One of the side effects of continually increasing your computer storage space is that you can end up with a pile of spare hard drives. If you don’t have another computer to put them into, Thermaltake offers an interesting solution, the BlacX Duet storage controller, at a suggested retail price of $69.99.
The BlacX Duet allows you to drop one or two hard drives into the controller. When attached to a computer, each drive appears as an additional local drive. You can easily remove either of the drives and insert another drive from your collection of spares.
Installation is quite easy. Just connect the controller to your computer and turn it on. No drivers are required - the operating system should just recognize the controller. If your drives are already formatted, they will be immediately available. Otherwise, follow your system's procedure for formatting a new drive.
There are two indicator lights, one for each drive, that glow blue when powered on. Each light will flicker when its respective drive is being accessed. These lights are embedded in a single power button that will turn the controller on or off. Each drive has an independent eject button.
While the controller does not generate any appreciable heat, two drives can. The drives used in our test (Western Digital WD5001ABYS, 500 GB) run hot enough that spending any time touching them will be painful. Ensure that the controller is placed somewhere that it is not easily reached by the unaware.
Note: This test was conducted on a Windows XP laptop.