With today's ever growing need to expand everything these days, (apart from my wage packet of course), upgrading to a larger internal hard drive on my laptop has had to happen yet again, upping my Giga doods to a rather fetching, and very large Terabyte, (TB) or 1000+ Giga Bytes.
But on opting to replace the smaller internal hard drive with this much roomier one I was left with a spare internal hard drive consisting of 320 GB of space, which I didn't intend on wasting.
So I decided to do what I had done before, which was to purchase what is called a Hard drive caddy so that I could turn the internal hard drive that I had just taken out of the laptop into an external memory device, giving me more space to store all my computer bits and bobs such as photo's videos, worksheets and the rest.
My first thought was to get hold of the same caddy that I had used before, that being a simple to use one from Iomax, but unfortunately this one was sold out and I had no idea when it was going to be back in stock.
Fortunately though there was a very similar product which looked almost identical and I presumed would therefore be as easy to set up and to use as the Iomax. This other product, that I then decided to buy, is in fact made by someone called Hamas who to be honest I had never heard of, but as the price was right and the product looked similar, I decided to go with it. And I've had no complaints since doing so.
Getting started is easy, with everything you need wrapped up inside the box.
There should be...
* A 2.5 inch SATA hard drive enclosure itself, (for 9.5mm only)
* USB connecting cable with double USB heads on way end.
* A black cloth carrying pouch
* A small screw driver
* Driver CD for windows 98SE
* User manual
Firstly, let's look at the technical stuff...
It's plug and play meaning that you don't have to search for drivers to get this thing connected up to your PC, although you will have to install the CD if you're running windows 98SE.
And apart from most windows OS it also works on Mac 9 and above, even Linux 2.4 too.
The aluminium case claims to offer a better cooling process and, even though the unit can get a little warm with excessive use, it doesn't 'overheat' enough to warrant calling out the fire brigade.
It's also what is called 'Hot Swappable', which means that you can plug and unplug the device without having to got through the 'remove device safely' process in case you accident lay delete something you wanted to keep, which can be annoying at times.
There's no need for external power supplies either as this is power from the USB ports which, as it's doubled, give it that extra bit of speed, both read and write.
With the actual read and write speeds up to 480Mbps
** That's the technical bits out of the way with....
The advantage of caddies like this are that you can take out the hard drive from your laptop and, once in this caddy, you then have a useable external hard drive in a rather funky and very strong case.
The other advantage is that if you want to 'clone' your 'old' hard drive onto your 'new' one you can do so using this caddy with ease. Doing it this way is easier and a lot quicker that transferring the data onto an external, then replacing the internal hard drives and finally re-transferring the data onto the newly fitted internal hard drive. Believe me, this can take an eternity depending on how much data you are playing with.
Putting the hard drive in can be a bit tricky but once it's in it's in, but do be careful in case of static electricity which can be quite harmful to hard drives
But here's a briefing in how to install the HDD into the caddy.
Firstly you carefully take your internal hard drive out of your PC and, carefully, slot the hard drive onto the top of the caddy, they can only connect together in one way so there's no need to worry about slotting them together incorrectly.
So, once the hard drive is in place you then slide it into the main body of the caddy, lining up the screw holes which are at the top end of the caddy. Then, finally, screw the tiny screws into position and that's it, job done, you're now ready to connect this 'external' hard drive to you PC.
When the caddy is in use there's a little light that flickers when the drive is in use, this light is situated on the same end as the USB port.
The pouch itself, if you're interested, is made of a soft imitation leather, it may in fact be a very thin leather of some kind, maybe of a very thin skinned bullfrog or something. The stitching along the case may look a little on the rough side but it's quite strong and sort of gives the case a bit of a 'rustic' look.
** IN CONCLUSION...
This enclosure works a treat, for what it is designed for anyway. The Hard Drive slid inside with the tiny screws keeping the whole thing sitting neatly together.
The casing never over heated at all even though it was running for a good 2 and a half hours not stop at one point, and considering it doesn't have a fan I was quite impressed by how cool it stayed.
The USB leads supplied, which give power to the device were a good length indeed, so there was no trouble with trying to balance the enclosure right next to your PC. Ne set of leads having a two USB connecter points at one end, which I plugged into the back ports as they are nearer the motherboard and this is supposed to give a faster transfer rate. The other supplied lead had a single USB connecter and was solely used to power the drive, although I only needed the first lead as this powered the unit well enough to do the job.
When the drive inside the enclosure is in use there is a soothing little green light flickering away, letting you know that everything is running fine.
Once I had finished the cloning and then the swapping of the HD's I now had the old Hard Drive safely inside this enclosure, tucked away inside a cupboard, which will stay there for a little while as a full back up just in case the new installed drive goes pear shaped in some way. But once I have done a full back up of the new Drive and feel confident that all is well I will then have an 80GB hard drive which I can fill with anything I want and that is a massive amount of space for all my movies and songs.
I couldn't believe how easy this enclosure was to sort out, even though I had read reviews of people who claimed to have had problems with the tiny screws. I know they are tiny but if you don't try and force them into position you will have no trouble at all. I screwed and unscrewed them several times and found them to fit into place each time.
What more can I say about this Hard Drive enclosure? Well, it does exactly what it is meant to do, it encloses a 2.5 inch SATA hard drive, although they do sell one which is for a 2.5 inch IDE Hard drive too, which from the looks of the pictures will work exactly the same and cost a little less than the SATA version.
But this SATA version is still at a great price from amazon, going for around £6.50 for the lot, including the leads and the nice jazzy cloth case for the enclosure to be stored in to protect it from dust.
What a bargain.