E-Sata DIY enclosure, general information

hi all,

I am interested in buying a DIY external enclosure (got a sata hard drive ready),
I am looking for a case that has esata + usb2.
Would like to hear your comments about such device - what I should look after when reviewing different enclosures, what is important etc..

I am also curious about these related issues :
1. my motherboard doesn't support esata. I understand that some of those enclosures include that, is that correct?
2. as i understand it, i can use this external drive to boot from, to get sata speeds, and there is no difference at all if the drive is external or internal, is it true?
3. I am very interested in having the whole package hot swappable. what are the requirements? (regarding the hard drive, the case itself, the computer, the operating system) it is all very confusing to me.


Thanks.
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TomeryosAsked:
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kode99Connect With a Mentor Commented:
The problem with hot swap is that it is a specific feature that may or may not be included with a SATA II spec board.  So just saying SATA II alone is not a sure thing that it will work.

In addition the manufacturer's have muddied the waters some by using terms like SATA 3GB,  which you would think means SATA II but really just means SATA II speed limit and possibly no other SATA II features at all.  So you do really need to read the specs to find out exactly what is supported.

This was more of an issue during the initial transition period from SATA I to II.    I find it is generally much clearer today.

So check you motherboard for either 'hot swap' or 'hot plug',  if you cannot find the specs just post your make/model and I'm sure we can sort it out.  Any eSATA enclosure will work as long as your motherboard/drive controller supports hot swap.

Probably worth noting that a actual eSATA controller addon card is pretty inexpensive if you need to go that route.
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kode99Commented:
So far one of the best cases on the market is the new Antec MX-1 unit,

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817371008&Tpk=antec%2bmx-1

This unit covers the bases on features.  eSATA and USB,  has a on/off switch so you don't have to unplug it to shut if off.  Has good cooling with a built in fan that channels air around the drive,  many external units keep the drive far too hot - so hot it can cause drives to become unstable and fail .  This unit keeps the drive temperature down with the bonus of keeping it more or less silent even with the fan cooling.  The drive mounts on a rubber damper so it keeps even drive noise to a minimum.  You can hear a bit of drive noise if it is working hard.

It comes with all the cables and includes a eSATA bracket for the computer that allows you to turn a internal SATA port into a eSATA port.  So for eSATA all you need is a available SATA port on the motherboard.

Yes,  eSATA is equal to an internal SATA hookup.  Though for hot swap your drive controller/motherboard will need to support it.  Most recent motherboards will probably be okay and windows 2000 or newer.  If you actually boot from the disk you cannot hot swap it though.

Hot swap with a USB connection is standard.

I got one of these Antec units for evaluation a few weeks ago, liked it and  bought a couple more last week.


I
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kode99Commented:
Opps,  starting to say,

I use a number of other external units and plan to get more Antec's to replace the rest of our external drives.



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nobusCommented:
>>   1. my motherboard doesn't support esata. I understand that some of those enclosures include that, is that correct?   <<   not sure what you mean

>>  2. as i understand it, i can use this external drive to boot from, to get sata speeds, and there is no difference at all if the drive is external or internal, is it true?   <<  yes, the sata connectoer is simply routed to an outside connector

>>  3. I am very interested in having the whole package hot swappable. what are the requirements? (regarding the hard drive, the case itself, the computer, the operating system) it is all very confusing to me.  <<<   that your esata onboard is hot swappable, and the enclosure too


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TomeryosAuthor Commented:
nobus,
Can you be more specific regarding the hotswap? how can I tell if an enclosure supports it? (does the word sata2 means that it is hotswapable?)
are there any limitations regarding the hard drive itself?
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nobusCommented:
>>   how can I tell if an enclosure supports it?  <<  by looking at its specs - if it is not in there  . . .no go

>>  are there any limitations regarding the hard drive itself   <<   no
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