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Thread: Sandberg USB 3.0 Hard Disk Cloner

  1. #1
    Xtreme Reviewer
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    Apr 2011
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    420

    Sandberg USB 3.0 Hard Disk Cloner

    Introduction

    The main reason why i got the Sandberg USB 3.0 Hard Disk Cloner in for review is because we had a real-world practical use for the cloning facility that the device offered. If you've ever considered upgrading your laptop or desktop drive, but were intimidated by the prospect of copying a bunch of files, the Sandberg USB 3.0 Hard Disk Cloner was made for you.This handy new product makes drive duplication a fast, no-brainer process and should make life easier for those in an IT shop who regularly change out drives or a home enthusiast who likes to upgrade his or her system.



    As a dock, the USB 3.0 Hard Disk Cloner's selling point would be how it hard drives can be quickly accessed or removed.




    Packaging & Contents


    The Sandberg USB 3.0 Hard Disk Cloner comes in a modest-sized white box wrapped in thin plastic.The usage of colours and graphics are at a minimum, giving the product a professional look. The front of the box gives a nice image of the product along with a quick enumeration of features, such as hard drive support, operating system support and supported connectors.



    The back of the box describes the features and specifications of the Hard Disk Cloner in more detail.The box also states a long 5 year warranty with the product.Such a long warranty period clearly shows that Sandberg backs the quality of their product.



    The right and left sides of the packaging retains the clean look of the overall package, with a simple picture of the product.



    The scope of delivery for the Sandberg USB 3.0 Hard Disk Cloner includes the power adapter, USB 3.0 cable, user manual and of course the dock itself.



    The power adapter included with the Sandberg USB 3.0 Hard Disk Cloner is rated at 12V and 2A.It does not have a ground plug and, in comparison to other power adapters, it is quite small.Its cord is fairly thin and should be easy enough to route through tight corners or small holes. It has a generous length of approximately 6 feet. The coaxial power connector has an inside diameter of about 2.1 mm and an outside diameter of about 5.4 mm, which is fairly standard for these connectors.




    A Closer Look

    The actual design of the Sandberg USB 3.0 Hard Disk Cloner is best described as a mini toaster as it has two slots at the top (Source-1 and Target-2) which are used to place your 3.5/2.5" SATA hard drives inside.



    The aluminum housing provides firm standing and elegant looking.Thanks to its aluminum finish, the dock station is not a fingerprint magnet.The top has a slight decreasing incline from back to front.



    Other than having a rectangular shape, the Sandberg USB 3.0 Hard Disk Cloner has a top cover that can be lowered.By default, the cover has two openings that allows for the usage of two 2.5" hard drive or two 3.5" drives.



    Once lowered it will allow the installation the drives.The depth of the slot for the hard drive is about 3 cm, which is more than sufficient to secure the hard drive.However its not that bulky and despite the plastic feel it feels quite sturdy and sits well on the desk due to its rubberised feat.



    At the front there is a series of four LED's which are used to determine when the cloning facility is taking place.



    At the back is the USB 3.0 port.Also you will find an On/Off switch, a duplicate button (used for cloning) and the DC-in connector port (mains charger).



    Here is the pcb inside the unit.



    At the bottom of the Sandberg USB 3.0 Hard Disk Cloner, a small white label gives information on the docking station, such as the the UPC code.



    Four small rubber feet are located at each corner.These help reduce the vibration caused by an installed hard drive to be transferred to the surface the Hard Disk Cloner is placed on. Their overall vibration dampening is quite good, but larger rubber or silicone feet would have been preferable.They also grip wooden surfaces, such as a desk, very well.



    In the photos below, i have setup one 2.5" and one 3.5" HDD to test the duplication function of the dock.




    Performance

    Connecting the device to your PC via USB 3.0 enables you to access the drive and move files to and from it extremely quickly.All data in HDD2 will be deleted once clone operation is started.HDD combination can be of either or both 2.5” and/or 3.5” SATA HDDs,as long as HDD2 is equal to or bigger than HDD1 on capacity.The device has two primary functions, the first is the one we mentioned in our opening intro (i. e. the cloning facility), however it can also be used as an external hard drive.For example if you plug your hard drive into the bays you can then plug the whole unit into your USB port and the drives will appear in “My Computer”. What’s great about this is that we had two partitions on our hard drive and it allowed us to access them both as two separate drives.Transfer rate is also fast if you have a USB 3 connection, so expect speeds of up to 5Gbps (USB 2 is only 420Mbps).The only downside is that the drive does not come with any back-up software, so you will need to utilise existing software for this. But in fairness the drive is not marketed in this way, for example it simply allows you to plug in drives and access them in a convenient way using drag and drop file transfer.I found this more than useful, as i could access our previously cloned drive and copy files that i had accidentally deleted on my new hard drive.As for the cloning this is pretty simply to setup, all you do is put your existing SATA hard drive in the Source part and the new drive in the Target. However fitting the drives could be a little bit more secure, as they have a tendency to wobble if pushed.Still once they are in place all you do is hold down the duplicate key (whilst turning the device on) and a series of LED’s will flash to inform you that the cloning is taking place.I also noticed that the drives dont get really hot, but its advisable not to touch them when the cloning is happening anyway.Tests performed with the motherboards built-in USB 3.0 ports and unlike most reviewers, I chose not to test with the fastest hard drive on the market.I feel this skews the results that the average consumer will see because not everyone owns a 10,000 RPM HDD or cutting-edge top-of-the-line SSD.I chose to use a simple 1 TB Hitachi Deskstar 7200 RPM midrange hard drive.For hard drive performance testing I like to use Crystal Disk Mark as it seems to be industry-standard.



    As a whole the Sandberg USB 3.0 Hard Disk Cloner performed exceptionally Ill at all data block sizes.It was by far the fastest hard drive docking station I have reviewed to date.I only ran the data sets once each as I feel that running them multiple times and averaging the results to get a 0.10 difference is moot.I understand that averaging the data produces a metric of the average speed that consumers might see over time but to be honest even a 1.10 difference is not going to be noticeable.




    Conclusion

    The Sandberg USB 3.0 Hard Disk Cloner was by far the nicest hard drive dock I have tested to date.It’s solid construction and heavy feel makes it feel like it should be at a much higher price point than Sandberg has placed it at(52 Euro's).Aesthetically the Sandberg USB 3.0 Hard Disk Cloner is quite pleasing to the eyes.The docks anodized aluminum body and white abs top will complement your desk’s color scheme whether you’re a Mac or a PC user.I have used the drive over the two weeks,and transferred over a terabyte of data using it.Not once has a transfer failed or an error occurred. It has even helped me recover data from a failing hard drive.Transfer rates of long transfers have been above average and really seem like there is minimal speed drop over the duration of the transfer.Sandberg's USB 3.0 Hard Disk Cloner is incredibly useful, enabling you to easily turn old internal hard drives into external hard drives.So if you have a hard drive lying in an old PC that doesn't turn on any more, you can quickly take it out and plug it straight into the Sandberg USB 3.0 Hard Disk Cloner.Its excellent design makes it easy to insert hard drives – no tools are needed and the whole process is pretty similar to inserting bread into a toaster. After slotting in the hard drive it appeared in Windows 7 pretty much straight away.And after several weeks of using my cloned drive in my main PC i have to say that its cloning facility works like a charm!



    The two real advantages are that you can use it without any computer resources tied to it, and it performs an exact, sector-by-sector duplicate of your drive. Because it's a hardware-based clone, the OS doesn't matter.It works with Windows, Apple or Linux-based systems.Even the master boot record remains the same, so there's no system preparation required and the cloned drive works just like the original when you install it.The PC-less cloning feature really pushes this hard drive docking station into a class of its own.I can see this dock being a major productivity improving tool at PC repair shops around the country.Over-clockers, hardware testers, and power users in general will find this feature immensely useful, and if you’re just a normal everyday user I are sure that this feature will come in handy at some point.The Sandberg USB 3.0 Hard Disk Cloner thoroughly impressed me.I honestly went into the review expecting another run-of-the-mill hard drive docking station but what came out of the box simply blew me away.
    Last edited by testman78; 08-07-2014 at 11:25 AM.

  2. #2
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    Out of curiosity, did you happen to run an MD5 or other hashing function on the cloned drive before and after cloning? Curious from a forensics perspective.
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