Kingwin Big Drive - Dual SATA RAID Enclosure

Kingwin’s Dual SATA Enclosure holds 2 SATA drives in various RAID configurations.

The good guys at Kingwin were nice enough to send a sample of their Dual SATA RAID Enclosure to try out.

 

Key Features:

  • Supports JBOD, RAID 0, RAID 1, Safe 33 and Safe 50 RAID functions
  • USB 2.0 and eSATA ports
  • No software installation required
  • Temperature-controlled fa, LED activity/status lights
  • Size: 223 x 110 x 85 mm – 8.78 x 4.33 x 3.35 inches
  • Supports up to 2 TB total (Seagate up to 1.5 TB total)
  • Includes external aluminum case, USB/eSATA cables, manual and external power supply

 

What’s Inside

Removing four screws on the back opens the case:

 

 

One HD slot is on the PCB, the other rides inside the case with SATA power and data cables:

 

 

You can even use notebook size drives, although you’ll have to figure out how to secure them – nominally it’s for 3.5″ drives:

 

 

The various functions are set by jumpers located at the rear of the unit:

 

 

There is a small Setup button that must be pushed to recognize the drives when installed – if you don’t push it, the LEDs will blink RED and the drives will not be seen by the OS:

 

 

The rear shows the ON/OFF, power port, USB, eSATA and cooling fan:

 

 

Kingwin’s Big Drive ships with a Manual (Don’t lose this!), external power source and plugs, USB and eSATA cables, screws and jumpers:

 

 

 

Functionality

The manual is clear enough in what’s involved in setting up the enclosure for its various RAID functions. I developed a table to show what can be achieved with each setting – the “Virtual Drive” is what you’ll see in your OS; note the I used two different size drives to show what would happen in each case:

Setup

Drive 1 Size

Drive 2 Size

Virtual Drive Size

Comment

Big Span
120240360Virtual HD sum of two HDs
Normal
120240NAEach HD is seen by itself
RAID 0
120240360Virtual HD sum of two HDs – fastest access
RAID 1 – Safest
120240120Virtual HD smallest of two HDs, all data written equally to each HD
Safe 33
120240One 40 Safe HD, One 280 Big HDEach HD has 40 Safe, 280 across 2 HDs
Safe 50
120240One 60 Safe HD, One 240 Big HDEach HD has 60 Safe, 240 across 2 HDs

The most interesting settings are Safe 33 and Safe 50 – in these cases, each drive has a redundant sector in each drive with the remaining data over the two drives. This allows the user to allocate a portion in each drive as a secure backup, with the secure area equal to 1/3 or 1/2 of the smallest drive.Note that there is no software installation required – functions are set by jumpers on the PCB which is then recognized by the OS.

 

Conclusion

Kingwin’s Big Drive can give users some very interesting options for low cost hardware. I have a Dell Vostro 200 which is pretty much a basic box. Using Kingwin’s Big Drive, I can set up the Vostro 200 as a RAID 1 box for complete redundancy using an eSATA adapter to connect up to a SATA port. With a very nice array of functions to choose among, Kingwin’s Big Drive gives users lots of flexibility and a decent price.

Street price about $70.

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