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I’m looking for a case for a desktop computer. Or for something to insert into a case.

No restrictions/requirements yet (so format/size/slots don‘t matter), except for this:

  • I want to use two 3.5-inch HDDs (or SSDs).
  • I want to be able to decide which drive to power up.

The idea is that it must be physically impossible for the operating system on drive 1 to access drive 2, and vice versa.

I don’t want to use an external drive, to swap the drives, or to have to (dis)connect cables.

Suitable solutions could be to have two buttons to boot the computer, a single toggle switch for the drives, or an on/off switch per drive.

A swapping mechanism (like many NAS cases offer) might work too, I guess (so I would physically disconnect the drive with a lever, but keep it in the slot, where it sticks out a few centimeters). But only if this doesn’t wear out the connection over time too much, as I’ll switch between the two drives daily.

  • Well. A chassis with hotswap bays would do the trick. You could also try your hand at creating a toggle switch panel that fits in a 5.25" bay, have the toggle switches connected to SATA power extensions, so that you can manually switch a device on or off. – NZKshatriya Feb 6 '17 at 3:45
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In a million years, I would have never thought that this existed. But.. The Sata Switch is a thing. This model, can hold 4 different SATA3 drives. enter image description here

I read the product description and information, and it seems like it will do everything you are looking to do, for the cool price of 79.00.

Literally cuts the power from the unused drives, I'm assuming you have to power off/switch HDD/Power on in order to get this to work correctly, but its a pretty cool little device.

My only concern was that it's not a full 5/25 inch, so it would have to go into an old floppy drive bay... BUT it comes with an adapter bracket... SO it will fit in ANY case that has a 5.25 bay.

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  • Thanks, that sounds good. -- Do I get it right that I can press this button (to switch the drives) while the PC is off (but connected to the power, of course)? At I least I hope it works that way, otherwise, I guess, this button would power up (and immediately after, power off) drives 2 and 3 when switching from 1 to 4. – unor Feb 6 '17 at 18:32
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    I read the reviews and this is what I gathered. While the computer is on, you can change the drive selection, then on reboot... it will only power on that drive. So it's only powering on one drive at a time, no power spikes or odd behavior to damage the drive. – BigElittles Feb 6 '17 at 18:54

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