After opting to replace the hard drive in my MacBook, I knew I needed an enclosure for the new one in order to clone the disk. I also figured I’d use it for other hard drives I had laying around in the meantime. I hopped onto the handy search bar at Amazon and typed “external sata to usb hard drive enclosures”.
You might be wondering what SATA is, and why I searched for it on Amazon. SATA stands for Serial ATA, and it’s a means of connecting your SATA compatible hard drive with a bus port on your computer, such as USB or Thunderbolt.
Of course, I looked for the highest rated one, and I found it immediately in the form of the “Sabrent Ultra Slim USB 3.0 to 2.5-Inch SATA External Aluminum Hard Drive Enclosure [Model] (EC-UK30)” Quite a mouthful, so I’ll refer to it as the enclosure for the rest of this article. It came in at $13, off from the $25 retail price, which made it a very tempting purchase.
Now, my laptop doesn’t currently support USB 3.0, but when I upgrade this spring it will. Thankfully, it’s backwards compatible, so why not pay the extra 7 bucks and be forward thinking? In the future, it will pay off.
I went ahead and purchased the enclosure, and after about a week it arrived at my post office. I opened up the package to find:
- A Philips #00 screwdriver
- The enclosure
- A (HORRIBLY SMELLY) sleeve
- The USB 3.0 cable
- Two Philips #00 screws
Here’s how to install a hard drive in the enclosure:
After I installed the drive, I plugged it into my computer. The blue light on the front lit up, and I was in business. I opened up Disk Utility and began a restore from my existing hard drive to the new hard drive in the enclosure. Once it was done, I shut down my computer, held option with the drive plugged in, selected it and hit enter. My laptop began to boot from the drive like normal, at the same speed. I got inside after entering my password and all of my stuff was there, meaning the restore was successful. I shut down my computer again and installed the drive that I just had in the enclosure into my computer, and put my old drive into the enclosure.
Back to the enclosure…
It’s made of aluminum, and it has a slick black, brushed metal look that I love. The cable was very stiff when I opened it for the first time, but it’s loosened up gradually. The cable is also quite thick.
The sleeve is by far the worst part of the enclosure. It’s thankfully not necessary, so I don’t use it. Why? It smells like absolute crap. I don’t know if it’s chemicals they treated it with, or the material itself, but I guarantee even a freaking elephant would pass out at the smell. It’s that bad. I let it air dry outside and it began to smell slightly better. And it isn’t even there for much protection. It’s maybe as thick as ten sheets of paper, and is made of fake leather that scuffs and scratches very easily. I was absolutely not pleased with it.
With an SSD inside the enclosure, my guess is that it would run far faster, especially on USB 3.0 with a supported computer.
Overall, this is a good buy. My suggestion is to throw away the sleeve like I did, unless you’ve got an elephant infestation or something along those lines. It really sucks. But the enclosure looks great, and is really sturdy. It’s both Mac and PC compatible, so there should be no problems in that area.
Do you think this is a good product? Do you have one? Will you get one? Let me know in the comments, or as always, fire away on Twitter. I’m always there.