Recently as some of you may know from other articles I have a second machine I was working on. When I was building the second machine I needed a way to be able to swap the hard drives in no time and so I knew I would have to use some sort of removable drive enclosure. After doing some searching on the Internet I come across and decided to buy several EZ Swap 2.

The EZ Swap 2 is constructed from aluminum and the only plastic is in the front and the back of the unit. The aluminum by default will help a bit with cooling. Speaking of cooling the EZ Swap 2 has two small fans one in the back where the EIDE cable connects and then one on the front of the removable hard drive enclosure. If you don't like noise from your machine then you wont like these two fans both do make noise. You have to expect noise if you want any sort of performance from such a small fan. In my case here even with the two of the EZ Swap 2 running it don't even come close to the noise of my main computer with its 5 fans.

One thing about the EZ Swap 2 is it has a key switch that needs a key and that switch doesn't just keep the removable drive part from being taken out but also you have to use that same key switch to turn the power to the drive off and on. The drives are not hot swappable ether you have to power down your computer and swap drives if you want to change them.

The only thing I wonder about with the EZ Swap 2 is if I will run into a loss of data problem should the connector on the enclose and the receptacle in the drive unit start to wear out or develop play in them after lots of inserting and removing drives all the time.

There is one problem I see with these EZ Swap 2 units and that is if you look inside the drive enclosure part where the hard drive goes you can see a red and black wire running along the floor of the enclosure. This wire is for the fan in the front of the enclosure and it sits in a little track and held in place with some hot glue. The problem is the hot glue is crappy and it don't take much for that wire to come out of its track. When it does come out of its track it gets hard to get the screws into the hard drive because the drive is not sitting flush but instead has wire crammed under it.

The EZ Swap 2 is a ATA133 interface so it can handle any ATA133 drives. Vantec also makes versions that can handles the newer SATA drives as well.

In conclusion It looks like a good product just have to see how well it stands up over time. If anything does change with it I will be sure to update this Review. At the time of this article the Vantec EZ Swap 2 cost me $40.00 Canadian.

Update July 12 2007...

Well here is another a product that didn't stand the test of time..

When I first bought the Vantec EZ swap 2 it looked like the unit was built fairly well and would last for a while. However after several months of testing the EZ swap 2 its true colors started to show.

First thing I noticed during testing was the small fan in the front of the unit died and that was no real surprise. The noise the fan was making when it was good made me think it wouldn't be around for long and I was right. The amount of noise these little fans can produce is something else as well. With two of the EZ swaps in one machine they made more noise then the power supply and the cpu fan combined.

With the computer only a few feet away I couldn't take the noise that was coming from the EZ swap 2's. Even with one EZ swap 2 running the noise would make me turn the computer off so I didn't have to listen to it.

The other big problem I had was when you would slide the male part of the EZ swap 2 into the female part sometimes you wouldn't get a solid plug connection. So when you would turn your computer on the hard drive wouldn't even boot. When this would happen I would have to take the male portion of the EZ swap 2 out and then ram it back in. Only after doing this would the connection between the male and female plugs of the drive unit be in full contact and then the drive would boot up as it should.

As time went on the connection between the male and female plugs of the drive enclosure got worse and you had to ram the drive in a few times in order to get the plugs to connect up right.

Perhaps the biggest problem I seen though was the heat the drives would generate inside the enclosure where the hard drive would sit. There were times I would open the enclosure up and I felt the hard drive and the drive was very hot. The drive was so hot that you wouldn't want to leave you hand on it for to long.

The reason the drive was that hot was simple the two small fans used to cool the drive down inside the drive enclosure were not good enough. Not only were the fans very loud they simple didn't move enough air around inside the enclosure. Hard drives run hot to begin with and thats in a well ventilated computer case, so as you can imagine when you stick the hard drive in a small enclosure its only going to make the heat problem worse.

With the type of heat I felt coming from the hard drives in the enclosure I'm sure it wouldn't have taken long before the hard drives would have failed do to the heat.

So bottom line here is steer clear of the Vantec EZ swap 2. This doesn't just go for Vantec either, any swappable hard drive enclosure thats built like this one is going to be trouble and not worth your time or money.

Below Are some Pictures of the Vantec EZ Swap 2 Enjoy!

Here is a picture of the front of the box.

Here is a picture of the back of the box.

Here is a picture of the box contents.

Here is a picture of the drive enclosure.

Here is a picture of the back of the drive enclosure.

Here is a picture of the drive enclosure apart.