Tag Archives: nexstar

This is the Truly Universal Storage Adapter


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Your media reader may be able to handle many things, but can it handle an IDE drive – externally? Can it handle a SATA drive? A truly universal storage adapter is what you need, such as the NexStar Universal Storage Adapter.

This adapter provides the flexibility of connecting almost any type of storage device to your computer. Whether it is a hard drive, optical drive, SSD, IDE/SATA or a memory card, this adapter does it all. Easily backup, transfer, copy files from your new or old storage devices conveniently through a fully hot-swappable USB interface.

This definitely seems to be the adapter to beat. It is a 66-in-one reader, which is just insane to think about! It connects via simple USB device, making it even easier. Of course, if you need to connect a hard drive to it, there are proper power cords included to make that happen.

Long story short, if you’re looking for a new media-reader and/or to be able to connect a hard drive with ease… look no further than the Vantec NexStar Universal Storage Adapter!

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Hard Drive: Fail!


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My Macbook is working now, thankfully. I had to get a new hard drive. Instead of an Apple showing up when the Macbook booted up, I saw a symbol with a circle through it, suggesting there was a problem. After much diagnosing and talking with others via Twitter and Geeks, I learned that indeed – my hard drive had died.

I tried all of the suggestions that all of you gave me, and nothing really worked. I went online on Apple’s site, and made an appointment via my AppleCare. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again now: AppleCare is well worth the money you’ll spend for it. It completely takes the stress out of any problems that may arise with your equipment!

I took the Macbook in, and the tech plugged in a Target Disk Mode. That’s where you plug in a FireWire drive, and boot off of that. Then they ran a Smart Disk Utility check from that. Indeed, the hard drive was failing. I knew that they would replace the drive, and they had it in stock. I begged them to let me have my dying drive back, even though it’s not policy. After signing my life away, they did give me the bad drive. That gave me the opportunity to try and recover the information off of it.

A few months ago, I talked about the NexStar Hard Drive Dock. I wasn’t sure I’d really have much use for it again. Boy, am I happy now that I have this little thing! I plugged it in and connected it by USB. I was able to mount my dying drive, even though it was read-only. I didn’t have a lot of things I needed to copy off of it, but there were some things. I use the Macbook to sync my iPhone, so I wanted to be able to get an index of all of the Apps I have!

The NexStar works perfectly! The connection is a bit flaky, but as long as you don’t touch it you should be ok. I ran into some problems using OS X Copy feature. Instead, I dropped to a command line, and did it that way. I was able to get all of the data that I needed from my old drive.

What should I do with the dying drive now? Should I take a hammer to it? When asking the chat that question, someone mentioned that I had “learned my lesson”. Uhm, seriously… this isn’t an Apple problem. It’s a hard drive. They fail. It doesn’t matter what kind of machine they might be in. However, AppleCare was amazing, and I had an excellent experience. How could I complain about that?

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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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