You may recall the IODD device is an external drive enclosure that supports multi-mode operation:
You can use it in an external hard-drive mode to just copy files back and forth and access them as needed.
You can use it in an ODD (optical disk drive) virtualization mode. In this mode you load a bunch of ISO image files onto it. Then while operating in this mode, you can select the ISO file and PC will see it as a virtual optical disk. If the ISO represents a bootable disk image, you can likewise boot the system with it. This massively cuts down on the number of “burned” boot disks as well as installation media disks you need to carry. Just carry this device and you are limited only by the size of your external drive capacity.
Then there is a multi-mode where it operated in both an external drive/ODD mode.
I love the device I have and it has made my life so much
cooler easier when I roll out on an troubleshooting/incident response call.
The model I have and cherish is an older iODD 2501 model. It has both an eSATA connection (requires independent power connection via dual USB plugs), and a USB 2.0 connector.
It’s rock solid, and firmware updates were available to allow it to operate all partitions including any that include your _ISO store to be NTFS. iodd.com download page. My primary (_ISO holding) partition remains FAT32 because I’ve yet to create a 4 GB+ ISO file I need to boot with or access and that’s all I presently use it for on that partition.
Anyway… as my tipster points out, it appears there is a new model out from the IODD manufacturer. Based on the main i-odd.com page, it looks like “worldwide sales” is seeing it marketed/distributed under the “Zalman Tech” name now.
The features of the newest model appear pretty much the same except for the addition now of a USB 3.0 port rather than the older USB 2.0 connection and eSATA combo. The USB 3.0 can net you up to 5 Gbps transfer rate if you have the hardware to support it. Compare that to the 480 Mbps USB 2.0 rate. Wowzers. It also appears to provide some SMART drive stats on the display now as well.
Here are some useful links based on some quick research I did over the last week.
Still Super Cool. Still Valca Recommended.
- Zalman ZM-VE300 Product Page - Zalman
- Zalman ZM-VE300 External 2.5IN HDD Case & Virtual Drive Unboxing & First Look - Linus Tech Tips Blog
- Product Review: Zalman ZM-VE300 USB 3 2.5” Drive Enclosure with ISO Mount Capability A+ - MPECS Inc. Blog
- Review: Zalman ZM-VE200-SE V1.1 Virtual CD/DVD/BR USB Drive - Run Away Brainz blog
- Zalman ZM-VE300-B Black 2.5inch SATA USB3.0 External HDD Enclosure: Electronics - Amazon.com Product page.
- Zalman ZM-VE300-B Aluminum Alloy, Acryl, Poly Carbonate 2.5" Black USB 3.0 ZM-VE300 HDD External Enclosure with Virtualization and One Touch Back-up - NewEgg product page
As I said, my iODD 2501 model is running strong and I don’t have any systems that support the USB 3.0 hardware (personally or in the trenches) so I’m not rushing out to pick a Zalman model up just yet. However I can’t help but be a bit envious of the transfer rates in this new model.