Category Archives: News

Speed up your external USB 2.0 hard drive with a Plugable USB 3.0 docking station

A recent article on CNET explains how to speed up your external USB 2.0 USB hard drive by removing it from its enclosure and reinstalling it in a new USB 3.0 enclosure. Ed Rhee, the writer of the article, has been able to double the speeds of his hard drives from 40MB/s to 80MB/s, essentially reaching a new level of performance without having to buy new drives and go through the hassle of transferring over his data.

This a great idea, and Plugable lets you take it a step further. Instead of buying individual enclosures for each hard drive, as Rhee mentions in his article, any number of USB 2.0 hard drives can be speeded up by purchasing a single Plugable USB3-SATA-U3 or USB3-SATA-UASP1 docking station.

There is no need to buy an 3.0 enclosure when using a Plubable USB 3.0 docking station.

With either of these docking stations, there is no need to buy multiple enclosures. As long as you intend to access your drives one at a time, a single Plugable 3.0 docking station will allow you to operate an unlimited number of hard drives at USB 3.0 speeds, for about the same cost as a single enclosure.

How it works

First, remove your hard drive from its current USB 2.0 enclosure, following the instructions in the CNET article. Please be aware that this will void the warranty on the hard drive. Also, there is a small but real possibility of data loss, so be sure to back up the contents of the drive before proceeding.

After removing your drives, verify that they are SATA drives. The connectors on SATA drives are flat plastic tabs with metal pads on them. Another common drive type, called IDE or PATA, was phased out several years ago, but you might still encounter one in an older external drive. These drives will not work with USB 3.0, and you should continue to use them in their USB 2.0 case. IDE drives have two rows of metal pins enclosed in a plastic wall. The photos below will help you identify which type of drive you have.

35sata 3.5IDE 2.5Sata

In the CNET article, Rhee goes on to talk about purchasing a new enclosure and installing the disk in it, but with a Plugable docking station, these steps aren’t necessary.

Plugable USB3-SATA-U3 USB 3.0/2.0 SATA Hard Drive Docking Station (ASMedia 1051E Chipset)

Just insert the SATA drive into the docking station, making sure the connectors are aligned correctly and plug the docking station into a USB 3.0 port on your computer. You will be able to access your data at USB 3.0 speeds without buying a new hard drive.

12 outlet surge protector with 2 USB charging ports

Around the office, we’re constantly needing to connect and charge new devices. It’s always a struggle to find a power outlet with enough open spots, and getting many larger plugs to fit. Plugable’s new surge protector helps avoid both these frustrations thanks to the 4 oversized “wall-wart” capable outlets, and the 2 USB charging ports built in eliminate the need for the charging blocks for devices that can charge from USB.

USB Device charging rates vary widely by device, as there is currently no standard to which all manufacturers adhere. Here we’ve listed charging rates in milliamps (mA) for several popular mobile devices. iPhone 5 and iPad mini’s in-box chargers, for example, charge at rates of 930mA and 950mA respectively, so charging with the PS12-USB2 should result in a faster charge than with included chargers.

With up to 4320 joule protection, the PS12-USB2 offers better surge suppression than many other bargain surge protectors. Joules are a measure of how large a surge is, so a higher joule rating means a protector is able to suppress a larger surge — so the higher the joule rating, the better protection a suppressor offers.

Let us know if you have any questions at all about our new product. And thanks for going out of your way for Plugable products!

Plugable 12 Outlet Power Surge Protector with Built-in Dual USB Charging Ports for Samsung Galaxy S4, iPad, iPod, iP... Product Details

USB3-SATA-UASP1 Sleep and Large Volume Firmware Update

Customers purchasing the USB3-SATA-UASP1 can take advantage of a firmware update with the following features:

  1. Improved support for 512e “Advanced Format” drives 2 TB and above.
  2. Spin down disks after 10 minutes of inactivity, resume on access.
  3. Spin down disks on system sleep, resume on system wake.

Firmware version 121026910000 avoids drive sleep and spin down to eliminate issues with inaccessible volumes, however customers may prefer the sleep features available on firmware 130107917d00.  Almost all units of the USB3-SATA-UASP1 that have shipped to date already have this update applied.  Only if you are noticing that your drives stay running after your system sleeps or during extended (over 10 minutes) periods of inactivity is this update relevant.

For OS X users, please note that a Windows PC or Virtual Machine (VM) is required to update- updating firmware on the USB3-SATA-UASP1 is not supported for OS X.  Mac users can email to make alternate arrangement if they are unable to access a friend, neighbor, or library Windows PC to complete this update.  Again, please note that this update is only relevant if you are noticing that your drives stay running after your system sleeps or during extended (over 10 minutes) periods of inactivity.

To check the firmware version on your dock, just run the utility below:

ASMedia FW Version Check

To update the firmware on your USB3-SATA-UASP1, use the update utility and instructions below:

USB3-SATA-UASP1 Firmware V130107917d00

  1. Double click the “UASP1-130107.exe” update utility.
  2. If prompted by User Account Controls, select yes. USB3-SATA-UASP1-UAC
  3. Check to see that your U3 is listed by the update utility as pictured here, and press start:
  4. After upgrading verify that firmware version 130107917d00 is reported by the update utility.

Please let us know if you have questions or run into issues by posting below, or shoot an email to