StarTech IDE Drive Drawer/Mobile Rack Review

StarTech IDE Drive Drawer
Reviewer: Tyler DeGiacomo

With the price of IDE hard drives being dirt cheap now a days it is becoming more realistic to own supplementary drives for multiple operating systems, backups, redundancy, additional storage, etcetera. Personally, I've been swapping for years and chose to accommodate multi O/S functionality by separate drives for both Linux and Windows platforms.

The downfall to this of course would be physically removing drives each time to boot. Today we're going to take a look at a product from StarTech that eliminates the hassle of conventional drive swaps, allowing you to quickly add or remove from any PC with an available 5.25 inch drive bay without opening the computer.


  • Provides secure, removable high capacity data storage.
  • Ideal for mission critical control PCs where downtime must be minimized.
  • Supports Ultra ATA/66, ATA/100 and ATA/133 hard drives.
  • Rugged cast black aluminum construction with 2 ball bearing fans provides excellent heat dissipation.
  • 4 status LEDs indicate drive power, drive activity, and operating status of each fan.
  • Locking mechanism with key prevents the accidental removal of the drive when the system is operating.
  • Fits any 3.5 inch IDE hard drive.
  • Requires a PC with available 5.25" drive bay, drive connection cable, internal power cable.

The drive

The StarTech IDE Drive Drawer/Mobile Rack is constructed from a heavy aluminum casing with 2 ball bearing fans for additional cooling. The front of the unit has four status LEDs indicating drive power, drive activity, and operating status of each fan. A small turn key lock prevents accidental removal, along with a layer of security from passers by. It is compatible with IDE drives (7200 and 10,000 RPM) up to ATA 133 MB per second data transfer rate and any capacity. Removable drive sleds like StarTech's IDE Drive Drawer will function like any other hard drive in your personal computer, the only difference is that it installs into a 5.25 inch drive bay instead of a 3.5 inch. Having the drive exposed externally allows you to quickly add or remove the drive. No messing with internal power cables, IDE cables or screws, simply shutdown your PC, unlock the drive from the housing and pull the caddy out. This is ideal for swapping operating systems, off site backups, additional storage on a moments notice and redundancy.


Installation of the sled couldn't be easier. If you have ever installed a hard drive before, you'll encounter no issues. Be sure the drive drawer isn’t in the locked position, it should slide out with little effort. Then simply insert the drive into the drive drawer, connect the power & IDE cable, attach the screws provided with the unit and you are done.



The Good - Pros
  • Excellent quality
The Bad - Cons
  • Over priced
The Ugly - Problems
  • N/A
The Verdict - Opinion
  • This product would be beneficial in a small office environment or educational institute. But, with a price tag of around $136 USD it may not be the most cost saving option out there. As mentioned earlier, with the inexpensive price tag on IDE drives now a day, you may be better off putting up with the aggregation of conventional swapping than shelling out an extra $136 for portability. If portability out weights cost, then I would suggest buying this quality product.

Cost / Value: 


Overall score