Stack WD Elements Portable Drives in a powered bay

I’m in my '70s and though I try to keep up with things I’m finding it all a bit too crowded to find what I’m looking for.
I have 10 WD Elements Portable drives, a mix of 2TB and 4TB, connected to a powered USB Hub with each recognised as a separate drive on my PC - it all looks messy with a tangle of wires never mind the risk of them being stacked 2 x 5 high.
I rarely have them all on at once, at times once a day 3 or 4 of them on for an hour when I am looking to back-up across those titles, most times I just turn on 1 to back-up data and watch a back-up - even then I am more likely to transfer what I want to watch to my PC to watch it.
I’m looking for a solution whereby I can stack them in a powered bay with power switches on the front and a single USB connection to my PC - all nice, neat, risk and dust free?
I see plenty of solutions out there such as a 5 Bay USB Daisy Chain 270TB Monster Capacity Hard Dive Enclosure but nothing along these lines for WD Elements Portable Drives.
Thank-you kindly for any help you might be able to provide me pointing me in the right direction.

Hi @condoghost,

Have you opened a Support Case? If not opened, for more information, please contact the WD Technical Support team for the best assistance and troubleshooting:

  1. Multi-Bay Enclosures: Look for multi-bay USB enclosures that support 2.5-inch SATA drives. You can place each WD Elements Portable drive into its own slot in the enclosure. While these enclosures may not have individual power switches on the front, they often come with a single power switch for the entire unit. This can help reduce cable clutter.
  2. USB Hub with Switches: Alternatively, you could use a powered USB hub that has individual switches for each port. This way, you can connect your WD Elements drives to the hub and turn them on/off individually using the hub’s switches. Make sure the hub provides enough power for all connected drives.
  3. DIY Solution: If you are comfortable with a bit of DIY, you could consider creating a custom solution. You might use a storage container or drawer with openings for cables. Inside, position a power strip with individual switches for each outlet. Connect your WD Elements drives to this power strip and run a single USB cable to your PC.

Remember to check the power requirements of your WD Elements drives and ensure that any enclosure or hub you choose can provide adequate power. Additionally, make sure the enclosure or hub is compatible with 2.5-inch SATA drives.

Before making a purchase, check product reviews and specifications to ensure the chosen solution meets your specific needs. Always follow safety guidelines to avoid any electrical issues.

Yes, and the advice from them? “Please allow me to inform you that it is not recommended to connect Elements Portable drive to a USB hub and it is recommended to directly connect the drive to the computer using the USB cable” which is about as helpful as a lowest common denominator given I have clearly stated I am using a powered USB Hub and have done so for a number of years with no issues whatsoever other than Windows 7 occasionally getting confused which is easily resolved by switching on all 10 USB slots and, if not all recognised, Safely Remove Hardware and Eject Media and switch off USB slot one by one until Windows 7 recognises those still switched-on or as a last resort restart PC.
None of that is rocket science but the advice given most definitely is ‘lowest common denominator’.

Hi leonardbrit
My main concern is stacking the drives for them not to overheat.
1st Multi-Bay Enclosures, yes that will cover the over heating as long as the enclosure is powered with fan extraction - why does it need to support 2.5" SATA drives and given WD Elements Portable Drives have that single USB connection at the back how do they connect in its own slot in the enclosure?
2nd USB Hub with Switches, yes I am already doing that as I said and my concerns are the stacking - overheating, the multitude of cables and the dust build up around the slots in the powered USB hub.
3rd DIY Solution a power strip with individual switches for each outlet - I will have a look at that but am still faced with 10 drives side by side across the storage container or drawer with a minimum width of 30" which is a lot of space, or stacking them which is the concern I started out with…
I’ll keep myself open to more suggestions if they come, meantime, thank-you for your efforts here confirming most of what I’ve been thinking.
My solution might be to stick with the 2nd as I have already but look for two 5-slot high open-ended cases where there is plenty of air circulation full of holes along the sides and the slots in the case, a ‘DIY Solution’ of sorts.

You can’t use 2.5" WD Elements Portables in any type of external enclosures because Elements Portables do not have a standard SATA connection.

When you open one of yours up, you’ll find there is no SATA connector … only a USB connector hard wired to the controller board.

Basically, they can’t be re-purposed for anything else, other than USB.


Your only options for your 2.5" Elements portables are either USB Hubs or DIY Power strip solutions.

Or … replace them all, and then look at large capacity solutions with no messy tangle of wires.

Aces JoeySmyth Thank-you.

I will continue to use my USB Hub and look for a 2 x 5-shelf mesh stacking tray solution having the USB cables trailing out the back end of each shelf to my USB Hub for my portables to be neatly stacked not prone to sliding about and easy to move on the desk as a 2 stacks rather than 10 individual portable drives.