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This review is from: BYTECC T-203BK 2.5" & 3.5" Black SATA USB & eSATA Docking Station
Pros: Small, fast, gets the job done. I bought four (4) of these for a total of eight (8) drives. The eSata is as fast as internal drives. It's great to be able to put all this storage online with such ease.
Cons: Con #1 - Hot-Swap? If you power on with one drive slot empty you can't later insert a second drive without power cycling the unit. (You don't have to reboot your computer). This can be a problem if you are 3 hours into a 6 hour file copy on the first drive.
I don't know if this is a limitation of the eSATA port multiplier spec or just the implementation, but from what I read other hard drive docking stations have the same limitation.
Con #2 - The power cord from the unit to the power brick is too short to reach the floor even from the edge of the desk. The heavy hanging power brick pulls the lightweight docking station and tips it over. From the power brick there is another longer cord to the outlet.
Silly engineers. Didn't you ever try to use your device from a real desk instead of your workbench?
Be prepared to put a shoe-box or something under the desk to hold the power bricks up.
Other Thoughts: Be aware your eSata controller has to support port-multiplying, which mine and most do these days.
Get the excellent HotSwap! utility at http://mt-naka.com/hotswap/index_enu.htm to safely remove eSATA drives from Windows.
This review is from: Rosewill RCW-608 - USB 2.0 Adapter for IDE / SATA Device, Protective Case Included
Pros: Very small, very portable, very inexpensive... but read on
Cons: I work on a LOT of loose drives (hundreds) and so these things are very handy. This week I couldn't open a large file I had copied so I started testing. I tested every combination of cable, computer, an adapter I had and the result was VERY CLEAR. THESE IDE-USB ADAPTERS CORRUPT DATA. Don't take my word for it, do the following test: Plug an 3.5" IDE drive into your USB using this device. Write, download or find a 2 GB file and put it on the IDE drive. Now run a checksum on that file several times in a row (I used WinHex for this). EVERY TIME YOU RUN A CHECKSUM IT COMES IN DIFFERENT. EVERY TIME. NEVER THE SAME VALUE TWICE.
It had no corruption on SATA drives, only the IDE portion had corruption. But this is very sobering... it is not intermittant - it was EVERY TIME. And I tested it on three different Rosewill adapters purchased at different times. All the same.
Other Thoughts: Where can I find a HIGH QUALITY portable IDE & SATA to USB adapter? Everyone is selling essentially the same thing. I would pay more for my data's safety.
Remember you can't just copy the file and do a checksum to make sure it's ok, then recopy it if not because it fails EVERY TIME.