These days I’ve got a lot of bare hard drives lying around.
Actually, I’ve got quite a few drives in hard drive drawers like the one to the left. They’re great for backing up things on my own system, but not the best way of getting drives to other people (because other people usually don’t have the tray that the drawer slides into). I sometimes use these drawers to transfer drives anyway, but it’s kind of a pain-in-the-butt for the recipient to have to unscrew all the tiny little screws when it arrives.
You would think that these days, with so many people using bare drives and drive docks for storage, that there would be plenty of solutions for storing said hard drives.
For some reason, this is not so.
Wiebetech sells a bare drive case that seems to work pretty well, but $7 a pop plus shipping (which is hilariously more expensive than the plastic box itself, at $7.23) seems extremely steep for what amounts to no more than a VHS Cassette case with the dimensions of a hard drive –no padding or anything. Seriously? I mean, I can’t imagine it could cost more than $.22 to mold plastic into a shape.
The only other thing I’ve seen (pictured at right) is on Ebay, and it isn’t much cheaper at $6 per container, though it’s still a win, because that includes shipping. You get a little break buying 5 at a time (5 for $20) but you’ve got to wait for them to arrive from Hong Kong.
I went ahead and took the plunge with the multi-colored boxes. They’re a good, snug fit, but I have no idea how “anti-static” they are (as the Ebay seller claims). I think they’ll do a decent job of keeping dust off the drives, but they don’t offer much in shock protection (from a drop). The only kind of “padding” is a small piece of foam in the lid that keeps the drive from wiggling around when the lid’s closed.
I should also point out that the “hinge” for the lid is just a really thin piece of plastic. I am certain that the hinge will not last long with anything but the gentlest of handling.
Still, it would seem that this is as good as it gets for bare drive storage these days. Let’s hope somebody comes up with something better in the near future.
UPDATE (4-14-11): Believe it or not, there is really nothing new to report here. Someone posted a link in the comments a while back (thanks, Brent!) to a place in China called Meritline.com that sells the cases I was getting from Ebay for even cheaper (around $3 a piece, shipped), and I just made my first purchase. I’m a little worried about giving my credit card number to an online company in China, but I did a little research and they seem to be legit, so I guess we’ll see!
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