- macOS 10.8 Mountain Lion and newer using UAS (USB Attached SCSI) or BOT (Bulk Only Transport)
- macOS 10.7 Lion and older using BOT (Bulk Only Transport)
- macOS 10.4 and newer has no practical hard drive size limitations, however file system size limits may apply
Plugable USB 3.1 Gen 2 Tool-free NVMe Enclosure
List Price :
Amazon Rating : (1299 Reviews)
- HIGH SPEED—Connect your NVMe SSD to a USB-C (Gen 2) or Thunderbolt 3 port at USB 3.1 Gen 2 10Gbps speeds. Capable of performance over 800MB/s read/write when using high performance NVMe media. Includes both USB Type-C and USB 3.0 (Type-A) cables
- TOOL-FREE DESIGN—The world's first tool-less NVMe enclosure allows quick and easy installation of your M.2 NMVe SSDs. Compact and portable with a sleek black anodized aluminum with extruded fins to aid heat dissipation
- COMPATIBILITY—M.2 NVMe SSDs (SSD not included). USB-C Gen 2 or Thunderbolt 3 hosts up to 10Gbps, USB-C Gen 1 and USB 3.0 systems capable of up to 5Gbps. Not compatible with M.2 SATA SSDs, M.2 PCIe AHCI SSDs, or other M.2 PCIe devices
- OS SUPPORT—Plug-and-play compatibility with Windows, Mac, and Linux. SSD file system must be supported on host operating system to be accessible
- 2 YEAR WARRANTY—We love our Plugable products, and hope you will too. All of our products are backed with a 2-year limited parts and labor warranty as well as Seattle-based email support
Tool-free design and fastest USB storage speeds!
Backup and save files faster than ever before over USB, with read and write speeds of over 900 MB/s, when connected to a USB-C, Thunderbolt 3, or USB (10Gbps) port. Over 40% faster read speeds and over 200% faster write speeds than conventional USB 3.0 (5Gbps) SATA SSD enclosures and USB 3.0 (5Gbps) flash drives, make long wait times a thing of the past.
Our USB-C to NVMe SSD enclosure's innovative tool-free design allows the quick installation of an M.2 NVMe SSD in just a couple of seconds. Simply remove the aluminum cover using the locking latch at the back of the enclosure, then insert the SSD and secure with the flexible SSD retention peg, then reinstall the cover. The SSD retention peg can be moved to support multiple M.2 NVMe SSD form factors including: 2280, 2260, 2242, 2230.
NVMe SSD Compatibility
- Compatible with M.2 NVMe SSDs
Not compatible with M.2 SATA SSDs, M.2 PCIe AHCI SSDs, or other M.2 non-NVMe devices
- Older NVMe drives with less efficient flash media may not perform as well as newer drives
- New NVMe SSDs are not partitioned and will need to be both partitioned and formatted when first connected to the computer before they will be recognized in Windows Explorer or macOS Finder
System Requirements and Compatibility
- USB (10Gbps) port or USB-C (10Gbps) port is required for maximum performance
USB 3.0 (5Gbps) compatible at up to 5Gbps speeds
- USB Standard-A, USB Type-C, compatible with Thunderbolt 3 ports as a USB-C (10Gbps) device
- Operating system compatibility: Windows, macOS, and Linux
- Performance may be limited based on the file system, source data files (when copying files) and system specifications
- NVMe SSDs removed from computers or formatted on one system may have OS-specific file systems that are not recognized by either Windows or macOS. We recommend exFat file systems for working with both Windows and macOS computers
Heat Dissipation and Thermal Throttling
NVMe SSDs are high performance drives that get hot while reading and writing data. This enclosure features slots for airflow on either side of the SSD as well as extruded aluminum fins for heat dissipation. Even with these features some SSDs may still enter a reduced performance state as they heat up, especially when under heavy load. This is most common with older NVMe SSDs with less efficient flash storage.
Modern NVMe SSDs include built-in thermal protection and will slow down performance if they begin to get too hot. The threshold for this is generally above 60° C and closer to 70° C for many SSDs. Under heavy loads the enclosure can become hot to the touch, in our extended testing in a room temperature environment and allowing for the enclosure to passively dissipate heat, the samples did not reach temperatures above 50° C.
In The Box
|Item and Quantity||Item Notes|
|1x USB-C to NVMe Enclosure|
|1x USB-C to USB-C cable|
|1x USB-C to USB-A cable|
|1x 3 replacement SSD Retention Pegs|
|1x Adhesive Thermal Pads (application optional)|
|1x Quick Start Guide|
|Port||Placement||Power Host / Device||Connection Type||Notes||Voltage||Amperage||Wattage|
|USB-C to Host||Rear||Device||Bus Powered (No Power Adapter)||0.0W|
|USB-A to Host||Rear||Device||Bus Powered (No Power Adapter)||0.0W|
Connection To Host
|Port||Placement||Version and Link Rate||Features|
|1x USB-A or USB-C||Front||USB 3.2 Gen 2 (10Gbps)|
|1x USB-A or USB-C||Front||USB 3.2 Gen 2 (10Gbps)|
|Storage Port Location||Host Connection||Host Connecton Port Specification||Fixed or Detachable Cable||Slot and Media Type||Capacity (If Media Included) or Max Supported Capacity||Chipset|
|Internal||USB-A or USB-C||USB 3.2 Gen 2 (10Gbps)||No (USB-C Port)||
M.2 NVMe SSDM.2 B Key
- Windows 10, and Windows 8.1 using UAS (USB Attached SCSI) or BOT (Bulk Only Transport)
- Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP using BOT (Bulk Only Transport)
- Windows XP may be limited to only detecting only 2TB when using larger drives
- Linux Kernel 3.15 and newer supports UAS (USB Attached SCSI) or BOT (Bulk Only Transport)
- Linux Kernel 2.6.31 and newer support 4K per sector for drives larger than 2TB
- NVMe SSDs with M.2 edge connector
- SSDs of length 80mm (2280), 60mm (2260), 42mm (2242), and 30mm (2230)
- M.2 PCIe NVMe SSDs with M key slot (PCIe 4x lane SSD), or M+B key slots (PCIe 2x lane SSD)
- PCIe AHCI, and SATA SSDs with M.2 edge connectors are not compatible with this enclosure
- 120mm long NVMe SSDs will not fit within the enclosure. These drives are very rare in consumer electronics.
- M-SATA and other edge-connector SSDs
- Apple NVMe, PCIe, and SATA SSDs with non-M.2 slots
- M.2 PCIe devices that are not NVMe SSDs
- ADATA Swordfish NVMe SSDs
Reported to have consiterably reduced write speed as of 2021-01-26
- Asmedia ASM3142 USB 3.1 Gen 2 Host Controller
In Windows 10 computers with this controller may fall back to the usbstor.sys legacy driver instead of the uaspstor.sys UASP driver. This prevents TRIM support and may cause reduced performance.
- Apple M1 based laptops and Mac Mini with JMicron based USBC-NVME enclosures (pre 2020 models)
The drive may not detect correctly on this system and may not remain connected consistently. Please contact our support at firstname.lastname@example.org if you run into this problem.
- Use the slide lock to remove the aluminum cover.
- Gently align the SSD notch into the M.2 socket at a 30°c angle from the circuit board. Press the SSD edge connector into the socket. Using excessive force may adamge the SSD or enclosure.
- Tilt the rubber peg away from the SSD. Then press down on the SSD and release the rubber peg to secure the SSD.
- With the SSD secured in place, slide the aluminum cover back into place until the latch 'clicks'.
- Connect the enclosure to the computer using either the USB-C or USB-C to USB-A data cables provided.
New NVMe SSDs come from the factory without a partition table or formatted partitions. Before the drive will be detected in Windows Explorer or Finder the drive will need to be formatted. Please see our video tutorials below for partitioning and formatting in both Windows and macOS.
Filter Help Articles and Frequent Questions by Category
Does the USBC-NVME Support SMART?
Yes! Our USBC-NVME enclosure does support SMART data.
Access to SMART data is software dependent, we have tested our enclosures with smartmontools, a free, cross platform SMART reading and monitoring utility. The command line utility smartctl is the primary method for accessing the SMART data.
For our original JMicron enclosures the SMART data can be read using the "-d sntjmicron" argument at the command line, for example:
smartctl -a -d sntjmicron /dev/sdb
Our USBC-NVME enclosures with Realtek RTL9210 chipset use a similar "-d sntrealtek" argument, however this will be automatically detected in future version of smartmontools ( Build #949 (7.2-r5053) as of April 2020 no longer requires the additional argument ). Thank you to the smartmontools team for helping to achieve this!
smartctl -a -d sntrealtek /dev/sdb
Does the USBC-NVME Support TRIM?
Yes! The Plugable USBC-NVME enclosure does support Trim with compatible operating systems and files systems.
For Windows, Trim support was initially added with Windows 7 for SATA SSDs, however support for USB Trim was not added until Windows 8 with the UAS (USB Attached SCSI) Protocol. Trim is supported on Microsoft's ReFS and NTFS file systems.
For macOS, Trim support was initially added with macOS 10.6.8, however Trim support was limited to Apple branded SSDs. As of macOS 10.10.4 the trimforce terminal command was added to support Trim on 3rd party SSDs. Some users have reported success with Trim on our USBC-NVME enclosure while others have reported the command failed to execute correctly. Apple's HFS+ and APFS file systems both support Trim.
For Linux, Trim support was added with kernel 2.6.28 and is compatible with a variety of file systems, default Trim behavior is dependent on the specific Linux distribution and version.
What happens if I install the USBC-NVME aluminum cover backwards and it gets stuck?
Can I clone my internal SSD to an NVMe SSD installed in this enclosure?
Our USBC-NVME external enclosure can be used as the destination for many full featured retail or open source cloning tools, as long as the tool is compatible with USB storage it should work just fine.
Some SSDs include proprietary or limited capability cloning software. For example Samsung includes the Samsung Data Migration software and Crucial includes a limited version of the Acronis True Image software.
|Cloning software||Compatible with USBC-NVME (Realtek chipset)||Compatible with USBC-NVME (JMicron chipset)|
|Acronis True Image (Retail)||Yes||Yes|
|Samsung Data Migration Software||Yes - Only to compatible Samsung SSDs||No|
|Acronis True Image (Crucial)||No||No|
Can I update the firmware of the SSD installed in the USBC-NVME enclosure?
Unfortunately the manufacturer's SSD firmware updating and monitoring utilities are unlikely to be compatible with the NVMe SSD connected to the computer over USB. These utilities are designed to communicate with the NVMe SSD on a PCI Express interface and are not designed to be compatible with USB, it is possible this functional can be added by the SSD manufacturer, however with the risk of unexpected disconnections it is unlikely this will be added by most manufacturers.
Understanding Large SATA Drive Compatibility
Originally authored by: Jeff Everett, March 21, 2013
This post is intended to offer detailed technical information for troubleshooting issues affecting new “Advanced Format” 512e SATA disk drives.
Plugable’s full-size 3.5″ hard drive docks, the USB3-SATA-UASP1, USB3-SATA-U3 and USBC-SATA-V; these feature support for these new 512e Advanced Format drives. Our Plugable Storage System “PSS” products also support 512e large volumes (as soon as 2.5″ drive capacities increase and these drives become available in smaller sizes than 3.5″).
Some docks have a non-standard sector emulation feature that enables using capacities above 2TB on Windows XP 32 bit. But this requires that drives initialized and formatted in a special way, and NOT be used with other SATA controllers in desktop PC’s or other drive docking stations, unless those units also have a matching firmware version and support for this feature.
Plugable USB SATA docks do not support sector emulation for XP. Rather, we’ve chosen to support 3TB+ Advanced Format drives in the standard way without any emulation.
The storage model used by disk makers for the last 10+ years is changing, and this post is an effort to explain how these changes work in detail. In case of issues moving drives between different systems, or when encountering issues using USB attached drives to host enterprise application data, the details here can help understand what factors are at play.
Data is stored fundamentally in bits (bits with a little b). Busses like USB often measure throughput in bits, like USB 2.0’s 480 Megabits per second (480 Mbps) or SATA III’s Gigabits per second (6 Gbp/s). Eight of these individual bits of data make up one of the capital-B “Bytes” that we usually measure data in, be it kilobytes (KB) in a document, MegaBytes (MB) in an MP3, or GigaBytes (GB) of data on a storage volume like a hard drive or SSD. Generally speaking, transfer rates industry-wide are measured in bits so transfer rates appear higher than if they were measured the same way the data is actually stored, in Bytes.
On modern solid state drives and traditional hard or even floppy disks, these bytes are grouped into sectors for actual read/write operations. Over the last decades, almost all storage drives used 512 Bytes per sector to store data since addressing individual bits and Bytes would be impractical.
Having all drives at 512 bytes per sector was nice, as there were few compatibility issues to think about when moving drives between systems or SATA docks, or when cloning them.
512 byte sectors present problems with larger capacity drives (3TB+)- to make way for larger drives, sector sizes had to grow. This presents challenges throughout the “software stack” from the SATA hardware controllers and their firmware, their drivers, the operating system, and even to how applications may sometimes assume certain sector sizes or where sectors will start. Resulting issues are numerous and will take time for the industry to fully work out.
Over the past few years, Advanced Format Drives (512e, AF) drives reporting 512 Bytes/”logical” sector while actually using physical sectors of 4096 Bytes/”physical” sector have gained in popularity due to their higher data density potential, and resulting larger capacities. For more on how these drives work and why the industry switched, read this great ZD net post. Soon, we’ll be seeing drives that use 4096B logical and physical sectors.
|4K native (4K logical sector size)||Supported on the following operating systems:
|Advanced Format or 512E (4K physical and 512-byte logical sector size)||Supported on the following operating systems:
*Except for Hyper-V. See the “Windows support in enterprise” section below.
Specific requirements are listed in the following section. Run only applications and hardware that support these drives.
|512-byte native (512-byte physical and logical sector size)||Supported on all platforms.|
As you can see from the table above, determining whether you have a 512n (drive with reported and physical sectors of 512 bytes), 512e (the 512 emulation 4096 “Advanced Format” drives with physical 4096B clusters), or 4Kn (drive with both reported and physical sectors of 4096B) is crucial to determine which Windows operating systems will be able to recognize the drive.
On OS X, large volume support is somewhat better, with effectively no limits on volume size in modern OS X versions:
How to check your drive’s sector size
To determine if you have an 512e Advanced Format Drive, open an administrative command prompt and run the following command on the NTFS formatted volume:
fsutil fsinfo ntfsinfo [your drive]
[your drive] will be the letter of the disk you’re testing, so c: or d: etc.
The output will look like this, with the bold portion below being the relevant information. Bytes per Sector of 512 and bytes per Physical Sector of 4096 indicate a 512e drive:
C:\Windows\system32>fsutil fsinfo ntfsinfo h:
NTFS Volume Serial Number : 0x8a0c5e820c5e68e9
NTFS Version : 3.1
LFS Version : 1.1
Number Sectors : 0x00000001d1bcafff
Total Clusters : 0x000000003a3795ff
Free Clusters : 0x000000003a3671d7
Total Reserved : 0x0000000000000000
Bytes Per Sector : 512
Bytes Per Physical Sector : 4096
Bytes Per Cluster : 4096
Bytes Per FileRecord Segment : 1024
Clusters Per FileRecord Segment : 0
Mft Valid Data Length : 0x0000000000040000
Mft Start Lcn : 0x00000000000c0000
Mft2 Start Lcn : 0x0000000000000002
Mft Zone Start : 0x00000000000c0000
Mft Zone End : 0x00000000000cc820
Resource Manager Identifier : DB59D441-7AD6-11E2-BEE8-00027232D73D’
If your drive reports:
Bytes Per Sector : 512
Bytes Per Physical Sector : 512
This one of the 512n volumes commonly used over the last decade. Support for these drives is universal.
If your drive reports:
Bytes Per Sector : 512
Bytes Per Physical Sector : 4096
The volume is operating in 512e mode, and should be recognized by most Windows Vista (SP1 and later) systems, as well as by newer Windows 7 and 8 PC’s. Windows 7 and Server 2008 users who do not have Service Pack 1 installed need a system update for 512e compatibility.
Macs should also be able to see the volume with no issue, however do not have native NTFS write capabilities, so they may only be able to read the drive.
If your drive reports:
Bytes Per Sector : 4096
Bytes Per Physical Sector : 4096
Then the drive has been formatted with non-standard sector emulation, in order to support 3TB+ drives on Windows XP.
A special release of firmware for the Plugable USB3-SATA-U3 (firmware v12092681f600) is available by special request that uses this non-standard emulation strategy. However, it is not the default and is generally not recommended as it limits moving the drive to other docks with the same emulation strategy.
How to clean and re-initialize a volume
Moving volumes initialized with 4096B sector re-emulation to other SATA controllers (other drive docks or PC SATA connections) may result in drives that are visible in disk manager but with no partitions, and no option to re-format the drive since the “new” (non U3) SATA controller doesn’t support the 4096B sector re-emulation. In this case, wiping the drive is necessary to use it on the new controller.
Wiping a misaligned drive’s partition table will allow the volume to be re-initialized as though it were new, and a new partition table may be written when the disk is re-formatted.
Performing the following steps will destroy all data on the disk selected, so these steps must be performed with extreme caution.
To check for all attached volumes, open an administrative command prompt and enter diskpart, then enter the list disk command as shown below, and select the disk of your choice to clean. After selecting whichever disk number you want to wipe, the clean command will destroy the partition table and allow you to re-initialize the volume.
Microsoft DiskPart version 6.2.9200
Copyright (C) 1999-2012 Microsoft Corporation.
On computer: GRANDCENTRAL
DISKPART> list disk
Disk ### Status Size Free Dyn Gpt
——– ————- ——- ——- — —
Disk 0 Online 111 GB 1024 KB
Disk 1 Online 1863 GB 0 B
Disk 2 No Media 0 B 0 B
Disk 3 No Media 0 B 0 B
Disk 4 No Media 0 B 0 B
Disk 5 No Media 0 B 0 B
Disk 6 Online 1862 GB 0 B
Disk 7 No Media 0 B 0 B
Disk 8 Online 465 GB 0 B
DISKPART> select disk 8
Disk 8 is now the selected disk.
DiskPart succeeded in cleaning the disk.
From here the disk is blank and can be re-initialized and formatted with whatever partitions are desired. Most consumers will not need to be aware of the other issues that can arise with Advanced Format volumes in enterprise applications.
If the performance of your 512e large volume has degraded when being moved from system to system, partition alignment issues may be the cause. Issues with non-bootable cloned volumes may also be due to improperly aligned partitions. Western Digital and Hitachi offer drive alignment utilities for affected operating systems. Seagate drives should not require alignment. Customers with other brands of drives will need to check with the manufacturer of their drive to determine if an alignment tool is available and/or necessary. Partition alignment issues often affect older Windows Vista and Windows XP systems where drives are frequently accessed on other operating systems.
Before initializing a new drive, using a large volume with Windows XP, or especially before cloning an Advanced Format Western Digital drive, please check the chart below to determine if aligning your drive is necessary for maximum performance and compatibility with your software environment.
Running Hitachi’s “HGST Align” tool may be necessary for Windows XP or Windows Vista users. Windows 7 and Windows 8 users should not need to use this utility.
Windows support in the enterprise
Most end-users won’t need to worry about drive sector sizes, partition alignment, or any of the details above. Due to the specific issues documented by Microsoft with some of their enterprise applications, thorough planning for drive purchasing and migration is crucial in enterprise environments leveraging the following technologies:
For more details on 512e and 4Kn Advanced Format support across Windows versions, application specific issues, other known issues, and unsupported scenarios, read Microsoft support policy for 4K sector hard drives in Windows.
Further details on the evolution from 512n to 512e and 4Kn drives are available in this presentation from IDEMA (International Disk Drive Equipment and Materials Association).
Deeper technical details for driver developers are available in Microsoft’s “Advanced format (4K) disk compatibility update (Windows)” article.