StarTech HD Racks

Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

I'm trying to find the sturdiest IDE HD rack available. Does anyone have an
opinion about StarTech racks? Here is a link ...

http://www.startech.com/ststore/ItemDetail.cfm?ProductID=DRW150ATABK&tab=c&mt=a

and here ...

http://www.startech.com/ststore/itemdetail.cfm?ProductID=DRW115ATABK&mt=

Thanks
7 answers Last reply
More about startech racks
  1. Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    On Tue, 22 Feb 2005 05:32:16 GMT, "Tim" <ixnay@ontheammyspay.com>
    wrote:

    >I'm trying to find the sturdiest IDE HD rack available. Does anyone have an
    >opinion about StarTech racks? Here is a link ...

    Don't know about those but LianLi make some nice ones, even aluminum
    ones I believe.

    http://www.lian-li.com/proclass.php
  2. Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    "Tim" <ixnay@ontheammyspay.com> wrote in message
    news:AtzSd.8170$x53.856@newsread3.news.atl.earthlink.net...
    > I'm trying to find the sturdiest IDE HD rack available. Does anyone have
    > an
    > opinion about StarTech racks? Here is a link ...
    >
    > http://www.startech.com/ststore/ItemDetail.cfm?ProductID=DRW150ATABK&tab=c&mt=a
    >
    > and here ...
    >
    > http://www.startech.com/ststore/itemdetail.cfm?ProductID=DRW115ATABK&mt=
    >
    > Thanks


    Tim:
    I'm not familiar with that particular brand/model of mobile rack, however,
    the prices shown on the links you provided appear very high. On the other
    hand they apparently reflect the MSRP and presumably they would be available
    from online vendors at sharply reduced prices. At least I would hope so.

    I assume you've noticed that the DRW150 model is plastic/aluminum, i.e., the
    rack (or bay) is plastic and the drive drawer (a/k/a caddy or removable
    tray) is aluminum, while the DRW115 is an all-aluminum model.

    I've had a fair amount of experience working with dozens of different mobile
    racks over the years, both all-plastic, plastic-aluminum, and all-aluminum.
    And from the cheapest models to the most expensive ones, they all seem to
    work and hold up quite well. On my own computers I've been using the Lian-Li
    RH-42 model (all-aluminum) because I settled on that model a few years ago
    and need the interchangeability of their removable trays. (Note that there
    is no industry standard for the removable trays (caddies), so that there is
    generally no interchangeability between different makers' models, or for
    that matter between models from the same maker. This may not be important to
    you if you're working with a single computer, of course).

    An important consideration in selecting a mobile rack is knowing the overall
    length of the rack to determine if it will fit in your particular computer
    case without butting up against the motherboard. This is a problem I run
    into with my Lian-Li rack, since it's very long compared with other racks
    (because its fan is attached on the end, rather than the underside of the
    rack or some other location). In most cases, however, there's no problem in
    this area.

    Do a Google search for "removable hard drives" or "mobile racks" for a
    wealth of information on this subject.

    Art

    P.S.
    I don't know if you've had any experience with configuring your desktop PC
    with hard drive removable racks, but if you haven't, let me assure you that
    you're making a wise decision. One that you will never regret. I hope you're
    considering installing two removable racks rather than a single one. The
    flexibility and peace of mind this arrangement gives you cannot be
    overestimated, believe me. Not too long ago I wrote an article for a local
    computer club which I entitled "The Joy of Removable Hard Drives", and for
    good reason!
  3. Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    "Art" <Anonymous@notanisp.com> wrote in message
    news:doedndqtBr8yx4bfRVn-pg@adelphia.com...
    >
    >
    > I've had a fair amount of experience working with dozens of different
    mobile
    > racks over the years, both all-plastic, plastic-aluminum, and
    all-aluminum.
    > And from the cheapest models to the most expensive ones, they all seem to
    > work and hold up quite well.
    >
    >
    > I don't know if you've had any experience with configuring your desktop PC
    > with hard drive removable racks, but if you haven't, let me assure you
    that
    > you're making a wise decision. One that you will never regret. I hope
    you're
    > considering installing two removable racks rather than a single one.
    >

    Many thanks for your reply. This is my strategy: I would like to have two
    drives installed on my motherboard's primary IDE channel - each in its own
    removable rack and set to "cable select", and each with an instance of
    Windows XP installed. I would like to boot from either drive just by
    choosing which rack to power on, meanwhile the other drive remains powered
    off but stays connected to the rack. I'm hoping that this will work as it
    makes a two-user system very easy to set up and isolate. My question
    regarding sturdiness pertains mostly to the racks' key switches (for
    powering on/off) - being able to endure the constant use in a very busy rig.

    Have you ever tried such a configuration? .
  4. Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    On Tue, 22 Feb 2005 16:36:21 -0500, "Tim" <ixnay@ontheammyspay.com>
    wrote:

    >This is my strategy: I would like to have two
    >drives installed on my motherboard's primary IDE channel - each in its own
    >removable rack and set to "cable select", and each with an instance of
    >Windows XP installed.

    Two instances of the same copy of XP? Oooh, Microsoft don't like that.
    They told me you can only install one copy of XP to one HDD even if
    they are on the same PC. I got flagged to call them during activation
    when I installed one copy of XP to two HDD's.
  5. Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    > "Art" <Anonymous@notanisp.com> wrote in message
    > news:doedndqtBr8yx4bfRVn-pg@adelphia.com...
    >> I've had a fair amount of experience working with dozens of different
    > >mobile racks over the years, both all-plastic, plastic-aluminum, and
    > >all-aluminum. And from the cheapest models to the most expensive ones,
    > >they >> all seem to work and hold up quite well.
    >>
    >> I don't know if you've had any experience with configuring your desktop
    >> PC
    >> with hard drive removable racks, but if you haven't, let me assure you
    > that you're making a wise decision. One that you will never regret. I hope
    > you're considering installing two removable racks rather than a single
    > one.


    "Tim" <ixnay@ontheammyspay.com> wrote in message
    news:381mknF5h57c3U1@individual.net...
    > Many thanks for your reply. This is my strategy: I would like to have
    > two
    > drives installed on my motherboard's primary IDE channel - each in its own
    > removable rack and set to "cable select", and each with an instance of
    > Windows XP installed. I would like to boot from either drive just by
    > choosing which rack to power on, meanwhile the other drive remains powered
    > off but stays connected to the rack. I'm hoping that this will work as it
    > makes a two-user system very easy to set up and isolate. My question
    > regarding sturdiness pertains mostly to the racks' key switches (for
    > powering on/off) - being able to endure the constant use in a very busy
    > rig.
    >
    > Have you ever tried such a configuration? .

    Hi again:
    Yes, we have used the configuration you've envisioned and generally there's
    no problem with it. I say "generally" because from time-to-time we've come
    across motherboards whose BIOS did not permit booting from a Slave position
    on either IDE channel. It's a rarity in our experience but it has happened.
    Our preferred configuration is either setting up both removable drives as
    Masters (Cable Select is fine) or the first removable drive as Primary Slave
    (assuming of course there's no motherboard boot problem as previously
    indicated) and the second one as Secondary Master. The reason we sometimes
    use the latter configuration is that when there are four IDE/ATAPI devices
    installed, e.g., the two removable drives, a CD/DVD-ROM, and a CD/DVD
    burner, some users (including myself) prefer accessing the latter two
    devices in (from top to bottom) bays 1 and 4, respectfully, and the two
    removable drives in bays 2 and 3. Since we prefer to use standard 18" IDE
    ribbon cable (no round cables or longer cables) for the connections, this
    kind of hookup facilitates the configuration I've indicated insofar as the
    two devices in bays one and two are concerned. Incidentally, based on
    detailed tests we've made, we could discern no negative impact on the
    performance of the hard drive when it is connected as a Primary Slave rather
    than Master.

    In any event the important point in connecting your two removable drives is
    that regardless of their position on the IDE cable, each one can boot
    independently. That's your basic objective.

    In addition to its ideal use involving multi-users, I'm sure you're aware of
    its value as a near-failsafe backup system using disk imaging programs such
    as Symantec's Norton Ghost or Acronis True Image. The fact that you can
    profitably use a *limitless* number of hard drives in a two removable drives
    arrangement is an extraordinary advantage.
    Art
  6. Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    "Art" <Anonymous@notanisp.com> wrote in message
    news:IZCdnQB5aLB7KYbfRVn-3g@adelphia.com...

    >
    > Our preferred configuration is either setting up both removable drives as
    > Masters (Cable Select is fine)
    >

    Are you saying that both drives share the "Master" connector of the IDE
    cable, or that both drives have their jumpers set for "Master" using both
    cable connectors? If you used both cable connectors with both drives set
    for "Master", what happens if a person accidentally boots up with both
    drives powered on?

    Very recently I tested my planned configuration on a rig with the
    motherboard that I wish to use (an Intel D865PERL). The system boots up fine
    from either drive without a hitch. So, fingers crossed, there won't be any
    weird consequences later on.

    With a SCSI system there are problems if the cable is not properly
    terminated. Could leaving unpowered drives on an IDE cable cause similar
    impedence issues? If the system boots, can I be reasonably sure that there
    aren't any issues?


    >
    > In addition to its ideal use involving multi-users, I'm sure you're aware
    of
    > its value as a near-failsafe backup system using disk imaging programs
    such
    > as Symantec's Norton Ghost or Acronis True Image.
    >

    You're reading my mind. I plan to have a third tray with a drive just for
    backup purposes. Jumpers set for "cable-select", it should boot as the
    slave of whatever "Master" is attached at the time. From there I can make a
    disk image to it then restore the slave rack to running the secondary system
    drive again.

    Originally I planned to try such a two-drive/two-system configuration using
    the motherboard's serial ATA controllers, but Intel tells me that I can't
    boot from SATA2 if no powered drive is found on SATA1. (bootable serial
    drives must be attached to SATA1) Something tells me that they may be wrong,
    but I don't want to invest in the drives to find out.

    Thanks for all the help.
  7. Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    Tim: See my inline comments...

    > "Art" <Anonymous@notanisp.com> wrote in message
    > news:IZCdnQB5aLB7KYbfRVn-3g@adelphia.com...
    >> Our preferred configuration is either setting up both removable drives as
    >> Masters (Cable Select is fine)


    "Tim" <ixnay@ontheammyspay.com> wrote in message
    news:3821p8F5i0k9lU1@individual.net...
    > Are you saying that both drives share the "Master" connector of the IDE
    > cable, or that both drives have their jumpers set for "Master" using both
    > cable connectors? If you used both cable connectors with both drives set
    > for "Master", what happens if a person accidentally boots up with both
    > drives powered on?
    We usually configure the removable drives as follows: The first removable
    drive - our day-to-day working drive - is connected/configured as Primary
    Master on the primary IDE connector. The second removable drive is connected
    as Primary Master on the secondary IDE connector. The system will boot to
    the drive connected as PM even when both removable drives are connected and
    powered up so no harm is done when both removable drives are connected and
    powered up simultaneously. There's nothing sacrosanct about this
    configuration. As I previously informed you, we usually use that
    configuration since it allows a boot to whatever drive is connected at the
    moment whenever the other drive has been powered off. Other configurations
    will work just as well.

    > Very recently I tested my planned configuration on a rig with the
    > motherboard that I wish to use (an Intel D865PERL). The system boots up
    > fine
    > from either drive without a hitch. So, fingers crossed, there won't be
    > any
    > weird consequences later on.
    Absolutely. Virtually every motherboard we've come across works this way.
    But we have found some exceptions, rare as they might be. We came across a
    recent Intel MB (I can't recall the specific model) that would *only* allow
    a boot from the Primary Master position. So in our configuration setup (see
    above) it was necessary to move the second removable HD to the mobile rack
    occupying the PM position. Not a big deal, of course. Just a simple pull of
    the removable tray's handle and inserting it into the other rack. All of 10
    seconds or so.

    > With a SCSI system there are problems if the cable is not properly
    > terminated. Could leaving unpowered drives on an IDE cable cause similar
    > impedence issues? If the system boots, can I be reasonably sure that
    > there
    > aren't any issues?
    We've never run into any problem along those lines with the PATA drives we
    employ, but we haven't worked with SCSI drives in a long time. I'm not aware
    of any issues with respect to SCSI drives in a removable drives environment.

    Art writes...
    >> In addition to its ideal use involving multi-users, I'm sure you're aware
    > of its value as a near-failsafe backup system using disk imaging programs
    > such as Symantec's Norton Ghost or Acronis True Image.

    > You're reading my mind. I plan to have a third tray with a drive just for
    > backup purposes. Jumpers set for "cable-select", it should boot as the
    > slave of whatever "Master" is attached at the time. From there I can make
    > a
    > disk image to it then restore the slave rack to running the secondary
    > system
    > drive again.
    Yes, we pretty much do the same thing although our configuration may be
    different from the one you're planning. Using Ghost (and more recently
    Acronis True Image) we directly clone the contents of one drive to the
    other. It's simple, relatively quick, and most of all - effective.

    > Originally I planned to try such a two-drive/two-system configuration
    > using
    > the motherboard's serial ATA controllers, but Intel tells me that I can't
    > boot from SATA2 if no powered drive is found on SATA1. (bootable serial
    > drives must be attached to SATA1) Something tells me that they may be
    > wrong,
    > but I don't want to invest in the drives to find out.
    >
    > Thanks for all the help.
    >
    >
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