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Seagate Backup Plus Slim External USB 3.0 2TB Hard Drive Review

DataTec DS350 eSATA External Hard Drive Enclosure Review

DataTec DS350 eSATA External Hard Drive Enclosure Review - PCSTATS
Abstract: Connecting an external hard drive to your computer is a quick and simple way to expand storage capacity.
 70% Rating:   
Filed under: Hard Drives/SSD Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: DataTec May 07 2007   Max Page  
Home > Reviews > Hard Drives/SSD > DataTec DS350

Installation Steps Are Straightforward

The SATA hard drive installs into a plastic support caddy and is connected with a standard hot swappable SATA data and power jack at the rear. A few screws (included) ensure the hard drive stays put. The entire assembly is slid back into the aluminum chassis and then four small screws are used to hold the metal back plate in place. That's all you need to do, and with the aid of a screw driver this takes no more than about a minute.

This is the internal plastic frame the hard drive is attached to. All it really does is keep the drive from banging around, and ensure data and power cables stay attached.
.

To unplug the bright blue LED, just remove the jumper wires at the rear, far right, for the green and black wires. The hard drive must support Serial ATA data & power connectors to work with this unit.

So long as you are running Windows XP or Vista, and the removable hard drive caddy does not contain your operating system, the PC will react pretty sensibly to the immediate removal or insertion of a hard drive via the power button, or insertion or removal of the eSATA cable.

It's best practice to go to "removable devices" in the control panel and "stop" the hard drive before pulling out the data cable or turning off the power, or data loss may occur. This step ensures data integrity while the latter is a little like playing russian roulette with your info. SATA is inherently hot swappable so it won't affect the drive, although some low end motherboards may not be SATA hot swappable compliant.

The general build quality of the DataTec DS350 is nice, the aluminum parts of the chassis have been sand blasted and anodized, so it will hold up to little bumps and scrapes well enough. If the drive is powered on and spinning, it's a good idea to leave the external enclosure alone and don't move it around.

eSATA Device Support

eSATA (aka external Serial ATA) support is easily the most exciting feature to pop on motherboards of recent. When it comes to external mass storage, bandwidth has always been, and will always be an issue. USB 2.0 (480 Mbps) and IEEE 1394a/b (400/800 Mbps) offer better alternatives than past connections like Serial and Parallel ports but they are still slow compared to dedicated hard drive channels.

With the emergence of Serial ATA, external storage took a huge step forward. Serial ATA is an affordable solution (as opposed to SCSI) that offers speeds at well past USB or IEEE 1394 levels.

Serial ATA generation I has up to 1.5Gbps worth of bandwidth and Serial ATA generation II doubles that bandwidth to 3Gbps. Serial ATA makes even IEEE 1394b's 800Mbps bandwidth look paltry by comparison.

Standard internal Serial ATA cables are sufficient for internal connections, but SATA-IO governing body decided a while back that the external version should be somewhat different, thus creating the eSATA standard.

The eSATA cable that accompanies the DataTec DS350 is the eSATA I ('eye' not 'one') type connector (of the two pictured, it is the left one). There are also eSATA L connectors floating around, so we'd advise you to double check what type of connector end is on any kind of cables you might pick up.

The great thing about eSATA enclosures is that hard drives connected over this standard are just as fast as internal SATA devices. The connectors are hot swappable, so it makes adding and removing an external hard drive about as complex as clipping in a USB memory key.

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Contents of Article: DataTec DS350
 Pg 1.  DataTec DS350 eSATA External Hard Drive Enclosure Review
 Pg 2.  — Installation Steps Are Straightforward
 Pg 3.  Closer Examination of Features

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