Monday, March 2, 2009 [Tweets] [Favorites]

NewerTech Voyager Q

In September I reviewed Thermaltake’s BlacX and WiebeTech’s RTX100 enclosures, all of which let you use bare SATA hard drives like floppy disks. Dan Benjamin has now reviewed NewerTech’s Voyager Q. It’s like the BlacX, but it’s nicer-looking, it has a quad-interface, it’s $99 rather than $43, and it doesn’t require pressing the power button before the ejecting the drive. I have not yet had a chance to do comparative benchmarking, but the Voyager certainly feels faster.

Update (2009-03-09): Fraser Speirs reports that he’s unable to use two Voyagers at the same time via FireWire because they have the same GUID: 0x30E002E0454647. My Voyager also has this GUID, so this would seem to be a bug in the Voyager hardware.

Update (2009-03-16): There is a firmware update (requires Windows) that can be used to change the Voyager’s GUID.

5 Comments

My Voyager Q also has the same GUID.

Turns out Vantec NexStar drive docks *also* have the same ID. It must be the default for these Oxford Semiconductor bridges. And even though NewerTech is offering what is supposed to be a fix, via firmware update, it doesn't work (at least for me). Plus there's a way to brick your dock even if you're following their instructions. Details at the URL provided.

Okay, it turns out to be easy to fix, once you have the firmware updater provided by NewerTech (via custserv@macsales.com). They just left a small, but important detail out of their instructions, which is that you have to manually change the GUID yourself. And the fix can even be applied to the Vantec drive docks as well. Details and instructions in the URL provided above and here

[...] drives. This allows you to (a) not send your data to Apple, and (b) stick the drive into a BlacX or Voyager in order to keep using it as your boot drive. However, I doubt Apple will repair a Mac that [...]

Is anyone using a Voyager as a long-term, heavy-duty external boot drive -- continuous disk activity 12 hours a day?

Heat? Vibration/stability? Dust build-up?

It strikes me that a totally exposed drive would actually run more cooly than any kind of enclosed situation even with a fan (which in a good model only comes on when the drive gets too hot anyway).

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