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Zalman ZM-VE200 HDD enclosure Mini Review


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#101 ambralivio

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 11:52 AM

I finally got this jewel last week and I'm currently testing its functionality.

Mine is the ZM-VE300B (black case) and I suppose that the only difference with SE (silver) is the case style & colour; all the other functions & functionalies are the same.

The new model (VE300) has only 1 connector (USB 3.0 Micro-B type), insted of the 2 used in VE-200 series.

A very nice jewel I'd recommend, a MUST to have for me; the first trial I made was to put 3, randomly chosen, ISOs (within my collection), and all 3 worked fine.

The only CONS I can report are : the jog wheel design is WEAK (I think it will break, very soon) and the missing (not so extensive) documentation.

ambralivio

#102 maximus57

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 04:08 PM

I love my VE200, not only for the ISO function, but I make good use of the image function by running a full installation of Ubuntu on it.

So can anyone tell me if the VE300 still has the ability to mount images? Someday I might get one, when I start dealing with enough computers that have USB3 ports.

And really wish they had better documentation...

#103 ambralivio

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 04:36 PM

Maximus57,

I agree I was not so much clear with my post, but please consider that all the 3 ISOs I checked were all bootable images, 2 out of 3 Win7PEs.

Therefore, while I'm still study its features, I can say that the VE300 performance is equal or better than VE200 ones.

Alternatively, if the cost is important and it has to be taken into consideration, I do suppose that the image management features of VE200 are equal to those of VE300, with no evolution or substancial changes in this context.

ambralivio

#104 maximus57

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 03:51 AM

Just to clarify myself, I am talking about being able to boot from read/write (floppy) disk images, which as stated in a previous post is not limited to just floppies. I was just wondering if that feature is still the same. I would think it would be, but do to the incredible lack of documentation I am left to wonder.

#105 crashnburn

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 07:06 AM

Does anyone have BOTH the VE 200 and VE 300 models? Can we do a comparison benchmark for the USB Controllers only?
USB 2 vs USB 3 comparative.

I finally got this jewel last week and I'm currently testing its functionality.

Mine is the ZM-VE300B (black case) and I suppose that the only difference with SE (silver) is the case style & colour; all the other functions & functionalies are the same.

The new model (VE300) has only 1 connector (USB 3.0 Micro-B type), insted of the 2 used in VE-200 series.

A very nice jewel I'd recommend, a MUST to have for me; the first trial I made was to put 3, randomly chosen, ISOs (within my collection), and all 3 worked fine.

The only CONS I can report are : the jog wheel design is WEAK (I think it will break, very soon) and the missing (not so extensive) documentation.

ambralivio


Could you do a benchmark and share the results here?

I love my VE200, not only for the ISO function, but I make good use of the image function by running a full installation of Ubuntu on it.

So can anyone tell me if the VE300 still has the ability to mount images? Someday I might get one, when I start dealing with enough computers that have USB3 ports.

And really wish they had better documentation...


Is it fast enough to not choke the USB2? Given that you're running a full OS from a Virtual Emulation, reading & writing to it as well..

i am sure the features are the same in USB 3. I'd love to see performance comparison of several / various usage scenarios for both.

Maximus57,

I agree I was not so much clear with my post, but please consider that all the 3 ISOs I checked were all bootable images, 2 out of 3 Win7PEs.

Therefore, while I'm still study its features, I can say that the VE300 performance is equal or better than VE200 ones.

Alternatively, if the cost is important and it has to be taken into consideration, I do suppose that the image management features of VE200 are equal to those of VE300, with no evolution or substancial changes in this context.

ambralivio


Their page says the performance is more. For, ALL THE OWNERS & USERS here can we do some benchmarks. What tool should we use for that? ATTO/ HDTune / Crystal Diskmark or any others people recommend?

#106 ambralivio

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 12:01 PM

@ Maximus57
making & checking the use of images different from ISO is my next goal. I'll let you know the results, even if i'd have no doubts about it.

@crashnburn
I don't have an effective USB 3.0 hardware available and so I cannot make the benchmark/test about speed and so on.

As per the benchmark, I remember there're already reviews/tests on VE-300 and VE-200 models. When I come back home, I'll post the links....

Ambralivio

#107 ambralivio

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 06:39 PM

@crashnburn

for some reviews on VE-200 go to RMPrepUSB Steve site http://www.rmprepusb.com/tutorials/ve200

and here for VE-300 model.

Ambralivio

#108 bob-mnemonic

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 10:06 PM

There seems to also be a
ZM-VE300-SE


http://www.newegg.co...N82E16817379027


Zalman ZM-VE300-SE Aluminum Alloy, Acryl, Poly Carbonate 2.5" Silver USB 3.0 ZM-VE300 HDD External Enclosure with Virtualization and One Touch Back-up


Nice. Would be very interested to find out what the 'Virtualization' feature was all about, and whether it was any use. Would make it a good upgrade to the VE200.

It is quirky.

A few rather rare instances it will not boot any iso. But thats more of a PC issue than a ve200 problem. As I stated before, some Dell computers (such as my own Latitude D820) simply will not boot from it unless I physically remove the optical drive. Other Dells are the same. Some HP's will not see it as an optical drive either. I work in a repair shop, and the ve200 is an invaluable tool for me, however it is not 100%, I would guestimate its 99% successful. Also need to eliminate errors such as flaky, underpowered USB ports (the bane of my existance!) , and make sure the drive and esp the image files are contiguous (windows defrag and/or sysinternals "contig" seem to fix particular probs).

One last hint for use, when faced with flakey underpowered USB ports, use one of those dual USB cords combined with a cellphone 5V 1A USB cellphone charger. The charger will supply plenty of power unless you have made a poor choice of the actual drive in the first place. IMHO the case should only be populated with a drive with initial spinup requirements of 700ma maximum. 500ma is nominal, but drives requiring a full 1 AMP of 5V DC will be very problematic.


Been caught out by the BIOS bug in the Dell PC's until I found the solution on here, never had a problem with HP's.

This drive has definitely helped me out on many occasions, and as a field engineer carrying around the 300GB's of ISO's that I have, on disks would be completely impractical, at this rate I'm going to need a bigger drive. :dubbio:

#109 TheHive

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Posted 11 May 2012 - 05:22 AM

For 300GB's of ISO's get a 750 GB drive. Seagate Momentus XT 750 GB 7200RPM SATA 6Gb/s 32 MB Cache 2.5 Inch Solid State Hybrid Drive ST750LX003
http://www.amazon.co...3/dp/B00691WMJG

Overview of Hybrid Drive


#110 Grif

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Posted 11 May 2012 - 05:59 AM

For 300GB's of ISO's get a 750 GB drive. Seagate Momentus XT 750 GB 7200RPM SATA 6Gb/s 32 MB Cache 2.5 Inch Solid State Hybrid Drive ST750LX003
http://www.amazon.co...3/dp/B00691WMJG


@TheHive

The Seagate st750lx003 according to its spec sheet here: http://www.seagate.c...4-3-1202-us.pdf pulls about 3.3 watts of power on seek which puts it nominally overspec for USB 2.0. Not saying it CANT be used on USB 2.0, but its power requirements esp if you factor in the current draw of the controller in the Zalman case itself might pose reliability problems esp on older systems with weak 5v rails to the USB. For USB 3.0, it should not pose a problem whatsoever, so that drive would be great for the ZM-VE300 if used on a USB 3.0 bus because USB 3.0 spec provides much more current, a full one amp @ 5V per device if I recall.

Yes, there can be ways around this, but for USB 2.0 the close cousin of the ST750LX003, the ST95005620AS (on the same spec sheet as indicated above) would be a much better choice. It requires a full one watt less power and much the same speed. The tradeoff is 250gb less space and a slower ESATA spec. IDK about you folx, but ESATA is so new that I have never used it in a production environment.

#111 TheHive

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Posted 11 May 2012 - 06:38 AM

Thanks!

#112 steve6375

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Posted 11 May 2012 - 08:09 AM

I have found some notebooks will not power the VE200 properly unless you use a USB Y-cable (two Type A USB plugs at one end). So I recommend always using this cable with the Zalman.
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#113 bob-mnemonic

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Posted 11 May 2012 - 01:09 PM

For 300GB's of ISO's get a 750 GB drive. Seagate Momentus XT 750 GB 7200RPM SATA 6Gb/s 32 MB Cache 2.5 Inch Solid State Hybrid Drive ST750LX003
http://www.amazon.co...3/dp/B00691WMJG


That sounds nice but probably over kill for USB 2.

@Steve6375
Thats exactly the type of cable I use. Got one with an old IDE caddie years ago which i don't use now. Its just a shame manufacturers don't seem to like supplying them any more, and good quality ones are hard to find.

I currently have a 500GB Western Digital Black HDD in mine which works with just one USB connector.

#114 babaganoosh

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Posted 11 May 2012 - 02:20 PM

Anyone know a source for that cable?

#115 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 11 May 2012 - 02:49 PM

Anyone know a source for that cable?

Google for "USB Y cable" and locate a suitable supplier, if you are in the US, it's at walmart allright:
http://www.walmart.c...-Drive/14659917

:cheers:
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#116 ambralivio

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Posted 11 May 2012 - 09:00 PM

@maximus57

as promised, I've started making the first trials by booting (floppy) images.

Started with Seatools floppy bootdisk (FreeDOS based), created the .ima image and successfully booted the system.

The only difference is that this way the VE-300 "remembers" the setting and you have to unmount the drive before modifying again the mode setting (an already known feature or trivial limitation).

Next goal is to check the bootability from a virtual HD image.

Ambralivio

#117 saddlejib

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Posted 12 May 2012 - 12:51 AM

My new Zalman has just made "bomboloni con la crema!" for breakfast, appears the possibilities are endless.
On a serious note this is a very versatile tool and I'd like to say thanks to Steve for his tutorial and documentation, better than the manufacturers, please keep adding to it, It could be definitive with further information and the knowledge you gather from the community.
Keep up the good work.
@ Steve 6375
Once more Thanks.

#118 Blackie

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Posted 18 May 2012 - 03:15 PM

change the display order of the files





Quote from the iodd2501_manual_v2.pdf file



Thank you, I will try this.

I have the iodd2501, I use it alot (and i'm thinking of buying the usb 3.0 version) a bigger screen and a better jog wheel and it's perfect :-)
(maybe support for vhd,vmware files and ghost and acronis would be perfect)

#119 crashnburn

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Posted 31 May 2012 - 05:37 AM

@ Maximus57
making & checking the use of images different from ISO is my next goal. I'll let you know the results, even if i'd have no doubts about it.

@crashnburn
I don't have an effective USB 3.0 hardware available and so I cannot make the benchmark/test about speed and so on.

As per the benchmark, I remember there're already reviews/tests on VE-300 and VE-200 models. When I come back home, I'll post the links....

Ambralivio


I'd like to hear how that Non-ISO image experiment turned out?

Also, I've seen & experienced how USB 3.0 external HDDs worked faster & better than USB 2.0 externals even with my USB 2.0 Machine. So, I am curious to know how much faster/ better is this drive even on USB 2.0 Hardware.

#120 ambralivio

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Posted 31 May 2012 - 11:47 AM

Crashnburn,

as per the NON-ISO trials, please see post # 116.

In the meantime, I made some other experimentation with ISOs for Linux-based filesystems and I found that Ubuntu 12.04 went smoothly, whilst the last Puppy Linux version (5.3.3, Slackware-compatible) didn't work.

Is there any help for playing with Slacware-based ISOs ? What is a way to work out with them ? Maybe through a floppy image ?

Thanks,
ambralivio

#121 crashnburn

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Posted 01 June 2012 - 08:38 PM

What about this? ..

Next goal is to check the bootability from a virtual HD image.



#122 maximus57

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Posted 03 June 2012 - 10:38 PM

For some reason the quote button isn't working for me.

As for the puppy linux 5.3.3, I just tested it on my VE-200 and it booted fine. Can you burn a CD and boot it fine on your computer? Is it just on the VE-300 that it doesn't work?

#123 _deXter_

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Posted 11 June 2012 - 10:59 AM

Just a heads up for the VE200 users: A new firmware has been released today : 65N.

As usual, no changelogs to be found anywhere.

http://www.zalman.co...CHPROD=ZM-VE200

#124 pktman

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Posted 26 June 2012 - 10:22 AM

Has anyone experienced booting from a virtual HD image?

#125 ktp

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Posted 26 June 2012 - 03:02 PM

Has anyone experienced booting from a virtual HD image?


Hello,

I just get a Zalman VE-300. It is a hard disk and can mount CD/DVD, floppies and hard disks.
If we activate all these capabilities, after booting, from BIOS screen we can see :

ZALMAN External HDD
ZALMAN Virtual CD-ROM
xxx Virtual Floppy (xxx: first 8 characters of the .ima file name)
yyy Virtual HDD (yyy: first 8 characters of the .dsk file name)
zzz Virtual Memory (zzz: first 8 characters of the .rmd file name)

From VE-300 screen we see a floppy icon associated with the .ima file
When Virtual HDD (floppy or hard disk) is activated, a special icon is displayed (refer to paper documentation). CD/DVD mount
has other specific icon.

Backup utility can create virtual HDD (VHDD) disk types: floppy (.ima)/removable (.rmd) /Fixed disk (.dsk)
=> each VHDD mount is remembered (cumulative), so to unmount them you need to go to Menu, then Advanced, then select Unmount VHDD

My experience about booting from virtual HDD :
Create 4GB fixed disk image using Zalman backup utility.
Mount it (VHDD) with Zalman control screen.
Create and format a partition on the disk mounted (using EaseUS Partition Master, or bootice.exe).
Run Bootice to check/set the MBR/PBR of the disk to NT 5.x
Copy content of a VMware XP disk (ntldr, boot.ini, windows, Program Files, Documents and Settings directories)
Boot the VHDD on real machine : BSOD xx but it is expected.

So VHDD bootability seems to be built-in in VE-300. Some assumptions/questions:
1- Should the hard disk file be contiguous? (assume yes, use WinContig to unfragment).
This means the PC memory must be bigger than the hard disk image size.
2- Does it mean that with VE-300 we can have a kind of XP VHD possibility to boot XP inside a disk image?
(note that we cannot boot XP VHD since XP does not support it).

Edit:
iso emulation that works: Knoppix, Linux Mint, Puppy, Parted Magic, Windows iso
iso emulation that does not work: Trinity Rescue Kit, Damn Small Linux

Also what is interesting that the type of connection (USB 2.0 or USB 3.0) is indicated at the LED screen,
but also through the HDD LED disk activity color : white if USB 2.0, and blue if USB 3.0 (blue is seemingly the
default color for all USB 3.0 cables/connectors).
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