Zalman 2.5 inch USB 3.0 SATA Hard Drive Enclosure - Black
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The VE300 2.5" SATA HDD Enclosure is a replacement for your portable CD/DVD player and discs. Install your choice of 2.5" SATA Hard Drive (Not Included), load all of your ISO files onto the hard drive, choose the ISO file you wish to use via the built-in file select switch and LCD display and you can install your choice of OS directly from the hard drive to your system. The enclosure connects via USB 3.0 (USB 2.0/1.1 Compatible) and is automatically detected as both a Mass Storage Device and an External Optical Drive.
Screw (2pcs) and Driver
USB 3.0 Cable
Top customer reviews
(please read update at the end)
I do a lot of installs and get sick of faffing about with dvd, cds, usbs, floppy disk etc.
This makes life simple. All you need is to add a a 2.5" internal sata disk, get your dvd/cd isos or floppy images and put them on to the zalman in the iso directory, select it using the jog wheel and hey presto you cd image is mounted.
"But i can use virtual cd emulator to do that i hear you say". The difference here is that as the emulation is done in hardware on the zalman. So it appears to any connected hardware that this is a real dvd drive. - this makes it both bootable and cross platform.
i had the older version aswell, the menu on this is much better and it used usb 3.0 vs sata but for practical purposes most people won't notice a speed difference and your more likely these days to have usb 3.0 anyway.
The flimsy mini usb port on the older Zalman is replaced by a more sturdy usb 3.0 port which is backwards compatible with 2.0, just slower obviously.
Its still its a shame they didnt keep both sata and usb 3.0, but i guess i want too much :-)
One thing i found out that isnt really documented is that this can mount virtual hdd disks. if you use the windows software you can create an empty hdd image file on the zalman of a given size and then mount it. it will then appear as additional disks that can be mounted/formatted/booted etc. you can also have multiple hdd images mounted at once.
Update - Aug 2013
I just had to return this after 4 month as the dreaded connector problems returned on this model.. :-(
I was going to go for the 400 series but after the problems I have had I don't think I will bother. This is a really poor showing from Zalman on the quality front, but unfortunately this appears to be the only such device on the market so I have to use it still when its replaced. However I am dropping it from from 5 to 3 stars.
The quality of the case is high, but it should be at the price. It has a neat case to put the unit in to keep it from getting scratched.
It works more or less as described but the instructions are pretty rubbish and setting things up is a little tedious. One thing I discovered and this is not Zalmans fault, is that Mac OS X Disk Utility puts a small hidden partition of around 200MB at the start of any formatted disk. You cannot see this in normal use on a Mac but this stops the Zalman from treating the first partition as the partition for serving up ISO images. There is nothing on the Zalman site about this and to be fair, its not their problem, but I cannot believe I am the first person to have this issue.
Anyway, its a great product, its fast (especially with an SSD drive), its well made, but the it loses a star because the instructions are pretty rubbish and they don't really explain anything.
The Zalman ZM-VE300 is actually made by iODD and their product number for it is 2531. iODD are much better at releasing firmware updates than Zalman and it is possible to load the iODD firmware onto the Zalman. However this process is a little involved and so I won't go into it here. However if you are technically minded and don't mind delving into to some Korean and Russian websites, the information is out there.
The product is amazing, as have been almost all Zalman products. There is a gap in the market for everything they produced.
This item isn't just a USB 3 caddy for 2.5" disks. It can mount ISO files stored on the disk as if they were CDs and DVDs and you can store multiple ISO files on there and using the jockey wheel switch between them. Much easier than carrying around CDs and DVDs for the 30 or 50 or so installation discs a person might use if working in the IT sector.
From a simple storage point of view this caddy offers excellent speeds. If you connect it to a USB 2.0 port the light will shine white and if connected to a USB 3.0 port it will shine blue. Obviously the USB standards will affect the speeds.
I've used these caddies with SSDs, hybrid SSHDs and with regular HDDs. It just works with everything.
The caddy is attractive, well made and comes with a well made case. I've owned a few of these for more than 2 years and used them intensively during that time and I've never had a problem with them.
If you can get one then this is more than just a caddy/enclosure for a 2.5" disk. It does so much more. I haven't found a similar product on the market yet that offers the same features and quality of build as this item. Somebody needs to make a successor to this item.
Most recent customer reviews
Being mostly Aluminum the build quality feels really solid, the fact that all of the screws are hidden makes it look very OEM and not a self installed drive like many...Read more
Update: This poc has died.
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