Dual 2.5" external drive enclosure - USB 3.0?

Anyone know of any good dual bay 2.5" drive enclosures that run off of a single USB 3.0 port (but would appear as two separate drives within Windows/MacOS)?

I have two 1TB SSDs I'd like to put into such an enclosure so I can take my photos with me when I travel. I could use a USB 3.0 HDD but all of my photos are currently stored in these two SSDs and I'd like to simply move them from my desktop into a USB 3.0 enclosure that holds both drives so I always have both with me.
Reply to sirhawkeye64
9 answers Last reply
More about dual external drive enclosure usb
  1. Don't think you will find anything that will be powered directly off USB. there are a few options but require DC power.
    Reply to drtweak
  2. You will not be able to power two drives off a single USB port. You have 2 TB worth of photos? Why not just get two enclosures, tape or glue them together and carry that. Will be same size as one double large enclosure. You will still need two ports though.
    Reply to hang-the-9
  3. ^^ Tis what i do with my 4 external drives. not taped together though lol
    Reply to drtweak
  4. drtweak said:
    ^^ Tis what i do with my 4 external drives. not taped together though lol


    Well I figured that way if you need data of two drives and you want them together all the time, tape them together so you don't leave one behind when you travel.

    A bit like what some people do with gun magazines (looking at your picture), although in the Army they told us not to do that since you can ding the bottom one on a rock or something and bend it, then it will jam.
    Reply to hang-the-9
  5. Normally you would not be able to use two HDD's in an external enclosure powered solely by a USB3 port because ONE such drive consumes all the power available that way. That is why it will be very hard to find such an enclosure. BUT I can see your thought - an SSD probably does not use nearly that much power, so maybe it can work this way. You will need to look up the specs on your SSD's and check that. The max power available from a USB3 port at 5 VDC is 0.9 Amps (900 mA) or 4.5 W.

    I found this

    https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIA1JM2CZ0257

    which claims to hold 2 standard 2½" HDD units and is powered by the USB3 cable (or additional, if needed). BUT it is designed for use as a RAID system, so it's costly with RAID built in, and it is not clear whether it can be used with just two independent drives. Ships from the orient.

    Also found this

    https://www.vantecusa.com/products_detail.php?p_id=212#tab-1

    Holds 2 drives, comes with its own additional power supply so it is not limited by the capacity of the USB3 host port, but CAN work without that if extra power is not needed. Intended for RAID use, but can be set not to do that. However, ASK Vantec Tech Support about whether that means it can use two individual drives, or whether non-RAID simply means it will treat both as parts of a JBOD array. Could not find any on-line seller with stock, so again ASK Vantech whether this unit is still available.

    Only other options I found were open HDD docks with 2 slots, not closed external enclosures.
    Reply to Paperdoc
  6. I don't have 2TB of pictures yet, however my 1TB drive is about 70% full. My Lightroom catalog is around 30GB right now, and the rest (700GB) is raw image files. For now the remaining ~200GB should last me about six more months, but will need to find something by next summer.... And Yes, I can probably get away with just using Lightroom's smart previews when traveling in many cases, but sometimes when on photography trips for longer periods of time (1+ weeks) I'll need to download, edit, and submit some photos so it would be nice to have enough space for whatever I might shoot and I personally don't like relying on the smart previews if possible.

    I would normally just use a desktop (and do when I'm home), but I need something portable as I do travel quite a bit, so it is nice to be able to just pick up and go. However, I do see that 2TB SSDs are dropping in price (some are as low as $650 and possibly cheaper) so I guess I could wait another 6 months and see if they drop any more in price. (1TB SSDs are still $200-250+ so $650 for 2TB isn't that bad--a little higher price/GB for convenience I guess). 2TB would last me probably for the next 2-3 years.

    If there isn't a single USB-powered device, I can probably settle for one that uses an AC adapter as it's still better than just relying on the smart previews all the time while out traveling. I mean, the other last resort is just to go back to a 2TB or 3TB HDD (2.5" USB powered one).
    Reply to sirhawkeye64
  7. I should point out one thing here. As has been said above, it is not possible to power TWO HDD's in an external enclose solely from a USB3 port - the enclosure MUST come with its own power supply module that must be used. Now, doing this with SSD's instead MIGHT work without the extra power module, or might not - I don't know without checking the specs of the SSD units. But because of all this, the actual enclosures you can buy often WILL include their own power module (as the Vantec unit does), and hence CAN actually be used with normal 2½" "laptop" HDD's. So, since you have only one SSD so far and will be buying another, consider this. For the same money you probably could buy a pair of HDD's, each with a larger capacity than one SSD, and have much more portable storage capacity. But then for sure you would have to carry and use that power module always.
    Reply to Paperdoc
  8. Paperdoc said:
    I should point out one thing here. As has been said above, it is not possible to power TWO HDD's in an external enclose solely from a USB3 port - the enclosure MUST come with its own power supply module that must be used. Now, doing this with SSD's instead MIGHT work without the extra power module, or might not - I don't know without checking the specs of the SSD units. But because of all this, the actual enclosures you can buy often WILL include their own power module (as the Vantec unit does), and hence CAN actually be used with normal 2½" "laptop" HDD's. So, since you have only one SSD so far and will be buying another, consider this. For the same money you probably could buy a pair of HDD's, each with a larger capacity than one SSD, and have much more portable storage capacity. But then for sure you would have to carry and use that power module always.


    Yeah I'm at the point where I think I'll just have to settle for one that uses an AC adapter, which is fine I guess (I'm always in a hotel when traveling anyway, so I have access to an outlet). I also already have the second 1TB SSD drive so that's why I'm looking at this route versus using two HDDs. I also am not a big fan of portable HDDs (external 3.5" ones you leave at home and don't move around a lot I'm OK with because they aren't likely to get damaged from being in a laptop bag... but I feel that the SSDs provide a bit more ruggedness and durability especially when being in a laptop bag and traveling around a lot (plus the extra speed of SSDs is nice). I've also had my share of failed portable HDDs over the years--enough to not want to use them again for more than just period backups (definitely not as a primary external drive that travels around with me in the laptop bag).
    Reply to sirhawkeye64
  9. I see your point about durability when traveling a lot. And, as you say, you already have the second SSD to use.
    Reply to Paperdoc
Ask a new question Answer

Read More

USB3 Dual Enclosure