During my initial review of the NexStar Hard Drive Dock I said (and it’s true) that I tested the dock using Windows XP (32-bit) and Vista (64-bit). That’s absolutely the case, but as I’ve used the device I discovered a problem on the Vista system I hadn’t seen in previous testing, I had trouble formatting the drive on the 64-bit system. In my previous testing I’d formatted the drive on the XP system, so this was a case I hadn’t exercised.
The problem? I had ordered a brand-new ::amazon(“ST31500341AS”, “Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 1.5 TB SATA”):: hard drive, so it arrived unformatted, so I attempted to format it using the Dock on the Vista system via the eSATA connection. Attempts to locate the drive to partition and format the drive resulted in a system lockup, attempts to partition and format the drive via the USB connection seemed to not find the disk. Initializing and formatting the disk on the XP system worked fine, and from there I was able to use the new drive using USB and eSATA with no troubles.
I also found that backups seemed slower than I expected on the resulting system, a difference I can only attribute to the backup software itself. I used Vista’s built-in backup software for the task, and backing up about 900GB of data from the two disks on that system took about twelve hours, much slower than the rate I saw with a very similar setup for a single very very large file copy. These very real complaints aside (and I’ll continue to work on improving this), I’m still very satisfied with the result, I can put a full backup of my desktop on a single drive, which makes for very easy off-site backups.