Years old discussions about internal drives

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wklee Veteran Member • Posts: 8,458
Years old discussions about internal drives

It’s not about storage capacity but the robustness of SATA  connectors. I have had drive docks fail but they are a cheap way of putting internal hard disks outside for external use. I never had the SATA connections break but they could?

I don’t hear much the external drive docks now? Also static might be a concern.

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XiaoDeer Forum Member • Posts: 68
Re: Years old discussions about internal drives

wklee wrote:

It’s not about storage capacity but the robustness of SATA connectors. I have had drive docks fail but they are a cheap way of putting internal hard disks outside for external use. I never had the SATA connections break but they could?

I don’t hear much the external drive docks now? Also static might be a concern.

Yep, those SATA connectors are a tad vulnerable. But they seem to hold up well if you handle them with great care.

I have half a dozen bare drives that I use for backup via a USB3 dock. No failures so far and I've been using this system for over 2 years.

Robert Zanatta Senior Member • Posts: 1,372
Re: Years old discussions about internal drives
1

A few months ago I purchased a USB 3 external dock and have been very happy with it.   Sustained transfer rate is 175MB/sec, and random transfer rates is pretty quick.   I was expecting mediocre performance,  but it's better than the eSATA dock it replaced.

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jfriend00 Forum Pro • Posts: 12,454
Re: Years old discussions about internal drives
4

wklee wrote:

It’s not about storage capacity but the robustness of SATA connectors. I have had drive docks fail but they are a cheap way of putting internal hard disks outside for external use. I never had the SATA connections break but they could?

I don’t hear much the external drive docks now? Also static might be a concern.

What's the specific problem here?

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John

OP wklee Veteran Member • Posts: 8,458
Re: Years old discussions about internal drives

I had a few external docks, just by having them lying around just die. The hard disks seemed OK but I have not accessed the data for 2 or more years. The docks simply failed.

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woodyggg Contributing Member • Posts: 884
Re: Years old discussions about internal drives

wklee wrote:

It’s not about storage capacity but the robustness of SATA connectors. I have had drive docks fail but they are a cheap way of putting internal hard disks outside for external use. I never had the SATA connections break but they could?

I don’t hear much the external drive docks now? Also static might be a concern.

okay.

what's your point? it's not clear...

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jfriend00 Forum Pro • Posts: 12,454
Re: Years old discussions about internal drives

wklee wrote:

I had a few external docks, just by having them lying around just die. The hard disks seemed OK but I have not accessed the data for 2 or more years. The docks simply failed.

Still don't understand what your question or problem is.

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John

WryCuda Veteran Member • Posts: 8,863
Re: Years old discussions about internal drives

wklee wrote:

It’s not about storage capacity but the robustness of SATA connectors. I have had drive docks fail but they are a cheap way of putting internal hard disks outside for external use. I never had the SATA connections break but they could?

I don’t hear much the external drive docks now? Also static might be a concern.

With reasonable care, can't see why there would be a reliability issue, since the same SATA and Power connectors are used whether the HDD was in a caddy or mounted in the normal manner. The older style of removeable connector may have been a different matter, when PATA was the go.

The cooling fan in the caddy sometimes get noisy, and I can envisage this needing replacement eventually. The lock/switch should last forever.

I've used SATA drives in removeable bays for a long time with no reliability issues. At various stages, the removeable drive caddy held either the main data drive or a backup drive. I still have a legacy computer with a removeable bay and HDD caddy, but I haven't seen this type of thing in the shops for a few years, except for RAID setups.

External USB drives are popular these days, and have probably taken over from removeable bays. Most USB drives are small enough to sit unobtrusively either on the desk or on top of the computer case.

When using USB drives with my notebook computers, I fit a short a USB adapter to make the connection easier and to preserve the USB slot of the computer.

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tcg550 Veteran Member • Posts: 8,583
Re: Years old discussions about internal drives

jfriend00 wrote:

wklee wrote:

I had a few external docks, just by having them lying around just die. The hard disks seemed OK but I have not accessed the data for 2 or more years. The docks simply failed.

Still don't understand what your question or problem is.

His dock failed from non use and he thinks the sata drive is the guilty party?

I have a couple docks that drives get put in and out of several times a week, no issues with the dock or the drives. The docks are the cheapest ones I could find on Amazon or when there's a sale at Micro Center.

My experience has been that sata drive connectors just work.

Ho72
Ho72 Senior Member • Posts: 1,830
Re: Years old discussions about internal drives

wklee wrote:

It’s not about storage capacity but the robustness of SATA connectors. I have had drive docks fail but they are a cheap way of putting internal hard disks outside for external use. I never had the SATA connections break but they could?

I don’t hear much the external drive docks now? Also static might be a concern.

From WD: eSATA and internal SATA cables and connectors cannot be used interchangeably. This is important since eSATA cables and connectors are designed for 5000 insertion and removal cycles while internal SATA cables and connectors are designed for only 50 insertion and removal cycles.

So SATA internal connectors are relatively flimsy. While I've not had one fail, it's obvious they're not designed for the long haul. While I can't imagine running up against the limit of 50 cycles on an internal drive, this might be a real concern with a dock unless the manufacturer has modified the reference design.

Sean Nelson
Sean Nelson Forum Pro • Posts: 13,130
Re: Years old discussions about internal drives
1

XiaoDeer wrote:

I have half a dozen bare drives that I use for backup via a USB3 dock. No failures so far and I've been using this system for over 2 years.

I bought a USB 3.0 dock for backups to my bare SATA drives 9 years ago.  I've been inserting and removing drives 2 or 3 times a week since then, so it's seen over 1000 drive swaps.  I've never had any issues with the dock or the drives.  Of course I take care when inserting the drives, and I place a cover over the opening of the dock when it's not in use to keep dust out.

LordKOTL
LordKOTL Senior Member • Posts: 1,190
Re: Years old discussions about internal drives

wklee wrote:

It’s not about storage capacity but the robustness of SATA connectors. I have had drive docks fail but they are a cheap way of putting internal hard disks outside for external use. I never had the SATA connections break but they could?

I don’t hear much the external drive docks now? Also static might be a concern.

I had a SATA connector fail once, but it was because I did an ID-ten-T error and knocked the cable from the side, snapping the plastic off into the cable.  Still worked, but I got the data off of it as quick as I could.

Honestly nowadays enclosures, especially USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 enclosures are so cheap, and tool-less, that I wouldn't use a toaster-style dock anymore...but that's just me.

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Dr_Jon Veteran Member • Posts: 5,889
32 bit?

wklee wrote:

I had a few external docks, just by having them lying around just die. The hard disks seemed OK but I have not accessed the data for 2 or more years. The docks simply failed.

Note some external docks are 32-bit internally (as in use 32bit LBA adressing, not a 32-bit processor or anything) and won't work with larger capacity drives (>2TB), so may appear to have failed due to a more modern and larger drive being inserted.

I currently use one of these:
https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00566QS9K
as my
https://www.amazon.co.uk/SHARKOON-SATA-QuickPort-USB-inch/dp/B002Y17J52
was 32-bit and only worked with smaller (-ish) drives.

P.S. my new enclosure supports 64bit LBA adressing, but will still have an issue when drives get past 8ZiB (8 thousand million terabytes).

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sludge21017
sludge21017 Senior Member • Posts: 1,601
Re: Years old discussions about internal drives

they do start to feel loose at some point...

threw the lens
threw the lens Contributing Member • Posts: 620
Re: Years old discussions about internal drives

I would be more concerned about whether the dock is REALLY stopping the drive with a stop command, or just by disconnecting the power.

You want the heads to disengage and then the drive to power down, not have the dock just disconnect the power and drop the heads on the disk. That creates slews of bad sectors very quickly.

I had some cheapo dock that could not respond to a soft unplug. It was only good for SSD.

Sean Nelson
Sean Nelson Forum Pro • Posts: 13,130
Re: Years old discussions about internal drives

LordKOTL wrote:

Honestly nowadays enclosures, especially USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 enclosures are so cheap, and tool-less, that I wouldn't use a toaster-style dock anymore...but that's just me.

A bare 3.5" drive "barely" fits into the safety deposit box at my bank - any kind of enclosure would prevent me from using it for offsite storage.  So SATA docks will be an important part of my computing ecosystem for the foreseeable future.

skyglider Veteran Member • Posts: 5,043
Re: Years old discussions about internal drives

Sean Nelson wrote:

XiaoDeer wrote:

I have half a dozen bare drives that I use for backup via a USB3 dock. No failures so far and I've been using this system for over 2 years.

I bought a USB 3.0 dock for backups to my bare SATA drives 9 years ago. I've been inserting and removing drives 2 or 3 times a week since then, so it's seen over 1000 drive swaps. I've never had any issues with the dock or the drives. Of course I take care when inserting the drives, and I place a cover over the opening of the dock when it's not in use to keep dust out.

+1

Mirrors my experience, including placing a small piece of towel on top of the docks to keep dust out.  Never had any HDD problem with my two docks, nor has any of the 3 friends that bought docks to do backups at my recommendation.

The power on/off push button did die on one friend's dock but that was easily repaired by replacing it with a mini toggle switch.  No HDD problem at all.

Sky

LordKOTL
LordKOTL Senior Member • Posts: 1,190
Re: Years old discussions about internal drives

Sean Nelson wrote:

LordKOTL wrote:

Honestly nowadays enclosures, especially USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 enclosures are so cheap, and tool-less, that I wouldn't use a toaster-style dock anymore...but that's just me.

A bare 3.5" drive "barely" fits into the safety deposit box at my bank - any kind of enclosure would prevent me from using it for offsite storage. So SATA docks will be an important part of my computing ecosystem for the foreseeable future.

Gotcha.  I take it that moving to a 2.5" drive solution for your backup drives is out of the question as well?  I mention that because of the form factor and that they can be powered directly from USB rather than needing a wall wart.

However, they do make straight plug-in (as opposed to toaster style) docks (https://www.amazon.com/Unitek-Adapter-Converter-Universal-Optical/dp/B06WWLCYC3/ref=sr_1_6?keywords=SATA+to+usb+3+connector&qid=1555952769&s=gateway&sr=8-6 )

Which might or might not be an option.

Good luck!

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Sean Nelson
Sean Nelson Forum Pro • Posts: 13,130
Re: Years old discussions about internal drives

LordKOTL wrote:

Sean Nelson wrote:

LordKOTL wrote:

Honestly nowadays enclosures, especially USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 enclosures are so cheap, and tool-less, that I wouldn't use a toaster-style dock anymore...but that's just me.

A bare 3.5" drive "barely" fits into the safety deposit box at my bank...

Gotcha. I take it that moving to a 2.5" drive solution for your backup drives is out of the question as well?

I'd need one that holds 8 TBytes...

OP wklee Veteran Member • Posts: 8,458
LBA and Hard Disks, SSDs

I totally forgot about LBA. 3.5” still has bigger capacity than 2.5”. It looks like 2.5” drives may not catch up. SSDs are, for TB comparison much more expensive.

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Never buy version 1.0 of anything.
Don't it always seem to go
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Till it's gone
They paved paradise
And put up a parking lot
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