Now I'm confused. Why would you want to do it this way? That is going to be SLOW. OK, so you have an eSATA connection... That's fine and great, but the internal laptop HDD is going to be a bottleneck, so it's not going to be a fast offload to begin with. Then you are going to disconnect the media from the eSATA port and connect a new HDD? Then copy from the internal laptop HDD to the new one? So, then after you've gone and made and ate a sandwich and come back, it might be done... So then if you want a duplicate, you're going to put it into this retriever thing and make it duplicate it?The main reason for buying the Retriever is that it will do a standalone duplication of a data drive that contains offloaded footage from the onboard laptop HDD. That is, I have only one eSATA connection so will have to offload onto my larger laptop HDD, then will transfer that footage via eSATA onto a 2.5" HDD in a docking station. Then I can make a duplicate backup using the standalone Retriever.
What other ports or expansion does this laptop have? Hate to say it, but if you're upgrading from a 60GB HDD in the thing, it probably is at least 4 or 5 years old... Is it worth it vs. just buying a new system with more appropriate ports? Does it have an ExpressCard slot? Why not buy an ExpressCard to eSATA adapter and give yourself another usable eSATA connection or two?
If you're taking the extra step of copying to internal laptop storage, only to hold data so you can copy it where it needs to go, you're making the process unnecessarily complicated and a lot slower, not to mention increasing the chance of error.
...Just my $0.02.
What is your source? I'm assuming a prosumer camera where you're capturing the HDMI feed anyway, something that takes interchangeable lenses, but has no anamorphic functionality...?