Physical Hard Drive Switch?

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gittiest personITW
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Re: Physical Hard Drive Switch?

Post by gittiest personITW »

@ absque fenestris

This one as you see has USB3 / 3.5" SATA / 2.5" SATA easy access.
Fancy some double glazing while I'm at it? Or life insurance? Or a car?
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absque fenestris
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Re: Physical Hard Drive Switch?

Post by absque fenestris »

gittiest personITW wrote:
Thu Oct 24, 2019 6:21 pm
@ absque fenestris

This one as you see has USB3 / 3.5" SATA / 2.5" SATA easy access.
Fancy some double glazing while I'm at it? Or life insurance? Or a car?
The mentioned "Chieftain" part has floppy disk size - a very nice and especially small 4 rack system could have been built with it. And the lock is ingeniously solved - copied from the SCSI Hotplug server systems, but in small format and just as a double use.
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gittiest personITW
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Re: Physical Hard Drive Switch?

Post by gittiest personITW »

absque fenestris wrote:
Thu Oct 24, 2019 7:02 pm
The mentioned "Chieftain" part has floppy disk size - a very nice and especially small 4 rack system could have been built with it. And the lock is ingeniously solved - copied from the SCSI Hotplug server systems, but in small format and just as a double use.
Very nice and handy. The older cases, although having lots of sharp bits in them, were quite efficient with their footprint.
Cases seemed to get more chunky over the last few years, and now it seems the really new ones are doing away with external bays altogether. Can't figure out why.
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redx87
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Re: Physical Hard Drive Switch?

Post by redx87 »

pendrifter wrote:
Thu Oct 24, 2019 9:10 am

I appreciate everybody's input, but my question still stands.
Why not just run each os on it's own computer.
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Pierre
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Re: Physical Hard Drive Switch?

Post by Pierre »

there was an method, used some years ago, where an caddy was inserted into the front of your desktop machine,
and then an pata grade hard-disk, was then inserted into that caddy.

it was widely promoted, at the time, as an great solution, to enable the transfer of large files,
and it worked great .. for an while, at least.

what happened later on, and was not widely discussed, as to why the promoter stopped using the caddy idea:
- the failure of the slide / contacts that were between the caddy & that hard-disk - - wore out, rather rapidly.
:o

later on, usb memory sticks, became much bigger & the Internet became much faster,
& thus the requirement of moving those large files, was negated.
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Re: Physical Hard Drive Switch?

Post by pbear »

pendrifter wrote:
Thu Oct 24, 2019 8:40 am
But the drive itself will still be visible, and what's worse, it will be visible as a potentially "unformatted" drive(!) What happens when Ten gets arrogant enough to see an "unformatted" drive and appropriate it?
In the "just because you're paranoid ..." department, look at this Forum thread where that very thing happened to a LUKS encrypted drive.

Can't help with the switch question, though. My solution is to use separate computers.
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Re: Physical Hard Drive Switch?

Post by SomeDudeInAZ »

That USB switch thingy is neat. I'll have to check that out.

Which also made me think of exactly what many others have said - Drive Caddies. I've seen them for SSDs and HDDs. Back in the day when I was doing IT we used to use them all the time (I think the brand then was ICY Dock). But a quick check on amazon shows plenty of options. Most bios I've seen will require a reboot when you switch.

I actually may pick up a couple myself for backups.

Also, your case may have that kind of option. My old Cooler Master (CM Storm) has an external drive bay built in for 2.5". So it's almost like the old days when I had to boot off a floppy disk :lol: Only this time it's SSDs that I pop in and out.

murray wrote:
Thu Oct 24, 2019 4:15 pm
If your hard drives connect via USB then you can get a USB hub that has switches for each USB port. This will allow you to turn on the USB port for the drive you want to use and leave the other one off.

This is the one I've got and it lets me leave USB devices plugged into the hub and switch them on and off as needed: https://www.pbtech.co.nz/product/USBMBE ... individual It even has a light next to each switch so I can see which are on and which are off. Oh, and it's a powered hub, so power isn't an issue
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Re: Physical Hard Drive Switch?

Post by chiefjim »

RIH wrote:
Thu Oct 24, 2019 8:47 am
If you are really that worried then have Windows 10 installed on 1 USB drive & Linux installed on another.
Then only plug in the USB OS you want to run.

For me.. Pierre's advice would be good to go.. but I don't worry about an great deal of 'stuff' that other folks do.. :D
This is where I prefer docking stations. USB 3.0 or SATA. Pop in the hard drive of your choice. When done out comes the drive rendering it safe.
Wade
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Re: Physical Hard Drive Switch?

Post by Wade »

This may be what you are looking for:

Kingwin Hard Drive Power Switch Module for 2.5 inch/3.5 inch SATA
https://www.amazon.com/Kingwin-Optimize ... 00TZR3E70/

I bought 2 of these today at Fry's. It has good reviews on Amazon. I will post a follow up in a few days to tell how it worked for me.
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Re: Physical Hard Drive Switch?

Post by lsemmens »

HaveaMint wrote:
Thu Oct 24, 2019 5:53 pm
You could run mint only and with virtual box run win 10.
+1

This, IMO is the best solution. What is so critical that you need windwoes for, anyway?
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Re: Physical Hard Drive Switch?

Post by Petermint »

Way back in the 2018s, I removed a 3.5" SATA slot from the front of my desktop. They are a neat way to swap disks so long as the power is off. Some of them also fit 2.5" disks.

eSATA and USB 3.1 provide sufficient speed for a good SATA SSD or an mSATA SSD in the right enclosure. If you have either port, plugging in different disks will work. For USB 3.1, it has to be genuine USB 3.1 "gen 2", not the fake "USB 3.1 gen 1".

Paranoia is just another name for the PTSD caused by Windows 8 and 10. While I am typing, I have clonezilla running in an attempt to save a friend's data from a Windows machine. The disk started failing months ago and Windows decided to hide the problem until the disk could no longer boot. :shock:
Wade
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Re: Physical Hard Drive Switch?

Post by Wade »

Wade wrote:
Fri Nov 01, 2019 11:15 pm
This may be what you are looking for:

Kingwin Hard Drive Power Switch Module for 2.5 inch/3.5 inch SATA
https://www.amazon.com/Kingwin-Optimize ... 00TZR3E70/

I bought 2 of these today at Fry's. It has good reviews on Amazon. I will post a follow up in a few days to tell how it worked for me.
I have installed this hard drive power switch and highly recommend it. Installation was easy, and it works perfectly.

I have Windows and 2 Linux distros on 3 separate hard drives. I rarely ever use Windows, so I just leave that drive powered off most of the time, and whenever I do use it, I power off my Linux drives. This is probably the only safe way to have Windows on the same computer with Linux.
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Re: Physical Hard Drive Switch?

Post by mikejp56 »

Hi pendrifter,
Did you ever come up with a solution to this?
At one point during the early days of WinXP, I think, I wanted to dual boot from either one hd or the other without pulling and swapping. This was before SATA and the drives were PATA, and used the little 2 pin black jumper blocks to select Master, Slave, or Cable Select. I just wired the Master pins of each hd to the outside terminals of a DPDT switch, and tied the 2 center terminals together. This way, whatever hd was selected would be the Master, and the other one was disabled. This worked like a charm for many years. This might work for you.
Regards,
Mike
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Re: Physical Hard Drive Switch?

Post by Lady Fitzgerald »

Although a pair of drive switches would be ideal, the only front mounted drive switches I've ever seen were for either four drives or six drives, which is rather inelegant for only two drives (although a four drive switch wouldn't be too cluttered looking). An alternative would be to install an internal hot swap bay and physically swap out the drives.

This is an example of a two bay trayless hot swap bay I have actually used with no problems. https://www.newegg.com/startech-com-hsb ... 6817998040 All you would have to do is poke in a bare drive with the OS installed on it (you can't switch between the two bays). You would need a 3.5" to 5.25" bay adapter if you have only 5.25" external drive bays in your case (that's what I used). The only one I've seen that is trayless like this one that would have only one bay is designed to be installed on the back of the computer in an empty PCI case slot. If you are the creative type, you might be able to adapt that one for front mounting.

A slightly more elegant solution in that it would have only one bay would be a hot swap bay that uses a tray to hold a 2.5" drive such as this one. https://www.newegg.com/startech-com-sat ... 6817998240 You would need another drive tray for each drive after the first one. https://www.newegg.com/startech-com-sat ... 6817998247 (BTW, when ordering from Newegg, be sure to buy only directly from Newegg, not their marketplace vendors: I linked only the Newegg listings). One advantage of using a single hot swap bay is you would need to tie up only one SATA data port.

Going back to switches, if you are the creative type, there are some PCI case slot cover mounted switches you might be able to modify for case front mounting. Two have four switches and one has only three. It shouldn't be too hard to remove the buttons from all but the two you want to keep and mount the assembly to a 5.25" or 3.5" bay cover modified to expose only the two remaining switch buttons. I'm fussy enough to tackle something like this but not everyone is so inclined. A two switch solution would tie up only two SATA data ports.

https://www.amazon.com/Switch-Module-In ... 301&sr=8-5

https://www.amazon.com/Control-Intellig ... 301&sr=8-6

https://www.amazon.com/Switch-protectio ... 301&sr=8-3
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