Sunday, June 7, 2009

Transcend StoreJet35 Ultra eSATA+USB on Linux

I use a 1TB ST31000333AS Seagate SATA HDD for backing up my data using rsync. A crontab entry makes sure that backups are taken everyday. I used to use a standard USB to SATA HD enclosure for connecting it to my system. But since USB 2.0 is limited to 480Mbps, I was trying to find an eSATA+USB enclosure to replace my existing one. My first choice was Coolermaster Xcraft 350. None of the dealers I tried contacting in Hyderabad/Chennai were able to procure it for me. In fact they were not able to get me any eSATA enclosures or docking stations. I almost ordered a eSATA docking station from Amazon (a friend of mine was returning back from the US), but Amazon was not able to process payments from my Mastercard. It was by chance that I came across a dealer selling the Transcend StoreJet35 at My earlier attempts of procuring this from Hyderabad/Chennai had also failed. Since the price (in my opinion) was reasonable (it included shipping as well), I ordered for one and got it delivered. As I was transferring the HDD from the older USB-only enclosure to the eSATA one, it struck me that I had forgotton to check it for compatibility on Linux. A quick check on the product specifications was discouraging; only USB was known to work on Linux. I decided to trust my luck and after transferring the HDD to the eSATA enclosure, I plugged it to my system running Ubuntu/9.04. I found that the disk was indeed being recognised. However unlike USB devices which are automatically mounted when plugged in, I had to manually mount the volumes on the disk. I plan to see how I can handle automounting of eSATA disks.

ps: In hindsight, it was really fortunate that I did not get my hands on the Xcraft350. While browsing around the internet I came across a picture showing its internals. Is rather messy inside compared to the StoreJet35.

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