I was looking for a USB docking station with the capability to clone hard disks/SSDs without a PC. One of the few devices that met my requirements was the dock from StarTech. It’s not the cheapest, however all other devices I found on the market had some kind of weak point (no reading of S.M.A.R.T. values, no support for native 4kn hard drives). It also brings USB 3.2 Gen 2 (10 GBit/s). So I decided to go with the StarTech dock. Therefore now this short test.
Included is the Dock, the power supply with adapters for different countries, a USB-B-to-USB-A cable, a USB-B-to-USB-C cable and a short manual.
As mentioned before, it was essential to me that the SMART information of a hard disk are passed through. A lot of cheap docks on the market don’t have this possibility. The StarTech Dock has the ASMedia – ASM1352R controlled included, which supports it. Of course I made a quick test:
To clone a hard drive, the source drive needs to be put in the drive slot #2. The target drive comes in slot #1. Now we need to press the PC/COPY button for 3 seconds until the appropriate LED turns red. Then we press the start button and the clone process is initiated. Now the HDD2/HDD1 LEDs start to blink and you can follow the copy progress on the LEDs which show the percentage of the copy job. When the LEDs stop to blink, the process is finished.
In a first test I started to copy a SSD to SSD (Samsung 860 Evo 250GB –> Crucial MX200 512GB, because I didn’t have a SSD with appropriate size). The copy job was finished at about 9:48 min.
So in this case we have a write speed of about 425 MByte/s, which is about of the maximum speed of this SSD.
It’s just pretty convinient to press the button and let the Dock do its work.
And the most important question – did it work? Yes it did, I could boot from the cloned drive without any issues, even if the drives had not the same size. Of course the target drive mustn’t be smaller than the source drive.
I am happy with the dock. The first tests worked great, the investment was worth it for me.
Do you know about a dock that you would recommend instead of the StarTech? Do you have any additions? Please let me know in the comments.