Are Tray Caddies Any Good?



About 3 years ago I modded my Liteon 5045 Settop Box to mount the hard drive in a tray caddie that looks very much like this one:

but from a different manufacturer. Then I put another caddie holder in my computer and I have enjoyed the easy and convenience of taking the hard drive from the set top to the computer for editing and burning shows on my computer. Very Sweet!

Everything worked just fine at the start but about a year later I got problems with files becoming corrupted. I tried to narrow down what was wrong and concluded that somehow the cable in my computer was shorting out as the problem went away when I used a new cable.

The same thing started happening last week. So I changed cables. No joy. So it comes down to Caddie A works with Caddie Holder A, and Caddie B works with Caddie Holder B, and Caddie Holder A works with Caddie holder B ====but Caddie B does not work with Caddie holder A and after switching cables, it now no longer works with Caddie holder B either.

So, I think this is pretty solid evidence that something is wrong with Caddie B? Does anyone know how long a caddie system with normal use–switching the caddies about once a month, should last? I read articles about server rooms switching caddies in and out, but I have gotten very minimal use before mine seems to be failing.

Are there brands known to be quality or are these just toys that need to be avoided? It is not that much trouble to hook drives directly to the ide cable but I was trying to avoid bent pins and what not—seems like I got cross bleeding or shorts by using caddies anyway?

Thoughts or comments/questions are welcomed. Thanks.


Possibly the pins aren’t making good contact anymore. Try spraying contact cleaner into the connectors.


Eric–thank you. That makes sense. 90% of electrical problems is dirt/corrosion. I think “usually” just connecting/reconnecting device will clean the pins, but no doubt about it, spray cleaner is something to do.

I only just noted in the newegg website on the similar product that it got pretty poor reviews for quality/reliability===that is my experience with the Kingwin Caddie and tray.

Anybody know–do server rooms use these $20.00 caddies and just know to throw them out pretty quickly, or do they use a better “industrial” brand?


The Kingwin mobile racks are truly awful. They are cheaply constructed and flimsy.

The construction can and usually does have a direct impact on reliability.

Take a look at the Lian-Li mobile racks available at Directron.

I’ve been using this brand for years without a single failure or issue.



Nemesys–thanks for the tip. I found this page:

and looking at the Lian-Li RH-10F model I see for the first time that some IDE 133 caddies are limited to 4500 RPM’s? Have to go to the RH 600 model to get 5000 to 15000 RPM. Maybe the Kingwin failed because it was underated for speed. The specs only mention IDE connection–but who knows?

Anyway–I’ll give Lian a try as Kingwin isn’t even sold at Newegg now, your recommendation, and they do have a product range of spec’s showing maybe they know how to build them? Cheaper too doesn’t hurt.

Thanks so much.


You’ll find conflicting information on the Lian-Li web site.
I have 3 RH-10 full racks and 3 extra trays sitting on top of my storage rack and I can tell you that they are 7,200 RPM as listed on the Lian-Li’s web site.

I have retired those as all my drives are now SATA.Currently using RH-38 and RH-48 SATA mobile racks.

I use one rack for Windows XP, another for Windows Vista and one for testing.


Nemesys–inconsistent info? I guess that shows the difference between what they test, verify and backup with warranty, versus what the units will actually do?

Right now the units retail for 50% more than what NewEgg is selling but is on sale for 50% less.

Hmmm–is it worth replacing 4-5 units for $50 bucks just before I go all SATA? Like I post in my signature line, sure would be nice if this stuff “worked” the way it was supposed to, then all the mistakes would be mine? (smile!) Thanks Again, bobbo.


I did’nt know who to believe at first, so I tested the 7200 RPM drives installed in the racks. The results were not indicative of a 4500 or 5400 RPM throughput.

The test results were the same with direct conections to the drives as they were with the racks. 7200 RPM all the way.

I would not replace the IDE racks if SATA is eminent.

My experience with Kingwin racks is that they require extreme gentleness. You have to be slow and deliberate while inserting the trays into the racks and even more gentle with the key lock once inserted. There is no precision.
On my last Kingwin installaion the poor alignment caused me to exert more than normal force on the key lock and the lock pin simply broke. I had to re-attach it with contact cement.

Just a point of information, the Lian-Li SATA trays are opened in the back so the drive connects directly to the PC mounted rack. I love this setup. It is completely effortless to insert and remove as alignments are precise.