Looking For Advice: Buying A USB-Connecting Hard Drive Dock

Discussion in 'Technical Discussion' started by Naean, Mar 23, 2020.

  1. Naean

    Naean

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    Hello Sonic Retro! :)


    I thought a techy place like this would be the best place to ask about something like this. I'm not big on technical details and minute differences when it comes to hard disks, so please bear with me if I'm a little slow. :-3

    Basically, I have 3 old hard disks, which I want to try to retrieve all of their files and folders from. (I'll be copying them to a new external hard drive.)

    I've seen various hard drive docks online which connect via USB, and they look like the kind of thing I'm after.

    Of the 3 hard disks, they have 2 different sizes. 2 are slightly slimmer, are Maxtor-logo-labelled and taken from an old computer tower; and 1 is slightly thicker, is Seagate-logo-labelled and taken from a LaCie-branded external hard drive case.*

    I don't suppose any of you folk have any experience getting data from different size hard disks, and have personal recommendations of any particular brand(s)/model(s) of hard drive dock(s)? There are 3 websites which I am comfortable to purchase from, and are accessible for me to buy and have shipped for delivery where I live; here they are, with links to their search results: Amazon, Maplin and Novatech.

    * Despite the Maxtor logos being on 2 of the hard disks, the fine print on all 3 of them state the manufacturer of Seagate.

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    Thin/thick difference comparison:

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    Thank you very much in advance for any and all help! :thumbsup:
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2020
  2. Overlord

    Overlord

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    I have a Freecom docking station but I'm pretty sure my boss at work had one of the StarTech ones and it worked just fine.

    Good luck getting anything off a dead Maxtor hard disk, as someone with 4 of the fuckers.
     
  3. vexatious

    vexatious

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    You could try some seagate backup plus slim adapters. These are sometimes from broken 2.5" drives. Usually they work with usb 3.0 and 2.0, and if they have the original cable it's high quality.

    One word of caution, try to assemble usb extension cord with fuse. Fuse required is very small but it's better to break a known fuse than a mystery diode on the drive and/or usb adapter.

    Honestly you should stay away from USB drives and/or usb adapters for them. Use firewire instead; even the older firewire standard is descent speed for data transfer. USB is very prone to media descriptor corruption and other inconsistencies. If you still use USB, try to use a simple file allocation system like fat32 or exfat and stay away from ntfs or other log dependent file systems; usb flash drives are well known to corrupt with ntfs with limited recovery.
     
  4. Neo Geo MVS

    Neo Geo MVS

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    Despite the difference in thickness, they all use the same type of connection (Serial ATA), so the same dock should work for all 3 of them.
     
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  5. Naean

    Naean

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    Thanks for the fast responses everyone, much appreciated! :-D

    Ouch. I'm not too worried about the Maxtor-logo disks not working, as they worked okay in my older computer tower (Which I no longer have.), I just retrieved the hard disks before getting rid of the old tower.

    I'm actually more concerned about the Seagate-logo disk not working, as my old computer stopped recognising the disk in the Computer folder, while it was still in its LaCie external hard drive case and connected via USB. I'm hoping that it was some sort of USB/hard drive case related connection issue, and that a hard drive dock may be able to connect to the hard disk successfully. Time will tell.


    What does it mean to "assemble usb extension cord with fuse"? What is firewire? These are both completely alien to me, haha. Would you advise against using a USB-connecting hard drive dock?


    My concern is spending money on a hard drive dock and having it shipped, only to find out after that some of my disks don't fit into the slot(s). Are you sure that any dock would work for all 3 of them?
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2020
  6. Neo Geo MVS

    Neo Geo MVS

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    Yes, just be sure to get a dock that supports 3.5 inch SATA hard drives, and it will work for all 3. Most hard drive docks aim for maximum compatibility, so they would definitely support the full-size form factor in addition to the slimmer one.