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flashyprince

Hard drive docking stations that can support the biggest capacities?

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hi guys, i love those little devices...these hard drive docking stations...its super useful for me when i want to do my regular back ups. i do seem to notice that in their product descriptions, they seem to indicate that capacities supported on these docking stations lag behind the largest hard drive capacities available. a lot of them wont go past 2 or 4TB....but these are "tested" capacities...so im wondering maybe larger drives would work, but its just that they havent been tested yet or werent even on the market when the product description was made.

im really looking forward to buying a docking station. preferably one with 2 slots, that could support 8TB drives or more..

anybody knows if this is already on the market..? or it is to be expected soon.

thanks.

post-70424-0-79941200-1456506909.jpg

Edited by flashyprince

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The only limit of concern lately is the 2TB drive limit, if a SATA to USB docking station says it supports drives 3TB, 4TB, or larger, you should be good for any disk currently on the market.

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really? that has something to do with the 64 bit OS correct?..

For USB storage it means the device supports 16 byte commands (so these can be used instead of 10 byte commands, which are limited to 2 TB). Of course, you also need an OS which supports 16 byte commands itself, but it doesn't have to be a 64 bit OS. Something like Windows 7 x86 supports >2TB disks just fine.

BTW: You can check for support even without having a drive >2TB available by simply checking if the 16 byte commands are implemented.

The reason why you see those "tested capacities" in advertisements, because those resellers don't really have a clue what they sell. They order a container full of some USB gadgets from a Chinese OEM and then "test" what works with it.

Fun fact: eSATA never had any capacity limits. I have still have old USB 2.0 docking stations, which work fine with 4 and 6 TB drives using the eSATA ports.

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thanks people..........you guys are hardcore pundits.. i think everyone should own docking stations....its amazing for offsite backups...i just put the drives in one of those cases and ship them to grandma's place.... pretty effective against disasters or burglaries....

only a nuclear strike on my entire city would destroy my data.

cru_dataport_3851_0000_11_drivebox_anti_

Edited by flashyprince

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On 3/6/2016 at 9:13 AM, jtsn said:

BTW: You can check for support even without having a drive >2TB available by simply checking if the 16 byte commands are implemented.

 

Hello jtsn,

i've been getting mad with dual docking stations. I've ordered two from Amazon, one from Salcar, one from Inatek, and they both have issues with HDs larger than 2GB. They both advertise support up to either 8TB or 10TB hds but then they don't work. I also have a single slot docking station from Atlantis (DK32) which supports hds larger than 2GB just fine.

Attached you can see a 8TB hard-disk with a single 8TB partition (ofc it's GPT) how is seen from the Inatek/Salcar stations (top) and how it's normally and correctly seen in the Atlantis DK32 (OS is Windows 10 64 bit with all latest patches).

How would i proceed to check if the docking station supports 16 byte commands ? 

If im not fooling myself i've understood that some devices use SCSI commands on top of all this mess and if that's true is it the problem about supporting READ CAPACITY(16), READ(16), WRITE(16) and so on ?

DOCKING_INATEK_1_NOT_WORKING.jpg

DOCKING_ATLANTIS_WORKING.jpg

Edited by suppahmop

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Kixs97 did you try to create _one_ large partition (GPT formatted disk) bigger than 2TB on the drive ? (like the pic I posted above)

That's the real test to do to see if the size is supported.

Edited by suppahmop

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On 3/25/2019 at 12:38 PM, suppahmop said:

Hello jtsn,

i've been getting mad with dual docking stations. I've ordered two from Amazon, one from Salcar, one from Inatek, and they both have issues with HDs larger than 2GB. They both advertise support up to either 8TB or 10TB hds but then they don't work. I also have a single slot docking station from Atlantis (DK32) which supports hds larger than 2GB just fine.

Attached you can see a 8TB hard-disk with a single 8TB partition (ofc it's GPT) how is seen from the Inatek/Salcar stations (top) and how it's normally and correctly seen in the Atlantis DK32 (OS is Windows 10 64 bit with all latest patches).

How would i proceed to check if the docking station supports 16 byte commands ? 

If im not fooling myself i've understood that some devices use SCSI commands on top of all this mess and if that's true is it the problem about supporting READ CAPACITY(16), READ(16), WRITE(16) and so on ?

DOCKING_INATEK_1_NOT_WORKING.jpg

DOCKING_ATLANTIS_WORKING.jpg

The simplest check for 16 byte commands is to boot Linux and check the kernel log. But you only need to do that if you don't have the drive size available for compatibility testing. If you already have an 8 TB drive, you simply check if that works or if it doesn't like in the example above.

In the example above Windows sees the protection MBR, but is missing the GPT itself. This tells us that the USB docking station doesn't report the correct sector size (512e) and instead reports a different one (4096). This is an old workaround for USB enclosures, which can use up to 16 TB HDDs with 10 byte commands (but will still fail at any drive size above it).

This won't work with drives formatted for internal use and drives formatted in this docking station won't work anywhere else, making it entirely useless for a HDD docking station intended to work with internal drives. It just shows, that those no-name China back-alley manufacturers with pseudo-brands like "Inatek" or "Salcar" don't really know what they are actually doing. And that is no surprise.

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