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Pros: - haven't found one yet :(
Cons: Where to start? First, I decided to wait until the next day to leave a review so that I could be more objective and not "angry". I *literally* spent the entire day yesterday trying to get this thing to work. No joy.
Chose this unit for several reasons: 1) 4 bay USB 3.0 2) independent power controls 3) decent price for a 4-bay dock station.
I am a 20+ year expert in computers. I own a computer repair business in North Mississippi. I needed 4 docking stations for those times when I have the need to clone a drive, scan another for bad sectors and copy data from a client drive - all at the same time. This unit seemed perfect for my needs, and it was under $100 (paid $96.00).
I have currently been using a USB 2.0 BlacX SATA dock as well as a Sharkoon USB 2.0 SATA/IDE dock. Both units have worked amazingly well and been reliable, but I needed more bays to work with as my business has grown. I figured if I could expand my capacity, I could do more in less time. So I bought the unit, although it only had 1 review. That review was positive, but not very descriptive. Against my standard practice of reading multiple reviews before purchasing, I went ahead and bit the bullet.
I anxiously awaited FedEx to deliver the package, which it did in exactly 2 days. I was like a kid at Christmas when my new toy arrived. Opened the box, started unpacking, and that's when the nightmare began.
First off, the two-piece power cord has a Chinese wall plug, not a US plug. No adapter included. Thankfully, I have tons of spare laptop adapters, and found a 3-prong adapter that powered the unit just fine. If I didn't have that, I'd probably have to spend $5-20 at the local Best Buy for an adapter.
Now that I have a working adapter, I plug the unit in and plug it into my onboard USB 2.0 port. Inserted a WD 2.0TB 3.5" hard drive, which is my client data storage drive. The drive was detected immediately and was 100% visible. I then inserted a working Seagate 160GB 3.5" drive and powered it on. Immediately, my WD drive vanished and then reappeared as the system tried to identify the Seagate. That was the first, only and last time this device has successfully viewed and displayed the contents of any of my hard drives.
It dawned on me that my PC was only USB 2.0, so I went to Best Buy, bought a Rocketfish USB 3.0 card to take advantage of the USB 3.0 speed. First tested my old USB 2.0 docks with the new card, all worked fine, every drive recognized (including the two listed above). Plugged the Orico 4-bay dock into the new port, with just the WD 2TB drive, continually prompts to format the drive. Thinking the drive may have been removed too abruptly earlier, inserted the 2TB into the BlacX and the Sharkoon, and it popped up perfectly as it always has. Popped it back into the Orico, and "you must format...". Tried this with multiple drives, including known good ones, and known bad ones.
Other Thoughts: [cont'd]
Either the drive wasn't recognized (bad drives) or I was prompted to once again format.
I tested every drive placed into the Orico by trying them in the BlacX and the Sharkoon. Every drive that was good was read fine by my old faithful docks, and never again by the Orico.
I tried to research the problem, initially thinking the SATA reset (when another drive is inserted or removed) might be a firmware problem, or perhaps a Microsoft hotfix would be available (running a Dell Studio XPS 8100, Windows 7 64-bit with 8GB of DDR3 RAM). No relevant articles found on how to fix this issue, other than "reboot".
I have rebooted my computer more times in the last 24 hours to try and get this Orico dock to work than I have rebooted since I've owned this computer for well over a year now.
Nothing works. Rebooting doesn't work. Different drives don't work. Different USB ports, both 2.0 and 3.0 don't work.
The only thing that DOES appear to work is the primary power button for the unit and the individual power buttons. And even though the drives continue to prompt to be formatted, inserting or removing additional drives still forces all drives to "reset" and attempt to recognize, which of course just prompts for "format" again.
I checked the Orico website for a firmware download. No software available for this unit.
Realistically, even if I could get the unit to recognize any drive I insert, this still will not work for me. I have to have a unit that is TRULY power-independent. I have to be able to pull or insert a drive while I'm cloning or scanning another drive for bad sectors. This just won't work. The details listed were misleading.
If you plan on using this for simple data storage, and rarely will need to turn it off, this drive should be fine for you. However, if you need to swap drives while allowing other drives to continue doing other things, stay away!
This one's on it's way back to NewEgg, folks. Not worth the time or the hassle. Hope this review helped someone!