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HDD Caddy for a 3.5' drive

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Jul 30, 2014
Hi all,

After some advice on an HDD caddy that won't cost me a great deal of money.

Wanting to know if there is anything to look out for when buying one?

Looking to buy from amazon, aliexpress or ebay.

Any recommendations would be great.

Purchased a 6TB HDD so I can actually keep a drive backups after all the mucking around over the last few months and getting super lucky I happened to make a backup before I made changes. I have realised how critical this is, currently just backing up OS drive to another drive partition. I would like to have a drive that has a back up for all drives that I can keep away from my own house should the worst happen.




Premium Member
Feb 1, 2011
Republic of Texas
Are you talking about a metal bracket? If so, take a re-moveable drive bay out of an old case and trim it to your personal specs. If you're talking about an assistant as in golf, they may want to get paid, fed, housed, and deloused regularly. Depending on what bridge you find them under.


Jul 30, 2014
lol meaning the attachment you can put on a normal internal HDD to use it as an external. That way I can back up my system then keep it off site.


Dec 26, 2019
I know what you mean, unfortunately some people here can be funny, not always at the right moment.

If you want something backed up, almost foolproof; There is a few points i suggest:

1. Use a endurable and reliable drive, not the trash that may leave you at almost any time. So the idea of using a "internal HDD" as an external is not bad at all. Still... the manufacturing got so much variation on its quality so that almost any drive can either be a good cherry or when bad luck even the best drive can fail. However... without some solid parts and "thick platter" the failure rate, especially the estimated lifetime of your data, is always reduced a big deal. 3.5 HDDs are very heavy, yeah... but the platter are way more solid compared to the smaller 2.5 inch, so in theory the data may last longer... just law of physics; more charge on a thicker platter means higher endurance.

2. Yes sure, the auto-backup of a system and whatelse might be cool for any lazy person out there but it will never be save from a good attacker able to encrypt anything on any drive actively connected, and in worst case... all data ist locked. Sometimes corrupt files or even malware can automatically be copied to the other drive by using a automated copy-process... so... it`s never good to be to lazy. The only true solution is always to make a backup, maybe once a week or once a month, depends on how important the data is to you or how frequently updated. And then you set your PC offline (no attacker possible), and i mean really offline, pull the plug of your modem. And then you may backup everything on the external HDD, when finish you may even keep this HDD on a fire-protected safe, then your data is very secure.

As long as anyone can access your backup drive... even fire... it is NEVER safe. And if this drive is so crappy, just by design... that it can leave you just about anytime.. it is never a good idea.

However, now the solution is difficult. Surely you do not want to use a NAS because this "center network storage" is not made for a true backup, it is made so that any PC in your network can access the files at any given time... but this is NOT a true backup. A true backup is always completly... and i mean by pulling the plug... offline, after backup.

My idea was simply to buy a quality external drive, already premade... with a good "3.5 HDD" inside. However, it seems like those already premade enclosures are not able to handle the high amount of heat generated by huge HDDs, for example a Ultrastar.

Not long ago i got a https://www.newegg.com/g-technology-g-drive-10tb/p/1E8-001A-000A0 which is basically a prebuild HDD enclosure of a fully scaled 3.5 SATA drive, and drive is already inside.

I was testing it and the performance of the drive, a Ultrastar DC-HC330 [WUS721010ALE6L4] https://documents.westerndigital.co...c300-series/data-sheet-ultrastar-dc-hc330.pdf is really good.


The only issue i have is that this drive is becoming extremely hot, way hotter than any drive i ever owned, one drive was peaking at 70 C and the other at 68 C. I got me 2 of them and was copying 2.77 TB of files from one drive to the other external drive. It took me exactly 3 h and 54 min (temp was measured just after the transfer was completed), so the average (sustained) transfer speed was 198 MB/s, so very close to 200 MB/s (formated with 4 KiB, could be faster with bigger cluster but it will take more space). I can tell you, if your data becomes very huge you will always be happy for some good performance because 2x faster means 4 h instead of 8 h... means a lot. If the size is twice that big... it will be 8h instead of 16h... the difference will become even more noticeable... and with even more size... it can only become worse. But of course i usually never make complete backup, usually i add new files to the archive... and will check redundancy manually (i dont trust a program).

So, anyway, it may look very hot and i may even contact the manufacturer of the enclosure because the involved drive is almost the worst they could put in. On the other hand... it doesn`t truly matter because the drive will only heat up that much when several TB moved, if only some houndred GB added... it will never go above 60 C. Idle is about 50 C, so yeah, the difference between full longtime-work temp and idle is huge, as high as 20 C. Sure, my room temp is currently high too... 28C, so the drive may become a few C cooler at average room temp.

When this process is done, you take it offline... because this is a backup and not a NAS. And if you want to expand your PCs "internal working drive"... installing games by using a USB-C port... i strongly recommend to use a SSD nowadays... for example the Samsung T5... i use it on my Surface 7 as an external Gaming- SSD, it got 1 TB space but can be as big as 2 TB, which is fully sufficient for almost any work.

So, i am not sure which enclosure could be even better than this (prebuild one) but if so you may want to use some active cooled one, because non active cooled enclosures may not be better than the G-Technology-G-Drive which got a pretty solid Alu-body... The issue is just, the huge 3.5 inch HDDs nowadays can simply produce A LOT OF HEAT, be aware of it. Again, if the drive is only heating up some hours a week... a huge platter drive can handle even up to 70 C, it may not truly hurt the long term endurance. It may only become a issue if you use it daily... as a "active and not backup drive". This is however nowadays stupid because the only reason to use a HDD is to have a very huge backup-space which can be replaced or upgraded rather cheap.

I think the WDD drives ABOVE 10 TB are not so hot because they still use "Helium-Seal" and it will allow them to use lesser energy, thus not heating up so much. As a everyday 24/7 drive.. NAS or something like that, i strongly recommend to use a Helium-Sealed drive with lesser energy consumption. Seagate is NOWADAYS using Helium-Seal for any drive 10 TB and above, while WD is using Helium-Seal for any drive above 12 TB, so be aware.

Again, for the backup drive it doesn`t really matter... the active "work time" is very low and the only thing that actually matters is that you have a bunch of really heavy platter inside. This is the case for the Ultrastar DC-HC330, because it uses lesser platter compared to the Helium-Seal HDDs. This is actually the only advantage of the Air-Sealed drives... they need lesser platter and therefor lesser mechanics too. It doesn`t reduce the "active life-time" it can achieve but the data on those heavy platter may be strored pretty well.

Still, not sure what enclosure to suggest... there is not so many good offers. There is just no market for it because most people that are looking for a external HDD simply buy a already premade external HDD. As a tradeoff, you never know whats inside... unless you was reading out the drive (which i did), then either you had luck or not so much luck. It is simply the way it works... and in general for a simple backup i can recommend those enclosures from G-Technology. However, not every HDD inside is always "the best deal", although they are using reliable Data-Center or Enterprise drives... so in general i can recommend it.

Of course i always use 2 backups, not only one... so if one backup drive is screwed... the other is still alive... common sense.


Dec 26, 2019
Well, i did lot of research, and now i found a custom case actually pretty close to the "G-Technology G-Tech", although one level higher in some terms, because

1. It got a advanced USB-Hub, this means you can basically connect 2 PCs (or Notebooks of course) at once and backing up both of them simultaneously. Although it would not make much sense as long as the HDD is slow... and there comes another step up:

2. You can chose the HDD yourself. And in general, i do not recommend a low end HDD or not even midrange, rather get a (really) big thing. The reason simply is: The manufacturers are using the best and coolest technology on the biggest drives only, above 12 TB or so (around 10 TB for Seagate).


If you go for low end or midrange (average is 10 TB nowadays) HDD, they may run hotter (cheap technology) and in this case either use it inside a ventilated PC or inside a ventilated NAS, but always ventilated. I was already testing the Ultrastar inside a comparable case... it`s not so fun if this is used like a usual drive, up to 24/7... this is certain. just running to hot in general.

However, either you use a small Alu-Case just as one of those (prebuild, or case only) or simply go for a huge ventilated one (PC or NAS)... all the other solutions i can NOT recommend!

The trick using such a "rather slim" Alu-Body is to use a cooler running huge HDD with good power saving technology. I will test out a more efficient Seagate Ironwolf Pro 16 TB https://www.newegg.com/seagate-ironwolf-pro-st16000ne000-16tb/p/N82E16822184804 on this case... will take up to 2 week. It will be interesting for me to see if there will be improvement in some cases, especially temperatures. The Ironwolf HDD i already got but the enclosure is pretty new (even got newest 3.2 Hub) and it will take a while to arrive. As this is a german manufacturer, it may be difficult to get in the US, i dunno.

So for now, keep tuned... just, i think there is no more really "good" solutions.

In short:
Passive: Either prebuild G-Technology G-Drive, or LC-35U3-C-HUB - Enclosure 8,89cm/3,5", which is actually a improvement but overall it can be more expensive.
Actice: NAS or PC (which pretty much would ruin the intention of having a external backup-only drive).