Tuesday, June 1, 2010



(So easy, even a cave man can do it!)




At some point everyone upgrades their computer’s hard drive to a larger capacity drive, or perhaps even replaces the entire computer for a faster model. So what do you do with the old hard drive? No doubt you’ve heard the warnings about discarding drives? Even if you think you’ve erased all the data hackers have the know-how and ability to access this hidden information. So what should you do? You could destroy the old drive with a hammer, or, better yet, use the drive as a spare external storage device for back up purposes.

(TIP: The use of a spare hard drive in the dock could be used to clone your computer’s main hard drive. Cloning would permit booting up from the docked back up drive in the event the main drive crashes. Carbon Copy Cloner is free software available for Mac’s that easily does the job. Similar software is available for PC’s.)

Cables Unlimited has come up with an easy external docking solution. If you have a SATA type drive, as identified on the ID label of the drive, and probably the newest and most popular model, you can simply snap it into the unique docking station. If you have an eSATA drive, a cable adapter is provided for external hook up. The DOCK accepts most 2.5 and 3.5” SATA drives. The front base includes a 2.0 USB hub with 2 ports, and flash card slots for reading MS/MS DUO, CF and SD/MMC type cards commonly used in many digital cameras. The rear base includes the USB output port, an eSATA port for the previously described supplied adapter cable, power jack and on/off switch.

(TIP: Never hot swap, remove the drive, while the computer is powered up. You may, however, hot swap the USB connection to the computer.)

Using the dock is very easy. Simply insert the 2.5” SATA hard drive into the dock. If you have a 3.5” drive, flip the guide latch up and place the drive into the connector at the bottom. To remove either size drive a handy pullout cover is provided which assists pulling out the drive, up and out of the connector, accomplished by pulling the cover towards you.

(TIP: If you do not have a SATA drive, or have compatibility issues with this device, numerous adapter cables and housings are available to accommodate most other drives, or even this one, if compatibility issue arise.)

Using a docking device, adapter cable or housing is very easy. If you can read a label, you can easily determine what type of hard drive you have. Matching the type to the gadget needed is then not difficult. You’re now saving the environment, protecting your old data and gaining extra storage capabilities at the same time.

I found the USB-2155 DESKTOP HDD DOCK by Cables Unlimited to be a useful device that works in both the MAC and PC platforms, as well as some Casablanca Editors and can operate on 100-240 VAC, 50/60Hz, with the supplied power adapter. Even though it’s plastic, with the proper care it should give years of service. Further details are available at www.cablesunlimited.com. The DOCK is available at retail and on line.

(TIP: Compatibility is always a concern when purchasing any computer peripherals. Always ask about the return policy before making the purchase. When you purchase a device test it immediately so you can return non-compatible items in a timely manner. After all, computers sometimes have a mind of their own)

MSRP: $59.95


Carbon Copy Cloner for MAC available at http://www.bombich.com/

Bob Skidmore is a freelance writer who may be contacted at bob.thegadgeteer.skidmore@gmail.com, or followed at twitter.com/bskidmore for the latest gadget industry news.



  1. All the reviews on the company website were negative about this product. They claim it is unreliable and does not work. I would like to purchase to use 2 old drives I took out of an old desktop computer & use it for hooking up to my laptop.

  2. The unit I tested worked well. It was a new unit in a box. Naturally, you can get a dud.

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