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  #11  
Old 04-30-2012, 03:31 PM
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Originally Posted by PCX View Post
I believe so, but I would not suggest it. The whole point in doing a clone for the purposes of a data recovery is to get the data off as quickly and safely as possible before it fails. USB (at least USB 2.0) is way slower than a SATA interface, thus increasing the chances the hard drive failing before it completes. The other danger of course is any time a hard drive is just kinda floating around and is able to be moved, you are increasing the chances of it being jostled, dropped or disconnected. My suggestion is to get a cheap desktop specifically for cloning, diagnostics, data recovery, backups ect. and put Linux on that desktop. Get a couple front loading SATA bays and use them instead of a USB interface.

Now, one could argue that if a hard drive is failing, then its probably not going to go much faster than the rate of USB 2.0 anyways, but I still would rather not take my chances. When it comes to data recovery, take every precaution possible.
I've got to say I have every opportunity to use either SATA, USB, or Firewire. Most of the time I like firewire overall due to the fact there is no processor involvement with firewire. (Meaning much more consistent speeds and less chance of the system you are booted to freaking out in the middle of a clone), where USB and SATA everything is channeled through the processor. However there are times that for whatever reason USB will connect better with the drive than FW (or vise-verse) so use what works best for the situation. The most noticeable factor to me is airflow. Getting air to a failing drive does wonders many times. So leaving a drive in whatever machine its installed into or stuffing a drive into a SATA bay on a desktop is more likely to suffocate the drive than anything (unless its a wide open case with fan directly pointed at the malfunctioning drive). Also SATA most likely is what is what your test machine is booted from so putting a malfunctioning drive on the same bus as what you are booted from (like mentioned above referring to processor involvement) is going to cause all kinds of problems.
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  #12  
Old 04-30-2012, 03:45 PM
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Originally Posted by anonymous Mac Tech View Post
I've got to say I have every opportunity to use either SATA, USB, or Firewire. Most of the time I like firewire overall due to the fact there is no processor involvement with firewire. (Meaning much more consistent speeds and less chance of the system you are booted to freaking out in the middle of a clone), where USB and SATA everything is channeled through the processor. However there are times that for whatever reason USB will connect better with the drive than FW (or vise-verse) so use what works best for the situation. The most noticeable factor to me is airflow. Getting air to a failing drive does wonders many times. So leaving a drive in whatever machine its installed into or stuffing a drive into a SATA bay on a desktop is more likely to suffocate the drive than anything (unless its a wide open case with fan directly pointed at the malfunctioning drive). Also SATA most likely is what is what your test machine is booted from so putting a malfunctioning drive on the same bus as what you are booted from (like mentioned above referring to processor involvement) is going to cause all kinds of problems.

Yeah, you most definitely want a desktop with lots of airflow and and an open loading bay. I got a bunch of these that gives the drive plenty of room to breath as well as lots of air flow in a full size case. That said, I find it harder to connect a failing hard drive via USB vs a SATA controller in most cases due to the reasons you listed above. It just makes the computer run like junk and the other hard drives also have a harder time connecting if on the same SATA controller, which is one of the reasons why I have more than one.

Its also a good idea to have a decent processor as well. Testing multiple hard drives (especially if some are failing) or cloning them will soak up the processor pretty quick. I personally use an AMD Phenom II Quad Core Processor in my rig.
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  #13  
Old 04-30-2012, 05:27 PM
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That said, I find it harder to connect a failing hard drive via USB vs a SATA controller in most cases due to the reasons you listed above. It just makes the computer run like junk and the other hard drives also have a harder time connecting if on the same SATA controller, which is one of the reasons why I have more than one.
Do I understand you correctly?... you use a motherboard in your bench system that has two on-board sata controllers (many newer motherboards have a separate controller for Sata 3Gb and Sata 6Gb) or you use an add-on sata controller pci or pci-e card to attach the second hard drive to.

If this is the case, I will check out my several bench systems and add the cards if needed. I've never given this a second thought. I've just got extra long Sata cables and Ide cables hanging out of the open case and attach the drives, with the drives standing on end to get as much air flow through them.

Thanks for this tip, it's a good one.
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  #14  
Old 04-30-2012, 05:29 PM
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Originally Posted by gikstar View Post
Do I understand you correctly?... you use a motherboard in your bench system that has two on-board sata controllers (many newer motherboards have a separate controller for Sata 3Gb and Sata 6Gb) or you use an add-on sata controller pci or pci-e card to attach the second hard drive to.

If this is the case, I will check out my several bench systems and add the cards if needed. I've never given this a second thought. I've just got extra long Sata cables and Ide cables hanging out of the open case and attach the drives, with the drives standing on end to get as much air flow through them.

Thanks for this tip, it's a good one.
Yeah, I have a separate SATA controller via PCI-E. It also allows me to test up to 8 or more hard drives at once.
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  #15  
Old 04-30-2012, 05:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gikstar View Post
Do I understand you correctly?... you use a motherboard in your bench system that has two on-board sata controllers (many newer motherboards have a separate controller for Sata 3Gb and Sata 6Gb) or you use an add-on sata controller pci or pci-e card to attach the second hard drive to.

If this is the case, I will check out my several bench systems and add the cards if needed. I've never given this a second thought. I've just got extra long Sata cables and Ide cables hanging out of the open case and attach the drives, with the drives standing on end to get as much air flow through them.

Thanks for this tip, it's a good one.
I agree. I have been using the on board controllers but I will be purchasing add-ons in the near future. Thanks.
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  #16  
Old 05-01-2012, 04:02 AM
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Originally Posted by PCX View Post
I believe so, but I would not suggest it. The whole point in doing a clone for the purposes of a data recovery is to get the data off as quickly and safely as possible before it fails. USB (at least USB 2.0) is way slower than a SATA interface, thus increasing the chances the hard drive failing before it completes. The other danger of course is any time a hard drive is just kinda floating around and is able to be moved, you are increasing the chances of it being jostled, dropped or disconnected. My suggestion is to get a cheap desktop specifically for cloning, diagnostics, data recovery, backups ect. and put Linux on that desktop. Get a couple front loading SATA bays and use them instead of a USB interface.

Now, one could argue that if a hard drive is failing, then its probably not going to go much faster than the rate of USB 2.0 anyways, but I still would rather not take my chances. When it comes to data recovery, take every precaution possible.
Alright. Thanks for the advice. I forgot that Linux doesn't need a high end machine to do certain tasks. Thanks again.
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  #17  
Old 05-04-2012, 08:03 AM
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Thanks for the useful tips, PCX! I will stick to SATA bays.
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  #18  
Old 05-04-2012, 12:59 PM
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I'm not trying to hijack this thread but,

Can anyone recommend a decent front loader?

Thanks in advance!
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  #19  
Old 05-04-2012, 01:21 PM
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I'm not trying to hijack this thread but,

Can anyone recommend a decent front loader?

Thanks in advance!
I am currently using this one. By no means indestructible but it does the job well and is fairly cheap.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...00_i00_details
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  #20  
Old 05-04-2012, 02:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Trusted IT Solutions View Post
I am currently using this one. By no means indestructible but it does the job well and is fairly cheap.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...00_i00_details
Just do not use the top 2.5 bay for failing 2.5 HDDs that you are cloning. You want to give it plenty of breathing room.
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