Computer Pony Request!
October 5, 2009 10:49 PM   Subscribe

I would like to find a hard drive enclosure that isn't enclosed.

I would really like a USB -> IDE 3.5" hard drive enclosure that I don't have to open up. I'd like to be able to take out one drive and put in another kind of like those old Atari 2600 cartridges.

Every enclosure I find online is a slim little box which looks like I'd have to open up to put the drive into it.

Does such an animal exist?
posted by Bonzai to Computers & Internet (11 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Thermaltake makes one, although there are several on the market these days, this just happens to be the one I have.
posted by iamabot at 10:53 PM on October 5, 2009

Best answer: Several here.

The keywords you're looking for are: "usb ide docking station"
posted by sharkfu at 10:54 PM on October 5, 2009

Response by poster: "Docking station" was indeed the keyword I needed.

Now that I think about it, I only have 1 (old) IDE drive I need to check out, I'm going to get a SATA docking station and just open up the damn case and swap out my D: drive since it's a one time deal. No reason to stick to old technology.

Thanks both for the quick replies.
posted by Bonzai at 11:05 PM on October 5, 2009

FWIW SATA docks are the SHIT.
I have one, and buying HDs at this point is cheaper then buying DVD-rs.
posted by JonnyRotten at 4:27 AM on October 6, 2009

I bought a usb to ide/sata adapter on ebay from hong kong for something like $12 shipped so that I can interface client drives w/o having to unplug one of the ones in my system.

It's been most excellent, and works with any ide or sata device, including optical drives.

Not a dock, per se, but cheap and effective.
posted by TomMelee at 5:01 AM on October 6, 2009

Related question: Once you have a dock and a ton of drives, what's the best way to store them?

I like the idea of a docking station, but am a bit wary of having a ton of drives stacked up in nothing but the anti-static bag.
posted by agentmunroe at 6:09 AM on October 6, 2009

AgentMunroe: Pelican makes several Hard drive transport options - or you could order some of the foam inserts from them and cut it to fit a desk drawer?
posted by Orb2069 at 7:41 AM on October 6, 2009

Hmmm. I can't find anywhere to buy just the foam inserts. I am searching for a storage solution for multiple HDs myself.
posted by JonnyRotten at 2:40 PM on October 6, 2009

agentmunroe: Take a look at these cases. You can't tell from the pictures, but there are little plastic fingers inside that are just barely larger than 3.5". They hold the drive so securely that you almost have to turn the case upside down to get the drive out. The cases are about the size of VHS tapes, so any VHS rack could be used to store these.

Bonzai: if you get a docking station, consider using some of the low power SATA drives if possible. The docking stations don't have fans, so the drives will get hot. I have a pair of Seagate drives that will actually burn my fingers if they've been powered up in the docking station for too long. Western Digital, Hitachi, and Samsung all have lines of low power, 5400 rpm SATA drives. (I rip DVDs to the drives and play them back with no problems, so the latency of the lower-speed is not an issue for most applications. However, you shouldn't use the low power drives in any sort of data farm because they keep spinning down. Not only is that an annoyance, but they have a finite number of spinups before they fail.) Newegg will often bundle the dock with a drive, so you can look for deals there.
posted by joaquim at 3:26 PM on October 6, 2009 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Check out deal extreme
only $12 with shipping.
I had a bunch of old small harddrives from a computer that died and my current computer is full of drives already.
This cable was really handy for getting the data off them.
posted by Iax at 1:50 PM on October 7, 2009

Iax, that's exactly to the letter the one I purchased.

You just have to be careful because the blank pin hole isn't blocked, so it's possible to plug in a 2.5 or a 3.5" IDE drive upside down. (Usually just means it won't work. Some folks on newegg report that it toasted drives though...)
posted by TomMelee at 6:30 PM on October 7, 2009

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