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Enclosure for 1TB Seagate Barracuda drive?

Dear experts,

Since I've replaced the main drive on my Dell XPS 8700 desktop with an SSD and used two other slots for bigger-sized HDDs, I'm wondering how I could make use of this 1 TB drive.

I was using this enclosure: StarTech.com 3.5in SuperSpeed USB 3.0 SATA Hard Drive Enclosure w/ Fan for a WD Red drive but the Seagate drive is considerably thinner than WD Red causing the drive to move up and down inside the enclosure:

Here's the thickness comparison:

Barracuda and WD Red
I was wondering if there's a cheaper solution to use the Seagate since a $35 enclosure is not cost efficient for a drive that's worth $30.

Any comments would be great. Thanks for your time and expertise.
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focus15
Asked:
focus15
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8 Solutions
 
Brad GrouxSenior Manager (Wintel Engineering)Commented:
Even though the drive is thinner, the screws are in the same spot so it would use the same enclosure, and seeing that the thinner drives are relatively new most enclosure makers are going to design their enclosures for a "one size fits all," otherwise they'd be limiting their customer base. You can get drive enclosures for less than 15 bucks on Amazon or Newegg.
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rindiCommented:
If you screw the disk in place, it won't move in the enclosure. Besides, the extra space allows for a better airflow and therefore cooling.
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focus15Author Commented:
Thanks Brad and rindi.

I just checked the enclosure to see if I can use screws but there's no provision for that :( The cage of the enclosure has no place to hold the screws!

I guess I should be looking for a cheap enclosure?
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Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
I'd just buy one of these:  http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=0VN-0003-000H5

Very handy gadget to have ... and also trivial to swap drives, so if you want to connect other drives on occasion, it's easy to do so.
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rindiCommented:
Or an alternative to using an enclosure, would be to get a dock. You can then just drop the disk in when you need it, for example to make your backup, then pop it out of the dock when finished, and store it away safely until the next backup is due for that disk. Something like this:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817182237&cm_re=usb_hard_drive_dock-_-17-182-237-_-Product
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focus15Author Commented:
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focus15Author Commented:
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rindiCommented:
They all look good. The middle one additionally has an eSata connection, so with that one you have more options.

Before removing or turning off the power to the external disks, you should always use the safely remove option (or eject or similar, depending on what your OS is). That reduces the possibility of file-system corruption, as it makes sure all activity is stopped.
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Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
Agree with rindi -- any of those is fine, but the one with eSATA gives you an alternative connection for any systems that have eSATA connections.    If you're willing to spend even more, there are some nice dual-drive docks that support two hard drives ... but they tend to be ~ double the price.
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DavidCommented:
It is simple.  The heaviest, sturdiest enclosure that holds the disk most snugly is the best.  Vibration kills performance.  The best enclosure to use is most likely the one with the greatest shipping weight.
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focus15Author Commented:
Thanks rindi, gary and dlethe.

Yes, eSATA does sound good to have.. and dual drive docks sound tempting too..  :(

As you can see that the Seagate Barracuda is quite thin compared to a regular 3.5 drive.. Will these docking stations hold it snugly?
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DavidCommented:
get a diagram that shows where the screw holes are, then check the product manual on seagate.com.   The product manual will give you exact  locations of the screws.  4 screws will hold it  tight, but remember, if it is flimsy metal or plastic, you're not going to stop the vibration.

Look at the gauge (thickness) of the metal on the sled in the enclosure.
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Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
Yes, a docking station will hold it just fine.    They have a hinged plastic cover that rotates to exactly the size of the drive -- it's designed to even hold 2.5" drives snugly, so it will certainly hold any size 3.5" unit.
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focus15Author Commented:
Thanks again dlethe and gary..
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nobusCommented:
if you like, you can block the smaller drive with styro foam in the case
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focus15Author Commented:
Thanks nobus. I assume it's safe to use some styrofoam?

I had installed a third HDD on the desktop and according to the manual, only 2 screws can be used to hold the drive to the CPU.. After screwing those, this is how it moves on contact:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/pmttgy1h8o3f6f0/HDD%20Install.mp4

Obviously, it's not gonna move on its own.  So can I just forget about it? or could some styrofoam or paper be used to fill the slightly extra space?

Thanks
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rindiCommented:
I wouldn't use foam or paper. disks can get pretty hot, and those materials aren't exactly what I'd call fire-proof. If they get too hot they could start a fire or melt. It is better to leave the space open so that the air can flow freely and help in cooling the disk. If you want to close the gaps, then use some metal which is a good heat conductor
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Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
Agree -- do NOT put any Styrofoam around your disks when they're in the system ... it's an insulator, and would not only restrict airflow, but would also tend to keep the heat from being dissipated.    It's fine to use Styrofoam packaging for drives that are out of service ... although I still think the best solution by far is the DriveBox.
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focus15Author Commented:
Got it, thanks rindi and Gary..

So, regarding this slight gap, it's best to leave it as it is?

 (3 second video)

https://www.dropbox.com/s/pmttgy1h8o3f6f0/HDD%20Install.mp4
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Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
Yes, it's fine as is.
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focus15Author Commented:
Thanks a ton for the expert comments.. Greatly appreciate your time.
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