Dear Sabrent Team,
I recently purchased the Sabrent USB3.0 to SATA External Hard Drive Docking Station EC-DFLT-DE (I reckon this is the German version of the EC-DFLT) via Amazon. My goal was to use the Sabrent Docking Station EC-DFLT to copy all the data from my 4 TB Samsung SSD 860 QVO in my laptop to my newly purchased Samsung SSD 870 QVO 8 TB, since I had reached the capacity limit of my 4 TB SSD and wanted to replace it with the 8 TB SSD. So far so good, copying over the data using the Sabrent EC-DFLT worked nicely and I was getting ready to replace the 4 TB SSD in my laptop with the 8 TB version.
It turned out however, that the 8 TB SSD replacement would be shown in the Windows 10 disk management with the wrong size indicated and the partition appeared as a "GPT Protective Partition". After spending quite some time on the internet to figure out, what was the problem, I ultimately found the culprit, namely the JMicron controller of the Sabrent enclosure. Modern HDD/SSD nowadays all have 4096 Byte sectors but emulate sector sizes of 512 Bytes using Advanced Format 512e for backwards compatibility. Unfortunately, the JMicron controller of Sabrent EC-DFLT changes the reported size for drives >2TB back to 4096 Bytes (this allows for larger MBR formatted disks, but the controller also does it for GPT formatted ones).
The problem described above has the undesirable effect, that a hard drive that has been formatted in the Sabrent EC-DFLT cannot be used in a laptop/desktop without reformatting (and losing all data), since this back-translation to 4096 Bytes is usually not done in laptops/desktops. Similarly, HDD/SSDs that have been formatted in a normal laptop/desktop cannot be used in the Sabrent EC-DFLT without reformatting (and again losing all data), since they are formatted to use 512e and not 4096 Bytes sectors, as the Sabrent EC-DFLT does. I have confirmed all these observations directly: as mentioned above, the 8TB SSD formatted in the Sabrent EC-DFLT cannot directly be used in my laptop (without re-formatting). The 4 TB I had formatted with my laptop and which I put into the Sabrent EC-DFLT to test above observations, can also not be used (without re-formatting). fsutil shows me that the 8 TB formatted by the Sabrent EC-DFLT displays a 4096 Bytes sector size, while the 4 TB I formatted with my laptop displays a 512 Bytes sector size.
After having established the cause of my problem, I was about to return the Sabrent EC-DFLT since I absolutely need an enclosure which I can use to format and write on drives which later might be put in another machine (and vice versa). However, I came across the following post, which suggested, that a firmware update could alleviate the above problems:
I found two firmware updates on the support page of Sabrent EC-DFLT (https://sabrent.com/collections/enclosures/products/ec-dflt), but before proceeding with the firmware update, I had a few questions, since the Sabrent support forum mentioned, that there are versions of the Sabrent EC-DFLT with different SATA-USB controller chips:
1) Will these firmware updates solve my problem?
2) Using USB Device Tee Viewer I determined that my Sabrent EC-DFLT uses a JMicron chip (Vendor ID: 0x152D) with the Product ID: 0x1561. Are the firmwares available on the support webpage the correct ones to use (my understanding was that this firmware was for the JMicron chip JMS578, which would have the Product ID: 0x0578? -> see: https://sabrent.com/community/xenforum/topic/84781/ec-dflt)?
I would really like to keep Sabrent EC-DFLT since otherwise I am happy with the enclosure. But the above-mentioned problem is a dealbraker for me - if I cannot get around this issue, I will have to return the unit.
Thank you for your help!