Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Aluratek's eSATA USB 2.0 2.5” / 3.5” SATA Hard Drive Docking Enclosure Hub - AHDDS100F Review

I purchased Aluratek's eSATA USB 2.0 2.5” / 3.5” SATA Hard Drive Docking Enclosure Hub when it went on sale since after using a similar type device but without a USB hub (from a different manufacturer) at work, I found such a device to be practical. It is plug and play as well as being hot swappable. The docking enclosure easily turns any bare standalone 2.5" or 3.5" SATA hard drive into an external hard drive.

Aluratek makes 2 models of SATA hard drive docking enclosures. They make one with a USB hub as well as one without a USB hub. The one that was on sale (and I purchased) had the USB hub (4 powered USB ports where 3 of the USB ports had connectivity to the attached computer and the remaining 1 USB port could be used only for charging a USB device). I find the added USB hub to be practical since my Acer Aspire One has 3 USB ports (where of the ports is generally being used for the cooling mat).

In order to use this device, you just push a SATA 2.5" or 3.5" hard drive into the slot on the top and turn on the device (there is an on/off switch). The hard drive docking enclosure must be connected either via USB cable to the computer or via an eSATA cable to the computer. After a few seconds, Windows will detect the hard drive and you should be able to access the data. I mention "should" because with the SATA drive that I stored some files on (using the SATA drive docking enclosure from work), the Aluratek docking enclosure was able to detect the drive but it could not mount the encrypted drive. This might of had something to do with the fact that the drive was encrypted with a different docking enclosure from a different manufacturer.

I tested a non-encrypted SATA hard drive from a different system and my netbook didn't have any issues reading it when I inserted it into the docking enclosure. I find the data transfer speed to be as fast as any other USB 2.0 hard drive enclosure. According to the company specifications, it is backward compatible with USB 1.1 specifications although I have not tried it on a USB 1.1 port.

The unit is not heavy-duty (seems to be of cheap construction) but it gets the job done. I have no problems people purchasing such a device when it is on sale.

If you have any questions/comments regarding this blog entry, please don't hesitate to leave a comment in the comments section.

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