If you’re an IT professionals or in a market where accessibility to bare hard drives is essential, you should check out the US$279 UltraDock v5 from CRU-DataPort (http://www.CRU-DataPort.com). It’s a versatile drive imager with forensic access to bare drives.
Compared to previous versions, the v5 model include an LCD screen, five ports on the host side (eSATA, USB 3.0/2.0 or FireWire 800/400), native PATA and SATA drive connections, two power options, a recessed on/off switch guard, and six status LEDs in a rugged aluminum enclosure to aid in heat dissipation. The LCD and menu system make it easy to view drive information, error/warning messages, or remove HPA/DCOs.
An LED turns on when it detects a hidden area on the drive. The UltraDock v5 is about 24% faster than its predecessor, the UltraDock v4, with speeds greater than 12GB/minute when used with a solid state drive connected over eSATA.
The UltraDock v5 easily connects to most host computers. Attach a bare hard drive to the dock, then you can connect the dock to a computer and begin to access, set up, diagnose or repair the drive. The CRU-DataPort solution provides drive information such as model, serial number and S.M.A.R.T data (hours used, power cycles and disk health). Additionally, the UltraDock v5 can detect, remove, create or modify HPA (Host Protected Areas) and DCO (Device Configuration Overlays), which are hidden from operating systems. If using non-standard drives, CRU-DataPort offers combo adapters to access 1.8-inch drives, notebook drives, iPod drives and nearly all spinning disks.