Using a Caddy to swap Hard Drives?

I’m thinking about building a new DAW, but given the money this is going to cost I can better justify doing this if I can use the machine for other purposes as well. Rather than dual or triple-booting, I’m thinking about using a drive caddy to simply change out the OS drive and so change the machine when I need to. I can see that different caddies have different speeds (some sata 1, some sata 2, some sata 3) but apart from that is there anything else that I need to be aware of in terms of impact on performance? Does anybody else use a caddy with their DAW? Any views/experiences gratefully received.



I use these on all of mine and find they’re great. Just turn off the drive you don’t want and turn on the one you want to boot.

Roger, this looks absolutely spot on for me.

Just to check my understanding: are you saying that with one of these multi-disk hot-swap trays you can turn individual disks on and off?

Thanks again,


Okay so some further research shows me that these multi-disk caddies (or at least some of them) do indeed have individual power switches to each of the disks in the caddy. In the UK, the cheapest I can find for such a caddy is around £70 - £80. This is a lot of money given that the main functionality for my purpose is turning on and off boot disks without physically swapping and without dual-booting.

I suppose I could botch up some kind of switch array on a HDD enclosure blanking plate, but that would probably look a bit naff. Any ready-made solutions to this that won’t break the bank?


I guess the price is dependent on how many drive trays do you need. Mine were over 100 bucks each (3 of the iStarUSA BPU-340SATA-RED) Canadian from Tiger Direct.

you could always use one of these ;

I have one in my machine, I just push a SATA drive in and then usually clone or copy drives for backup, works great.


we use this from ICY Box (Raidsonic)
“This trayless mobile rack is designed for fast and frequent changes of the hard disc drives.”

Thanks all very much for the suggestions.

First of all, it’s good to hear that other people are using caddies without any problems. From my point of view, I was going to look at an individual caddy as suggested by Norbury Brook and by Ray, until I saw Roger’s suggestion of the multi disk caddies. Ironically I would not use the multi-disk caddy to swap out disks, I would use it to turn on and off static hard disks - which is why it would be a lot of money for me to spend just for that purpose. Now, I just need to decide how much money I want to spend!

Thanks again,


I have used these in 2 systems.

Has a fan to keep the drive cool.

Thanks Tom.

So many choices, so little time!


A long time down the track from this thread, but having had my 6-way Icydock 2.5" caddy go unreliable on me (like failing on half the boot ups) recently, I went for a US$13 6-way SATA power cable switch, allowing individual switching of each drive power from the front panel of a 5.25" drive bay.

Much more convenient and reliable, while not exposing the drives’ contacts to stress from connecting and disconnecting.

Nice. And cheaper too?