng/support.asp

    http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/messageview.php?start=0&catid=28&threadid=496281
     
  18. HiDef

    HiDef Registered Member

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    Thanks for that :) I'll keep searching the net for any HDD enclosures that have an NEC chipset.
     
  19. HiDef

    HiDef Registered Member

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    I've sent off 2 emails to Welland and Vantec asking whether any of their HDD enclousres have NEC chipsets and neither are replying... I just can't get any info on enclosures that have this chipset :(
     
  20. Menorcaman

    Menorcaman Retired Moderator

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    I've not received a reply from Vantec either :(

    Regards
     
  21. Howard Kaikow

    Howard Kaikow Registered Member

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    IMNSHO, companies that do not provide adequate product info at their web site are bad enough, but, if in addition, they do not timely respond to such requests for info, make this well known on the internet and hope that they learn their lesson via lost sales.
     
  22. dosdoxies

    dosdoxies Registered Member

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    That's the one that I have and it works fine.
     
  23. DCM

    DCM Registered Member

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    I bought two of them at Newegg.com after reading their numerous reviews written by the buyers of the various enclosures. They have hundreds of reviews of the many different drive enclosures that they sell and some others rated pretty good too.

    I always check the reviews at Newegg before buying anything from anyone because of the number of them and the honesty of the writers (buyers).

    Mine are Venus (cannot remember the manufacturer) and have been very good. They are solid aluminum with the only plastic being in the lens on the front and they have fans. No problems setting them up or running them. Instructions are only fair but all I did is put the hard drive in there, put the case on and plug it in. Nothing else to do.

    I have another metal one from CompUSA and it is also very nice. One other is a Belkin and all plastic exterior. Nothing wrong with it but it is hard to remove or install drives. It seems flimsy.

    I would only buy an aluminum one. No more plastic for me. They are very solid.
     
  24. HiDef

    HiDef Registered Member

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    Thanks for the comments. Well, it looks as though I'll have to settle for a HDD enclosure that hasn't got an NEC chipset. I'm about to purchase the NEXSTAR 3 NST-360U2. As it is a newer model, I'm hoping that will make it a safer buy - less likely to be incompatible. If anyone has had any trouble or knows of any problems with this model, please let me know now. Thanks ;)
     
  25. Howard Kaikow

    Howard Kaikow Registered Member

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    does it have a fan?
     
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