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Old 12-10-2009, 06:18 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default A few basic questions about external docking stations for hard drives

I am possibly interested in purchasing a docking station. Could someone please enlighten me on a few things......

First of all, do the new docking stations support the Sata drives and also the old non-Sata products(i.e., typical hard drives on old PC's)?

Next....... are docking stations a simply "plug and play" type of product? That is, if I want to put an image on a drive is it a simple matter of putting a hard drive in the docking station, then connecting the docking station to a PC, and then transferring the content onto the drive? Can you simply "drag and drop" content onto a hard drive mounted on a docking station the same way that you would with an external hard drive?

When you use a docking station does your PC simply assign a drive letter to the mounted hard drives the same way that it assigns a drive letter to a USB flash drive or any other external hard drive?

How complicated is it to use a docking station to do a fresh install of Windows XP?

Can you hot swap hard drives in a docking station?

Any particular brand(s) that you recommend?

Thanks!!

TC
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Old 12-10-2009, 10:54 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: A few basic questions about external docking stations for hard drives

Quote:
First of all, do the new docking stations support the Sata drives and also the old non-Sata products(i.e., typical hard drives on old PC's)?
Only a few offer both SATA and IDE interfaces. NewEgg has one dock that fits the bill:
Newegg.com - StarTech UNIDOCK2U Plastic 2.5" & 3.5" Black USB 2.0 External Enclosure - External Enclosures

Quote:
Next....... are docking stations a simply "plug and play" type of product? That is, if I want to put an image on a drive is it a simple matter of putting a hard drive in the docking station, then connecting the docking station to a PC, and then transferring the content onto the drive? Can you simply "drag and drop" content onto a hard drive mounted on a docking station the same way that you would with an external hard drive?
Yes and no. Some operate as plug and play, others require drivers. It is a case by case kind of thing. Technically, the dock transforms an internal hard drive into an external drive, just with the ability to swap out the drives in the dock.

Quote:
When you use a docking station does your PC simply assign a drive letter to the mounted hard drives the same way that it assigns a drive letter to a USB flash drive or any other external hard drive?
Yes.

Quote:
How complicated is it to use a docking station to do a fresh install of Windows XP?
You can't install an OS on an external drive.

Quote:
Can you hot swap hard drives in a docking station?
SATA drives are hot-swappable but not IDE drives.

Quote:
Any particular brand(s) that you recommend?
I own a ThermalTake BlacX SE... very nice dock, but it is not on NewEgg. ThermalTake makes several models, including a dual-drive model.
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