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Cannot Replace USB ext HD unit w/Larger HD unit?

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August 5, 2013 10:25:01 AM

I inherited a dropped Western Digital external USB connected 3.5" HD plus enclosure. Model is WD6400H1U-00. It had a 640GB drive inside of it (destroyed) and I thought I'd purchase a bare SATA drive, the biggest WD sells, install it, partition it into 2TB sections if necessary, and use the unit myself to "Acronis image backup" my SSD drives that are in various systems (OS/programs on those drives) and which in general are 120GB in capacity. A Western Digital tech said that the little circuit board inside the USB enclosure will NOT recognize any other drive that I install. I find this kind of difficult to believe. The circuit board has a white sticker with "4061-705014-104 Rev. AA" written on it. Is there any truth to what the tech stated? Thanks!
a c 157 G Storage
August 5, 2013 10:45:44 AM

In general, most controllers that will see a 640 gigabyte drive will work up to about 2TB(2.25).

The problem is it is all up to the drives firmware.

One more thing to consider is that newer drives use larger 4k sectors and this can result in some performance issues if the drive is not aligned(Windows Vista and newer will take care of that part for you).

The same thing has happened in the past. Older enclosures had issues over 137 gigabytes or something in that area.

You are taking a gamble one way or another. I have had very good luck going so for the most part.
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August 7, 2013 5:11:29 AM

nukemaster said:
In general, most controllers that will see a 640 gigabyte drive will work up to about 2TB(2.25).

The problem is it is all up to the drives firmware.

One more thing to consider is that newer drives use larger 4k sectors and this can result in some performance issues if the drive is not aligned(Windows Vista and newer will take care of that part for you).

The same thing has happened in the past. Older enclosures had issues over 137 gigabytes or something in that area.

You are taking a gamble one way or another. I have had very good luck going so for the most part.


The systems to backup range in OS from XP32, XP64, Vista32, Vista64, and then one Win8 machine. I am aware of the new "4k sector size" but I do appreciate that you made mention of it.

In the best case scenario, I would like a 3-4TB portable drive partitioned into a 2TB and then a "remainder" partition. That should be recognizable by all aforementioned OS's (even XP32 I believe). This drive I would install into the USB connectable enclosure.

Worst case scenario is that the WD rep was correct in that their little circuit board won't recognize any other drive than what the enclosure (product) came with. In that case, I'll just install the drive into the location's server and send Acronis image backups to that "network share." I believe that is possible (haven't fully read their manual yet). Plus, need to know what the process is to restore a machine from a network share. Nothing too big but more steps to follow.

Thanks for the advice!
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a c 157 G Storage
August 7, 2013 5:54:49 AM

Mapping a network drive should work within Windows(as a location to make the images), I have never tried it in some of the bootable tools to be honest, I always just pop both drives into the same system and do the clone.

I only have a small handful of systems so for me that works, If you have too many systems a network approach will be worth your time to figure out for sure.
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August 23, 2013 4:02:56 AM

nukemaster said:
Mapping a network drive should work within Windows(as a location to make the images), I have never tried it in some of the bootable tools to be honest, I always just pop both drives into the same system and do the clone.

I only have a small handful of systems so for me that works, If you have too many systems a network approach will be worth your time to figure out for sure.


Thanks nukemaster. Sorry for the delay in responding. My daily driver vehicle has been under the weather and I repair it myself. Very fun front suspension replacement and compressing each of the two coil springs did NOT kill me with a "sproing to the head" (glad it didn't happen).

I do see the speed and convenience advantage of doing the drive clone/image on the same machine but I'd like the "clone drive" to be removable for safe storage which means using something like a CRU made enclosure for each machine. I have done exactly that with a home machine and for the purpose of booting to a different OS/disk in different enclosures.

I did some research and Seagate has an enterprise level 4TB drive for around $370. And, if most of the very few in number machines will have "smallish" SSD's, that 4TB should suffice (when partitioned for the users correctly). The user would use the Acronis software (or a similar functioning brand) to "push" a clone/image of their main drive (SSD or HD) onto the server's Seagate 4TB drive (or drives as 8TB may be necessary...not sure). If anyone starts to request a 1TB SSD in their machine, I will need an excellent explanation as to WHY?

This is not a big operation here.

As for each user's data, which I strongly recommend storing in their network server location (or else), that is my responsibility to keep available and backed-up 24/7/365 (RAID array). Some users do not follow protocol and sometimes get burned.

The impetus for this is that I really do want all users to get SSD drives for their excellent performance and since they are not large in size at all, each could be imaged to a SLED in the network server.

If you have any suggestions, please do let me know. I appreciate it.

Vehicle repair work is nearly complete, heh.

Thanks.
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a c 157 G Storage
August 23, 2013 8:57:00 AM

Your solution seems to be fine.

With any luck the need for any re-imaging will be limited. If you run into a stubborn system(will not load the image off the network) you can always drop the image on a larger flash drive(from the storage space on the server) to perform the re-image. Most boards now can use a flash drive as a drive that software can read from.

I would like to see a user requesting a 1TB SSD. They may be gamers :) 
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