Drive Installation

By Loyd Case  |  Posted 2003-01-16 Print this article Print

The small manual -- more a pamphlet -- has all the salient details you need to know to install the drive. One issue thats not mentioned in either the manual or the Belkin web site is that the drive is apparently limited to 137GB -- the logic board no doubt has its own BIOS, and Belkin hasnt implemented 48-bit logical block addressing (LBA) yet. If you try to use a drive larger than 137GB, you will likely encounter errors. We first tried a 200GB drive, but couldnt format any size above 132GB. Then we dropped in a 200GB drive that had been formatted as an ATA drive. At first, it seemed to work, but we encountered sector read errors when the innermost tracks were being accessed. While its true that hard drives in excess of 137GB have been pretty rare until recently, were still disappointed that the drive enclosure apparently lacks support for 48-bit LBA. Installing the drive is incredibly easy. All hard drives have four small screws on the bottom, in addition to the traditional screws on the sides. These bottom mount points are the ones you use for attaching the drive.
One other issue you need to be careful about is the master/slave setting. According to the manual and a warning sticker inside the case, the drive must be set to master. If its a Western Digital drive, make sure you set it to "master/no slave". All you need to do is connect the IDE and power cable, attach four screws through the bottom of the case, and connect the top half to the bottom half. The side bezels snap on, and youre done. One of the aspects of this enclosure we appreciated is the noise -- or lack of it. Weve seen external enclosures with fans that sound vaguely like a loud vacuum cleaner. Once completed, the enclosure (with its fan and internal drive) is quieter than typical PC case noise, so you cant really hear it. Even in a quiet room, its pretty quiet. The most significant omission in this case is the lack of a FireWire connector, but USB 2.0 is plenty speedy.

Loyd Case came to computing by way of physical chemistry. He began modestly on a DEC PDP-11 by learning the intricacies of the TROFF text formatter while working on his master's thesis. After a brief, painful stint as an analytical chemist, he took over a laboratory network at Lockheed in the early 80's and never looked back. His first 'real' computer was an HP 1000 RTE-6/VM system.

In 1988, he figured out that building his own PC was vastly more interesting than buying off-the-shelf systems ad he ditched his aging Compaq portable. The Sony 3.5-inch floppy drive from his first homebrew rig is still running today. Since then, he's done some programming, been a systems engineer for Hewlett-Packard, worked in technical marketing in the workstation biz, and even dabbled in 3-D modeling and Web design during the Web's early years.

Loyd was also bitten by the writing bug at a very early age, and even has dim memories of reading his creative efforts to his third grade class. Later, he wrote for various user group magazines, culminating in a near-career ending incident at his employer when a humor-impaired senior manager took exception at one of his more flippant efforts. In 1994, Loyd took on the task of writing the first roundup of PC graphics cards for Computer Gaming World -- the first ever written specifically for computer gamers. A year later, Mike Weksler, then tech editor at Computer Gaming World, twisted his arm and forced him to start writing CGW's tech column. The gaming world -- and Loyd -- has never quite recovered despite repeated efforts to find a normal job. Now he's busy with the whole fatherhood thing, working hard to turn his two daughters into avid gamers. When he doesn't have his head buried inside a PC, he dabbles in downhill skiing, military history and home theater.

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