Fort Frances, ON
I bought a couple of different models with eSATA connectors but I found that the eSATA cable was too stiff and the latch on the connector too weak to hold it in well. The one I kept for myself is the Thermaltake BlacX Duet and I ended up taping the eSATA cable to an adjacent video cable at the back of my desktop PC. Still, the other end of the cable precariously connects to the dock. I'm considering hot gluing a popsicle stick to the bottom of the unit so I can tape the cable to it. The eSATA connector is a lousy design. Anyone know of an ultra-flexible eSATA cable? I see them described as such but they are just words on a page.
I tried to buy a second BlacX Duet for one of my users but my dealer claimed they were discontinued and substituted a Startech UNIDock instead. What a dumb design. To use two drives, you need to connect two eSATA cables. Not at all how the BlacX Duet works. My user needs to be able to access both drives to be able to copy from one to the other. The eSATA cables from Startech were just as stiff and the latches seemed to be even weaker. I made the dealer take it back but I still need to settle on an alternative.
That leads me to consider a dock that has an ethernet port to essentially serve up the disk contents as a NAS drive. There are a lot of NAS drive docks out there but I suspect most of them need the drive to be specially formatted with their particular OS and software installed. That is not what I want.
What I want is to be able to take a SATA drive out of a computer and stick it into a slot (sans any tools) and be able to read it. My user will be getting data sent to her from another office. For now, I am inserting the drive into a bay inside the computer but that is not ideal. Also, I want a dock with two slots so she can copy from one to another for backup or distribution.
I found this QuickPort Pro LAN that has ethernet but it is not a true NAS drive. Users would have to install software to read it and that is a showstopper. At least with the Thermaltake or Startech docks, she can share out the drive through the computer it is attached to.
Strange as it seems, no amount of learning can cure stupidity, and formal education positively fortifies it. -- Stephen Vizinczey