SANOXY USB 2.0 External 2.5-Inch IDE HDD Enclosure Case for Laptop - Blue
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
The casing is durable and despite being tossed around my office, is in great condition and working well.
This is a no frills 2.5" external enclosure. It comes with the bare necessities to get you running:
- Cheap Aluminum enclosure with cheap powdercoat finish. Has the tactile feel of spraypaint on aluminum siding. This will wear easily.
- Tiny baggy with two small screws to fasten the USB to 2.5" IDE adapter to the enclosure
- Tiny screwdriver
- Cheap faux leather sleeve made out of some weird stinky synthetic material
- 14" USB cable with splitter for daisy chaining devices.
- Slip of paper manual that I didn't read
That's actually quite a lot of loot for $6.00. Considering Prime got this to me in 2 days for free, the price point of this really works on so many levels.
The box this item came shipped in was way too big for the item- about the size of 3 stacked dvds-- wasteful! Installing this is very straight forward, albeit I did a tiny hack to improve the quality of the device. When the hard drive is installed as intended, there is a bit of wiggle room and play in the drive-- this will eventually wear and loosen the IDE connection and cause the drive to jostle needlessly, reducing its life. To resolve this, I cut out a piece of the cardboard box the enclosure came in, and squeezed it between the exposed PCB (the belly) of the drive, and the aluminum enclosure. This provided a tight snug fit and ensures the HDD's PCB will never ground out on the case. Sweet.
It's neat that they included a tiny screwdriver, but if you have a small philips head with a magnetized tip, I recommend you use that instead, as YOU WILL drop or lose the screws using the included screwdriver.
The sleeve is stinky and cheap feeling, but I recommend using it if you have nothing else, as the cheapness of the paint will have it rubbing off on your pocket or fingers. I intend to either wrap the enclosure in duct tape (it'll look like a small improvised plastic explosive), or if I'm bored one day, sand and polish for svelt appearance.
There are no vents on this enclosure, albeit there are some small gaps toward the plastic end caps. Hasn't gotten hot enough to warrant it, but I may a drill a hole in the enclosure, approximately where the HDD breather vent is (the HDD has a label to never cover that hole, yet the case does exactly that).
I don't recommend daisy chaining USB hard drives; there is probably only enough juice to safely power one hard drive.
Overall, this is a fantastic buy for the price. It's not fancy, but it's not meant to be. If you want fancy, easy, and something to show off, there are plenty of enclosures available that are 5 times the price that do more or less of the same thing.
As long as you're careful to ground yourself (so that static electricity doesn't kill your hard drive), you don't even need the enclosure (though don't keep the hard drive exposed for too long). This makes it quick and easy to test drives or use old and oversized laptop hard drives, or hard drives with built in heatsinks etc. (This is why another reviewer had to file down the tabs)
There was one small hiccup that I ran into, but it was on the software end, not the hardware one. If you buy a new or pre-formatted hard drive to use in this, it may not come up in 'My Computer', even though the computer will report that everything is working alright. What you need to do is to go to Device Manager -> Disk Drives -> ::Your harddrive:: Properties and under the Volumes tab, click Populate. Finally, right click on a link for 'My Computer' and click 'Manage'. This should bring up Computer Management. Under 'Disk Management' on the left, find your drive and right click and select 'Add new partition'. After that, follow the brief wizard to format it appropriately (I recommend NTFS unless you really know what you're doing).
Let the formatting run - you can do this all through this enclosure, unlike some where you have to get an adapter and plug in the hdd internally. Once it's done it should pop right up in My Computer ready to use.
Other than that, the usb cable doesn't care which direction it goes in, making it pretty fool proof. The manual is relatively useless though - a lot of words got lost in translation, calling different menus by the wrong names etc.