This is a pretty straightforward device to use with
Windows 7. No drivers are required. Operating systems as far back as Windows XP
shouldn't encounter any problems with it (PCSTATS tested it with Windows 7 x64
and Windows XP SP2).
First connect the USB 3.0 data and DC power cables.
IDE drives are plugged into the IcyDock and then the
power jumper cable is connected. Note that the hard drive should lay flat on a
Serial ATA hard drives plug into the top of the IcyDock
MB981U3N-1SA (power and data are delivered by the connector) and rest on their
sides. Smaller 2.5" hard drives can be stood up with the IcyDock adaptor resting
flat on a table, or laid on their side as in the above image.
From the other side it's not immediately clear that
IcyDock have added a small support to keep the 3.5" SATA hard drive from tipping
If you look closely you'll see a small tab of plastic
which supports the hard drive in this orientation and prevents the assembly from
rocking about on the table top.
IcyDock advise against mounting 3.5" SATA drives to the
MB981U3N-1SA in the method pictured above because there is no support other than
the relatively fragile hot swap SATA connector supporting the entire hard drives
weight. If you do this, chances are good the hard drive will be accidentally
knocked over and snap the SATA connector off the board... so don't.
That's all there is to the IcyDock MB981U3N-1SA. Since transfer speeds entirely depend on
the type of hard drive (SATA or IDE) there's no point in running data transfer benchmarks
with this particular product. The IcyDock MB981U3N-1SA does exactly what it says
and forms an integral part of any IT Admin's tool kit.
testing stage, we had absolutely no problems getting SATA drives connected and powered up with this product
- the SATA HDDs were immediately mounted by Windows 7 and Windows XP
operating systems (provided they were formatted) once te power button pressed.
With IDE hard drives the best we can say is that
the IcyDock MB981U3N-1SA is very finicky with HDDs that may have SMART
errors, bad sectors or are otherwise on their last legs. Some IDE drives which we thought to
be good wouldn't mount via the MB981U3N-1SA, yet would with a bit of
coaxing via a direct IDE connection (albeit with loads of SMART errors). With IDE
hard drives known to be good and working the MB981U3N-1SA mounted the drive without issue
after a few seconds. At most we had to disconnect the USB cable before
plugging in the hard drive, then reconnect the USB cable to the computer to get the
PC to notice the new disk... so keep that in mind if
you've picked up the MB981U3N-1SA and are having trouble with it.
all other respects the IcyDock MB981U3N-1SA fills a very handy role and
is a worthwhile addition to any IT departments box of tricks.
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