Icy Box 3.5″ SATA

One of the things that was on my recent shopping list, was an Icy Box. I tend not to put my backup disks, that I use for manual backup, in my PC case, so an external casing like this is required.

Since the recent purchase was a 250 GB SATA disk, I needed an external enclosure that supported this connection so the external casing I bought 2 years ago wouldn’t do.

Icy Box external 3.5\

The assembly

Assembling the enclosure was quite easy, but there were a few design faults.

First up was opening the case. This was as easy as it gets, just unscrew 4 thumb-screws and you take the whole top off like that.

Icy Box external 3.5\

Secondly was placing the disk inside the now opened enclosure. The disk only fits in one way, so no confusion there. Just press it in the connectors and done.
Icy Box external 3.5\
Now comes a little problem…

The sides of the case are a fine metal grill, done so for heatdispersion. Which is actually good, because with completely closed casings the harddisks get very hot, very fast. And since heat is the second most likely reason for your hard disk to die (after under-voltage and not counting factory errors of course) this seems like a good choice. But… you can’t fasten your disks from the side, so this has to be done from the bottom. You see where we’re going with this. The grils aren’t fastened so they fall out. Now that isn’t a big deal, you just put them back in, but if you don’t knew that would happen you might start thinking your brand new product is starting to fall appart already.
Icy Box external 3.5\

Four screws at the bottom fasten the harddisk nicely in place.

Icy Box external 3.5\
And we’re done. Just adding the plastic foot to mount the disk vertically (and save space).
Icy Box external 3.5\


I chose to put the Seagate I purchased to be put in the enclosure. Since the Seagate only has 8MB of cache in comparisan to the Western Digital’s 16MB, it made sence to keep the Seagate as backup.

I’m getting a solid 14 MB/second out of it, which isn’t bad since it’s about the same speed as I get from a disk to disk write (not partitions) between internal SATA disks.

Now I’m doing this over USB 2. There is however another option. With the Icy Box comes a backpanel that fits in a PCI slot at the back of your PC to patch though a SATA connection from your mainboard directly to the disk. This should be faster, but I haven’t tested it yet, since I don’t have any space left at the back of my PC to put such a panel. Also the red write-LED won’t function on the enclosure, but the disk activity LED of you PC casing will take over this function. No big deal, but it has it’s own mention in the manual, so I guess it’s important enough 😀

Anyway… A nice doubling in backup space. Guess this should do for another year.

3 Responses to “Icy Box 3.5″ SATA”.

  1. Hello,

    I hope you read my comment in the next few days, I found your article through google, so I’m no common reader of your blog 😉
    I just bought a similar external backup solution (Samsung 250 gig sata hdd, icy box 360 sts) but I’m now experiencing high temperatures with my “not so icy” Icy Box :-/
    Do you just turn your box on for backups and turn it off afterwards? Or do you have no problems with the hdd’s temperature at all? I’d love to hear from you (here or per email).


  2. Me again – it’s over, I’ve sent the icy box back to the shop today. The samsung drive’s temperature went up to 50-54°C in idle, bad prerequisites for a backup drive, it’s now in the tower with a cooler in front of it. I will buy another icy box for an older ide seagate hdd though, I think this drive won’t get as hot as the samsung one…


  3. Hi Frank

    Sry for the late reply, I was out for a few days.
    I only turn my external USB drives on when I need them, but they do tend to heat up a little. It’s basically the disk itself that’s the problem and not the Icy Box. If you’re going to use it a lot, place is in a ventilated area where there’s enough air circulation.

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