Bytecc USB 2.0 HDD Enclosure

Author
Aron Schatz
Posted
October 29, 2003
Views
19280
Flash drive and memory card readers are all abound. Need more storage capacity? How about a mobile hard drive! Let's see what this Bytecc USB 2 Enclosure has to offer.
Tags Storage

Page 1: Enclosure

<B>Intro</B>:

With all the new USB flash drives and memory card readers, external storage has never been easier. Gone are the days of the floppy and the crude and small 1.44MB size limitation. Today we have a range of sizes and shapes for your personal needs. But flash memory only goes so far, magnetic storage still reigns supreme as the high storage capacity medium. Taking a hard drive with you on the go used to be a daunting task of removable drive bays, but now we have USB 2.0, and the <a href="http://www.byteccusa.com">Bytecc</a> External Hard Drive Enclosure.

<B>Box</B>:

<center>Box</center>

The retail packaging is pretty nice. Let's move on.

<B>Parts</B>:

<center>Parts</center>

Here are all the parts. You get more, but we'll get to the rest later. You get the hard drive enclosure, the two side plates, a hard drive rack (plastic holder thing), The USB 2 cable, the AC cable and adapter, and a manual.

<B>More Parts</B>:

<center>Parts 2</center>

When you actually get inside the enclosure, there are more parts. Included: An install CD, the controller interface, the screws, and the back plate.

Let's get to the meat and potatoes of the thing.

<B>The Controller Card</B>:

<center>Controller</center>

Here is the entire unit. In essence, you only need this, power and the USB cord to operate a hard drive. The rest of the stuff is all fluff basically. You get a single IDE cable connection and a single molex connection. There is enough space to not have a tough time installing the cables on the drive.

Just above the IDE cable on the controller is the port for the LED indicator on the front of the enclosure. It flashes blue when there is activity on the hard drive.

<center>Controller Back</center>

On the back of the controller you'll see three things. The AC plug, the USB cable plug, and the on/off switch. That's all that you need to operate the device. A moron can do it, hell, even Larry can do it! (Take that Larry Wink)

<B>Finished</B>:

<center>Back</center>

Here is the back plate on. Each of the ports are labelled, so you don't get screwed up. If you do, that's sad.

<center>Complete</center>

Here is the finished product. The unit and the USB cable are nice and silvery. The entire enclosure is made of Aluminum to dissipate heat. There are a total of 12 screws that must be installed in the unit, then the sides cover up the ugly screws.

<B>Testing</B>:

Installation was easy on all of my computers. If you are running Win2k SP3 or higher, or XP, you don't need drivers. They drive is basically plug and go. If you do happen to need drivers, you'll need to use the included install CD. I am running Win2k SP4 on my computers, and my parents are running XP. Both detected the controller, then the drive.

The drive appears as another hard drive, and the controller as another IDE controller. Basically it is like adding a controller card to your computer, just externally. You can partition your drive however you want.

For testing, I threw in my 20GB IBM Deathstar. It runs at 7200 RPMs, so if there is any heat problems, I'd know it. During informal tests conducted at home and at school, the unit transfers very fast on USB 2.0. A 600MB file took about 2 minutes (plus/minus 30 or so seconds). Directories took a bit longer. The reason I am doing informal testing is that every config is different and your results will vary.

I also tested the thing on USB 1.1. My thoughts... DON'T DO IT! It took HOURS to copy large folders. If you're using this thing for backup, and you have USB 1.1, expect to do it overnight.

The unit got warm to the touch, but never crashed, so heat wasn't a problem. The thing performed better than I originally thought.

One thing that did strike me was the fact that you can't stick an optical drive in the unit. It would have been more versatile if you have that option. I know I would like an external CDRW drive sometimes. Maybe that is coming soon?

<B>Conclusion</B>:

<a href="http://ase.dealtime.com/dt-app/SE/KW-bytecc mobile enclosure/FD-0/linkin_id-3002062/NS-1/GS.html">For around $46</a>, you can pick one of these things up. Do I think it is worth it? Yes, I do. You get the ability to put your own drive in, and have total control over what goes in. The entire thing is a big heatsink, so you don't need to worry about heat. If you need an external hard drive enclosure, Bytecc's offering is worth your consideration.

I'd like to thank Steve from <a href="http://www.byteccusa.com">Bytecc</a> for sending this for review.

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