Despite my love of tech, it decided to snub me this year. It all happened when we returned from a vacation. The old faithful computer built by my husband refused to boot up.

So, we bought a new one off the rack. Something I’ve not done since 2000. Just a few days shy of its 4th month, this new computer experienced a hard drive failure. What? Are you kidding me?

Too much or too little by kennymatic

Because I had to scramble both that first time and this time, I didn’t have time to set up the computer properly and some of my files haven’t even made it to the new computer yet. This meant my files and backups were scattered over two computers. It was the dock that came to my rescue. Even though I could not boot up on the failed drive, I managed to retrieve them using the dock.

What is a hard drive dock?

It is a modern computing thing of marvel and is exactly what the name suggests. You take a hard drive – like the one that failed on the computer, or a brand new one – stick it into the dock. Plug the dock into a working computer’s USB port and drum roll!

You can now access your files or use that hard drive like an external drive.

Success! Or Not…

At this point, I’d be callous if I told you it works for every single scenario. Truth is, if you experience a hard drive failure, you never know if this will ever work. Sometimes you get lucky and for 2 times in a row, I was lucky. You should have seen me when that dock broke a few months earlier. I was a wreck then. That’s another story.

Our HD dock really saved me more than twice because once, our name brand external drive failed on us. All 1TB of it. After pulling the drive out of that and sticking it into the dock, I managed to recover everything from that external drive including our backups. Don’t ask me how that happens.

Needless to say, these docks are a lifesaver for me many times over and the reason we have two. More if I were left to my own devices.

External Drive Alternative

You can also pull out a drive and stick another one in if one runs full – can’t do that with a fixed external drive. It can be a bit of a pain though so if your budget allows it, you can get one that docs two or more drives.

If you are in the market for an external drive, my advise is to seriously consider a HD dock with a hard drive. You usually have to buy them separately. However, they have worked better for me than any fixed or name brand external drive.

Learn more about these drives

StarTech Hard Disk Drive Duplicator Dock

Thermaltake ST0019U BlacX 5G HD Dock
View more hard drive docks