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Vantec NexStar 2 External HDD Enclosure Review - Installation

Not too long ago we took a look at the original NexStar HDD Enclosure. While it had a few quirks, it did manage to provide a workable means of using that old hard drive in an external manner and even did well as far as data transfer rates go. We'll take a look at the performance of the new model, but we'll also look hard to see if the problems of the past have been addressed in the present!

By: | Enclosures/Externals in Storage | Posted: Sep 29, 2004 4:00 am
TweakTown Rating: 9.5%Manufacturer: Vantec

Installation Notes



When it comes to an external hard drive enclosure, installation is a no-brainer. This isn't rocket science, after all, so the only requirement is to allow an interface between the drive and the system. Of course, it is also helpful to have a device that makes this transition as easy as possible.


When you remove the top cover of the NexStar 2 enclosure, you have an empty space that will soon be filled with a standard 3.5" hard drive. Like most of the other similar products on the market, you'll be able to utilize up to a 300GB drive through this unit. While I won't be testing a drive nearly that large, it is nice to know we aren't very limited on size when it comes to compatibility.



The cabling mounted inside the enclosure will cover all needs of the drive being used. You have a 40-pin IDE ribbon cable and a standard sized Molex connector for power to the drive. I was glad to see a flat cable being used in this version since it will allow you to manipulate it during drive installation. I'll show you a little later of what I mean regarding this.



After adding in a little Seagate 40GB drive into the mix, we can see how those rubber mounts work. Since they are formed to fit around the screw posts, there isn't any chance to get it in wrong. It only fits one way. I'm sure you could probably force it in wrong, but there is no need. Remember the KISS methodology; Keep It Simple Stupid!



Here is another improvement made from the old model. If you'll recall, when I installed this very hard drive into the original NexStar, the cabling did not have room enough to be stashed anywhere. It was also incredibly difficult to even get the top cover mounted since the cable was sitting too high in the enclosure. It just goes to show you that manufacturers look at issues brought out in product reviews and act on them. With the NexStar 2 device, that flat ribbon cable will fold neatly under the drive and give you plenty of clearance to attach the cover plate; all without having to tuck, pry and cuss during the installation process.



The final part of the installation is to snap the four brackets into place. They have small protrusions inside each edge so they can be mounted into the screw holes of the covers. Just make sure to have the small rubber feet all pointing the same direction. Though not necessary for vibration dampening, they will make sure the surface area where this device is sitting won't get marred if it gets moved around.




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