Windows 10: Looking for a 4-bay USB 3.0 external HDD enclosure
I'd get one with built in RAID -- I'm using 2 X Hornetek enclosures with hardware RAID. They have separate power supplies and connect to computer via USB 3 -- using a USB 3 hub.
My HDD's are 2 X 3 TB in each enclosure set up as RAID 0 (I have enough backup) so RAID 0 is fine --gives me more than adequate speed.
Hornetek also do 4 Bay HDD's -- also with RAID. Note though ensure that there is also a fan as HDD's in a smallish box can get warm if used continuously and check that max total TB allowed is within your HDD sizes.
With these enclosures you can actually use 2.5 inch HDD's - but you'll need an adaptor for each HDD you have as 2.5 inch - one from HP ProLiant server works if you want to use SSD's / other 2.5 inch HDD's in these boxes. You can get the adapters from HP --you don't have to have the server of course. !!!
You can switch RAID OFF, have it as JBOD (just a bunch of Disks --rather like Windows storage spaces, or as discrete HDD's. Switchable from INSIDE the unit so decide what you want before fitting the HDD's.
Great info, Jimbo! Thanks: always looking for a good way to accommodate DASD stuff. As this Google search shows, the HornetTek stuff is pretty affordable, and a good 4-bay enclosure is exactly what the OP is looking for.
Thanks fro that tip to the Hornetek enclosures. I took a look and it's pretty much what I'm looking for, but like all of these enclosures, I have concerns for the cooling system they use:
- The 4-bay JBOD Hornetek actually appears to be the same thing as this, only re-branded:
- Like all of these enclosures, there seem to be some scary reviews about corrupted drives and USB 3.0 connection issues. I have already been looking at the Vantec but I think I'd actually prefer the Mediasonic before I went with the Vantec. The Mediasonic cooling system is poor too - the fan in the back is blocked by the chip board, so airflow is severely limited. The older esata model I have now has the same issue, and on top of that the front plastic panel further blocks airflow even more. I keep the front panel off and I have a fan in front to push air across the panels but it's ridiculous I have to do that. It's ugly and takes up more space to balance a small fan in front of the enclosure. On the other hand, the Vantec/Hornetek has the fan on the top, which also seems to be a poor solution according to reviews. The top fan pushes air onto the top drive, but does nothing for the other drives below it. The best cooling system I've seen is the Icy Docks, which, sadly, is the unit that has caused my data loss and corruption, which is why I'm looking for replacements. Also, the Hornetek claims to only support up to 4Tb drives. I already own larger drives than that. The Mediasonic supports up to 8TB drives. The Hornetek may accept larger, but I shouldn't have to guess. And the Hornetek only mentions support for up to Windows 7, which doesn't make me feel particularly confident that they have tested the unit thoroughly on Windows 10. These enclosures all seem to have issues unfortunately. I had pretty good luck with them for years on Windows 7, but it's been a nightmare since I moved to Windows 10, and it seems these enclosures would rather look pretty than have effective cooling for the drives inside.
USB drive are ok but what about this item I sourced on Amazon.com :
Amazon.com: ICY DOCK #MB996SP-6SB MB996SP-6SB DAS Array 6 x Total Bays - SATA/600 Internal: Computers Accessories
I use a 4 tray version internally much more reliable than external devices but you might not want to go this way you can get 2/4/6/8 bay versions of this if you need loads of them but then you need lots of sata ports on your mobo.
Last edited by RoadBlaster; 24 Oct 2016 at 19:39.
I use the Mediasonic you posted in the OP ...no issues on X99 and now none on my X58 MB after Mediasonic pointed me to a newer firmware for my Renesas USB3 Chip so it Sleeps properly. ( there is a RAID version of it too extra $50 ? )
Another I looked at was SansDigital Products Enclosures http://www.sansdigital.com/
I have an older Synology NAS but found I don't use the "NAS Services" so I went back to Enclosures due to lower Cost for plain Storage and backup.
Depending on the Age of the WD Green Drive you may need to use WDIDLE on it , I did on the 1st ones I had in the Syno Nas. it does not work on their newer Green Drives though.
That is only for 2.5" drives. Mine are standard 3.5" mechanical drives. And since my current problem involves Icy Dock enclosures corrupting my drives, there's no way I'd buy anything else from them.
Thanks for the feedback on the Mediasonic. I'm leaning that way for lack of better alternatives. I do hate the cooling system it uses, based on my experience with their esata version.. I don't feel at all comfortable leaving the front panel on with no airflow. And the rear fan is very loud, and ineffective thanks to the placement of the internal board.
I have an older esata sansdigital and it had worked well for me but the 4bay I own gets horrific reviews out there. There seems to be a lot of people with the power supply dying out on the sansdigital. So far I've been lucky but I don't use it much either simply because the drives in there I don't need to access too often. Their website isn't working either and the unit I own is no longer available on Newegg, so I think they are no longer an option anyways.
Icy Dock feels the green drive is the issue, but I have used those same green drives in the Icy Dock on my old Windows 7 PC without issue. So I'm not convinced it's the green drive at fault here.
I wonder if a multi-bay mobile rack might be worth looking at? Are those intended to leave on the desktop like the enclosures? I'm unfamiliar with those. Do they include cooling fans? They connect via sata cables, correct? So I would need to run several sata cables from my motherboard outside the case to the mobile rack? Are they powered from my PC power supply like standard internal drives (needing additional power cables)? Do I need one sata cable for each drive? Just trying to look at all my options.
I guess that's a bad idea anyways. I have lots of drives and that's why I've been using these USB 3 enclosures. I wouldn't have nearly enough free sata ports and I'd be constantly plugging and unplugging cables. 1 USB 3 port gives me 4 bays in the USB 3 enclosures.
I don't find the rear fan that loud ,but you do need to tighten the screws on the rear once a year? as it can get a bit rattley sounding, I also have a BlackX dual Dock but I am not sure the Drive are any cooler in it vs the 4 bay Probox , but I try not to run either for long periods ,certainly not 24/7.
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