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Drive enclosure compatible with Windows XP and Windows 7

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July 19, 2010 4:07:42 PM

I'm looking for a drive enclosure that is compatible with both Windows XP and Windows 7. This enclosure will be used mainly as a backup during an upgrade from XP to 7. I would prefer to spend less than $50 on the enclosure and get one that is easy to install the drive into and keep my drive from overheating. It needs to be SATA to USB. Also, does anybody use the Spitfire 3 Universal remote control? Is it compatible with Windows 7 in 32-bit and 64-bit mode?

GBC
a b $ Windows 7
a c 342 G Storage
July 19, 2010 9:03:07 PM

You want an enclosure with a USB interface to the computer, and an internal SATA interface to the HDD unit. There are lots of these, and they ALL can work with both XP and 7. As far as either OS is concerned, they are just another USB drive device they have drivers for.
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a b $ Windows 7
a b G Storage
July 19, 2010 10:07:48 PM

As you are backing up in preperation for Windows 7, I sugest you use the W7 Easy Transfer Wizard tosave your files and settings.
To use the W7 Easy Transfer Wizard in XP:
Browse to the W7 DVD drive on your computer and click migsetup.exe in the Support\Migwiz directory.
After completing W7 instalation, run the resulting file to restore to W7.
Programs will need to be installed.
Use the Windows Upgrade Adviser to check compatability.
http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/downloads/up...
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July 20, 2010 4:51:52 PM

Jonmor68 said:
As you are backing up in preperation for Windows 7, I sugest you use the W7 Easy Transfer Wizard tosave your files and settings.
To use the W7 Easy Transfer Wizard in XP:
Browse to the W7 DVD drive on your computer and click migsetup.exe in the Support\Migwiz directory.
After completing W7 instalation, run the resulting file to restore to W7.
Programs will need to be installed.
Use the Windows Upgrade Adviser to check compatability.
http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/downloads/up...



Can you boot off an external hard drive, connected to the USB port, in Windows?
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a b $ Windows 7
a c 342 G Storage
July 21, 2010 8:36:31 PM

The Silver River II has the interfaces you ask, BUT it is designed for 2½" HDD units, the type usually used in laptops. By comparison with the typical 3½" HDD's used in desktops, the smaller ones have lower capacities and tend to cost more per GB of storage. On the other hand, if you WANT a small compact external drive system this will do it. I note from the pictures that it does not have its own power supply, but draws power from the USB ports it plugs into, However, it also uses a common trick because USB ports have limits on how much power they can supply. The cord from this enclosure has TWO USB connectors, and BOTH must be plugged in to get enough power to run it.
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July 21, 2010 9:39:16 PM

Paperdoc said:
The Silver River II has the interfaces you ask, BUT it is designed for 2½" HDD units, the type usually used in laptops. By comparison with the typical 3½" HDD's used in desktops, the smaller ones have lower capacities and tend to cost more per GB of storage. On the other hand, if you WANT a small compact external drive system this will do it. I note from the pictures that it does not have its own power supply, but draws power from the USB ports it plugs into, However, it also uses a common trick because USB ports have limits on how much power they can supply. The cord from this enclosure has TWO USB connectors, and BOTH must be plugged in to get enough power to run it.



There is a 3.5" version of the Silver River II. What I'm most concerned about with an enclosure is heat dissipation, so I won't fry my hard drive. And of course compatibility with both Windows 7 in Windows XP so that when I do my upgrade I don't end up not being able to access my backups from Windows 7. There are just so many drive enclosures out there to choose from it's hard to decide which one is right for me.
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Best solution

a b $ Windows 7
a c 342 G Storage
July 22, 2010 3:10:37 PM

Heat dissipation / cooling is affected by both enclosure design and HDD heat generation. You can buy enclosures with cooling fans built in, although they cost more. My own opinion is that these just have one more component that can wear out - in fact, a fan's bearings will wear out faster than any other part in the enclosure. So I prefer ones with no fan. But that also means I prefer something with a clean metal case that fits the HDD a bit snugly so that heat flow from HDD to case and through to the outside air is efficient. Some open slots for slow air flow through the case are good.

How hot the HDD runs is another factor. You can get some of this from performance reviews of particular units. But you also can use two very rough rules of thumb. One is: what is the power consumption? Many units these days are about 10 Watts or less, especially the 'green" units that are designed for lower energy consumption. The other is how its performance is rated: those designed and promoted for really fast performance typically run at faster rates and use significantly more power, so they generate more heat and need more heat removal. If you are buying an enclosure to be connected to your computer via USB2, I suggest you do NOT need a high-performance drive inside. The USB2 interface could not keep up with the data access speeds of the super-performace HDD unit.

Bottom line OPINION from me: the good-performance drives like the WD black line and the comparable Seagate units will be quite all right for heat in a non-fan metal enclosure. Anything on the "green" side will be OK. I cannot give you a good opinion on whether Velociraptors etc. will need extra cooling. Even if you go for an enclosure that uses eSATA for its interface (faster than USB2) (you should have an eSATA interface on your computer to use this), a WD black or comparable will be fine in a decent enclosure.

Where I would want a fan in the enclosure for sure, though, is if I were using it to mount an optical drive which has a motor to spin the disk. That uses MUCH more power than an HDD unit, and hence there's more heat to remove. But that is not your case here.

In my own case I assembled one a few years ago. It is from AZIO with both USB2 ad eSATA interfaces (I use the letter), no fan, an external power supply box in the middle of the cord, and its own on/off switch. Inside I mounted a 500 GB Seagate SATA HDD a couple product generations older than today's, I only use it infrequently for backups and it is off most of the time. But when I use it for many hours, it never gets hot - just moderately warm. So I figure that's enough cooling, but I cannot quantify whether the HDD's lifetime is being affected by those conditions.
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July 23, 2010 1:36:37 AM

Thanks for the reply. With all the information you've given me it will help me to make a much better informed decision on a drive enclosure. The drive i am planning on using is a 4 year old 80 gig drive that came in My Dell Dimension E521 computer. I'll check its specifications and go from there. Thanks again!
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July 30, 2010 1:17:27 AM

Best answer selected by GBC.
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