My husband and I have gone through multiple desktops and notebooks over the years. They have huge HDs that are quite tricky to back up. Whenever we upgrade one of our computers, we often grab the essentials for whatever projects we are then currently working on and transfer those to the newest HD. This leaves us with a small stack of SATA HD’s full of stuff, Outlook PST’s, large libraries of image files and pre-edited video, animation sequences and game models and textures.
When you need to quickly find work from an old project going back several years, this can be a real pain. Which is why we were very pleased when we were offered the chance to evaluate this docking station.
The Docking Station.
As you can see in various photos, it’s a simple plastic caddy with two slots on top. A standard SATA data and power plug are embedded on the bottom of each slot. The slots are thick enough to take my oldest and bulkiest SATA HD. Each slot has a vertical fin that adds a support to prevent the HD from being pushed over at an angle that might damage the drive or SATA connectors at the bottom.
The Docking station came with:
A three-foot USB Type A male to USB Type A male cable.
An AC power Adapter. This has a socket for a regular AC cable like the ones that plug into a desktop power supply at one end (an AC cable is also included). At the other end of the adapter is a thinner wire with standard circular 12v plug.
A Mini CD with Backup and duplication software
Setting up the Docking station up for use with your computer is pretty simple. Just plug the power adapter into the AC. And plug the 12v plug into the docking station. Plug one end of the USB cable into the docking station and the other end into a USB port on your computer.
Slide one of your bare HD’s into one of the two slots and turn on the power on the back of the docking station. A blue light on the front of the base lights up to show it’s on. There are also two red lights that represent the two drive bays. When one of the bays is active the corresponding light comes on.
For what I wanted it for, the docking station is effortless to use. Once hooked up you can swap HD’s quickly and effortlessly. In theory you could just pull one out and slot another in but I would recommend you turn the power off each time you change a drive just to be sure that the drive doesn’t get damaged.
The only sligh niggle is that the USB cable is quite short and is a type that isn’t all that common so you’re unlikely to have a longer one lying around at home. You only get about three feet of cable.
The included software has quick and easy backup and disk cloning features. Unfortunately, I was unable to test these properly because both my old drives I tested were full.
The slots are designed to accommodate full size drives but 2.5 inch drives will also fit. The vertical fins ensure that it is easy to guide the drives into the slots.
I got transfer rates of 20 – 40 mb per second in my older most full drive and up to 62mb when copying large video files from SSD to a HD in the caddy. So pretty good transfer rates.
SATA Dual External Drive Bay
Product Name: WANLONGXIN 876U3-J USB 3.0 to SATA Dual Bay External Hard Drive Docking Station
Product Description: Powered USB 3.0 to SATA Dual Bay External Hard Drive Docking Station with Offline Clone Function
Offer price: $29.99
Ease Of Use
If you have old hard drives that are just too large to easily back up with more modern flash drives, this is a great solution. Once hooked up, it only takes moments to swap a drive in and out and the transfer rates are very acceptable when plugged into a USB 3 port. It’s very convenient and still small enough to keep in a draw when not in use.