Topic: Zalman "virtual" HDD case is amazing

We just got these at work and I'm in love! … k=zm-ve200
You put any 2.5 SATA notebook drive in there, format as NTFS.  Then create a root folder "_ISO", then transfer all your bootable .iso files (win7, XP, SpinRite, Acronis, whatever...).
Then here's the cool part.
You plug the drive into the target machine via USB or E-SATA, then select the desired .iso file from the built-in screen on the case...the target machine then boots from that .iso!

It's freakin' amazing!

I don't need to carry around a wallet of CD/DVDs anymore!

Re: Zalman "virtual" HDD case is amazing

wow and only 42 usd right now... too bad HDD's are like gold right now.

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Re: Zalman "virtual" HDD case is amazing

Sounds like a plan!

It's 30 € over here.
Just too bad I don't have a sspare 2.5" drive lying around... hmm
As Jeff pointed out, they cost their weight in Gold right now (luckly grabbed a 3.5" 2 TB drive for 59 € just before the big raise) sad

Re: Zalman "virtual" HDD case is amazing

I have one of these, very useful item

Re: Zalman "virtual" HDD case is amazing

The write-protect tab is a feature i admire.  Is there a separate flash-drive embedded? If not, how do you select the chosen '_ISO'?
What were the power-pack details/mfg. and ratings, BTW?  Some generic power-packs should be replaced if possible, IMHO.

Re: Zalman "virtual" HDD case is amazing

There is no power cord.  It's usb-powered.  It has a firmware & screen built in with a selector switch on the side to select mode of operation and which .iso to boot.
It's worth every penny for a tech!

Re: Zalman "virtual" HDD case is amazing … sp?idx=431
Ah, USB-powered; therefore HDD's are limited to a current capacity of 0.5A @ 5V for a standard USB2.0 port (depending upon USB-port fuse size).  This shouldn't be much of an issue if connecting to the rear of a newer motherboard, as advised by Zalman, as i've seen some using as high as 2.5A fuses (check mobo manual or OEM support page for specs; look for 'Dedicated USB Charging Port' for 1.5A max.).  Only use cables with gold-alloy plated pins as is standard in USB specifications to prevent excessive 'Voltage Drop' (not to mention avoiding the 'tin-whisker' phenomenon; ie: that white fluffy powder anywhere there is Pb-free solder &/or Sn-plating; not to be confused with 'tin-plague'; see NASA - Goddard for more info).  See Figure 1b in the following Intel document, pertaining to 'Voltage Droop'. … boards.pdf
I see some users on that Newegg page have reported losing connectivity periodically; this may be why.  A dual-USB cord (Y-cable) with the data pins isolated from one male-end would be a likely 'fix', allowing a stable 1.0A minimum for the drive.

"Some devices, such as high-speed external disk drives, require more than 500 mA of current[39] and therefore cannot be powered from one USB 2.0 port. Such devices usually come with Y-shaped cable that has two USB connectors to be plugged into a computer. With such a cable, a device can draw power from two USB ports simultaneously."

Don't even think of upgrading the firmware for this enclosure (if available) if stable connectivity is of any issue!!!

I'd hesitate to think of what endless torment connectivity issues could cause even the most patient of people, not to mention damage to the drive itself as some of it's firmware may be embedded with the platters!  Growing fonder of checksums for large files, too. yikes
I note Zalman suggests holding the 'Jog switch' down for 3 seconds to safely remove if it's not available thru-GUI & then detaching the cable to power off (for the SE version).

...ah the petty details some neglect to add in technical documentation... and the errors sometimes!

mr_smartepants wrote:

It's worth every penny for a tech!

I'd go as far as to say that any tech worth their salt would demand at least one! smile

Last edited by TechDud (2011-12-07 20:03:12)

Re: Zalman "virtual" HDD case is amazing

I use this every day at work.  I LOVE IT!

Re: Zalman "virtual" HDD case is amazing

I also note that it is safest to remove the large USB-end first or to plug it in last, as the data lines connect last & disconnect first.

I note that there is likely more than one version of this hardware, not just color changes.  They may vary based upon controller chip, possibly firmware instead.
User Manual:  ZM-VE200 & 200 SE … n_Proc.asp
I note from one site that it's an Oxford Storage Solutions (by PLX Technology) OXU931SF USB 2.0 to SATA II (1.5GHz) controller powered by an ARM7.  There may be a sticker on it; don't void your warranty if you don't have to (just sayin').

The ZM-VE300 is a USB3.0 variant & comes with a backup utility (and definitely uses a different controller).

Product_Brief_OXU931SF_Apr09.pdf -->
I note that NCQ is not supported.  Neither is Gen2m for eSATA (wudda???)
Product Comparison:

A Product Change Notification was issued 27Sep10
The OXU931DS version was EOL'ed the same day; it is the only one listed on the Product Comparison to allow it's SATA ports to be reconfigured for eSATA. (huh???) Product_Brief_OXU931DS_Apr09.pdf -->

Product Change Notification only available to members; Detailed Technical Specs, Schematics & a document titled 'Using High Capacity Disks' are available through NDA.
I love PLX's slogan:

Silicon without Software is Just Sand.

Short story long; there may be some SATA II compatibility issues (Samsung drives especially see SATA 1.5 Gbit/s and SATA 3 Gbit/s in the following link).  This may be like a 'Pre-standard implementation'

Although ZalMan insists upon their site that:

2.5” SATA I/II HDDs are compatible.
Data Transfer Rate     USB 480Mbps, eSATA 3Gbps


Last edited by TechDud (2011-12-16 20:14:21)

Re: Zalman "virtual" HDD case is amazing

...updated by the Zalman ZM-VE300 --> … page5.html  big_smile

Re: Zalman "virtual" HDD case is amazing

I've has issues with this ve-300 enclosure and the SSDs I've tested with it

Crucual m4 128GB - "bad or N/S HDD" - won't go away, works fine in another enclosure

Intel 330 60GB - works, but only in USB2, firmware freezes in USB3 port (ZM-VE300 frozen on display, drive is undetected)

Can anyone confirm an SSD that works in this?

Re: Zalman "virtual" HDD case is amazing

Better yet, let us see if we can discover the why of it.

Can you read the numbers off of the main controller chip & identify the logo
(all under the sticker - if applicable),  that is without voiding your warranty?

  It will be easier to remove warm (unplug first).  Isopropyl alcohol is good to remove the goo underneath.  It is flammable, though (anti-static precautions in effect).  Not trying to be condescending, just trying to relay details responsibly.

(/off_topic:  I think Mr. T is currently the last person to have used the word "condescending" in a commercial - WoW)

A new firmware was made September 4th. … D=ZM-VE300  big_smile

Last edited by TechDud (2012-09-18 13:09:14)

Re: Zalman "virtual" HDD case is amazing

Tried the new firmware, problem still persists

Can't I just take a photo? rather not void the warranty

Re: Zalman "virtual" HDD case is amazing

I would to assume that the number & QR code (if applicable) upon the sticker on the controller chip are not associated with the chip itself, relating to production instead.

I have been thus-far unable to glean from the 'net the particular chip used in this model.

I see the logic in retaining any warranty.  How long until it runs out?  lol
Can you confirm anyone else with this issue?  Maybe you do want to take advantage of that warranty sooner.

I take it that your communications with the OEM on this matter haven't been thus-far fruitful?

Last edited by TechDud (2012-09-20 18:38:00)

Re: Zalman "virtual" HDD case is amazing

Warranty doesn't run out till July

No one else I know has one of these, and I'll be out of poket for the shipping if I return it

OEM said contact Zalman, Zalman said to send the SSD to them so they can test it

Re: Zalman "virtual" HDD case is amazing

using latest FW on SSD's?  Manufacturer's tools run on the drive at issue with a known-good mobo?  G parted for partitioning?
  One might wonder what controller-chip it is using & logo upon
(void any warranty at your own risk only, not for the "un-inclined", nor the "test-pilot"!).
There exists extensive unofficial chip-specific support for many drives available free after googling the chip #. neutral

Legacy USB 2.0 slots may introduce power-restrictions to the drive used, BTW.  yikes
There's a worthy line of questioning; "what are the power-requirements of the SSD's that are not functioning properly?
How does that compare with the specs for this case, & can a wall-wart be implemented, if applicable?