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98 Reviews
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4 star:
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Unit
Quite Excellent unit which allows the user to exchange SATA drives at the flip of a lock.
I have been using the unit now for over a year and it seems robust and well designed for the task it is meant to do.
Well worth the money if you need to store a lot of back-up data and relly helps as you can then remove the SATA drive and replace it with another one for...
Published on 11 May 2009 by L. J. Higgins

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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Almost a great product
This is a great and reliable product let down by two major flaws:

- in the event you use a slim (i.e. "half-height") 3.5-inch HDD, the trayless design means the drive is loose inside the caddy framework and won't always match up with the SATA connector at the opposite end
- the SATA connector on the exterior is seriously cheap and nasty and has no locking...
Published on 22 Oct. 2012 by 10,000 Angry Vegans


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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Unit, 11 May 2009
By 
L. J. Higgins "Lol" (London) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: StarTech.com 5.25in Trayless Hot Swap Mobile Rack for 3.5in Hard Drive - Internal SATA Backplane Enclosure (Personal Computers)
Quite Excellent unit which allows the user to exchange SATA drives at the flip of a lock.
I have been using the unit now for over a year and it seems robust and well designed for the task it is meant to do.
Well worth the money if you need to store a lot of back-up data and relly helps as you can then remove the SATA drive and replace it with another one for normal usage.
I use it for storing back-ups, music and video and I can then take those hard drives out - put another one in and use that for my projects.
Hard drives are so cheap now it makes sense to me to do this rather than perminently installing hard drives when a case only hold a finite number of units.
Great Idea!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sata swap could be cooler, 21 Jun. 2010
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This review is from: StarTech.com 5.25in Trayless Hot Swap Mobile Rack for 3.5in Hard Drive - Internal SATA Backplane Enclosure (Personal Computers)
Works perfectly but as it needs to be fitted in a 5 1/2 inch bay it will sit high up in the PC (in the heat) and have a closed metal enclosure around it (where a CD or DVD would normally sit) so it can get a little warm. Could have done with a small reliable fan to keep it cool. Having said that I only use the bay as a back up solution, inserting my old sata drive in there once a week to back up new files. It is perfect for my use. Sturdy and well built.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Marvelous, 17 Aug. 2009
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This review is from: StarTech.com 5.25in Trayless Hot Swap Mobile Rack for 3.5in Hard Drive - Internal SATA Backplane Enclosure (Personal Computers)
I have had one of these for almost two years, I use it for 4 different OS systems IE, XP, Vista, windows 7 and linux, so can just plug in the OS I want to use. I have just brought another one for data storage. problem is with drives in the computer is they are running all the time, with this you only put the drive in that you want to use, so extending the life of your drives, which is a good thing. not so sure about hot swapping though, I always power down, I play safe. TIP,I have also found that video cassette cases are good for storing your spare drives in.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Easy to use and reasonably priced solution to disk swapping., 14 Mar. 2010
This review is from: StarTech.com 5.25in Trayless Hot Swap Mobile Rack for 3.5in Hard Drive - Internal SATA Backplane Enclosure (Personal Computers)
I bought this item to replace an existing tray and caddy on my PC.

My backup strategy is to clone the entire C drive to another disk, which I remove from the system between backups. This drive bay makes the whole process as simple as plugging in a memory card! With the advent of Win 7, I have been using the bay to swap system disks between 7 and XP, to compare them (very impressed with Win 7 so far). The bay has made this task as simple as it could be without having to resort to a dual boot configuration, which I didn't want to do.

Construction is adequate for its purpose, as long as reasonable care is taken when inserting and removing the disks (don't slam the door shut!). The life of the bay should only be limited by wear on the SATA contacts, which for most users will be negligible.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Almost a great product, 22 Oct. 2012
By 
This review is from: StarTech.com 5.25in Trayless Hot Swap Mobile Rack for 3.5in Hard Drive - Internal SATA Backplane Enclosure (Personal Computers)
This is a great and reliable product let down by two major flaws:

- in the event you use a slim (i.e. "half-height") 3.5-inch HDD, the trayless design means the drive is loose inside the caddy framework and won't always match up with the SATA connector at the opposite end
- the SATA connector on the exterior is seriously cheap and nasty and has no locking notch, meaning if you use a locking SATA cable it'll fall out

Similar products such as the Cremax ICY DOCK MB877SK-B Screwless 3.5 inch SATA HDD Enclosure and the no-name Hard Drive Caddy Enclosure use a clever internal guide mechanism to keep all drives tight against the edges. The latter of those two products have product shots which show the guide really clearly and I have to say they work really well. The downside with the Cremax is that with an enclosed design comes a 40mm cooling fan (and these days nobody wants the additional noise and fuss of a small fan buzzing away noisily by their feet).

The good news is that a perceivably superior product is available from a company called Kingwin. Their KF-1000-BK available on the U.S. Amazon.com (ASIN B00126U0VA) is almost identical to this StarTech item, but crucially someone at Kingwin has identified and solved the guide problem by including a "1.0 mm guide wire for slim HDD". The bad news is that... it's not available in the UK.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Quick easy to install and usefull, 2 May 2013
By 
A. Forrest - See all my reviews
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This review is from: StarTech.com 5.25in Trayless Hot Swap Mobile Rack for 3.5in Hard Drive - Internal SATA Backplane Enclosure (Personal Computers)
I wanted a single 3.5" Sata bay in a 5.25" slot. Not an easy task. Most of the hot swap bays are for 2.5" drives. x 4 in a single 5.25" bay. I didn't need that. Great for the price. Solid lock on the front to keep inquisitive kids out if you need it. Great solid build quality. Highly recommended. The only reason I didn't give it 5 stars is it has a LED header for the HDD activity. It could be plugged in to certain Sata drives but when you put the drive in the bay the header plug fouls on the back of the bay. I just coiled it up and tucked it inside. Also if you did manage to use it the bay base is hollow so this cable will hang down an foul on other items under the bay.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good but could have been a lot better, 28 Oct. 2009
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This review is from: StarTech.com 5.25in Trayless Hot Swap Mobile Rack for 3.5in Hard Drive - Internal SATA Backplane Enclosure (Personal Computers)
Pros

1. It works as advertised. You can insert and remove any SATA drive without powering down your PC.

2. 10000 insertions/removals according to the manual, which should be enough for a lifetime.

Cons

1. Slightly flimsy feeling plastic door which is the only thing keeping the drive in place. When a drive is inserted the door barely closes because the drive is in so tight, and it feels as though it could spring open at any time if it isn't locked shut. I doubt whether the door will stand up to being shut 10000 times before something snaps.

2. The manual doesn't mention the need to use "safely remove hardware" in Windows to eject the drive before physically removing it. This is a major ommission IMHO and may result in people losing data.

3. The HDD LED connector cable also isn't mentioned at all in the manual. Presumably it needs to be plugged into the motherboard in place of your case's normal HDD LED connector if you want the HDD activity light to work. I didn't plug it in so I don't know if it works.

Overall I think this is a good product and I will be using it a lot (if it lasts), but for the price I think it should have been built a lot more robustly and they should have made the HDD activity light work without having to plug in an internal connector to your motherboard.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Much easier than an eSATA / USB dock, 3 Dec. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: StarTech.com 5.25in Trayless Hot Swap Mobile Rack for 3.5in Hard Drive - Internal SATA Backplane Enclosure (Personal Computers)
Got this to replace a eSATA HDD dock/caddy. Replaces a piece of desk/floorware with something that fits in a spare 5.25" PC case drivebay. The front door activates a lever to push out the HDD from the caddy, and you can choose whether you use the lock or not. You will of course need a spare SATA port on your motherboard and associated SATA cable to connect this...

Pros: simple, effective

Cons: you might want to use some more mounting screws to make the mounting really secure (ie 4 each side, rather than just the 4 supplied)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars sata Hot Swap, 30 Nov. 2011
By 
S. K. Wilson "EDDY - TOR" (Stroud, Gloucestershire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: StarTech.com 5.25in Trayless Hot Swap Mobile Rack for 3.5in Hard Drive - Internal SATA Backplane Enclosure (Personal Computers)
This tray is so convenient when booting severeal hard drives which contain various operating systems, for E.G. One for MUSIC PRODUCTION, or one for just simple EDITING VIDEO PRODUCTIONS. A second tray allows you to " HOT SWAP " an additional hardrive for both incidents seperatley so that you keep workflow backups seperate. Very convenient without having to have either two computers or take the side off you're computer and physically having to unplug drives and swapping them if you are working on seperate media work flows.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Better than trays ..., 28 Mar. 2010
By 
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This review is from: StarTech.com 5.25in Trayless Hot Swap Mobile Rack for 3.5in Hard Drive - Internal SATA Backplane Enclosure (Personal Computers)
Having used PATA hard disk caddies for many years in my job as a lecturer in ICT, the recent tray-type SATA caddy seemed like a good idea ... Oh, dear, they were rubbish.

Having been burgled a number of times and lost PCs, I never leave hard drives in place when I go away, and needed a way to overcome the problems caused by the caddies I was using. These trayless caddies have perfomed faultlessly from the start and have solved all the issues around connectivity I had with the tray type.
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