Home > Computers > CoolDrives SATA Drive Enclosure Review – They SUCK!

CoolDrives SATA Drive Enclosure Review – They SUCK!

October 4th, 2005 Tony Leave a comment Go to comments

After I learned that my Dell PowerEdge server only allowed two SATA drives in its large case I desperately needed a quick solution to get 400GB database back drive back online for daily backups. Some quick Googling revealed that there were very few options for an external SATA hard drive enclosure. So I went for the Cool Drives “External Sata hard Drive Case with USB 2.0 Mini Size with Built-In-Power Supply

The Noise Maker

It seemed to be a pretty sleek option with a slim case and USB as well as SATA external inputs. Well after just one month of operating the drive the cooling fan began to make an unbearable amount of noise. I guess they are using the cheapy-cheap fans. So I contacted CoolDrives and they recommended that I return the product to the warehouse for repair under the return policy. This means that I’m without a backup drive for who knows how long and I’m guessing I’m just going to get the device back with a new cheap-cheap fan. I replied and asked if they could just point me in the direction of the fan I need for the drive enclosure and I will just replace it myself. Cool Drives support responded saying they couldn’t tell me that information. Crap! I don’t normally take the time to write poor reviews but this pushed my buttons.

If anyone knows where I can get a fan like this PLEASE let me know. I’m going crazy with this noise!

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  1. Ron J
    October 13th, 2005 at 14:18 | #1

    Many electronic speciality stores carry such a little fan. Jameco is a well known mail and web order firm. You can cross reference (via Part number) the fan probably with better quality fans.


  2. Neall
    October 15th, 2005 at 09:49 | #2

    I bought the same case from CoolDrives, and it was dead on arrival. I could communicate with the drive when plugged directly into it, but not when going through the CoolDrives passthrough cable and circuit board. I sent it back on an RMA and they told me it “worked great” and it was my system’s lack of compatibility with SATA (though my main system drive is also SATA). They did not return the product (either broken or repaired) and did not return my money.

    After numerous calls and emails, they finally just ignored me. Apparently, they also ignored the Better Business Bureau of Clearwater, Florida, because my complaint was never resolved. Finally, I was able to get the charge reversed on my Visa card, and Quality Cables (aka Cool Drives) did not fight the reversal.

    Their products are garbage, their technical support and returns department completely incompetent, and their sales practices criminal. Stay away.

  3. James Kayten
    November 26th, 2005 at 04:57 | #3

    This guy named Rad at cool drives is a real prick. I’d recommend avoidine business with him, he’s hostile and threatens to reveal one’s credit card info.

  4. michael Kienitz
    January 28th, 2006 at 18:32 | #4

    Coolgear sucks really bad…I got 2 sata/usb/firewire cases for 2 sata’s I had removed from my dual G5 for larger ones. To make a long story short it blew out my front firewire port on the G5….trying to save a few bucks was a very stupid move…they have “third party” support which means none at all…I used to sell Macs and I would never deal with any “CoolGear” again!!!!

  5. BoB
    February 22nd, 2006 at 18:45 | #5

    Do we just suck here?

  6. Tom.S
    March 21st, 2006 at 01:31 | #6

    I have this enclosure for over eight months now and have no problems, this is the only case with power adapter built into the unit. it is very small and yes the fan is a bit loud but for $3 at cpucoolers.com i got a low rpm unit.

  7. Norman Speight
    July 21st, 2006 at 11:55 | #7

    Arrived in the states intending to buy a NAS/SATA casing as a test for a purchase of many.
    Didn’t use CoolDrives, but did contact another firm at Clearwater. This outfit at an address of 3350 ***** with an office/shop number of 115 wasn’t there when I drove some 110 miles to see them. They had moved some long time ago – alledgedly. Still today giving this as their address, try internet for confirmation. BUT number 115 does not exist – never has. So went to 15 where the occupant obligingly looked the business up. When I phoned they were totally resistant to any sale. I offered to pay cash, credit/debit card, cheque or any other method. Just wanted to see the goods ‘for no more than 30 seconds’. This character Rad or RED actually said “…Sounds like we don’t want your money doesn’t it?” I said it did appear to be difficult to hand over money. At which point he put the phone down on me.
    I still have my £70,000, no NAS but, makes you wonder why someone hasn’t gone around there and smacked him in the mouth. Undoubtedly the most arrogant bastard I’ve met on my trip.
    Thankfully US citizens, Florida citizens in particular are nothing like this I’ve found in many many years of trips. Guess he’s from Tikrit or some similar joint, and has had a difficult life I’m hoping (bloody well deserved it – hope his parents and school pupils beat the s*** out of him for years and years.

  8. Customer#here
    August 14th, 2006 at 23:46 | #8

    Yep, All “coolgear” is “crapgear”
    I suggest anything else except “crapgear”.

  9. Customer#here
    August 14th, 2006 at 23:59 | #9

    P.S. That looks like a 50mm UK Fan.
    I would look for:
    AKASA 50mm “50×50x10mm”
    Maybe this ^ will work for you if still in need a year later. Or anyone else looking for a fan to replace in their “crapgear” box.
    You might have to melt the corners away a tiny bit to get a nice fit.
    It’s usually a UK or European fan for “crapgear” boxes.. So look for UK 50mm fans.. Goodluck Anyone. DevJ

  10. zdenek
    August 24th, 2006 at 11:23 | #10

    I have placed an order for the same CoolGear enclosure and never got E-mail acknowliging the order , When I calld I was told that the order was canceled and tha I should not bother to place it again; Nobody knew why the order was canceled and the gentleman on the phone did not wat to talk any more and hang up on me ,
    I will never do bussiness with them again.

  11. Jerry Zip 92584
    August 24th, 2006 at 14:48 | #11

    Don’t take a chance and buy a product from COOLGEAR. I read all the above reviews before I decided to make a purchase. I am glad I did. The support is as bad as it gets. I called a person named RENE(man)at support phone 1-727-209-1300. What a rude asshole. I hung up the phone. Needless to say I’ll find another ESATA enclosure company.

  12. JD
    September 1st, 2006 at 17:12 | #12

    Jesus, thank God I read this page, as I actually had one of these sumbiches in my cart. But the $16 ground shipping gave me pause (WTF??).

    The reason Iw as interested in this drive is it was the only SATA-out drice that had an integrated power supply (no external brick). Oh well, the search continues.

    Thanks for this page!!!


  13. John
    September 15th, 2006 at 00:52 | #13

    Well I too had 3 of those dual sata drive enclosures in my card and $25 shipping does any onew know if a compatable product I can look for they seam to operates under many different names and the only dual sata could fnd..all help appreciated

  14. RSD
    September 19th, 2006 at 00:46 | #14

    It is CoolGear since you are not able to find it anywhere else! So Suck up and buy the Best Product on the Market!

  15. VREN 92116
    January 14th, 2007 at 21:16 | #15

    I Have been reading many of these messages and i am glad I did, Cool Gear must really suck, here is a message for you RSD Mr Cool Gear! I think you sould be grateful that some people are purchasing your products knowing that your support people really suck, I think they need their tongue trimmed a bit or stapled to their lip, I think that your employees need to be better trained so that your company and products can have a better reputation.
    So, You Suck-Up and Shut-Up!
    Improve your customer support and then I might buy your product, if you respond rudely, it simply means that you need a staple on your tongue! DUDE!

  16. RichT
    January 19th, 2007 at 15:50 | #16

    Thanks for all your inputs regarding Cool Gear.

    Now the question – Which company does make the BEST SATA hard drive enclosures (with a quiet fan)?

  17. Jags
    January 19th, 2007 at 23:58 | #17

    Glad I stumbled onto this – was preparing to purchase Dual Drive External SATA Hard Drive RAID FireWire 1394 400+800+USB enclosure (advertised @ 199.91)

    Can anyone give a heads-up on a quality comparable Dual External Sata Enclosure w/ FW 800?

  18. BK
    January 23rd, 2007 at 17:35 | #18

    CoolGear is THE WORST company I’ve ever had to deal with. Period. We *tried* to purchase a SATA with USB. They shipped the wrong part and when we returned it (at our charge), they sent out a different, but again, wrong item, which we again returned at our charge. After numerous attempts via their useless email tech/customer support system (5 to date), they’ve yet to credit us for the part, return shipping, or inform us of what they plan on doing. I’m going to try to get the charges reversed from my credit card, and contact the Better Business Bureau.

    CoolGear completely and utterly sucks.

  19. Kevin
    January 29th, 2007 at 19:43 | #19

    Be aware Cooldrives is actually about 20 different websites. I ordered a case from MacPower.com (which, after some research, I discovered was part of the “Family”). I never got email confirmation of the order, and after digging around, discovered that EVERY SITE they run had a message saying they would be closed from Dec 15th to Jan 15th. After digging and digging I finally got that Renee dude on the phone. He said Macpower.com was a defunct website and that it won’t accept orders.
    WTF? There was no way to submit an email to the customer support thru the website, got script errors. All mail sent to a XXX@XXX.com for them got bounced, and calling them direct never got a human on the phone. Even when I tried to leave a message it said the voicemail box was full. CHECK THE ADDRESS of the website you order from, if it’s located in Clearwater Florida, good chances are it’s just another BS site from the jerks. I would never place and order with them.
    Now I just need to find someone else who sells the case I want.

  20. Edouard
    February 3rd, 2007 at 20:24 | #20

    Raidsonic Stardom makes great SATA enclosures.
    Dpes anypne knows where to by their ST6600 enclosure in States?

  21. Skanner
    February 8th, 2007 at 13:12 | #21

    The case does not work!! I have contacted coolgear and I have carried it to a center of technical assistance where a technician has said to me that he is in short circuita. So He replaced a diode valve but hardly I have connected it to USB port, after ten second its power adapter crash another time. I’ve repeated 3 times the same procedures…. Why Coolgear insert a usb port if it kills the case power adapter!?!?

  22. tony
    February 22nd, 2007 at 13:53 | #22
  23. Charles
    March 6th, 2007 at 20:18 | #23

    Thank you so very much. I am about to purchase an PowerEdge 840 or 1900 and was going to get the SATAVAULT from coolgear. I should have known something was up and the website said no returns.

  24. March 10th, 2007 at 23:17 | #24

    hey dudes,
    I too was about to go to cooldrives till i read this page.

    soo..can someone recommend an enclosure

    i just need sata to sata (so basically a box to put 2 HDs in with power supply and fan). The only one on cooldrives (and in fact the only one I can find anywhere)
    is 80$! Which seems a rip off to me, since theres not even a bridge controller involved.

    any thoughts?

  25. Jeff
    March 13th, 2007 at 00:55 | #25

    What a great service this site is serving!
    Count me among the many who were thinking of buying a Coolgear double enclosure and now won’t go near them.
    Well done. The web at its best.
    For those looking for single enclosures, highest recommendations from many users to the Venus line. You can find them many places, including NewEgg, which includes user comments. They are childishly easy to use and cost about $55. I just wish they made a double that fits my needs. I think I’ll just break down and buy two that I link together.

  26. CBnNY
    March 16th, 2007 at 01:13 | #26

    I believe http://www.wiebetech.com provides very similar products at a little higher cost, but probably with better customer service and support. Has anyone purchased from wiebetech?

  27. JEB
    March 28th, 2007 at 17:46 | #27

    This is all real scary. Especially due to the fact the Coolgear SATA/USB enclosue I purchased last fall has worked perfectly since day one with out a single hitch. I toss it in the bag when heading to a clients and it hasn’t ever given a moment of concern.

    Just so you know, I am not associated with Coolgear in any way shape or form other than being a one time customer.

  28. AJ
    March 30th, 2007 at 12:35 | #28

    I had a terible experience with this Rad asshole as well. Same as everyone else, rude, abrasive and threatened to give my email address to spammers and post my personal information. There should be a list of his sites so that people can avoid them. It’s not hard for techies to trace back the site origin but it would be nice to have a site exposing them. They are truly the worst people I’ve ever dealt with online by far, and I’ve purchase $100,000+/year in tech items for my company. Imagine how many people this guy has screwed. I wouldn’t be surprised if Rad & Rene are the same person. I’ve never heard a good thing said about these companies that was legit. They do plant the good reviews as stated above…

  29. Doug
    April 1st, 2007 at 17:44 | #29

    With the knowledge that I am being redundant … I have a USB hard drive adapter sitting in my cart on another tab, I intend to cancel the order based on the above entries. Customer Service and Tech Support are iffy enough these days when you don’t know who you are going to deal with.

    Rad, Red, Rene, or whatever your name is, get a clue. you are obvously loosing money here, big time. Fix this, or get out.

  30. Matt
    April 15th, 2007 at 20:09 | #30

    Looks like they have been selling faulty products for a while! (How are they still in buisness?!?!)
    I bought a firewire/USB 2.0 hard drive enclosure a few years back. The stupid thing was unreliable. I would need to reboot the computer just to see the hard drive again. After asking for support they told me I must have a faulty firewire cable. Nope.. I later figured out it was the built in power for the hard drive. I got the thing to work reliably by using a SEPERATE power supply for the hard drive. (Meaning I needed to leave the case open to use the stupid thing!… Skip these guys, they sell crap!

  31. Daniel in Cali
    May 23rd, 2007 at 16:26 | #31

    I’m glad I found this site. Consumer feedback sites are one of the things that make the Internet great.

    I was looking at a Coolgear enclosure and had a question about fan noise. I used the web form on their site to ask but never received a response. Mark 1 against them.

    I called their support number today and listened to the answering machine message by a guy with a noticeable Brooklyn accent (think all those scammer discount photo and computer stores in Brooklyn). Mark 2 against them.

    When I pressed the number to connect to tech support to ask my question, there was a message by the Brooklyn scammer that all tech support must be initiated via the web. Mark 3 against them.

    Went back through the menu and this time pressed the number to connect to pre-sales support. It rang and rang until eventually there was a message that the operator is not available. Mark 4 against them.

    And this site is definitely Mark 5 through infinity.

    Brooklyn scammers suck. Even if they relocate their businesses to Florida.

  32. sam
    June 2nd, 2007 at 21:38 | #32

    To the Mac guy who’s firewire prot went out:

    This is a mac issue. Most of the macs we use at work only have a single functioning firewire port on them. If you plug more than one firewire device into them, none of teh firewire devies are seen. This is all part of the Mac experience. Enjoy. ;’)

    Also, I bought their black ice external enclusire and it seems to be working fine. They deefinitely do need to work on thir customer service skills.

  33. Bunny
    June 7th, 2007 at 22:17 | #33
  34. June 15th, 2007 at 19:05 | #34

    Bought 2 USB/SATA enclosures from them because they had the best price I found. The case gets kind of hot when it’s running but I guess that’s normal. I was considering buying 8 more but wanted to check some reviews and found this site… now I may shop around or wait and see how these first 2 hold up to some heavy use.

  35. Alan Crane
    June 17th, 2007 at 00:58 | #35

    Coolgear, also has a webstore called usbgear.com, usbmax.com, and so many others. They’re all the same store. They claim to have product in stock, but really don’t. Can’t even get responses from them.

  36. Jon
    June 24th, 2007 at 14:32 | #36

    I googled into this site when I was comparing options for external drive enclosures and ran across coolgear.com (and now I know aka the other aliases…). Timely info indeed. A suggestion some of you might consider: cross-post some of this stuff on http://www.resellerratings.com
    One of these turkey’s alias sites usbgear.com has a near bottom of the barrel 0.28 of 10.0 rating on resellerratings (no surprise, eh?), but many other aliases may not be there, and all of the above alias site info would be worth adding over there.
    Thanks for saving me some likely grief.

    September 15th, 2007 at 12:33 | #37


  38. ISOHaven
    October 2nd, 2007 at 12:21 | #38

    I’m glad I came here before I bought a SATAVault SV-2RSA1. A product is only as good as its vendor support.


  39. ISOHaven
    October 2nd, 2007 at 12:27 | #39

    Someone here recommended http://www.stardom.com.tw

    Well guess what! They sell the exact same unit as CoolGear/USBGear!



    So what’s up with that? They’re either an affiliate or neither of them make their own product!

  40. poorkid
    October 7th, 2007 at 21:01 | #40

    I am in the same boat as many who have been a few clicks aways from purchase but encountered this site. has anyone noticed that the SATAVAULT case looks exactly the same as WIEBETECH? “whats going on” indeed. part of me wants to go for it and simply try the purchase from cooldrives.com…..mind you, there is an equal amount or positive reviews than rants. But that case design is just simply throwing a loop in my decision…and after a few days of search there doesnt seem to be that many options out there.

  41. Dodgedabullet
    October 7th, 2007 at 21:53 | #41

    Wow! I am glad I stumbled on this blog. I am not just closing the tab with the cooldrive site I am running from it. I recently had a similar experience that is unrelated to computers, Patriot gun safes (Merlosafes) has a rude a-hole that resembles the stories above. It is amazing that some of these business keep going. Thanks for your posts.

  42. RV
    October 16th, 2007 at 16:21 | #42

    Thanks a lot guys I had a few problems trying to place a order wiht this company, http://www.cooldrives.com/sataenclosures.html and this one, they are the same http://www.satagear.com/451055_SATA_5.25_inch_Enclosure.html I was one click away to order one. Every time I order one it was not in stock, after this forget it.

  43. Gene
    October 19th, 2007 at 21:05 | #43

    Folks, I too had bunches in the cart, then decided to look fir this kind of info…whew glad I did.
    I live in Clearwater and I’ll tell ya all what. If (though I doubt it) they have a physical presence in Clearwater I’ll find ‘em. I’m going to pull there business permits and get all the info I can and post it if I can find all their DBA’s etc…

    Thanks bunches Tony Spencer.. A wonderfull service your doing here. ;)

  44. Jay
    October 31st, 2007 at 09:28 | #44

    Well, I guess you guys have scared me away from going with Cool Drives again. If all the above is true, than maybe this is the net at its best. But, just the same, I feel compelled to let you all know that the aluminum firewire/usb enclosure I bought from them a couple of years ago is one of the best purchases I ever made.

    In fact, I’m so pleased with the quality of it, that I was actually thinking of paying a premium to go Cooldrives over something from Seagate or WD. Everyone says an enclosure is an enclosure, but I seem to read tons of complaints about each and every one of them. They mainly involve noise and heat.

    Maybe I just got lucky, but the fanless aluminum enclosure I bought from them 2 years ago has been flawless. It’s much more attractive than in the pictures. The fit and finish are perfect. It opens very convenientely to swap drives. It’s dead silent with a 300 Seagate Barracuda installed inside (I put an older Deskstar inside and it whirred and sputtered something awful). Most importantly, it’s been 100% reliable for 2 years, and it remains completely cool to the touch. Granted, I don’t run an OS off it–I just transfer files back and forth–but even installed inside a cabinet, it feels as cool as if it were not even plugged in.

    Apparently, their customer service and after sale policies look like dealbreakers, but I could not be more satisfied with the product that I purchased.

  45. Matt
    November 4th, 2007 at 13:09 | #45

    I would just like to thank all who have posted. I was looking for a 2.5″ SATA enclosure that had firewire to make it my bootable drive to take with me onsite. I work with Macs and this would have been very nice to have. I will be going elsewhere to find one. Oh, and to Sam at post # 32… you = dumb… especially if you think that a faulty firewire port is all b/c he’s on a mac. I bet you’re one of those guys that has to worry about viruses too aren’t you?

  46. December 21st, 2007 at 16:24 | #46

    I was also getting ready to buy from cooldrives until I found this blog. I found a great alternative, http://www.pc-pitstop.com/sata_enclosures/

    They have a lot of stuff, are knowledgeable and friendly. We’ll see how good their stuff is now.

  47. December 23rd, 2007 at 05:00 | #47

    Coolgear is rotten at the core. Don’t buy from them. First off, it is just one face of a larger retailer and a certain about of secrecy is maintained. You buy from one company, and get emails from another. It is all very confusing, and if you write and ask about it, you get told “leave me alone, find another retailer”. It is all very rude and may be the work of a single individual. I have been unable to deal with them. The one guy that has answered my emails is rude and probably bipolar. He is a real creep. If he owns the company, he deserves to go broke. If he is simply working for the company, he should be fired. There is no way for a person, however well intended, to offer constructive feedback to the management of this company. It is pathetic.


    Lied to and delivered months late. Then, the items do not work. And appear to have been constructed form used parts – very cheap and unreliable. Many items break within days.

  48. Joe
    February 1st, 2008 at 13:34 | #48

    Dam, I was just about to order two rack LCD display drive cases and one 4 Bay tower off Coolgear. The prices are really tempting. I had asked a question, in an email to them, and got back a rather half ass reply that gave me pause. Then I read all this. Oh well now I have to start all over. Thanks for the information everyone.

  49. Eric
    February 4th, 2008 at 22:50 | #49

    Well, well, well. Great job on this site and i can’t believe there is more trash talk about cooldrives around the web.
    About a year and a half ago i bought the 8 drive eSata enclosure for a 3ware 16 port card that i had. my plan was to populate the first 8, then get another 8 drive enclosure from cooldrives. So first off, the enclosure worked but you could tell that the hardware pieces are complete junk. i bypassed their crappy backplane and went from my card directly to the disks. Everything was working fine then i bought another one becasue i wanted to have a matching pair. I bypassed the backplane again and all is still working after a year and a half.
    Of course within that year and a half i’ve had to replace a total of 5 fans and 2 of the hotswap trays. hehehe… i have been regreting ever doing business with cooldrives but i guess you live and learn…. 1200.00 bucks and a whole lot smater.
    Somebody above mentioned weibetech… we have some weibetech enclosures also and these are awesome!!! great quality and spanks the pants off the cool gear crap.
    Oh yeah… almost forgot to mention; when i bought my second 8 drive enclosure… they took the money out of my account (i knew that they were not good business people becasue of the last transaction that i had w/ them) and about 2 months later… i tried and tried to get a hold of them to try and figure out where my product was. couldn’t get a hold of anybody and figured that i just got scammed… even worse than actually getting their product. So i figured it was a great learning experience and learned only to deal w/ quality vendors. another month later, voila!… the enclosure came… no emails, no phone call, no nothing to let me know that they were still processing my order.
    Also too, these 2 enclosures, now, are SOOOO LOUD!!!!!!
    whatever i guess, STAY AWAY FROM COOLDRIVES and buy from somebody w/ integrity.

  50. Steve
    February 5th, 2008 at 16:03 | #50

    I watched the video on the website about a particular SATA enclosure that seems to fully describe the enclosure and what was needed to run it. Well ends up they left off a whole bunch of details and sent no software with the enclosure. Upon searching for the best methods of running the device I recieved a total half assed response that answered not a single aspect of my question.

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