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Recently I installed new hardrive on my laptop, and decided to use my old one as external drive, basically as a storage for some non important stuff.

I came across these two models. Akasa and RaidSonic( _raidsonic.de/en/pages/products/external_cases.php?we_objectID=5557#logidata). (NOTE: i can choose only between these two.)

What worries me is safety. Can I generally trust USB 2.0 enclosures? If no, then what are the main factors? Also, what about safety of my USB port? I'm afraid to burn it, since most of the enclosures for SATA 2.5 come without any power supply. They use USB for this purpose.

So, what are general guidances for choosing enclosures, are they safe, can they damage hard drive? Can they damage USB port? Which one to choose from above mentioned two enclosures?

Thanks in advance.

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2 Answers 2

I have used quite a few over the past few years.

They are two different sorts and there is no way to tell them apart - ones that are intelligent and sleep when not in use / computer turned off and the ones that stay spinned up 24x7

I have tried a few from £5 eBay ones down to £40 branded ones (that come with Esata and USB), and there is no logic to what you get.

I would advise you go for eBay, cross your fingers you get a good one that turns itself off (maybe ask seller first) and if not, turn it off whenever you are not using it.

I have had had hard drives die in caddies, but I have not been able to attribute it to the caddy. I think that leaving a drive on at 100% spin up is not healthy, but I have no concrete proof that this is to blame.

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On the contraryб I think turning drive on and off frequently will damage it. –  Sorantis Oct 6 '09 at 1:53
i wonder how often a computer's power management subsystem is responsible for the "intelligent sleep" behavior you describe. –  quack quixote Oct 6 '09 at 2:02
@Sorantis, not if the caddy is any good - even on the cheap ones, I usually hear the "power down" noise first. Think of DVR players or the original Ipods, hard drives are designed to be turned on and off. –  William Hilsum Oct 6 '09 at 10:09
@~quack, I don't really think it is always to do with the computer - I think the computer sends the correct signals but the drive itself doesn't respond to them. –  William Hilsum Oct 6 '09 at 10:10
@Wil good point; the enclosure's controller chip probably comes into play. –  quack quixote Oct 19 '09 at 0:01

I think you are worrying about it too much. I have several enclosures, USB and otherwise, over the years and have never had an enclosure kill a drive or a USB port. I've actually never heard of that happening. I would recommend whatever enclosure has more interfaces, because you never know when another interface will be helpful.

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Of course, this isn't to say the hard drive won't die at some point. It will. But not likely from an external hard drive enclosure. Plus, you should be backing up anyway. –  emgee Oct 19 '09 at 0:49

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