A hard drive docking station can be a useful item to have in your arsenal of computer peripherals, especially for those that often need to swap large amounts of data between drives or need additional external storage. Inateck, a Germany-based company, sent us their new FD2002 USB 3.0 HDD Docking Station to have a look at, which also features offline cloning capabilities. So, let’s have a good look at this Inateck docking station and see what it’s capable of and how well it performs.
Specifications and Features
Here are the specifications as provided by Inateck. Of note here is support for both 3.5″ and 2.5″ HDDs up to 4 TB in size (OS dependent), USB 3.0 interface, and cloning capabilities.
|Inateck FD2002 Dual Bay USB 3.0 HDD Docking Station Specifications|
|Product Name||USB 3.0 Dual SATA HDD Docking Station|
|Product Type||Inateck FD2002|
|Weight||410 g / 0.903 lbs|
|Supported Capacity||Up to 4 TB|
|Supported Drives||2.5″/3.5″ SATA I/II/III HDD/SSD|
|Hot Plug, Plug & Play||Supported|
|Measurements||150 x 109 x 60 mm (L/W/H)
5.91 x 4.29 x 2.36 in (L/W/H)
|Operation Environment||Storage: -40 to 70 °C; Operation: 5 to 55 °C|
|OS Support||XP/Vista/7/8(32/64-bit), Mac OS, Linux|
UASP transfer protocol is supported when using SSD HDDs in combination with a USB host controller that supports UASP.
Offline cloning offers a quick and easy way to duplicate one hard drive to another. There are limitations to this function as it can only clone to a drive of greater capacity than the source drive. This means cloning to a target drive that is the same capacity as the source drive is not possible either. However, there are advantages to using a docking station such as this to perform drive cloning. You don’t need any software installed on the PC; and in fact, you don’t even need a PC to perform this function. The cloning feature works independent of your PC, and all the cloning is done within the docking station itself, which means cloning portability!
The Inateck FD2002 also offers integrated safeguards, Hot-Swap and Plug and Play functionality, and a tool-free design.
- Integrated safeguards preventing overvoltage, leak currents, short circuits and peak voltage, interference and disturbance, guaranteed safer data transfer and access.
- Hot Swap , Plug and Play , No Reboot and Additional Driver is needed; LED activity indicator, clear and informative display; Perfect solutions for your external storage.
- Tool – Free design allow to mount Hard Drive in three second without Tools and Mounting Screws, Allow to accessing multi Hard Drives Externally and Easily.
The retail box does a good job of explaining the product within. Looking around the box, you’ll find a complete list of features, specifications, and product support information.
Opening the box reveals a plastic dust cover protecting the docking station. It might be a good idea to keep this close by for those times when the unit won’t be used for an extended period of time. At the bottom of the box are the USB 3.0 cable, power adapter, and instruction manual.
The Inateck FD2002 Dual Bay USB 3.0 HDD Docking Station – Up Close
At the top of the docking station, we have a series of LED lights along the left side that indicate power on, which slot is occupied with a HDD, and the progression of a cloning operation. Also located on the left side is the button you press to initiate the cloning process. As you can see by the picture below, each of the drive openings are cut out to support 2.5″ drive installation. At the back of the docking station, you’ll find the power switch, USB connection, and power adapter connection. The bottom of the unit has four rubber pads to keep the unit from sliding around on the surface.
Testing and Performance
The cloning function is the first thing we wanted to try out, so we grabbed a 320 GB HDD that has a copy of Windows 7 and other applications installed on it. We used this as our source drive. Here is what the drive looked like in Windows Disk Management.
Keeping with the requirement of the target drive being larger than the source drive, we grabbed a 1 TB drive and inserted it into slot B. Here is what we now have in Windows Disk Management.
To begin the cloning process, you need to press the clone button for about three seconds. When you release the button, you should see the 100% LED illuminate. Quickly press the clone button a second time to start the process. At this point, you’ll see the 25% LED rapidly flashing to let you know the process of cloning has started. The 25% LED will eventually stay solid, and the 50% LED will start flashing rapidly. Rinse and repeat until the 100% LED is solid, and your cloning process will then be finished. In our case, it took 62 minutes to complete the cloning process; but completion time will vary depending on HDD size.
After the cloning process completed, the picture below shows what happened to the rest of the 1 TB HDD’s capacity. Basically, it’s just left as unallocated space. You can either partition that unallocated space how you wish, or extend the OS partition to utilize it.
For transfer rate testing, we plugged the docking station into one of the USB 3.0 ports on an ASUS Maximus VI Impact. The USB 3.0 ports are controlled by an Intel I217-V Gigabit LAN controller. We didn’t have a SATA 6 GB/s platter hard drive to test transfer rates with, so we ran ATTO and Anvil benchmarks on the SATA 3.0 GB/s 1 TB drive we used during the cloning process. Here are those results.
Next, we installed a Samsung 840 Pro 256 GB SSD to test SSD transfer speeds. As expected, the transfer speeds were miles ahead of the numbers above. Pretty impressive numbers when you consider they’re from a USB connection.
Before Inateck contacted us about doing a review or two, we hadn’t heard of them before. If they keep making products that work and perform as well as this docking station does, it won’t be long before they become a well known entity. The FD2002 Dual Bay USB 3.0 Docking Station did everything Inateck said it would and did it very well. The cloning feature worked excellent, and we like the fact you can perform that function without the unit being hooked to a PC. You can take the docking station anywhere you have a power outlet and clone away. Transfer speeds were adequate with the older platter drive we tested, but really came to life when a SSD was installed and tested. Good stuff there!
As far as pricing goes, the FD2002 Dual Bay USB 3.0 Docking Station can be purchased at Amazon for $36.99. That, my friends, is an absolute bargain considering everything this unit can do. If you’ve been looking for a dual bay docking station with cloning capabilities, this Inateck offering should definitely be on your short list.