what are the pros and cons of using a dual hard drive docking station?

Hello Everyone,

            I am considering purchasing a dual hard drive docking station from the following link https://www.trendingvip.com/products/dual-hard-drive-docking-station.  I am intrigued and curious about it because of its backup and cloning capabilities for both, laptop and desktop hard drives.  Given this interest, I am needing any shared thoughts regarding its pros and cons from people who may have used this tool.  From its product description, I can see this being a handy tool simply because of its user friendly operation for all people regardless of technical expertise and background.  

            Any shared input to this question will be greatly appreciated.

           Thank you

           George
GMartinAsked:
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
I do not go to any inconvenience over this - so I do not have a docking station with a hard drive.

I have two computers in my Home Office: 1 Desktop and 1 Laptop.

The laptop has one 1 TB SSD drive (adequate for my needs) and the Desktop has two 1 TB Hard drives. One is the OS drive and the other is the data storage drive.  I use Sync Back Pro to backup up / sync my Laptop to my Desktop and Sync Back Pro to add these documents to the data drive. Works well overall.
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David Johnson, CD, MVPOwnerCommented:
I use a multitude of USB docks in my environment i.e. 2 drive and 4 drive. That and external USB drive enclosures (which I prefer over docks)
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CompProbSolvCommented:
External drive docking stations have their merits; you just need to make sure it fits your needs.

They are a handy way of taking a bare drive and making it visible to a computer.  If it is for long-term use, I'd second David's comment about preferring external drive enclosures.

I have a dual drive docking station that I use frequently to clone drives.  When I'm doing serious troubleshooting on a client's drive I like being able to clone the drive to a spare to ensure I can always get back to where I started.  I've used it to extract files from a  drive but I'm far more likely to connect the drive to an internal (IDE or SATA) connection on one of my shop computers instead.  The data transfer rates are much better with an internally-connected drive, especially when compared to USB 2.

The docking station is handy when trying to extract files from a failing drive.  If the drive shuts down during the extraction, it's much quicker to restart the docking station than to reboot the computer.

This is similar to the one I use: https://www.amazon.com/ineo-Dual-Bay-Offline-Duplicate-T3527-VIII/dp/B073W4YDFQ/ref=sr_1_8?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1521407491&sr=1-8&keywords=dual+drive+docking+station .  Note that it has the ability to duplicate a drive without being connected to a computer.
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GMartinAuthor Commented:
Hi Everyone,

           I am enjoying reading everyone's shared input in reply to my question.  Upon review, a related follow up question does come to mind.  Hypothetically speaking, lets say the Source drive (the one with OS, drivers, apps, end user files, etc.) is 500GB and the Target drive (the one that is blank) is 1TB.    Given this scenario, can a clone be carried out here using the tool given within the Amazon link or will the Target drive also need to be 500GB like its Source?

           Thank you

           George
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David Johnson, CD, MVPOwnerCommented:
normally as long as the target is equal to or larger than the source no problem, you have to expand the drive afterwards
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GMartinAuthor Commented:
This question is to David.  I understand everything you noted with the exception of one important point.   When you suggest expanding the drive afterwards, could you elaborate upon that point?  Do you mean adding extended partitions to the Target drive following the clone from the Source drive?

Thank you

George
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noxchoGlobal Support CoordinatorCommented:
Expanding means that after the copy is done you go to Windows Disk Management and using its tools allocate the free unpartitioned space of 500GB to the last partition.
Or you use third party software for cloning which does this during the cloning process by allocating the space to system and data partitions.
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David Johnson, CD, MVPOwnerCommented:
the destination partition will be the same size as the original partition so if you want the partition to be the size of the drive you have to expand it to occupy the unused space
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nobusCommented:
George you may want to know about standalone disk duplicators too :  
https://www.aleratec.com/hard-disk-duplicator-buyers-guide.html
here an example :  https://www.startech.com/uk/HDD/Duplicators/?page=all
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GMartinAuthor Commented:
Hello and Good Evening Everyone,

           Thank you very much for your shared suggestions and resourceful links.  Using the Amazon link given by CompProbSolv, I went ahead and ordered a hard drive dual docking station.  My primary interest in this tool is for its cloning capability.  While I do keep end user files such text, picture, and multimedia files backed up to an external 1TB WD USB hard drive,  I do not have an easy means of cloning my hard drive.  The cloning is of interest to me because I am considering upgrading to a larger drive in the near future.  Seeing that I have average knowledge and experience with respect to data backup, I believe the HDD dual docking stations will be a great tool when it comes time to cloning my source drive to a blank target drive.  There will not be any need for 3rd part special software or hookups to the host computer.  That said, I should be able to have everything (OS, drivers, apps, end user files, etc.)  just as it was onto the newer and larger HDD without having to be a power user of 3rd party cloning software when using the hard disk drive dual docking station.  

            Thanks again everyone for your suggestions.  As always, your suggestions were helpful.

            George
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Thanks George and I was happy to help.
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