Are you using mobile racks (caddies)?

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Bob Gray
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Joined: Feb 11 2001

I have one machine on which I want to run two systems. 1st a GP unit with office and web facilities plus the odd game. 2nd a dedicated Video editing machine with only the OS, XP pro/sp2 and Liquid Edition 6.1.

I want to use a caddy system and have tried it using a cheapo plastic unit I bought at a computer fair for about seven quid. All went well until the caddy lost connection with the Maxtor 80gb drive when in office mode, what I want to ask you more experienced guys is am I asking for trouble with such an idea or if I buy a decent caddy and install it properly will it work consistently.

I have looked at the Vantec unit from OC UK they look well made, has anyone had experience with this manufacturer?

Any input will be much appreciated

Bob

harlequin
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Joined: Aug 16 2000

I don't like caddies , certainly not the cheap ones , and the expensive ones are too expensive for the advantage they give me.

I would set up the main drive as two partitions , install o/s onto first partition and then a second install onto second partition , letting a boot manager program ask me at start which o/s i wanted to run.

many others round here use caddies and appear to find little/no problems with them

Gary MacKenzie

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robo
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Joined: Aug 15 2000

I've used Mobile Rack for about 18 months now with no problems - until recently. The small fan units (front and rear) have started to make some noise on startup - goes when they warm up. The problem being that if I replace them I will have to find the same model or replace the whole lot in one go - you have to have the same units through out, in my case that means six units. The good news is that they are still about the same price as I paid originaly, £6 or £7.

robo

Bob Gray
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Joined: Feb 11 2001

Thanks for the response Gary, I see your point. The Vantec would cost about £35 for a rack and two cartridges do you know of even more expensive units. My worry about a partitioned disk with dual start up is that if you loose one system you loose them both.

Bob

Bob Gray
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Joined: Feb 11 2001

robo,

My £7 rack made that noise when a fan died. I thought it was the disk drive and killed the power. Guess what, I killed the drive too. I replaced the fan, formatted the drive and all worked OK for two weeks when the contacts gave up. That's why I'm looking for a sturdier unit.

Bob

harlequin
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Joined: Aug 16 2000

lian-li is a name i see around here. http://www.directron.com/llmobilerack.html

i have run many partitioned drives with dual-boot ...... but not 2 x xp , always a windows and linux variation ( usually a beos version )

Gary MacKenzie

sepulce@hotmail.com ( an account only used for forum messages )

Thinkserver TS140 , 750ti Graphics card  & LG 27" uws led backlight , Edius 8

Humax Foxsat HD Pvr / Humax Fox T2 dvbt

Mark M
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Joined: Nov 17 1999

I use removable caddies, the cheap Mobile Rack brand, extensively. I must have about two dozen in use and another 20 in reserve. I spotted very early on that one is at the mercy of a manufacturer discontinuing or altering a product, so I found a brand I liked and could afford and bought a shedload of them!
I find them invaluable for quicky swapping client projects, or for working on them on different computers or even different places. I have one mobile rack installed in a portable external USB/firewire case so I can use it out and about with the laptop.
If I was to do it all again I would try and find a brand/model that had external jumpers for selecting master/slave. Cable select works better on some of my computers than others, so sometimes I need to play safe and remove the drive from the caddy to switch jumpers. I don't like doing this, since I regard HDDs as delicate and fragile items!

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Alan Craven
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Joined: Jan 26 2001

I have used Lian-Li caddies for two or three years without any problem - but for data storage, not OS.

The one I use came from Maplin and is the RH600 (part no ZZ89). It costs £50 for the sleeve with one caddy and extra caddies cost £35. I bought most of my caddies at £10 a shot when Maplin dropped this model a couple of years ago - they have now reinstated it in their catalogue.

This is a very substantial Aluminium die-casting with high grade connectors and fans (2). If you are going to use this idea for OS purposes, I would suggest you should be looking at these.

I currently have my caddy in a double firewire box, where I can hot swap them.

Having said that, in the days when I needed two operating systems, I used Partition Magic and had an OS in each of two partitions on my system drive - far easier to use in my view.

PaulD
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Joined: Aug 31 2002

Hi
I've got about 30 of these, fitted with 250-400GB drives, which contain all my current and recently archived projects, and are freely swappable in 5.25" FW800 cases for editing and FW400 for archiving:
http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Removable-Hard-Drive-Caddy-AT-IDE-Data-Express-DE100i.....
Very robust, and they perform faultlessly ;)
Original cost - £100+!

mooblie
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Joined: Apr 27 2001

I use quite a few PATA/IDE caddies in FireWire enclosures too, but I am now thinking of migrating to SATA caddies. Might be worth thinking about these days if anyone is about to invest in a more future-proof set of drives and interfaces? Especiallly with eSATA now coming onstream?

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JOHN . A.V.
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Joined: May 6 1999

I have been using caddies ever since they were born. It is true that the fans give up quickly , but I don`t find this a problem. All my caddies still work well with no problems.

RayL
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Joined: Mar 31 1999

Like others, I use caddies in large quantities (I have about 60). Apart from the need for an occasional reseat, I find them very reliable - and they get a lot of use. Today, for example, Edit Computer 4 had three changes of C:, the OS drive, and six of D:, one of the three data trays.

These are standard LiAn Mobile Rack units and the part that wears out most frequently is the locking mechanism, simply through use. On quite a number of trays I have removed this, and wired out the interlock switch.

Caddies are a vital, essential, factor in running my business.

Ray Liffen

Bob Gray
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Joined: Feb 11 2001

Many thanks to everyone for the responses, the Lian-Li seems to get general approval so I will use these. They do make exceedingly good cases.

Once again thanks for your help.

Bob