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Zalman ZM-VE200 HDD enclosure Mini Review


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#1 TheHive

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Posted 06 March 2011 - 02:20 AM

Originally brought up in the topic
http://reboot.pro/8944/

Zalman ZM-VE200 HDD enclosure. Better then the older model the ' I-Odd 2501 USB disk enclosure

By default, the virtual drive shows up as a BD-ROM drive on your computer, so even if you don’t have a Blu-ray drive, you kind of do with the ZM-VE200

bluray.jpg

Just received mine thru the mail.
zalmandrive.jpg

The ZALMAN ZM-VE200 is based on the licensed design from Iodd.
More detailed review and some great tips[ZM-VE200 megatechnews.com Review]

ZM-VE200 has some great overal improvements from the get go. Well done so far in my testing.

On watching the video on Disassembling the iodd [Video for Disassembling ].
you will notice that the person disassembling the device use's a bit of force to open the case. Not so with the ZM-VE200.
I was a bit afraid after watching the iodd video of breaking something.

With Disassembling the ZM-VE200 there is no more struggle to take it apart in order to insert the drive into the case.

To insert youre drive on iodd 2501 was harder as you can see from the picture you had to disassemble it.
iodd.jpg

With the ZM-VE200 the only thing you do is an easy 4 steps no disassembling . Just beautiful. mmmm! What a relief.

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z1.jpg
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z2.jpg
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z3.jpg
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z4.jpg

#2 skyide

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Posted 06 March 2011 - 03:20 AM

Great mini review! I am considering one of these too. How much experimenting have you done?

Have you tried whether ISOs that don't boot properly such as the ones that display can't find live media (even though the ISO is extracted on root of the drive) actually boot without any mods? Just drop the ISO and boot? Also is there a max number of ISOs you can boot? Have you also tried whether WIN_7PE non WIM ISO boots properly without BSOD? If all this works, I am getting one.

#3 TheHive

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Posted 06 March 2011 - 05:34 AM

Naughty seems to start up stops at the same thing that its loading ie settings. I cant use Mouse or keyboard. Gets stuck before the desktop shows up. so I guess usb mouse and keyboard dont get loaded so I can press the enter key to try to get to desktop.

I just tried booting the WinFE based on WIndows 7 and Im posting this using it. :loleverybody:
WinFe.jpg

I tried a different ISO but it gave a garbled screen. Bunch of colored blocks on screen.

Have you tried whether ISOs that don't boot properly such as the ones that display can't find live media (even though the ISO is extracted on root of the drive) actually boot without any mods?

I dont know what you mean. In order to boot from the Virtual DVD/Bluray drive you need iso's to be in the root of the drive under a folder name "_iso"
.

max number of ISOs

I think the limit is youre drive space. I think you can nest folders with ISOs in the _iso folder and thus select the folder then the Iso to boot. Will test this next.

Will post results in a bit.
Oh I did try to install something using an Sofware Program within a loaded ISO from a real Windows 7 and it loaded and ran fine.

#4 TheHive

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Posted 06 March 2011 - 05:53 AM

Oh Yeah one more thing When booting with WinFe My HDD are not shown but are available using Disk Management. So WInFe seems to work as advertise. If you want the partitions on the drive you would need to assign them a letter. but That would defeat the purpose if doing a forensics job. Im sure Window7Se would load the drives with an assigned letter.

WinFE boot.jpg

#5 TheHive

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Posted 06 March 2011 - 06:04 AM

Self Installed drivers. Picture using real PC loaded Drivers. On the Virtual the Drive is seen as a CD Drive.
drive.jpg

Just tested ISo's Nested within a folder within _iso folder and it recognizes them. So this way you can separate the different ISo's. :crazyrocker: :happy_dance: :thumbsup: Go :go_fish: :loleverybody: :cheers: :P.

Now no more LUGGING A BOAT LOAD OF CD's DVD's. :happy_dance2:

#6 TheHive

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Posted 06 March 2011 - 06:32 AM

Will test Boot LiveXP nested within a folder. Be BAck.

#7 skyide

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Posted 06 March 2011 - 06:49 AM

I dont know what you mean.


Ok what I meant is, when booting some live Linux distributions of a UFD via GRUB4DOS, when they try to mount the live media file system such as squashfs or whatever it is called and others, it fails and drops you to a shell prompt. If you are lucky, you can mount the file system and continue booting. For some the solution would be to copy this live media file to the UFD while also preserving the path (same path as within the ISO) and that normally works. However for some it doesn't and this is probably because the cdrom device is hard coded in the init script and it only searches CDs. Now if somehow ZM-VE200 fools the system to appear as a CD device, booting this ISOs will work. If you don't mind, see if you can get G-DATA Live AV to work by simply dropping the ISO.

Another thing is, you know in WinBuilder you have the option to create the PE outside the WIM file. This means you will have "Program Files" and "Windows" directory inside the ISO instead of within the WIM file. To do this, in "Main Configuration", for Build Model select "Normal" instead of "In RAM". Once the build is completed, drop the ISO and see if it boots. (If you inspect the ISO contents you will see there isn't a WIM file and "Program Files" and "Windows" are on the root of the ISO). Currently when I build the ISO this way, to boot the system of a UFD I extract the entire ISO contents to a UFD and use USBBootWatcher - usbbootwatcher /prepare X:\windows\system32 where X: is the drove letter of the UFD. If you try to boot the ISO any other way it blue screens so it would be interesting to see if this works.

#8 TheHive

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Posted 06 March 2011 - 07:13 AM

LiveXP Boots seems to work but It didnt have drivers for my nic so I had no net. Will have to try to include now that I can boot without having to burn CD.
1.jpg
2.jpg
Just disconnected Drive and seems the Not a Real Hardrive belongs to my other drives. mmmm!

3.jpg

#9 TheHive

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Posted 06 March 2011 - 07:20 AM

Ok what I meant is, when booting some live Linux distributions of a UFD via GRUB4DOS, when they try to mount the live media file system such as squashfs or whatever it is called and others, it fails and drops you to a shell prompt. If you are lucky, you can mount the file system and continue booting. For some the solution would be to copy this live media file to the UFD while also preserving the path (same path as within the ISO) and that normally works. However for some it doesn't and this is probably because the cdrom device is hard coded in the init script and it only searches CDs. Now if somehow ZM-VE200 fools the system to appear as a CD device, booting this ISOs will work. If you don't mind, see if you can get G-DATA Live AV to work by simply dropping the ISO.


Link to ISO you want tested please.

#10 skyide

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Posted 06 March 2011 - 07:22 AM

Link to ISO you want tested please.


Link: https://www.gdatasof...e/download.html and scroll down

P.S. On a second thought, you don't have to test this one as I haven't. I had problems with the 2010 version so may be this latest one will not have any problems. I will test it later but let's not go off topic. This thread is about ZM-VE200 :loleverybody:

#11 TheHive

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Posted 06 March 2011 - 07:28 AM

Another thing is, you know in WinBuilder you have the option to create the PE outside the WIM file. This means you will have "Program Files" and "Windows" directory inside the ISO instead of within the WIM file. To do this, in "Main Configuration", for Build Model select "Normal" instead of "In RAM". Once the build is completed, drop the ISO and see if it boots. (If you inspect the ISO contents you will see there isn't a WIM file and "Program Files" and "Windows" are on the root of the ISO).

Im guessing you mean to test this with the WinPE Project right. If so you are right I didnt know that you could build like you mention but I will build and test. Let me try that right now.

Currently when I build the ISO this way, to boot the system of a UFD I extract the entire ISO contents to a UFD and use USBBootWatcher - usbbootwatcher /prepare X:\windows\system32 where X: is the drove letter of the UFD. If you try to boot the ISO any other way it blue screens so it would be interesting to see if this works.



Dont know what USBBootWatcher is?

#12 TheHive

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Posted 06 March 2011 - 07:30 AM

Link: https://www.gdatasof...e/download.html and scroll down

P.S. On a second thought, you don't have to test this one as I haven't. I had problems with the 2010 version so may be this latest one will not have any problems. I will test it later but let's not go off topic. This thread is about ZM-VE200 :loleverybody:


Its not off topic. Its right on the head. I need to test this to see if its possible or not possible to do as you suggest when using the ZM-VE200. Let me download it right now.

#13 TheHive

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Posted 06 March 2011 - 07:36 AM

shhh! I just found something out about the ZM-VE200. If you press down and leave down for a few seconds the button used to select an ISO from the list. The ZM-VE200 will turn off. Wow I wasnt expecting that. Sweet!

#14 steve6375

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Posted 06 March 2011 - 07:52 AM

Can you boot from it as a Flash drive (hard disk) too?

#15 TheHive

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Posted 06 March 2011 - 08:18 AM

Can you boot from it as a Flash drive (hard disk) too?

It has three options

megatechnews

Along one side [Left Side] of the drive is a little rocker wheel (“jog switch”). If you hold it down when connecting the USB cable, you get HDD mode: that’s your typical external drive. If you hold it up, though, you get ODD mode: that’s an emulated optical drive. If you do nothing and plug it in, you get dual mode.



#16 steve6375

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Posted 06 March 2011 - 08:20 AM

Sure - but can you actually boot from it just like a flash drive or USB HDD (I just wondered if you had actually tested this?)

#17 TheHive

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Posted 06 March 2011 - 08:28 AM

Trying to build WinFE

One other thing I like is the Display: I shows the temperature of the drive.
One suggestion for ZM-VE200 update is to have a scroll of the ISO names.
For EXample
You can see the name of a Small ISO name but some of the letters are cut off if the name is to long.
So a scroll from left to right of the name should fix it to where you can read the whole name.

#18 TheHive

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Posted 06 March 2011 - 08:34 AM

Sure - but can you actually boot from it just like a flash drive or USB HDD (I just wondered if you had actually tested this?)

How can I test this?
If im reading youre question right. HDD mode [that’s your typical external drive.]or dual mode should work for what youre asking. Since the hdd mode would behave like any other external enclosed drive.

#19 steve6375

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Posted 06 March 2011 - 08:55 AM

Easiest way would be to install grub4dos onto the HDD (if you don't know how to do this, for a Windows platform - download RMPrepUSB 2.1.618, select USB HDD and click on Install grub4dos). Then try to boot from it on any PC/nbook that supports USB booting from HDD. You should see grub4dos load and then drop to a command shell window.

#20 TheHive

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Posted 06 March 2011 - 09:20 AM

Ok what I meant is, when booting some live Linux distributions of a UFD via GRUB4DOS, when they try to mount the live media file system such as squashfs or whatever it is called and others, it fails and drops you to a shell prompt. If you are lucky, you can mount the file system and continue booting. For some the solution would be to copy this live media file to the UFD while also preserving the path (same path as within the ISO) and that normally works. However for some it doesn't and this is probably because the cdrom device is hard coded in the init script and it only searches CDs. Now if somehow ZM-VE200 fools the system to appear as a CD device, booting this ISOs will work. If you don't mind, see if you can get G-DATA Live AV to work by simply dropping the ISO.


Link: https://www.gdatasof...e/download.html and scroll down

I had problems with the 2010 version so may be this latest one will not have any problems. I will test it later but let's not go off topic. This thread is about ZM-VE200 :loleverybody:

Downloaded and tested the ENG_R_FUL_2011_BootCD.ISO

It seems to boot into this screen. Same oN Vmware virtual test so I can take screenshot and on real hardware. You can read text in this screen. 1.jpg

Once you boot into the desktop all appears gibberish text. The Same result with the Boot options
G data BootCD
G data BootCD - Alternative

Using real hardware, but booting it in Vmware the Desktop appears fine. Its like when booting with real hardware a font is missing that cant show readable text.

Pic using Vmware Using same ISO loaded with Zalman ZM-VE200 Virtual Drive. It doesnt look this good when using real hardware.
2.jpg





WinFe TEST 2

Another thing is, you know in WinBuilder you have the option to create the PE outside the WIM file. This means you will have "Program Files" and "Windows" directory inside the ISO instead of within the WIM file. To do this, in "Main Configuration", for Build Model select "Normal" instead of "In RAM". Once the build is completed, drop the ISO and see if it boots. (If you inspect the ISO contents you will see there isn't a WIM file and "Program Files" and "Windows" are on the root of the ISO). Currently when I build the ISO this way, to boot the system of a UFD I extract the entire ISO contents to a UFD and use USBBootWatcher - usbbootwatcher /prepare X:\windows\system32 where X: is the drove letter of the UFD. If you try to boot the ISO any other way it blue screens so it would be interesting to see if this works.

As you said, I also received blue screen. :cheers: Is there a way to make it work.


Using Wim Option works.

#21 TheHive

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Posted 06 March 2011 - 09:22 AM

Easiest way would be to install grub4dos onto the HDD (if you don't know how to do this, for a Windows platform - download RMPrepUSB 2.1.618, select USB HDD and click on Install grub4dos). Then try to boot from it on any PC/nbook that supports USB booting from HDD. You should see grub4dos load and then drop to a command shell window.


Will doing this delete or mess with the stuff in the drive?

#22 steve6375

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Posted 06 March 2011 - 09:28 AM

Will doing this delete or mess with the stuff in the drive?


No, if the drive was not bootable before then it won't affect anything. Using the Install grub4dos button will change the MBR code and add the file grldr to the root of the hard drive. Just don't click the Prepare Drive button!

#23 TheHive

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Posted 06 March 2011 - 09:43 AM

No, if the drive was not bootable before then it won't affect anything. Using the Install grub4dos button will change the MBR code and add the file grldr to the root of the hard drive.

How can I return to same MBR and delete grldr from HD when Im done with the test?

#24 skyide

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Posted 06 March 2011 - 09:51 AM

As you said, I also received blue screen. :) Is there a way to make it work.


Hmmm I was afraid so :thumbsup: Well the solution would be to extract the ISO contents to a UFD/HDD and run the usbbootwatcher.

usbbootwatcher /prepare X:\windows\system32


where X: is the drive letter of your drive. It makes changes to the registry (so obviously this is a known issue and someone decided to fix it).

Having WinPE built this way will allow you to save changes that you do in your session. If you create a new folder on your desktop, next time you boot up the system the folder will still be there - it is a real offline installation and not a temporary environment that gets extracted from the WIM image. Of course the disadvantages of this is that if you damage the registry or get spyware, on the next boot it will still be there because the whole installation is outside the WIM image. You can get USBBootWatcher from: http://www.911cd.net...showtopic=22473

Thanks for testing G-DATA as well as other tests that you have done. Big credit to the community.

#25 steve6375

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Posted 06 March 2011 - 09:54 AM

How can I return to same MBR and delete grldr from HD when Im done with the test?

Why would you need to if you are not using it to boot? Anyway, BootIce will do it.




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