* Prices may differ from that shown
I had an issue with my hard drive failing on me out of the blue. Of course this would be a lesson in backing up my data but I am one of those people that never seems to learn. As I had no back up I needed a way of retrieving data from the hard drive. After a bit of research on the internet I found the StarTech USB to SATA External Hard Drive Docking Station for 2.5" SATA HDD. However, this is a bit of a mouthful so lets stick to StarTech Docking Station for the purpose of the review, shall we?
** StarTech **
StarTech is an internet based company that aims to provide consumers with 'every connectivity part you need', from old products to new. Their website has items for:
* Audio-Video Products (e.g. USB Video Adapters, converters)
* Cables (e.g. network, USB)
* Server Management (e.g. KVM consoles, switches, extenders)
* Hard Drive Accessories (e.g. enclosures, backplanes, docking stations, adapters)
* Add-on Cards & Peripherals (e.g. Serial cards, Firewire cards)
* Networking IO Products (e.g. converters, adapters, cards)
* Computer Parts
This review shall just be focusing on the docking station.
** StarTech Docking Station **
The StarTech USB to SATA External Hard Drive Docking Station for 2.5" SATA HDD is exactly what it says on the tin (or box, in this case). It is a docking station in which you can insert your 2.5" SATA hard drive (the size found in laptops and games consoles) which you can then connect to your computer. This gives you access to your old hard drive without having to insert it into your laptop. This is great if you are wanting to copy files over and use the hard drive as a storage solution. This is especially useful if your hard drive becomes unusable for whatever reason, you can use the docking station to obtain your data. It worked for me to access files on the hard drive even though the hard drive no longer worked in my laptop. Though I can't guarantee that it would work in every case. But it did save me taking the laptop to someone else and paying a lot more to get my data.
The docking station is portable and light, so you can carry it about with you without it being too annoying. It is powered entirely through the USB cable so there are no annoying power cables to deal with.
To use, you just insert your 2.5" SATA hard drive into the slot then use the USB cable to connect it to your computer (Desktop or laptop). As it is a plug and play device you don't need to worry about drivers, and when you connect the docking station it won't take long for the hard drive folder to pop up. It has transfer speeds of up to 480 MBps. To get your old data onto your new drive you just need to click and drag. It really is that simple to use.
** Price and Availability **
I bought this recently for £8.93 from ebuyer. This product is also available from the likes of Amazon. An excellent price for a piece of equipment that has proved quite useful. I have used it with different laptops and hard drives and retrieved data I could well of lost otherwise. Priceless.
** Experience **
I have had nothing but good experience with this StarTech docking station. Once it arrived, I had not yet received my new hard drive so I connected it to my back up PC which has a Linux OS instead of Windows. I inserted the hard drive to the docking station and then connected it to the computer. Like it claims, a folder for my hard drive popped up on the screen. I was able to copy some of my data that I wanted/ needed before my new hard drive came.
Once my new hard drive came and was installed I used this docking station to transfer some of my data over that I did not want to lose. This was a simple and fast process that could not have gone easier. Definitely worth the reasonable price of under £9.
The docking station worked perfectly on Windows and Linux (Ubuntu).
** Conclusion **
This is a great piece of equipment that is a valuable tool to any laptop user. It may not be used a lot but when things go wrong it is handy to have around. If you have a desktop it would be worth looking for the 3.5" version of the docking station or if you have both the docking station that can be used with both sizes. I had had no issues with this product and would recommend it to all looking for such a product. Easy to use and well priced, what more could you ask for?