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I'm running XP Pro with 2 hard drives. The one is the master and the other a removable slave in a caddy. I want to know if there is a way to swap my slave hard drive with another slave hard drive whilst my PC is running ans still have Windows recognise its contents. At present I have to keep rebooting everytime I swap my slave drives. I shall be having ADSL soon and do not want to keep rebooting my system everytime I want to change my slave hd.
Do I make sense???
Under XP a removable hard drive fitted via a caddy is still attached via the standard EIDE connector, this means that it is not hot swappable as it is only detected on boot up. To achieve what you require you need to get hold of an external hard drive case with a USB connector/firewire if you have a firewire connector. This will allow you as with all USB devices to hot swap the hard drive. Bear in mind that if you do not have the USB2 standard, write/read between the external hard drive will be slow. Cases can normally be purchased from your local computer parts store, expect to pay between £30.00 to £45.00.
I've just bought a ViPower Super Rack which advertises itself as a USB/IDE solution and am suffering the same limitation. My understanding from the blurb on the box was that it enabled an ide drive to be plugged in as a USB device.
However, the USB connector was missing from the box. My friendly local computer store denied all responsibility and directed me to the distributor. I'm now in touch with him and he was unaware that this particular version was available in the UK. It also advertises itself as UDMA 133, and the distributor claims this won't be available here till September. You can contact him at [email protected]
Please forgive my ignorance, but is the external hard drive case to which you refer, just that i.e. only a case to house the actual drive? If so does it mean that any HDD can be fitted into the case, and can one drive be removed and another inserted and still be recognised by the O/S without unplugging the USB cable? Who makes these cases?
One other question. If my system only has USB1, will a USB2 5-port PCI card (such as made by Belkin) be OK for powering/connecting the external case?
Many thanks to all who responded. I guess the answer is no! I'm not in a position to invest in new hardware at the moment but I know now for future what is required,
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