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  • Customer reviews

on 12 May 2015
I bought this on September 2014 and the internal fan fell off in April 2015, this product offers no coverage for returns so despite having had it for just 8 months, I can't have a refund or return it for a new one.

For what I needed, this unit worked well for some time once I switched from USB to eSata, as it continuously lost connection with the USB connection. I just needed a quad enclosure to host 4 hard disks I had spare after a major computer upgrade. The disks in the enclosure were hardly used as the new computer I bought came with a big hard drive for data. I always had the fan on medium speed as it is perceptibly noisy at the highest speed. The problem started around February 2015, 6 months after purchase, when the Hornettek enclosure started to make a low "humming" noise which I thought would have been one of the hard drives going a bit loose, the noise increased in April and on May I took the hard disks and on top of the topmost hard drive I found the fan.

I inserted the fan back into the pin but the noise it made was unbearable. One of the disks when ported back into the computer was corrupted and was unrepairable, it seems they had been very hot for a long time because when I took them out of the enclosure they were too hot to handle with bare hands.
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on 7 July 2015
This review is for the Hornettek Enterprise 4x Quad version. The enclosure served a very specific purpose for me; Having upgraded from a Mac Pro 2,1 [Cheese-grate] to a new Mac Pro 2013 [Watney's Party 7] I had the issue of transferring data from 4 internal HDs to a new home. This box saved lots of time in doing so. With the limits of the new Apple regime of USB 3 or Thunderbolt only; I had to get round the problem of using Target mode transfers or buying several adapters for my legacy Firewire external boxes. Dropping four drives at a time into this unit saved multiple reboots and external box installations.

I think there will b limits to how I use it in the future as there are some quirks to this box which means I will probably not rely on it for primary use. It might be my set up or an anomaly of the Mac OS with USB 3.0, but I do not find the 'Hot Swap' function to work. Un-mounting a single drive and removing it provoked the 'Not Ejected Properly' warning for all other volumes. I even get this when un-mounting all the drives, as soon as one is pulled from the bus a warning message comes up. The only way of removing a drive physically is to unmount and power down, which in my books; does not constitute a 'Hot Swap'

It's a mix of styles too. The brushed metal body and flush window in front of the indicator LEDs shows an attention to detail from the Industrial Design department that evidences that they have seen the Mac Pro and are tipping their caps in that direction, but the plastic mounts for the drives feel a bit unrefined and lightweight in comparison. It is also a bit of a bugger to pick up, there is no way to lift it with one hand, and the textured metal shows up dusty fingerprints very easily. The oddest thing is a manual adjustment on the back panel for the cooling fan. It runs from a very quiet tick-over to something approaching a hand-drier. It is, perhaps, a bit unfair to quantify the impact of its fan noise in a studio which has a new Mac Pro in the middle; [this computer makes the energy saving lightbulbs hum noticeable] but the adjustment on my drive enclosure has a sweet-spot, setting at the highest level is too loud to accommodate without the aid of a server cabinet, but setting at minimum makes the ticking of bearings noticeable. for my unit; approximately 25% from base gives a whisper from the blades but is fast enough for the bearings to hum subtly rather than buzz. If you have fairly active office environment this is probably academic, however, I will not be running this while eating video and I would not use it as a media server unless it was located remotely from the playback devices. If I ever get time, I might hack it and put a quieter fan in.

I noticed on a number of other reviews that there have been issues with USB hubs and such. While this has not been an issue in my own set-up I have had a couple of occasions where changing a device in a USB hub has unmounted the HornetTek mounted drives, but I would qualify that in saying a couple of other external drives also ejected and remounted at the same time - making me suspect this is an issue of daisy chaining on USB 3.0 rather than a bug in the hardware.

Bottom line for me; while this isn't a Drobo or Netgear array, for around £80, it's a great value solution for mounting a bunch of drives with just one power lead. I have started thinking of it as a bridging technology between a drive dock and a RAID.
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on 20 March 2015
I was a bit cautious when purchasing this quad bay HDD enclosure. No one ever wants to be worried about losing their data on their HDD especially if its the enclosures fault! So far, I have owned this product for about 3 months and I've had no serious trouble. Tested on both Windows and OS X

I have noticed that under heavy load (3 or 4 HDDs writing data at once) it has crashed a couple of times - since then I haven't tried to do the same tasks. I have also noticed that HDDs spin up/down a lot during use which I really don't like. I would highly recommend preventing the computer from shutting the drives down to save power if you have the option to do so. The enclosure tries to do this on its own - bizarrely when 'safely removing' the HDDs from Windows or OS X - as well as when the HDDs have been inactive for a while.

Given the lack of choice when you want a quad bay enclosure, I elected not to return this enclosure - but I was very close to doing it as all the spin ups/downs worry me. If I was using the drives to store mission critical data or anything which I couldn't bear to lose, I wouldn't use this product.

The price is good, which was a selling point for me.
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on 15 January 2014
After our upgrading my home server I needed a device to back up the 5Tb of data. As it was just a backup I didn't want the expense of having a NAS and this device was the perfect solution. It would enable me to back up my data periodically and switch it off when not in use, so saving a few quid on the electricity bill. The device has both USB3 and eSATA.

A word of warning, if you are using Windows you can't use dynamic disks i.e. spanned, stripped etc over USB. I found this out the hard way after buying a USB3 expansion card. I had a problem using USB3 where the drives would lock up after a period of time when copying data, however I am confident that this was down to the expansion card rather than the Hornettek. So I invested in a eSATA expansion card. TIP: make sure your eSATA card supports port replication otherwise you'll only see on drive.

I have to say the results with eSATA exceeded my expectations. I was able to create a stripped disk set under Windows and Robocop ran at just over 130MB/s which is mighty impressive.

Overall I'm very happy with the Hornettek, it does everything I want with the added bonus of excellent transfer rates.
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on 25 April 2015
Fantastic bit of kit, operating 4x 3tb with ZFS, this holds my Yacy search appliance (virtualbox) with pretty much hammers the disks 24/7. For good measure i also exported a folder over NFS (vdi images) for another vb server to gobble away with which runs in another room, again no issues with drop out on rsyslog:

Looks like this:
hda: dma_intr: status=0x51 { DriveReady SeekComplete Error }
hda: dma_intr: error=0x84 { DriveStatusError BadCRC }
ide: failed opcode was: unknown

1. UPS. In the event of a power out this will kick in and provide an additional layer of protection.

2. Power supply. Get this replaced asap the unit provided meets the requirement **just** but don't expect anything fantastic.

I picked up a unit (12v 10A 10000mA AC-DC Switching Adapter):
Tip: 2.5/2.1x5.5x11
Tip polarity: +
Output 12V 10A

You may not find a tip @ 2.1 but the more common 2.5 do check if it will do 2.1 AND 2.5; cost was around £20.00.
Check the input power (My unit 100-240v 50-60 Hz 1.5A) their are some right plain lame units which output the same but require 3A!!! eek.

Supplied PSU: 2.1x5.5x11 Sunny Computer technology co ltd (SYS1443-6512)
Input 100-240v 1.5A, 50-60Hz
Output 12v 5.42A
Sunny Comp tech psu product line can only be described as eating an undercooked jacket potato when you have completely run out of butter/beans.

I chopped the cable off the supplied psu and used it to tie a rose bush, the rest off at an electrical recycle point.

eSATA requires a port Multiplier you can pick these up in the U.S.A for around $35 + Parcelforce anti innovation fee (random number from £15 to £35).

So for those of us in Blighty looks like you will be using USB 3.0. If you do plug it in with esata don't be surprised to see only one drive.

Update 01/07/2015
The fan has failed at the top, removed the top cover (well made, it is a slide on/off job). Unbolted the fan and replaced it with a 80mm x 80mm premium unit.I reused the connector from the old fan. Chucked the lid in my bits n bobs box.

Am i annoyed that the fan failed? Of course not, its expected to fail; my office is not a HEPA filtered temperature controlled data center. The fact that you can quickly access the fan and replace it without cutting/drilling is a big plus. Still rate this as a fantastic unit because of the flexibility in customization.

The only thing i give two hoots about:
ONLINE 0 0 0
errors: No known data errors

Says it all really.
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on 10 January 2013
I have a HP Microserver and I wanted a simple way to keep a backup copy of all my data (nearly 6TB of the stuff!!) and this enclosure looked like it would do the business. I have not been disappointed and it has worked flawlessly in both eSata connected states and USB.

Installing the drives was really easy and absolutely everything you need is supplied - screws, cables and even little rubber pads to provide an extra snug fit should you feel it necessary.

A word of warning - I didn't realise that eSata comes in two flavours and in order to get access to all 4 drive bays you must have eSata with port multiplication installed on your computer. I didn't and spent a few hours scratching my head before I found out that this was the problem. A simple PCIe card for £20 solved the problem!
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on 18 August 2013
Bought this Hornettek Enclosure as it looked to fit the bill, (as they say)..
It is JBOD (just a bunch of disks) only, as I do Not use RAID, as I do not Trust raid.
I bought 2x Seagate 3TB 7200rpm 64MB Cache Hard Drives to fit in it.
(only owned this for about two weeks now)
Formatting was quite easy via Win7. Just choose GPT then format as NTFS.
This is being used for my Photography as I have already filled up 2x 1TB hard drives as backups.
Anyway, the above works well so far. Only time will tell if it fits in the Excellence grade.

I have a NAS box but don't use it as I don't understand some of it, so the Above is easier to use..
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on 30 April 2015
This is a nice 4 bay hard drive storage unit - it is odd in that the fan is on the top, meaning that the hard drive on the bottom is going to get the least cooling, which seems to be a design flaw. It has individual lights for each bay and is USB3 and eSATA compatible - it looks kewl, however feels very plasticy when inserting the drives - but for this price it is as good as you are going to get.
I have been using it for about 2 months and it is solid, noise is minimal. I have tried the Icybox - not great failed after 2 weeks, also a netstor which was ok but lasted about 3 months
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on 24 January 2013
Robust construction, looks lovely, lowest fan speed barely audible, highest fan speed very effective cooling but still not intrusive.
Is easy to insert / swap disks - 2 small screws (1 spare provided) with tapered heads

worked perfectly on both esata and usb2 / 3, with expected transfer speeds of 80 to 100mb/sec.

However on the 14th day, it suddenly stopped, as if getting no power as mentioned by some other reviewers.
On the chance it was just a bad one... the very helpful seller (Storage Depot) is sending me a new power brick to try....
hopefully this will do the trick as majority of other reviewers have had better experience... and Im pleased to confirm it's working fine now, on the replacement power brick.

Excellent customer service from Storage Depot !!
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on 23 March 2014
Was going to give this 5 stars straight off the bat... but a few niggles, very slight, meant the loss of 1 star :(
Arrived on scheduled day.... very early ... I must have been No. 1 or 2 on the list because I was still munching my cornflakes !!Well packaged and was surprised by the units small size when sat in it's new home. Both connector leads, USB 3 + eSATA are included so no extra cost to get going. Both leads are of a reasonable length so only buy your own if your siting this a long way from your attached computer/network. First niggle.... no drive mounting screws in the box !!!... may be a 1 off QC problem ? but was not pleased.... Which leads on to niggle number 2.... lots of reviews mention how quiet this DAS is................ NOT !!!! Even with the fan turned right down it's far too loud and almost competes with my multiple fan desktops !! This is argueable and dependent on personal tastes but the factor that you can't walk away from is heat !!.. with the fans down low... small, older drives start to fry in here... mine are currently running about 38 - 42... and it's not good. Once this is populated with the newer multi platter drives I'm going to have to monitor this closely. Performance, via eSATA in my case, is very good so no complaints in that department. Shame about the 2 niggles but overall happy with my purchase .
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