Mini Storage Tower Q&A

 

Q. What storage devices can be installed into the Mini Storage Tower?
A. Any standard 3.5" IDE or Serial ATA hard drives can be installed inside the Mini Storage Tower using screws, without need for any additional mounting brackets. 2.5" IDE or Serial ATA Hard Drive Mobile Racks such as the Jupiter Cipher Mobile Rack, can be installed inside the Mini Storage Tower as convenient removable drive bays. 2.5" IDE or Serial ATA hard drives also also be installed inside the Mini Storage Tower, but 2.5" Serial ATA hard drives will need the 3.5" bay mounting bracket, and 2.5" IDE hard drives will need the 2.5" IDE hard drive kit to mount onto the Mini Storage Tower.

Q. How are the storage devices inside the Mini Storage Tower connected to the eSATA, USB, or Multilane port of the computer?
A. Depends on the interface of the drive. In the case of a SATA device, it connects to the SATA cable inside the Mini Storage Tower. The SATA cable is connected on the other end to a eSATA connector mounted on the back panel of the Mini Storage Tower. You can then connect an eSATA cable from the back panel of the Mini Storage Tower to the eSATA port of any computer.

In the case of an IDE or ATAPI device, an IDE to Serial ATA converter board would be required to convert the IDE device into Serial ATA interface. The other end of the Serial ATA cable is connected to an eSATA connector mounted on the back panel of the Mini Storage Tower. You can then connect an eSATA cable from the back panel of the Storage Tower to the eSATA port of any computer.

For individual connections to eSATA ports on your computer, the 4 eSATA port back panel can be used. Up to 4 SATA or IDE devices can be connected to the 4 SATA ports on the 4 eSATA port board, which is then mounted onto the back panel of the Mini Storage Tower. IDE devices will require an IDE to SATA converter to connect to the 4 eSATA port board.
The Mini Storage Tower can be configured to allow multiple Serial ATA or IDE hard drives to be connected to a computer through a single eSATA connection using an Addonics Port Multiplier. The Port Multiplier is mounted onto the back panel of the Mini Storage Tower, and up to five devices can be connected to the Port Multiplier to be interfaced into a single eSATA connection to the eSATA port of any computer.
The JBOD back panel allows the Mini Storage Tower to connect up to 4 IDE hard drives (or SATA hard drives using the Addonics SATA-IDE converter) inside the Mini Storage Tower to your system with one single USB cable. The 4 drives can be set up to appear to your system as 1 large drive, 2 drives or as 4 individual drives. IDE hard drive jumpers should be configured as master / slave on each IDE channel, with the master on the end of the IDE ribbon cable and the slave on the middle of the cable to ensure the best compatibility.
The 4x Multilane back panel is designed to connect up to 4 SATAI or SATAII hard drives to your computer through a single 4X Multilane Cable for the highest possible data throughput via 4 independent DMA channels. The 4X Multilane Cable must connect to a Multilane Connector on your computer which can be implemented using our ADSA3GPX8-ML (Multilane 4X RAID5/JBOD PCI-E 8x Controller) or ADSA4R5-ML (4X SATA Multilane PCI-X RAID 5/JBOD controller).

Q. Can SATA and IDE devices be mixed in the same Mini Storage Tower?
A. Yes. That is the flexibility of the Mini Storage Tower. But be sure that you choose the correct Mini Storage Tower model that has the back panels with the correct connectors and cables. Serial ATA devices can be connected directly to the SATA ports on the Port Multiplier, 4 eSATA port, or Multilane(SATA only) back panel while IDE devices will need an Addonics IDE to SATA converter to convert to SATA interface to allow connection to the back panels with Serial ATA ports. IDE devices can be connected directly to the JBOD USB 2.0 Adapter back panel, but Serial ATA devices will need the SATA to IDE converter to convert to IDE interface for connection to the JBOD USB 2.0 Adapter.

SATA drive with SATA to IDE converter board IDE drive with IDE to SATA converter board

Q. How far can the Mini Storage Tower be from the system?
A. This depends on the type of interface connection. For eSATA, the specification is 2 meter or 6 feet maximum. We have tested the Mini Storage Tower using 6 feet eSATA cables and notice no change in performance in data transfer. The actual distance was more like 6 feet 8" including the connecting cable from the back panel to the storage device. At this time, there is no repeater available to extend eSATA beyond this 6 feet limit.
For USB connection, the maximum distance is 15 feet. You can extend this 15 feet segment continuously with multiple repeater cables or hubs.

Q. Do I need to shut down or restart the computer if the Mini Storage Tower is turned off?
A. Not for USB connection. For eSATA, be sure the SATA controller in your computer supports hot swap. You can check with your system manufacturer if you are not sure.

Q. When using Mobile Racks in the Mini Storage Tower, can the drive be hot swapped without restarting the computer?
A. Any SATA Mobile Rack is hot swappable, provided the SATA controller or onboard SATA controller supports hot swap.

Q. How can the Mini Storage Tower be connected to my system that has only regular SATA port?
A. You can select a connecting cable with eSATA at one end and regular SATA on the other end. The is cable is available from Addonics online store and the part # is AASA2SA100C.

Q. Does the Mini Storage Tower have RAID function?
A. No. This Mini Storage Tower is a general purpose enclosures. There is no built in RAID function. But you can set up the hard drives inside the Mini Storage Tower with various RAID configuration by connecting it to a RAID controller. The Mini Storage Tower provides individual drive connection through the back panel. For eSATA, Addonics offer a family of RAID controllers that allows the hard drives in the Mini Storage Tower to be configured as RAID 0,1, 5, 10, 1+S or JBOD.