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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. Steve
    February 5th, 2008 at 16:09 | #1

    I just purchase a SATA Enclosure from these goons. It needed a specific chipset on the sata card used to connect it, not disclosed from them. I wrote them to ask them their best reconmendation for cards to run the device and got a half assed response that didnt even come close to being an answer. I wrote back 3 or 4 times and over the course of 3 day have recieved less then an answer. I was able to find eveything I needed from the chipset manufacture they use in their enclosures. Seems like a cool enclosure, but WTF no software, no description or how to run it, no customer support. These guys are a total joke… nice yahoo webpage by the way, should of been the first hint.

  2. Obalisc Moonprattle
    February 21st, 2008 at 15:16 | #2

    I suggest http://www.pc-pitstop.com/. I have had excellent results with them. I have also seen a lot of positive reviews by others. Selection is not as big, bit they have livechat and phone support. Cool drives has neither.

  3. Marc
    March 10th, 2008 at 10:55 | #3

    Thanks for rescuing me and my $125.

    A bit of digging around on the web shows this and a few other websites full of complaints against the muiti-headed serpent that is CoolDrives. Happily I always look for such reviews before deciding to buy from new vendors.

    Thanks Tony, whoever you are.

  4. Tom
    March 16th, 2008 at 09:48 | #4

    I’ve had the quad-interface coolgear enclosure with the built-in fan and power supply for awhile. The fan can be very buzzy and annoying. Especially annoying if you’ve got a quiet computer like my Mac Mini. Can’t speak to their customer service, but as for the noise, THERE IS A FIX, at least one that worked for me. Take the insides out of the case. You’ll notice a rail on each side of the internal frame. Cover the rails with electrical tape. That’s it. For me, the buzz was reduced to a very tolerable hum. Also, put a piece of cardboard or cloth under the stand, so that the remaining vibration doesn’t transfer to your desk.

  5. Howard
    April 10th, 2008 at 13:25 | #5


  6. Tom
    April 20th, 2008 at 21:03 | #6

    I wrote the March 16th, 2008 comment about taping the rail to solve the noise problem. The noise was much lower for a week or two, but apparently that was just a coincidence. The fan noise came back as loud as ever. I even loosened the screws holding the fan to the bracket, but that didn’t help. I finally just disconnected the power connector to the fan. So far, the drive case doesn’t seem any warmer than before, barely lukewarm. It appears that the fan is not only loud, but doesn’t even do much, and may not be necessary. I record HDTV shows to the drive, so it does get some sustained use, but this doesn’t really push the drive very hard. So, at least under light use, it seems you can get by without the fan. I also built a paper chimney and taped it to the top vent to create a silent way of convecting the warm air from the case, but so far it hasn’t gotten warm enough to create much noticeable air flow, so I can’t really say if this is helping. Would love to not have to deal with this.

  7. Guenter Monkowski
    May 20th, 2008 at 23:08 | #7

    Have a problem with this company and I ordered only a SATA to IDE converter card! They never answered and later I found out there is no way to contact them by telephone.
    Moreover also the order is not carried out they keep a lock on my bank credit card.

  8. John
    June 1st, 2008 at 10:41 | #8

    The SataVault appears to be similar to the Sans Digital MobileSTOR which gets a good review at http://www.ocia.net/reviews/sansdigmstor/page1.shtml

    These (and several other models) are available at Directron.com which has always been a good dealer for me, and has great prices.

  9. John
    June 1st, 2008 at 10:53 | #9

    Followup: Just found reviews at Newegg.com which also sells the Sans. Loud, several people have had drives corrupted. I want RAID for rock-solid peace of mind. Will use two good enclosures and Goodsync to keep one copied to the other. Low tech, but reliable.

  10. Jim
    June 12th, 2008 at 11:01 | #10

    Just wanted to add the the chorus – Stay Away from cooldrives.com. Horrible, nasty, unprofessional liars.

  11. July 12th, 2008 at 12:31 | #11

    You can check out fantom drives. I bought one from them, and the enclosure looks identical to the one from cooldrives. I have a fantomdrives enclosure, and the fan gets noisy from time to time, but for the most part is quiet.

  12. John
    August 27th, 2008 at 14:27 | #12

    I *wish* I had seen this before buying from this “company”. They are harassing me over the return of a $79 part. Here’s our communication so far:

    Hello JOHN,

    Regarding Your Order 459420 placed on our site USBGEAR. We did not receive the driver disk along with your return. We cannot process the return fully without all the included accessories. If you do not have the disk any longer, or cannot find it, a restocking fee of 50% will be applied.


    A driver disk was NOT included. That’s one of the reasons we wasted two hours fooling with it.



    TECH:All these adapters come with a CD from the MFG. We stand behind their Q.C.

    I will foward your claim to my supervisor for review.



    You are calling me a liar. I’m going to charge this back with my credit card company and file a complaint if you do not refund in full.



    TECH:We have images of all returns, yes at this point we are not able to accept your incomplete return for a full refund since you did not follow our simple return policy

    If you commit fraud and do a chargeback you will loose all privacy rights and we will also post your info online

    how is that for an idea?

    would it just be better for you to find the missing parts that you did not return and send them back?

    Please Take a moment and you decide how responsible you will be.

    Best Regards,



    Your customer service is the worse that I have ever seen. Have you ever heard of Zappos, a company soon to reach $1B in sales? You might want to spend some time researching their customer service model.

    In any event, if you do not make a full refund I will charge it back, and I will do all of the things to you that you threaten to do to me — and more. Let the games begin.



    TECH:Are you saying that you have defrauded Zappos before and did not have any consequences?

    We have no problem with our customer service, the problem is some of our customer lie cheat and steal. We have been in business since 1997 and have only a handful of bad reviews out of 430,000+ customers, so I think your scam will not work with us.

    No Game, just a customer that does not wish to follow policy. Just wanted to let you know we are pleased that there is only very few of your kind.

    Good Luck to you and your ways


  13. Matt
    February 16th, 2009 at 13:22 | #13

    I wish I saw this website beforehand as well since I just got scammed by these crooks. I bought a wireless camera and receiver from them. The webpage claimed it could do several things that I was not able to produce. I am an engineer and neither I nor any of my coworkers could get it to work. After submitting a poor rating on yahoo stores, I was called by the company (less than 5 minutes later) and the guy started yelling at me for damaging their company name and threatening to sue me for saying the things I said (even though I only summed up my experience).

    Buyer beware. From my experience and those of the posters above me, it seems clear that this seller does not care about the customer and thinks we are all idiots.

    I will never buy from them again.

  14. Customer Service Rep @ QCUSA
    February 18th, 2009 at 14:52 | #14

    We understand that your intentions where to lie about product features and or function not to pay a restocking fee but we also know this is wrong and unfair to the merchant.

    Posting Part of your story and not letting people know that you lied to us and tried to cheat us is not fair to any person and or company.

    We are sorry to see you are still posting false information online, since we have proven to you item has a microphone and it works exactly as described and yet you wish to degrade our name and post false details. We have no choice but to protect ourselves and release your inaccurate and false communication with our customer service dept. so others can judge who is the party at fault.

    We pay for our mistakes, take some responsibility or go back to School (you did lie about the microphone and the audio capability of this item). If it did not work for your application, all you had to do is READ and follow Policy to send item back to our Florida Lab for retesting and confirmation of your claims. We are people as well and yes we do live up to everything we post online and when we don’t we make it right.

    It is very sad that we need to fight off people like you, more often now in this bad economy than ever before.



  15. tony
    February 19th, 2009 at 21:44 | #15

    Man. This company is really clueless. Incredible.

    Hey BT: Here is a tip for you. Rather than resorting to “fight off people” you might consider doing whatever you need to do to please a customer who is unhappy. Ship a new product. Refund the credit card and offer a coupon. Be NICE! Apologize. Ask what you can do to make up for the problem. You’d be amazed at how those unhappy customers become evangelists for your company.

    Then you’ll find yourself with lots of online praise rather than a blog post with 65 negative comments about your company.

  16. February 20th, 2009 at 18:50 | #16

    In the electronic business, even with our multiple Quality Control guidelines, there is always a chance something will fail. We pay for our mistakes, but we do ask that customers act in a civil and appropriate manner, otherwise they will be treated poorly.

    We think you have the wrong mind set to understand our side of the story. After all, you manage a bias negative review website without concern for the other side of the story. Your small cooling fan failed and you declined to ship it back even though the unit was under warranty. So, yes, you are the one to blame for your actions. You declined to send the item back for warranty repair and elected to use our intellectual property (you stole our image and posted it on your website without permission) and write a single-sided blog with no control over inappropriate and or false postings.

    In the meantime, when you have a moment, please take a picture of our item and post your own image instead of using someone else’s work without permission. We are sure our enclosure has served you well. You are one of a handful users that had problems with this model.

    In your eyes, we are the one to blame. We asked you to send the item back so we can confirm your claim. This only makes sense. Offering this type of service is a lot more than most retailers will offer.

    We actually learn from failure and when a defective item comes in, it takes money and time to process a return. It takes more money to ship out a replacement/repaired item after confirmation of a problem. We have no issue with this, however, we do have a issue when a staggering majority of returns are for refund of used/abused items that someone simply decided he/she no longer wanted. After reading our strict policy (“All enclosure sales are final”) some customers resort to committing an act of fraud just so they can get a refund (i.e. Chargeback).

    We have videos and pictures of all of our returns to prevent this type of behavior.

    Our part suppliers need to learn from their mistakes as well so they require for us to send them defective items for their inspection (i.e. noisy/failed cooling fan). This may come as news to you and all others but we actually do care about the quality of items we sell. We innovate more than any other company in our field. By innovating, we also expose ourselves to new and hidden incompatibilities in specific applications that our customers may experience with our equipment in the field.

    We actually protect ourselves and do not follow the typical consumer/retail outlet philosophy of customer is always right. We believe everyone is right when they are right, and they can be wrong on occasion.

    Sorry we do not subscribe concept of making all customers happy. We are fully aware there are a few people set in their ways, and there is nothing we can do about it. We will not waste our time to make them into a better person… it’s not our job.

    If you defraud, lie, cheat or steal we will treat you in the matter that you deserve to be treated. When we make mistakes, we do apologize and take responsibility for our actions. We provide great customer service for those who ask for it and/or deserve it. Our customer service is provided to those who do not commit acts of fraud against us and/or our company.

    We are also fully aware that not everyone can be pleased. Numbers do not lie. 100, 200 or even 500 bad reviews do not compare to the ratio of good reviews/filled orders for our many satisfied customers. 500 bad reviews to our vast number of positive reviews would put us at the highest ranking for customer service on the web today.

    We have your communication on file if you wish for us to post it online?

  17. tony
    February 24th, 2009 at 11:14 | #17

    Hi Rad

    We think you have the wrong mind set to understand our side of the story. After all, you manage a bias negative review website without concern for the other side of the story.

    If I had no concern for the other side of the story I would not have approved your comments.

    In the meantime, when you have a moment, please take a picture of our item and post your own image instead of using someone else’s work without permission. We are sure our enclosure has served you well.

    No it did not serve me well. I threw it away so I cannot take another pic but I have removed your image as requested. I asked simply if you could tell me where I could get another fan because I could not afford the lost time to send it back to you. You were rude so I threw the enclosure away and bought a Lacie.

  18. Bob
    March 12th, 2009 at 18:08 | #18

    Wow, so glad I found this website! I was looking at their multibay eSATA enclosures. The multiple websites, (Cooldrive, Cableo, QCUSA), the Yahoo store, plus the fact that some of their products look identical to products sold by other companies (e.g. Sans Digital), had restrained me from going forward with the purchase.

    At http://www.cooldrives.com/info.html, they actually say :
    “Maxtor, Western Digital, Seagate and many other storage suppliers, have been buying our items since 1998. Before designing a unit of their own, they first test our technology for stability and compatibility.”

    So WD and Seagate, two big names in the IT industry, need help in testing from a guy with a stupid Yahoo store? YEAH RIGHT!

    May 21st, 2009 at 11:27 | #19

    BEWARE–DO NOT EVER BUY ANYTHING FROM THEM. EVER. I REPEAT DO NOT BUY ANYTHING FROM THEM EVER. They are rude to customers, period. They have no customer service skills what so ever. If you happen to have a problem with a product that you made the MISTAKE of buying from them, EAT THE COST. It is not work the headache of dealing with this ridiculously rude people. Clearly the reason they communicate by email and not by phone is because they cannot verbalize “help” in any way, shape or form. It doesn’t matter who is wrong in the instance-if a company values their clientele they will be willing to, at the very least, speak humanely to the people buying their product.

  20. Sam
    July 6th, 2009 at 15:01 | #20

    Great thread – almost fit for a college level business course case study. My shopping cart was full but laughable shipping charges led me here, and I eventually found an alternative USB to drive converter from NewerTech. This product has outstanding user reviews as well as an established distribution network – two big market advantages over the cooldrives.com product.

    While cooldrives.com appears to offer some innovative products, their apparent lack of basic business concepts is simply stunning. I do sales and marketing for one of the largest electronic component manufacturers in the world. If I, or one of my distributors were to send an email to a customer as the one posted above, the corrective action would be substantial. It is unfortunate indeed if some of these comments are unwarranted, but I find that unlikely and I am not willing to risk it – especially (in cooldrive’s words) in this economy.

  21. Jim
    September 26th, 2009 at 22:25 | #21

    I had similar poor dealings with QCUSA… product would not even install on my system but “worked fine on our test system”, so they would not refund what I paid. Be aware of their return policy and hefty “restocking fee” and consider taking your business to some other place where you’ll be treated with respect.

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