Docking Station

Discussion in 'Windows 7 Hardware' started by seekermeister, Sep 15, 2013.

  1. seekermeister

    seekermeister Honorable Member

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    This is an item I have heard about in passing many times, but never paid much attention to, because at the time, I didn't see why I would want one. However the notion struck me that it would be a convenient means of transferring data via a hard drive from one computer to another, so I quickly looked at them on eBay. The thing that impressed me most, at first glance, is the price range difference...anywhere from a few dollars, up to $2,500. I can't imagine anyone choosing to pay that upper end price, but then again, I know so little about them, I don't know what one should expect to pay for a good and reliable unit?

    As said, all I would probably use it for is occasional data transfer via a standard sized SATA hard drive. Size isn't too much of a factor, since I wouldn't be traveling with it, but then I don't want something that takes up a lot of space for nothing. If someone would share their insights with me on this, it would help a lot.

    EDIT: Perhaps I should add to the question as to which type of interface would work the best in my situation? I only have USB 3 on one computer, so that would limit my choice to USB 2, should that be a critical factor. I could go ethernet, but I suspect that would be slower...don't know?
     
    #1 seekermeister, Sep 15, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2013
  2. badrobot

    badrobot Senior Member

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    The one I am using is made by Vantec which is a USB 3.0 hard drive dock. I bought it a year ago on sale for $40. Regular price in Bestbuy is $60.
    I first used it when I migrated my OS from HDD to SSD and its very fast. A 40GB sized OS can be cloned between 10 and 15mins. It also good for quick transferring of large files from one PC to another. A very useful piece of PC peripheral. Right now, I have a 500GB hard drive sitting on it all the time which I use for back ups of my 2 PCs. It contains system images and other important files. If any of my computer is acting up, I just plug it in and perform image recovery from it.

    Here's how it looks (the white dock on the right):

    IMAG2382.

    BTW, you should go with USB 3.0 because it is 10x faster when using USB 3.0 port. But eventhough your other PC is only USB 2.0, there's nothing to worry about because most USB 3.0 devices are backwards compatible with USB 2.0 and USB 1.1.



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    #2 badrobot, Sep 16, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2013
  3. seekermeister

    seekermeister Honorable Member

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    Not bad at all. White wouldn't be my first choice, but that is a small factor. The only other questions in my mind are regarding the interfaces available. I don't think that it matters that it doesn't have SATA III, but I think that it might be good to have USB 3, even though I only have one computer with that capability.

    I found it on ebay slightly cheaper, but that was by NewEgg, which I no longer deal with. $40 is a reasonable price, but I'm considering getting 3 of them, just so I don't have to carry it around, along with the hard drive, therefore $120 gives me pause for consideration.

    EDIT: I just saw your last comment regarding USB 3, and then noticed that your unit is marked as such. I will have to recheck eBay, because I think all of the one that I saw there were 2.0.
     
  4. badrobot

    badrobot Senior Member

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    White matches my PC (the one on my signature) but it's also available in black. Incidentally, here in Canada, it's on sale today at Canada Computers for only $30. I might grab another one today.. :)

    Here: http://www.canadacomputers.com/product_info.php?cPath=679&item_id=031971


    Edit:

    SATA III is 6Gbps and USB 3.0 is 5Gbps. I will not worry about the 1Gbps difference as you don't really reach the 6Gbps speed. Plus having the universal interface.. the USB, would be the best interface you can get. :)
    This Vantec dock accommodates both 2.5" and 3.5" hard drive/ SSD.
     
    #4 badrobot, Sep 16, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2013
  5. seekermeister

    seekermeister Honorable Member

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    I checked your link, and I don't think that I can order from them, because one of the required fields in their registration form is for provinces, of which none are in the USA. They use US carrier service, so it would seem that they would ship to the US.
     
  6. badrobot

    badrobot Senior Member

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    Oh, the link that I attached is just to show you how the black color looks like. Yeah, it's so strange that Canada Computers don't accept US customers.

    You can also get it from Tigerdirect.com but they only have white for USB 3.0 and same brand as mine: http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=8428799&CatId=2785

    That one has eSata interface. I think I have to check mine if it also has eSata.

    ..
     
  7. seekermeister

    seekermeister Honorable Member

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    My comment regarding SATA III was not about it interfacing with the computer at SATA III speed, but with the hard drive. It would seem apparent that it wouldn't be possible to use all of that 5GBps, since the drive could only be accessed at 3.0GBps. Then again, I don't know that it would be possible to use all of that 5GBps either.
     
  8. badrobot

    badrobot Senior Member

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    I see... this particular dock is compatible with SATA I , II & III hard drives.
     
  9. seekermeister

    seekermeister Honorable Member

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    #9 seekermeister, Sep 16, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2013
  10. badrobot

    badrobot Senior Member

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    Sorry for confusing you, I was referring to that unit on the Tigerdirect.com link. And it's cheaper by a few bucks than the SATA I & II that you saw on ebay. Here again: http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=8428799&CatId=2785
     
  11. badrobot

    badrobot Senior Member

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    But actually, even with the model that I have which is only says compatible with SATA I & II, I was able to use it with Kingston HyperX SSD and Samsung 840 series SSD which are both SATA III.
     
  12. seekermeister

    seekermeister Honorable Member

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    Here is a unit that I'm considering:

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/DupDocStation-SATA-III-Hard-Disk-Duplicator-Docking-Station-USB-3-0-Interface-/251338721102?pt=US_Drive_Enclosures_Docks&hash=item3a84f4874e

    It's white, but the description says that it is SATA III and USB 3, however looking at the picture, I wonder because one slot is marked SATA I and the other SATA II. It also has the capability of duplicating one drive to another, without using the PC, which if it works very well, would be a plus for me.
     
  13. badrobot

    badrobot Senior Member

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    Don't trust ebay on that if they are showing something that does not match with their description.
    Here's how it looks on another site: http://comtoptech.en.alibaba.com/product/1293438442-210763081/DupDocStation_SATA_III_Hard_Disk_Duplicator_Docking_Station_USB_3_0_Interface.html
     
  14. seekermeister

    seekermeister Honorable Member

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    badrobot,
    That's a rather odd ad, because while it calls it a USB 3 docking station, everything in the specs below only state USB II capability. Not that it matters too much, because I'm not going to order anything from China if I can help it.
     
    #15 seekermeister, Sep 16, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2013
  15. bassfisher6522

    bassfisher6522 Essential Member

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  16. bassfisher6522

    bassfisher6522 Essential Member

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    Badrobot.....with your docking station; how does the hot swap work....being it's a usb external. With my case for the hot swap to work I have to have the RAID/AHCI driver installed and set in the BIOS for how swap to function properly.
     
  17. seekermeister

    seekermeister Honorable Member

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  18. badrobot

    badrobot Senior Member

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    Bass, it uses the Windows USB driver. It's basically Plug n Play. I plug it between my PCs (Win 7 & Win 8) without needing to install any drivers. Just safely remove the drive (because it is in USB dock), turn the power off and eject the drive and the place a new one turn the power back on.

    Yours is connected directly to the motherboard that's why you need a driver for it. Anything that you attach to the mobo needs a driver.
     
  19. seekermeister

    seekermeister Honorable Member

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    I've been communicating with the seller of that DupDocStation and he says that those SATA I & SATA II labels on top of that unit are nothing more than references...like bay 1 & bay 2, but then in the specs in the ad, it says "Compliant with USB 2.0/1.1", So I don't know if what he is saying is true.
     

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