Why use such a gizmo? Why not use the Smart Boot Manager or dual boot or
just a slave drive?
In order to have an internet system and a completely separate offline
system without them knowing about each other (keeps
virii and spyware out of my non-internet system) yet without having to have two keyboards,
etc. Also to have a system that is stable (not periodically getting
operating system bugs and not making older software obsolete over
time) and not slowed by virus scans.
When I bought a hard drive that I
ended up not needing, this arrangement was a way to make
something good out of that mistake. For some time I had
already dreamed of having a safe/stable, separate disk, for the reasons
Why not just swap cables whenever you want to go online and then swap back when
you want to use your safe system?
Indeed, you could use the above arrangement of IDE cables, get some power
extension cords, open a bay for easy access to the latter, and swap them appropriately
from that open bay. But the following are reasons this is less good than using the
COMBOX (or Trios) gizmo.
- You could accidentally swap cables while the system is still
on, forgetting to power down first. This could lose your data (if
not damage the disk outright).
- More hassle, long term.
- The connection points will wear over time. In particular,
if the arrangement involved disconnecting from the disks
themselves (not connecting and disconnecting two extension cords), the connection points
on the disk card itself can break over time. This means
needing to replace a disk sooner, which costs money and hassle,
and probably some lost data.
- Even when the power is off, if the power to the computer is still
plugged in while you swap cables, there is a chance of a latent spark
being released, causing harm.
- Less tidy work area! :-)
- Finally, if all that isn't enough already, if you are not
shutting the bay while the computer is running, this hole
affects the air flow, slightly reducing cooling. It's
also possible that
nearby spills can splash in there by accident.