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Norco Technologies Inc. > 
Item#: 9SIA3913UN3425

NORCO DS-12D 12 3.5" Drive Bays 3 x SFF-8088 external connectors External 2U 12 Bay Hot-Swap 6G SAS / SATA III Rackmount RAID / JBOD Enclosure

  • SAS & SATA
  • 12 3.5" Drive Bays

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  • Overview
  • Specifications
  • Warranty & Returns
  • Reviews

External 2U 12 Bay Hot-Swap 6G SAS/SATA III

Rackmount RAID/JBOD Enclosure


  • 2U Rackmount design
  • 12X Hot-swappable SATA II, III/SAS 6G drive bays
  • 3X SFF-8088 external connectors
  • LED indicators for power and activity on each HDD tray
  • Backplanes are horizontal mounted for better ventilation
  • RoHS Compliant
  • OS Independent
  • Come with full range power supply


Drive Bay 12 x hot-swappable SATA II, III/SAS 6G drive bays
Cooling Fan 1 x 80mm rear fans, 3 x 40mm rear fans
Connector Three SFF-8088 external connectors
OS Support OS Independent
Power Supply Options Standard ATX power supply
Dimensions (W x D x H) 19 x 18.9 x 3.5" (483 x 480 x 88mm)
Packing Double boxes
Weight (without hard drive) 25lbs (11.3kg) (Net) 28lbs (12.7kg) (Gross)
Environment Temperature 32 - 104°F (0 - 40°C) (Operating) -4 - 140°F (-20 - 60°C) (Non-Operating)
Relative Humidity 5% to 95%, non-condensing

Learn more about the Norco Technologies Inc. DS-12D




External I/O
3 x SFF-8088 external connectors


3.5" Drive Bays


0 to 40°C
5% to 95%,non-condensing


2U rackmount

Drive Bay: 12 x hot-swappable SATA II, III/SAS 6G drive bays

LED indicators for power and activity on each HDD tray

Backplanes are horizontal mounted for better ventilation

RoHS Compliant

OS Independent

Dimensions & Weight

18.9" x 19.0" x 3.5"
25.0 lbs.
Warranty, Returns, And Additional Information
  • Warranty
  • Limited Warranty period (parts): 1 year
  • Limited Warranty period (labor): 1 year
  • Read full details

Customer Reviews of the Norco Technologies Inc. DS-12D

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  • Anonymous
  • 1/22/2015 10:11:36 AM
  • Ownership: more than 1 year
  • Verified Owner

3 out of 5 eggsOK for the price

Pros: Windows Backup wants locally attached disks and our HP 1U servers came with SFF-8088 cards installed, so it's a good fit for three server. I have the older model that isn't that loud.

Cons: Low build quality. Won't come back on after power failure -- must push front panel button.

Other Thoughts: I really wish these had redundant power and a higher build quality. It APPEARS that you can replace the power supply with a standard PC power supply. I would pay an extra $100 for higher build quality and the ability to add a second power supply.

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

  • Samuel R.
  • 3/7/2014 6:39:25 AM
  • Ownership: more than 1 year

2 out of 5 eggsCheap and not particularly good

Pros: This is one of the cheapest enclosures available with this level of functionality. The drives are easily removable. Backplanes are replaced relatively easily. They will keep the drives cool.

I haven't seen a failure of a power supply yet. Not sure how the included power supply would do were all the drives to start at once, as my controllers sequence the startups.

Cons: You get what you pay for. Overall, this is a crummy enclosure.

Expect failures of the sloppily soldered backplane modules - of the 28 of these enclosures I've dealt with, I have seen this happen in several. It generally manifests as a bad SATA link. Have a drive which drops out of a RAID repeatedly, but works OK in another system? This is probably the issue.

The disk carriers are flimsy. In some of my units, the LEDs don't work. One of the backplanes I took out had an LED soldered on at a 45-degree angle - yikes!!

The most recent version of this product is very loud. Newegg should get a photo of a recent copy. Rather than 2x 80mm fans as shown in the current photos, these have 4x 40x20mm fans, which run without a controller and at full speed. They are louder than any of the Dell or HP 1U servers I've dealt with.

Each backplane is powered by a single 4-pin Molex power connector. I'm not sure how well this would do with higher-power disks, especially in configurations where every disk starts at once.

These are not HP P2000 systems, nor do they cost that much. You get what you pay for.

Other Thoughts: Helpful point for any of you who think you may be experiencing a backplane failure: Take out the degrading disk, attach it to another computer, and read the SMART data - on Windows you can use HD Tune Pro; on Linux the recipe is 'smartctl -A /dev/[device]' (install smartmontools if the command isn't available.) The last column ("data" in HD Tune, and "RAW" in smartctl) is the one of significance.

If the "Ultra DMA CRC Error Count" value is through the roof (several thousand or more), then this drive is having trouble communicating with the controller, most likely due to a bad backplane, and no number of drive replacements will repair the RAID. I've had luck replacing backplanes myself to solve this problem.

On the other hand, if the SMART items "Current Pending Sector" or "Reallocated Sector Count" show nonzero values, you're looking at a failed disk, especially if "Ultra DMA CRC Error Count" is low or zero.

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

  • Ryan C.
  • 12/28/2013 9:24:00 PM
  • Ownership: 1 week to 1 month
  • Verified Owner

4 out of 5 eggsNot Easy Peasy, But It Works

Pros: The DS-12D is very economical, and straightforward, and if you want an inexpensive (new) SAS/SATA enclosure for a rack or cabinet, this unit does do as promised.

Each bay is tied to a 4-drive lane, which may be useful for some applications. This is somewhat contrary to how other units work, where the three SAS ports are used for duplex SAS and SAS Expansion.

Some Important Notes: The SCSI index for bays starts at the lower-right, and ends at the upper-left. Unit 1 is the bottom-most and right-most bay, and then progressing left to unit 2, 3 and 4 in sequence. The middle row, starting at the right again, has units 5, 6, 7 and 8; and the top row has units 9, 10, 11 and 12.

The ports on the rear are not numbered in any way: When viewing from the back, I will call them 1, 2 and 3, starting from left to right. Port 1, the leftmost (nearest the PSU) when viewing from the back, connects tot he bottom row of bays (units 1-4); the middle port, or Port-2, connects to the middle row of bays (units 5-8), and the rightmost port, or Port-3 connects to the top row of bays (units 9-12).

Bays unlock and lock easily, and the drive indicator lights work as promised on the unit that I received. I tested each bay with 3TB WD WE4 SATA mechs, not with SAS drives, but I would expect it to perform as well with either.

Hot-swapping worked as expected, with about a 30-second delay between disc insertion and system recognition.

The enclosure itself feels solid, and fits nicely on my rail guide braces.

Cons: With no manual, you may be left guessing as to what does what. There are two buttons on the front that: One with a power symbol, and the other with a reset symbol on it, and I cannot figure out what either do, if anything.

None of the bays have any markings, and the ports are unnumbered and bear no labels, so I was left very confused when i tried to attach this like other enclosures.

If you want a unit that has two-channels of SAS for speed connected to your bus, and a third port for expansion to *another SAS device*, this is not for you.

The ports are direct lines to the drives, with four drives per external miniSAS connector: With some work and reconfiguration, you could probably change this, and in fact, I am likely to do that, as I would rather spare the second SAS connector on my system for another enclosure.

The drive bay trays (sleds) are very flimsy, and short. These aren't your HP or SUN quality sleds here, and if you expect that level of quality, you want to buy an enclosure designed for that.

The sleds do not have *rails*, meaning they just fit inside the bays with no plastic edges to guide them, and some slight pressure on the right, (near or around the lights) may be required to engage the SAS/SATA interface when inserting them.

The SAS/SATA interface on the back of a drive mech connects *directly* to that inside the enclosure. This means that you have to insert the drive with some pressure on the side that bears the interface, as the interface ports are not quite as far out as you might wish.

No screws are included for the drive sleds! You will need to buy counter-sunk screws, with a 82-degree edge. Flat, or other screws will prevent the sleds from entering the system. Clearance is very slim, with about 0.5mm tolerance. This does mean that your sleds will be tight in the enclosure. Never, try to put a drive mech in the unit without fastening it to a sled.

There is no user manual, data sheet, or other documentation provided with the unit, or on the website of the manufacturer. I contacted them requesting one, and received silence in return. Norco is in mainland China, with *NO USA or Europe offices*, and customer support from them is problematic.

The unit includes no rails, although Norco sells rails for it for under $50. I have rail-guide-braces in my fancier cabinet, and the enclosure glides nicely onto them, and although I did order a sail set, I have yet to attach it.

I did not measure the unit precisely, but it may be a tight squeeze depending on your cabinet, rails and other systems.

Other Thoughts: The sleds do not use an *intermediate interface*: That is, you don't mount the drive in a sled, attached to a connector inside the sled, and then the sled has its own bus connector. This could also be a 'Pro', as you can replace sleds on the cheap, but it means that in the future, if you buy 2.5" drives, or drives with another form-factor or interface, that you will not be able to use them in this unit.

In a sled that completely encloses a drive, you can mount an interface adapter with any other kind of drive, SSD, memory card, etc. For example, on older arrays that use a UIDE/PATA interface, your sled connected to the drive, and the sled had a connector that interfaced with the system. When UATA/PATA was phased out, you could put a cheap adapter inside a sled, mount a 2.5" SATA drive inside attached tot he adapter, and still use the system, or use an interface adapter to connect the PATA connector inside the sled to a NAND card, or other SSD. Not so here.

With a sled that directly interfaces the drive to a system, you are stuck with that interface for life. On a system that costs $400 instead of $2,400, that isn't much of a problem, but it is worth mentioning, if you are concerned with longevity.

Overall, I would rate this 8.0/10, based on price and functionality, with a kick for each of the following:

Bad Stuff:
No manual or documentation.
No sled screws.
The SAS connections don’t allow for expansion.
The SAS ports are keyed to four drives each.
No SAS expansion.

Good Stuff:
The unit worked out of the box, with no problems in its function.
The unit feels solid, and the drive sleds, while flimsy and cheap-feeling, are solid once in the enclosure.
The DS-12D costs 1/6th of what mainstream commercial enclosures would cost you.

Misc Stuff:
If you want SAS expansion, you will need to rewire the DS-12D.

Based on the experiences of others, I am either fortunate that everything works, else Norco has improved quality, or the users with problematic units had them bouncing around in delivery vehicles over mountain trails. I have detected no material defects thus far, and the only failings of the Norco DS-12D are in its design.

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

  • Justin H.
  • 5/10/2013 3:33:29 PM
  • Ownership: less than 1 day
  • Verified Owner

3 out of 5 eggsBe prepared to go deaf!

Pros: Works out of the box as a cheap external SAS solution.
Double boxed when shipped.
Comes with a 80+ Bronze ATX PSU (Seasonic SS-300ES)

Cons: Loud as hell (like seriously)
Broken when I received it (plastic housing on side for power switch. Outside boxes fine, shipped from Norco broken.)
Misleading photos and a description that doesn't indicate what fans will be in the rear panel.

Other Thoughts: Just to be clear there are not 2x 80mm fans in the rear panel. There are 4x 40mm fans are loud and high pitched (45db to 60db in my estimate.)

I'm a network guy. I have loud equipment 10U worth of Cisco equipment, two Dell R610s, and a Norco 4020 (which this is replacing) and hands down this is the loudest thing I have on the rack. I will be replacing the fans with Scythe Mini Kaze Ultra 40mm x 20mm Silent Minis (SY124020L).

The HD sleds are updated from the Norco 4020 I bought back in August 2011 but compatible in case you don't want to swap the drives or find it annoying that the sleds don't have the option to close the vents if they aren't being used. They have cheapened the quality of the sleds.

Did you find this review helpful? Yes No

  • 4/26/2012 6:51:38 AM
  • Ownership: 1 day to 1 week
  • Verified Owner

1 out of 5 eggsTerribad

Pros: Inexpensive clean look.

Cons: Complete failure. Some drive bays would not work while others would. Then after moving disks to other drive bays they would work and others would not. Some of the drive LEDs would not work some would work. Not sure if this was even tested coming from the manufacturer with this many problems.

Other Thoughts: Would definately buy something else as it will now be a huge hassle for me (as a government contract) to return the item and receive a replacement.

Manufacturer Response:

Dear Valued Customer,

We apologize for the issues you are experiencing with this case. Please contact us at, so we may get more details and assist you in resolving this issue.

Best Regards,
Norco Support Team

0 out of 1 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

  • Larry B.
  • 1/6/2012 1:30:51 AM
  • Ownership: 1 day to 1 week
  • Verified Owner

2 out of 5 eggsInexpensive is not good

Pros: compact short (19") 2u enclosure with 3 sas ports.

Cons: You get what you pay for, but I needed a short enclosure. Must contact NewEgg and Norco about warranty. I've had it a week and drive activity indicator lights have gone out on random bays, certain bays don't work at all.

The pictures are not quite the same as the current unit, handles are different, buy the rails, the mounting brackets cannot support this from front posts alone, sagged 30 degress in about an hour.

Overall if you have a depth limit like I do i guess you're kind of up the creek, I've had it a week so hopefully warranty won't be an issue.

I had decent expectations for this unit, all fairly let down.

Other Thoughts: I'm still hopeful Newegg and Norco can resolve this as this is clearly a defective unit, if it worked correctly it'd would be a great purchase/value for a solution.

Manufacturer Response:

Dear Valued Customer,

We apologize for the issues you are experiencing with this case. Please contact us at, so we may get more details and assist you in resolving this issue.

Best Regards,
Norco Support Team

Did you find this review helpful? Yes No

  • MondoStor
  • 2/12/2011 7:20:23 PM
  • Ownership: 1 week to 1 month
  • Verified Owner

5 out of 5 eggsGreat for "just adding drives"

Pros: We needed more disk space for our corporate backup server, so got this plus a Norco DS-24E expander chassis on the same day, and then daisy chained this DS-12D off the DS-24E. The cabling looks like this, using external multilane SFF-8088 cables:

Server -> Areca 1880X -> Norco DS-24E -> Norco DS-12D

Added a bunch of Hitachi 3TB drives, formatted the drives in RAID6 arrays of 12 drives per array, and it was off to the races. We looked at big name brand stuff that cost 5 figures and it wasn't in the budget, and we also didn't have time to piece together our own "box of disks" so this fit the bill.

Cons: None so far.

Other Thoughts: Disks stay cool in this case even though there are only two rear fans.

7 out of 7 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

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