Hard Disk Duplicator Buyer's Guide
CHOOSING A HARD DRIVE DUPLICATOR
THE RIGHT HDD DUPLICATOR CAN SAVE YOU TIME AND MONEY
There's more than one way to make a hard drive copy, but when time is money, a hard drive duplicator is the best option. It is faster and simpler to use a disk duplicator than to use available software, especially when duplicating multiple disks. Organizations and individuals that work with hard drives on a regular basis turn to HDD duplicators for fast and accurate copies, increasing productivity and reducing costs.
A hard drive duplicator is designed specifically for making one or more copies, often without tying up a computer that might be needed for other functions. HDD duplicating software packages require users to add and remove hard drives to an existing system, something a typical PC is not designed to accommodate on a frequent basis.
A hard drive duplicator always has a source drive and at least one target drive. The source drive is the "master" drive that contains the information that needs to be cloned. The target drives are the hard drives onto which the duplicator will copy the source drive's data. For example, a 5-target duplicator can create five clone HDDs at a time.
QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER WHEN CHOOSING A HARD DRIVE DUPLICATOR
All disk duplicators perform the basic function of making copies, but there are a variety of features to consider. To find the combination of features that meets your needs you should consider the following topics:
1. JOB SIZE AND DEADLINE
HOW FAST DO YOU NEED THE HARD DRIVE DUPLICATOR TO GET THE JOB DONE?
Only duplicating or sanitizing a few hard drives at any given time?
2. FREQUENCY OF USE
WHAT TYPES OF DRIVES WILL YOU PROCESS WITH YOUR HARD DRIVE DUPLICATOR?
4. HOST PROTECTED AREAS
The host protected area (HPA) is an area of a hard drive that is not normally visible to an operating system. The HPA can be used by various booting and diagnostic utilities, normally in conjunction with the BIOS. Computer manufacturers may use the area to contain a preloaded OS for install and recovery purposes (instead of providing DVD or CD media), to hide utilities or to store software used by theft recovery and monitoring services. If you want to duplicate the HPA on your master disk, you will want to have a duplicator with a Copy Host Protected Area feature.
DO YOU NEED A HARD DRIVE DUPLICATOR THAT CAN ALSO SANITIZE YOUR HARD DISKS?
6. OTHER ADVANCED FEATURES
There are a variety of available advanced features that are not essential to the operation of your duplicator, but are worth considering:
CONNECTION OPTIONS FOR YOUR HARD DRIVE DUPLICATOR
The means of connecting to source and target drives will not be a primary factor in your decision, but when a choice is available, you may find you have a preference. Here are the options:
"table-top" and portable style hard drive duplicators. Using cables to attach hard drives can allow for more HDD compatibility, but they are more difficult and time-consuming to manage. For IDE drives, some cabling is almost always necessary.
A few duplicator devices connect directly to the hard drives. This is relatively simple to use, but you must have space for the hard drives, which are exposed
Hard Drive Bays
Typically work only for SATA hard drives but are very quick and easy to use. Just open the bay door, slide the drive in and close the door. You're done mounting the hard drive. Most of these kinds of bays are compatible with 3.5" SATA hard drives and can work with 2.5" SATA hard drives with an adapter.
Hard Drive Docks
Used in some low-capacity duplicators. These are open bays into which you place drives like you would put bread slices into an old-fashioned toaster. This style of hard drive duplicator is even quicker and easier to use than those with hard drive bays, but the docks do not protect your drives as well. Also, the mounting is not always as secure.
Built into some systems to serve as docking bays for hard drive trays. You connect the hard drives via cables or direct-connect inside the trays and have the option of putting a cover over the tray to fully enclose the hard drive. These trays offer the advantage of physically protecting your hard drives but take more effort to mount and dismount than other options. One benefit of HDD trays is that they can sometimes allow the same duplicator to accept both SATA and IDE drives.
As with any high technology product, it's important to consider the reputation and qualifications of the manufacturer when choosing your hard drive duplicator.
If you carefully consider your needs and available features, it will be a breeze to select the Hard Drive Duplicator that's right for you. You'll be on your way to enjoying increased productivity, saving time and money.
Aleratec offers a variety of standalone hard drive duplicators which copy from a single source hard disk drive to up to eleven target hard disk drives. The tower-style duplicators also support Secure Erase and Overwrite sanitization for the decommissioning of used hard disk drives. Aleratec's line of Hard Drive Duplicators currently includes:
Check the chart below to find the Aleratec Product that meets your needs and link directly to the product page.