USB External Hard Drive Enclosures


Before moving to North Carolina in 1992 I lived for ten years in the Columbus, Ohio area (Delaware, Columbus, Powell). I have fond memories of my frequent visits at the Micro Center stores in Upper Arlington (Lane Avenue) and Westerville. I loved those stores -- my wife had a hard time getting me to leave. I bought my first PC (an IBM PS/2 Model 60) at the Lane Avenue store. I'm very pleased to now reconnect with Micro Center on-line!

I'm making this post to ask about USB external hard drive enclosures. For several years I've been using five Inateck FE3001 hard drive enclosures to house SATA hard drives from previous computers. Four of the drives are 2TB, one is 1TB. The FE3001 has worked great for all of them.

Recently I purchased another FE3001 from and a Seagate IronWolf 8TB drive from our local computer store, to have a higher capacity external drive. indicates that the FE3001 supports drives up to 10TB in size. When I first plugged the drive into my PC, I created a GPT (rather than MBR) partition for the whole drive (GPT being necessary for a partition of size greater than 2TB), then formatted it with NTFS. Windows 10 recognized the drive, and I could write/read files to/from the drive. However, after a while I could no longer write/read to/from the drive. To again use the drive I had to disconnect then reconnect the USB cable, or turn the enclosure power off then on, or restart Windows.

I spent many days investigating and trying to resolve the problem. I found and read posts on the web. I tried using a different USB cable, a different USB 3.0 port on my PC, and a different FE3001 enclosure. I tried changing various Windows settings suggested in the posts. None of this resolved the problem. Eventually I came to the conclusion that the chip set (ASM1153E) in the FE3001 and/or the Inateck firmware in the FE3001 did not support my 8TB hard drive, because of its size and/or because it was a GPT partition. I then bought a Seagate Exos 2TB drive from our local store, created an MBR partition for the whole drive, then formatted it with NTFS. (I used MBR rather than GPT because I didn't know if it was GPT or size greater than 2TB causing the problem -- I was anxious to get the new external drive working with no more issues.) This 2TB MBR arrangement has worked fine.

I now want to have yet another external hard drive, using a GPT partition and possibly using a hard drive larger than 2TB. Regardless of the drive size I choose, I want to use GPT rather than MBR because GPT has features that better protect data on the drive as compared to MBR (backup of the primary GPT header and partition entries, use of CRC).

Micro Center sells the Inland 3.5" USB 3.0 Hard Drive Enclosure. I would like to use this for my next external drive. The Inland enclosure gets good reviews, but before buying it I want to be sure that it works just fine both with GPT and with a drive of up to the 4TB noted at the Micro Center site. (One reviewer indicated the Inland enclosure worked for his/her 8TB drive.)

Can anyone tell me for sure that the Inland enclosure supports/works well with GPT partitioned hard drives and with drives of size at least 4TB (preferably 8TB)?

I'd also be interested in comments on other aspects of the Inland enclosure. Does the enclosure automatically power down the drive when the drive hasn't been used for some timeout interval? (The Inateck FE3001 does this. Automatic power down limits high temperature intervals on the drive, thereby preserving drive life. I like and am comfortable with this feature.)

Greetings to any former customers of the former Lane Avenue and Westerville stores.


  • GaryRAikin

    Regarding the problem I had trying to use the Seagate 8TB IronWolf drive with the FE3001 enclosure: There was nothing wrong with the drive. I downloaded, installed and ran the latest version of the SeaTools for Windows program, which showed the drive to be AOK.

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