Date Joined: 11/19/01
Pros: I installed this on an ASUS P6T6 WS Revolution motherboard running Windows 7 x64. It has been a solid system for many years and still performs well. Now I wanted to upgrade it to USB 3.0, and this card works well (unlike ones based on VIA VL805-Q6 chipset).
* Etron EJ188 chipset
* Card and drivers work
* Installs in less than 5 minutes
* Half-height adapter
* Both power and USB header on side of card instead of top makes for cleaner cable routing/hiding
Cons: * Side power and USB header makes plugging/unplugging cables difficult when next to another card
* Colors are bit ugly for windowed cases like mine. I found other black USB 3.0 cards, but they were all shoddy VIA chipsets.
Overall Review: This Etron-based card had my system running USB 3.0 in less than 5 minutes.
In contrast, I spent 14 hours trying to get a different card based on a VIA VL805-Q6 chipset to install. Total nightmare and waste of time.
Avoid the pathetic VIA SuperSpeed VL805-Q6 chipset!!!
Pros: Comes with half-height adapter.
Cons: I installed this on an ASUS P6T6 WS Revolution motherboard running Windows 7 x64. It has been a solid system for many years and still performs well. Now I wanted to upgrade it to USB 3.0.
Unfortunately, when the card was installed, my system locked up shortly after boot. Furthermore, none of the drivers--from the CD, the HooToo website, and the newest VL805-Q6 from VIA--would install unless the card was present.
I managed to stop the lockups by setting a Group Policy: gpedit.msc > Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > System > Device Installation > Device Installation Restrictions, and adding PCI\VEN_1106&DEV_3483 (this USB card). That stopped my system from trying to access the device and thus lockup or crash/reboot.
Despite the group policy, my system kept trying to install a new PCI-to-PCI Bridge device whenever this USB card was installed. Hardware ID indicated this was actually the nVidia NF200 bridge chip on my motherboard, despite having all my motherboard drivers already installed for many years. I could not find NF200 drivers online, but upgrading to the latest GeForce driver (even though I was only 1 version behind) seemed to resolve this. However, I don't believe the GeForce contains NF200 drivers, so maybe this card just triggered the bridge and drivers I already had installed?
Regardless, I was now able to finally install this card's drivers. All total over 2 days, I spent 14 hours installing and uninstalling and reinstalling the various driver versions, manually deleting the installed drivers because multiple incompatible versions running on the system, one brief moment where the card could see a USB drive but not a card reader then failed again on reboot, and several BSOD on boot requiring me to boot from CD and delete ViaHub3.sys just to get back into my system.
I finally gave up.
Overall Review: I went back to NewEgg, ordered a USB 3,0 card with an Etron EJ188 chip instead (SYBA SY-PEX20140), installed the new card, installed the drivers, up and running with USB 3.0 in about 5 minutes.
Avoid the pathetic VIA SuperSpeed VL805-Q6 chipset!!!
Pros: 1. Emulated KVM, which avoids the annoying monitor & USB device connect/disconnect (like cheap KVMs do) and the resultant delay while the PC (re-)connects USB device. However, see con #1.
2. CAN FUNCTION AS QUAD-MONITOR KVM!!! (Dual-DVI and dual-VGA using DVI/VGA splitters on both input and output.)
3. User configurable hot keys with lots of options (see page 7 of manual).
4. Audio or USB hub can follow KVM or lock to a specific computer.
5. Hot keys can switch audio or USB hub to a specific computer independent of KVM.
6. Optional control software, but most configuration available via hot keys. Software works on XP, Vista, 7, all 32- or 64-bit, and Mac (personally done all except Mac).
7. User-upgradable firmware (although after years StarTech has no new firmware is available).
Cons: 1. Emulated KMV = generic HIDs. Media keys and 5-button mice are fully functional as generic HIDs, but device-specific drivers won't work. E.g., IntelliPoint sees a generic HID, not a Microsoft mouse, so it won't reprogram the buttons.
2. Locks up occasionally (maybe once a month with daily use). See next con.
3. No reset/power switch, so when it locks up, you have to disconnect the 9V power and ALL USB inputs, which are inconveniently located under all other connectors.
4. Single-link DVI only (1920x1200 max).
5. Slow to switch, ~4 seconds.
6. Doesn't work with Dell Latitude Docking Station and DVI/VGA splitters on output. Docking station works with splitters alone or KVM alone, but not all 3 together.
7. Doesn't work with FingerWorks (hybrid keyboard/touchpad). Huge con for me! Other hybrid devices like Rii DO work. FingerWorks does work when attached to the internal USB hub, just not when connected to the more desired keyboard/mouse inputs.
Overall Review: I've used this every day for over a year. Despite my many complaints, I am pleased with this KVM. The many issues, particularly the lockups/reset issue, dropped it to 3 eggs, but I gave it 4 because of its many features that other KVMs lack, like customizable hot-key, USB hub, ability to lock/transfer audio & hub, and quad-monitor capability.
Despite the other review complaining of price, it's actually cheap for a KVM WITH AN EMULATOR, and possibly the cheapest dual DVI with an emulator (even in this rare case where NewEgg is not the cheapest--the horror). If you need dual DVI and an emulator works (or is preferred) with your setup, this is a solid choice.
Also, I hope this is obvious to buyers at this price level, but even though you can mix DVI and VGA, KVMs do not convert video signals. E.g., DVI in = DVI out; VGA in = VGA out. (Just a little FYI to KVM noobs.)
Pros: Cheap. Fast printing. Fast warmup. Wired & wireless networking (WEP only, no WPA/WPA2). Plain drivers without the bloatware packaged in other printers. Nice property pages in prtiner configuration. Loads of options in printer webpages.
Cons: (1) Virtually no status indicators on printer. Requires browsing printer's webpage to view current status and/or problem.
(2) Ridiculous manual tray as default, which blocks all print jobs until manual feed is loaded with paper or printer is reset, loosing all jobs.
(3) No way on printer webpages to list/delete current jobs, even as admin.
(4) WEP only!
#1 & #2 cause major headaches because inevitably a user prints to the default manual tray, which blocks all print jobs waiting for the manual feed tray with no way to tell what's wrong because there is no status screen on the printer. Thus, I receive an immediate onslaught of phone calls from frustrated users who cannot print. Also, many of the functions on the printer's webpages are inaccessible during this time because the printer is "busy".
As added hindrance to admins, Brother stores all printer settings in a single binary registry value containing username & PC, making it impossible to set defaults in Group Policy or login
Overall Review: Con #3 might be resolved if the printer is shared with all administration & job control done at the server. Plus, shared printer (versus all PCs printing directly to its network port) would allow central setting of default to tray 1 instead of manual feed, which might resolve #2.
However, nothing will fix con #1 and thus you will receive calls from frustrated users who don't know why their jobs aren't printing. This is the first and last time I buy a network printer without a status screen on the printer itself.
Huge binary value in registry to store all printer settings is bizarre, error-prone, lazy programming. Finding that makes me question the entire driver now.
Pros: Installed on Fujitsu tablets that included Notes 2007 for $15. This "upgrade" then installed without asking a previous product CD. Apparently Notes 2007 is a qualifying upgrade path. Nice oversight, Microsoft!
Cons: Horrible new interface that hides and rearranges features/settings for absolutely no reason other than to confuse long-time users, much like Vista does.
Overall Review: Try OpenOffice...it's FREE and opens/saves Microsoft Office documents without the dreadful new Office interface.
Pros: Seagate 5 warranty for the same price as everyone else's 3 year warranty. Drives of this size are currently best GB/$ ratio.
Cons: Ordered 2 of these and they immediately returned bad data. Ran SpinRite on both, and both drive's S.M.A.R.T. report over 2 MILLION seek errors. Finally RMA those to Seagate about 2 months later and order another one from NewEgg while I'm waiting. I ran SpinRite immediately on the new one, and it reports 2 million seek errors as well. 3 brand new drives and they all have over 2 million seek errors?
Overall Review: I own 9 of the SATA version of this drive and don't have any problems with those. Seagate used to be top-of-line and was priced accordingly. Now they match competitors' prices, but their quality control sucks. Oh well, at least they still have a 5 year warranty.
Pros: (1) Fits 5 SATA drives into 3x5.25" bays.
(2) Aluminum cage and trays.
(3) SATA and Molex power connectors.
(4) Power switch and HD power/activity light for each drive.
(5) Hot-swap compatible (with hot-swap SATA controller).
(6) Hi/lo fan switch.
(7) Quiet fan.
(8) Fan and custom temperature warnings.
Cons: (1) Trays/drives sometimes catch on neighbors, requiring you to tilt the tray slightly to remove it.
(2) Typical to this style lock, trying to lock the tray can inadvertantly open it.
(3) Drives' power switches need a pen to turn on/off (see comments below).
(4) Airflow is poorly designed. The fan is separated from the drives by the SATA backplane, which only has a 4 slots to allow airflow, and there are no airholes on the front or around the drive cage. Amazingly, though, I can still feel the fan drawing air from the front.
(5) Expensive (but still 1/2 the price of other 5-in-3 cages).
Overall Review: At first I thought mine was DOA until I figured out the power symbols weren't for power LEDs but for little tiny switches that you have to turn on/off with a pen. The HD LEDs are dual color power/activity.
And just so you know, the unit changes the orientation of your bays. E.g., if your 5.25" bays are horizontal, your hard drives will mount vertically. No big deal, it's just that the picture is misleading.
Pros: (1) Cheap.
(2) Short depth (even shorter than most CD-ROMs).
(3) 2nd SATA port/power on front.
(4) Both SATA and Molex power connections (but only SATA for 2nd port).
(5) Easy slide in/out.
(6) Quiet fan.
Cons: (1) Flimsy, all-plastic design.
(2) Lock mechanism hard to lock without popping open, typical for this style.
(3) Proprietary fan so you can't replace it when it fails (and plastic case without a fan will cook your drive).
(4) No extra trays available separately (although the entire unit is cheap enough to buy a 2nd and just use the tray, plus have the fan as a replacement part). :)
(5) Drive activity LED requires m/b connection and turns on for ANY drive access, not just this drive.
(6) Power and HD lights bleed into each other so much that you can't see the HD light. I fixed this by putting a 1/2" long piece of non-conductive heatshrink tubing (not shrunk) :) from the LED to the plastic lens. Mod cost me less than a penny--they should have included something like that already.
Overall Review: If you want short and/or cheap, this the case for you. However, flimsy plastic and poor LED design ruin this for me, but the short design and 2nd external SATA port save it from a Very Poor rating.
If you have the space, get one of the multi-bay designs instead. The Athena Power 5-in-3 bay (BP-SATA3051B) is a much better design: aluminum and working LEDs.
Also, for those of you looking for the elusive SATA power connector for the front, search for StarTech SATAPOW36.
Pros: None I can think of...not exceptional in any regard: not the cheapest, not the fastest, not the quietest.
Cons: Ridicuously HIGH FAILURE RATE.
Overall Review: These drives came with our 10 Dell GX280. After just over a year, we have a 30% failure rate: 1 failed after 3 months, another after 6, and a third after 16 months. The last was out of Dell warranty, so I came to New Egg to buy a replacement. However, after reading the user comments and seeing that I wasn't the only one experiencing high failure rates with this drive, I decided to replace it with a more reliable drive (i.e., Sxxxxxe Sxxxxx10AS).
Pros: (1) Compact all-in-one.
(2) Both IDE and SATA connectors.
(3) Unique design with 3.5" and 2.5" IDE connectors. No 40-to-44 pin adapter cable to carry/forget like other solutions.
(4) Green power LED, red access LED more visible than BT-200's internal red LED that lights the cord.
(5) Hot swap SATA on the device.
(6) Cool 4-pin molex power adapter included.
Cons: (1) Sporactically disconnects.
(2) USB must be plugged in last for IDE (won't work if USB plugged in first or still plugged in from last use).
(3) SATA connector partially blocks power to IDE drives if power is directly next to header (typically on CD/DVD drives and removable IDE cages). Still connects, but torques both the power and the BT-300.
(4) Squishy case might not protect inards if you keep this loose in your bag.
(5) Thin, flimsy USB cable.
(6) Slightly larger than BT-200 (but still revolutionarily compact).
Overall Review: Finally! A SATA version! With this in my bag, I can troubleshoot just about any drive at my clients' sites.
Kinda wish the unit had a mini-USB plug instead of a built-in cord so I could use my own cables (which I already carry around). Of course, that one time I forget my cable... :)
Pros: Smallest 3.5" USB/FireWire I've found so far. No rounded sides or other such wasted space. Dual-color LED (green=on, red=activity) that doesn't light the entire room at night. No annoying fan. No vibration rattles.
Cons: (1) USB power keeps circuits and LED on when case is off. Thus, power on doesn't reset the device and it won't work again until you unplug USB. (2) Runs hot (as expected with no fan). However, with USB problem just mentioned, you that means you have to unplug it instead of just turning it off. (3) Sides/"drive cage" are plastic. (4) Vertical mount only. Fixed that with some cheap stick-on pads. Now it's stackable! (5) LED is at REAR of branded side. (6) Tiny screws just barely long enough to screw into cheap plastic sides. (7) Those darn tiny screws!
Overall Review: Haven't found the "perfect" case yet, but this was good enough for me to buy a second. Been using both regularly for over a year with no problems so far. Tiny screws foil what would otherwise be easy drive access. If they could find an alternative and fix the USB problem, this would be a great case.
Pros: Compact size. Great value. Fast access to IDE drives without popping open a PC case or USB enclosure. Unique connector has 40-pin on one side, 44-pin on the other--no funky 40-to-44 pin adapter needed for laptop drives.
Cons: Unbelievably finicky hook-up procedure that rarely works. Periodically looses USB connection so you have to do entire hook-up procedure all over again.
Overall Review: I have to temporarily hook-up hard drives on a regular basis and this made it so easy...and so frustrating. Even after repeatly following the IDE>power>USB steps, mine would repeatly fail to connect or sporatically disconnect. I could may get 1 out of 20 tries to successfuly connect. I became so frustrated that I recently smashed it so I wouldn't be tempted to use anymore, and immediately regretting my decision. Now I'm back at New Egg to buy another. Think I'll upgrade to the IDE/SATA version this time.
Comments: Had 2, bought 2 more. Very quiet. Nice anti-shock. Horrible exterior plastic rails. However, just found out that they don't work with 300GB drives.
Tried with 3 different 300GB hard drives (two Seagate ST3300831A and a Maxtor 6L300R0). All cases initially reported 300GB Seagates as 2048GB (wow, that'd be nice!). Skeptical, I hooked drives internally on PC and formatted. Afterwards, these cases wouldn't recognize the Seagates at all and temporarily locked PC until case was removed. Maxtor was already formatted with data & cases wouldn't recognize it either (same lockup).
Great case, but external rails and false 300GB claims drop its overall rating.