How Can You Connect SATA Hard Drives without an Enclosure?

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I have a hard drive without an enclosure, and I don’t really have any extra enclosures. I need to get to the data that is on this hard drive. I either need to buy an enclosure to put it into just long enough to access my data. Or… is there another way I can get access to the information on the hard drive without putting it into an enclosure? Luckily, I have the NexStar Hard Drive Dock.

The NexStar is functionally no different than any other drive enclosure out there, supporting both eSATA and USB 2.0 connections. It nicely supports both 2.5″ (notebook) and 3.5″ SATA I/II HDDs as well as Windows/Mac/Linux OSes. It also supports HDDs up to 1 TB in size, enough for most current HDDs I’m aware of. Vantec also has included all required cables, as is usual with their products. You get a USB 2.0 cable as well as an eSATA cable, along with a SATA to eSATA bracket to use inside your PC if your motherboard lacks an eSATA port.

The biggest difference is of course, how you put the drive into the dock. There’s no need to use screws or brackets of any sort; you merely slide the HDD into a slot at the top and it slides into the proper connectors at the bottom inside, sort of like a Super Nintendo cartridge. The drive protrude out from the top of the slot and to remove it, there is a convenient eject button that pushes out the drive from the bottom so you don’t have to messily yank it out. (Again, like a SNES cartridge)

Looking at the Vantec HDD Dock, it sort of resembles a small single-slot toaster, perhaps something like you’d expect from Apple if they came out with the iToaster. It comes well-protected and sits in the middle of the package, which is good, since the entire unit is made of plastic. Aluminum would’ve been a more durable choice for the dock’s exterior, as it currently feels a little lightweight and flimsy compared to other normal drive enclosures.

It really is easy. Plug it into a power source, and then plug it into the Mac or PC via USB. Slide the hard drive into the machine until you hear it click into place. Then, you’re ready to go. Turn it on and watch your data pop up onto your screen. How simple is that?

The next time you need to access data off of a drive that has no enclosure, try out the toaster-looking (but very easy-to-use) NexStar.


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