Question Regarding Hard Drive Enclosures

I am looking at a way to turn my spare internal 3.5 inch hard drives into external ones. I had heard an enclosure is one way to do this though I don't know much about them and was looking for some help in knowing what I should look for in an enclosure.

What the device needs to do:

1) Support Both IDE and SATA Internal Hard drives
2) Connect through USB
3) Support Large Capacity Hard Drives (At Least 1 TB)
4) Works with 3.5 inch internal hard drives

Thanks for the help.
9 answers Last reply
More about question hard drive enclosures
  1. I don't know of any one enclosure that supports both IDE and SATA drives - I think you're going to need to buy one of each kind.

  2. Thanks for the help, I was able to find one that did support both for around $24.00.

    I do have another question though, whats the difference between an enclosure and a hard drive docking station?
  3. iceblade2097 said:
    Thanks for the help, I was able to find one that did support both for around $24.00.

    I do have another question though, whats the difference between an enclosure and a hard drive docking station?

    You found one? Interesting - do you have a link?

    An enclosure literally "encloses" the drive - you screw the drive into it, close it up and you have a neat package that's easy to transport from computer to computer. You generally need a separate enclosure for each drive you have unless you want to spend time with a screwdriver removing and installing drives each time you use them.

    A docking station works more like an SD card reader on a much larger scale - it sits on your desk with a slot on the top that you insert a bare hard drive into. You normally leave the docking station attached to the PC and insert whichever drive you want to use at the time. This means you generally only need one docking station no matter how many drives you have.

    It's easy to find SATA docking stations because the location of the connections was standardized for all SATA drives. IDE drives can have their connectors in different places, so it's harder to find docking stations for them. I'm tempted to say that there aren't any, but you proved me wrong with your dual IDE/SATA enclosure so I'll hold my tongue... ;)
  4. Here is the link to an example of ide/sata one. I assume it does both as under the "internal interface" section it says "Sata/IDE"

    Though I have noticed some enclosures specify Sata I, Sata II ect. I would assume that as long as it supports SATA it should be good for any SATA drive right? Since STATA is backwards compatible.
  5. Interesting - it certainly does sound like it supports both.

    All versions of SATA are backward and forward compatible, so you shouldn't have any problems no matter which version of SATA your drive uses.
  6. I have noticed some hard drive enclosures state which OS they support. So I was wondering if that really matters as I know 98Se and lower needed lots of drivers but XP and newer have a lot of built in drivers. So if I was planing an enclosure for future use would I need one that says it supports Vista and Windows 7? Since I am on Windows XP now.
  7. USB is universally supported these days so if you're using XP or later you really don't need to worry about it.
  8. I ended up buying this unidock from star tech, however I do have one more question. The docking station itself the way it hooks up IDE drives doesn't have you insert them through the top cartridge port but instead has you hook them up through the front. As such given how the port is arranged the hard drive green circuit board area is facing down.

    What is a safe surface to place the hard drive on ? (see link below for device)
  9. One of those foam mouse pads would work nicely - there'd be less chance of jarring the drive when you set it down, and you could cut it to the size you need.
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