Have been ‘Busy Busy’ testing ‘n tweaking the Cooler Master Elite 130 case. Really a great mini-ITX case, but it requires lots of research to find components that work w/ it ‘n w/ me. For example, the external 5.25″ Drive Bay, i.e. what is the best device to use in the limited space of a Small Form Factor (SFF) build like my new CM130 test computer.

How to route wires in a SFF build ‘n then manage them in an esthetic way is another difficult organizing task at times. I have always used tie wraps/zip ties for organizing wires in businesses, homes, computers, etc in the past – often regretting their use when needing to move or add another wire. That often meant cutting the tie wrap, hopefully without damaging any wires. EnterHook and Loop:

Still learning all the different ways those can be used, but there is no need to hunt for yore dike pliers for surgical-like removal of the hard plastic tie wraps. I have purchased some of ‘These’ and some of ‘These’ recently, and keep finding new ways to use them.

Next, realizing that technology was/is moving faster each day, and also discovering that the SATA Hot Swap Bay (for both HDD ‘n SSD) – mentioned in the recent Build your own *WOKE* Linux computer in these – Times of Covid-19 ‘n PC “unHoly Inquisitions” – aka BYOWLC post – was troublesome to use since I have moved to SSD’s. If I still used a lot of the 3.5” HDD’s then the old extra Hot Swap bays I have around would be useful; however, they require using the 2.5 SSD SATA to 3.5 Hard Drive Adapter Internal Drive Bay Converters every time I use a SSD – which is 99.999999999999999% of the time!?

I moved to the dual 2.5” Kingwin SSD/HDD Internal SATA Tray-Less Hot Swap Mobile Rack Cage in the past year or two, and they are great for SSD’s. Heck, I can use a USB Hard Drive Docking Station for the few HDD’s I still occasionally use for backup OS images. Still, that dual 2.5” Kingwin is for 3.5” bays, and I want to efficiently use the entire space of that external 5.25″ Drive Bay, in the Cooler Master Elite 130 case.

What to Do With Your PC’s Unused Optical Drive Bays

 Nah, nothing there.

External PC Drive Bays Are Dying, And That Sucks

Well, not sure if that is true, since my new SFF case has an external 5.25″ Drive Bay…fact is, I see plenty of cases with both 3.5” and 5.25” external drive bays in there. However, there are definitely more cases with windows and no external bays showing up all the time.

Amazon ‘n Newegg suggestions, but just not what I’m looking for…at first glance anyway.

This is more like it – Multipurpose CD/DVD + SSD Drive Enclosure:

ICY DOCK realized the usefulness of pairing hard drives, SSDs, and optical media together, and created a series of hybrid enclosures to store a disc reader and multiple data drives in a simple, unified enclosure. Hybrid enclosures offer a low-cost and space efficient alternative to purchasing multiple enclosures for different devices, and are a convenient solution to anyone requiring both optical storage and additional HDD/SSD storage devices.

Yeah, and many say/said that the DVD optical drive is “dead,” but I just needed one for a new mini-ITX board’s drivers ‘n utilities – plus Nvidia drivers ‘n utilities for a new GeForce 1050 Ti OC. Granted, I rarely use one anymore, but they are handy to have when needed. I have a USB DVD-ROM, but it’s a pain to drag out and plug in at times.

I’m liking the ExpressCage MB732SPO-B, with 2×2.5″ SAS/SATA HDD/SSD Mobile Rack + Ultra Slim/Slim Optical Drive Slot for 5.25 Bay. It doesn’t come with the ODD, but they are fairly cheap ‘n and ‘InWin’ also has a space for an ODD. May never buy a ODD for it, but it provides 2 bays for SSD’s that I need now, and it doesn’t require an adapter for the 5.25” bay like the 3.5” dual 2.5” Kingwin SSD/HDD does. Almost $10 more than the Kingwin, but those adapters can run $7 or so.

$38.99 w/ free shipping ‘n no tax…should be here by Friday.

That about covers it for now…UPDATE: I talk a lot about these SATA Hot Swap Bays ‘n sometimes forget to mention that the only real problem I have had with any of them involved one that had a fan in it – IMHO, avoid *ANY* with a fan/s in them. Small ‘n high pitched loud fans that belong on an airboat ‘n not in a computer!

LINUX IS LIKE A BOX OF CHOCOLATES – you never know what you’re gonna get!