Friday, November 13, 2009

32GB eSATA Thumbdrives

Many months ago, I bought a 32GB OCZ Throttle drive. It was awesome!

I like to use the Ultimate Boot CD for Windows (UBCD4Win). I've been using this on USB mostly for Ghosting and anti-virus scanning. Booting off USB is usually fast. (For some odd reason, booting of USB is sometimes slower than booting off a CDROM.)
The bad news about the UBCD4Win is that it boots off an ISO image, which is old technology and limited to 512MB. My collection of stuff is larger than 512MB, but I discovered that I can store the rest of my stuff outside the ISO and it is perfectly accessible as a separate drive after booting off my half-gig ISO. So it's easy to drop anti-virus updates onto it at any time with no hassles.
I was actually one of the geeks who worked on Bart's PE when booting off USB was impossible. I was damn nearly the first person to boot off USB back when the largest drive was 128MB, but the computer I was using was purported to be capable of booting off USB, but wasn't. Someone else beat me to it. Two weeks later, with a Dell D800, my 128MB stick booted up, but I would have had it by a week.
Today, think how fast you could boot the UBCD4Win off an eSATA drive! Vroom!

But I digress...
My OCZ worked for about 2 weeks. Then the eSATA stopped working. This was a surprise. OCZ is very good quality, but this one died. In fact, I suspect it blows every eSATA port it gets plugged into. I have a brand-new Windows 7 supercomputer, and the eSATA doesn't work. I suspect my OCZ blew it. We got a small handful of computers at work that each had eSATA ports, and my OCZ doesn't work on any of them. I suspect I blew them also by plugging my bad OCZ into them. Bummer!

Now I've bought a Kanguru 32GB eFlash. I can't get the eSATA to work, right out of the box, but like I said, I suspect my OCZ blows every eSATA port it gets plugged into, so my supercomputer at home might be bad. I've checked the BIOS and there are NO SATA settings!! Apparently everything is completely automatic when it comes to IDE and SATA on this ASUS motherboard.
So now I wonder - did I blow my new eSATA thumbdrive? Or is it just not initializing because the port is dead?

On to other things...
The USB end works on both drives, so they aren't useless.
The Kanguru partition was garbage. When I right-clicked to create a text file (just for testing), it wouldn't let me. So I created a blank text file on my computer and copied it to the Kanguru. That worked. Then I opened the text file and typed "test" and tried to save, but it wouldn't let me. Weird. It's not read-only, because I just copied this text file to the drive, but I can't create a new text file via right-click, and I can't save from within Notepad.
So I repartitioned and reformatted. Now it works fine - except for eSATA.

But eSATA is probably a waste, with USB3 on the horizon.

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