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eSATA Drive Question

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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 05-05-2008
pbl
 

Posts: n/a
eSATA Drive Question
I need to get a new external HDD for my laptop and I'm thinking of getting an eSATA drive. My question is this: Can any HDD be turned into an eSATA drive by housing it an enclosure which has an eSATA port or is there something special about SATA drives? I'm not sure whether I should buy an already enclosed SATA or buy the HDD and the enclosure separately (cheaper option). Thanks for your help.
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 05-05-2008
Jeff Gaines
 

Posts: n/a
Re: eSATA Drive Question
On 05/05/2008 in message <O7GdnX4gPtmzW4PVnZ2dnUVZ_uCdnZ2d@internode> pbl
wrote:

>I need to get a new external HDD for my laptop and I'm thinking of getting
>an eSATA drive. My question is this: Can any HDD be turned into an eSATA
>drive by housing it an enclosure which has an eSATA port or is there
>something special about SATA drives? I'm not sure whether I should buy an
>already enclosed SATA or buy the HDD and the enclosure separately (cheaper
>option). Thanks for your help.


A good external enclosure is the ANTEC MX-1 EC, it's on Amazon UK at:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/ANTEC-COOLED.../dp/B000PJ4JDK

It does USB2 and eSATA and has a built in fan for cooling, you need to add
your own HD. You also need an eSATA connection on your laptop so make sure
you do (I would think they are rare on laptops).

Whether or not eSATA will work depends on how your computer is set up. If
you want hot plugging you need to have your SATA ports set up in the BIOS
as AHCI. If they are set up as ATA or Normal or Off (depending on the
terminology used in your BIOS) then you won't get hot plugging, although
turning the PC off, plugging the eSATA drive in and then turning the PC on
again should allow you to see the drive.

Changing to AHCI on an already installed system is not trivial, although
it can be done. If you want to do it then post again and people will point
you to the various guides that exist. Don't just change your BIOS settings
whatever you do or you may not be able to boot your PC!

PS - You should set Windows mail to post in plain text to newsgroups.

--
Jeff Gaines
Damerham Hampshire UK
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  #3 (permalink)  
Old 05-05-2008
Robert McMillan
 

Posts: n/a
Re: eSATA Drive Question
"Jeff Gaines" <whitedragon@newsgroups.nospam> wrote in message
news:xn0fptlt93p60c000@msnews.microsoft.com...
> On 05/05/2008 in message <O7GdnX4gPtmzW4PVnZ2dnUVZ_uCdnZ2d@internode> pbl
> wrote:
>
>>I need to get a new external HDD for my laptop and I'm thinking of getting
>>an eSATA drive. My question is this: Can any HDD be turned into an eSATA
>>drive by housing it an enclosure which has an eSATA port or is there
>>something special about SATA drives? I'm not sure whether I should buy an
>>already enclosed SATA or buy the HDD and the enclosure separately (cheaper
>>option). Thanks for your help.

>
> A good external enclosure is the ANTEC MX-1 EC, it's on Amazon UK at:
> http://www.amazon.co.uk/ANTEC-COOLED.../dp/B000PJ4JDK
>
> It does USB2 and eSATA and has a built in fan for cooling, you need to add
> your own HD. You also need an eSATA connection on your laptop so make sure
> you do (I would think they are rare on laptops).
>
> Whether or not eSATA will work depends on how your computer is set up. If
> you want hot plugging you need to have your SATA ports set up in the BIOS
> as AHCI. If they are set up as ATA or Normal or Off (depending on the
> terminology used in your BIOS) then you won't get hot plugging, although
> turning the PC off, plugging the eSATA drive in and then turning the PC on
> again should allow you to see the drive.
>
> Changing to AHCI on an already installed system is not trivial, although
> it can be done. If you want to do it then post again and people will point
> you to the various guides that exist. Don't just change your BIOS settings
> whatever you do or you may not be able to boot your PC!
>
> PS - You should set Windows mail to post in plain text to newsgroups.
>
> --
> Jeff Gaines
> Damerham Hampshire UK


I second the recommendation of the ANTEC MX-1 enclosure. I have one on my
desk and it keeps the drive cooler than the ones inside my tower and will
work with SATA drives up to 750Gb. I also found that hot plugging worked on
my computer with the sata ports set to IDE mode. I am using a gigabyte
GA-P35-DS4 motherboard with Vista 64.


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  #4 (permalink)  
Old 05-05-2008
Anna
 

Posts: n/a
Re: eSATA Drive Question

>>bl" <pblnews@internode.on.net> wrote in message
>>I need to get a new external HDD for my laptop and I'm thinking of getting
>>an eSATA drive. My question is this: Can any HDD be turned into an eSATA
>> >>drive by housing it an enclosure which has an eSATA port or is there

>>something special about SATA drives? I'm not sure whether I should buy an
>>already enclosed SATA or buy the HDD and the enclosure separately
>> >>cheaper option). Thanks for your help.



"Jeff Gaines" <whitedragon@newsgroups.nospam> wrote in message
news:xn0fptlt93p60c000@msnews.microsoft.com...
> A good external enclosure is the ANTEC MX-1 EC, it's on Amazon UK at:
> http://www.amazon.co.uk/ANTEC-COOLED.../dp/B000PJ4JDK
>
> It does USB2 and eSATA and has a built in fan for cooling, you need to add
> your own HD. You also need an eSATA connection on your laptop so make sure
> you do (I would think they are rare on laptops).
>
> Whether or not eSATA will work depends on how your computer is set up. If
> you want hot plugging you need to have your SATA ports set up in the BIOS
> as AHCI. If they are set up as ATA or Normal or Off (depending on the
> terminology used in your BIOS) then you won't get hot plugging, although
> turning the PC off, plugging the eSATA drive in and then turning the PC on
> again should allow you to see the drive.
>
> Changing to AHCI on an already installed system is not trivial, although
> it can be done. If you want to do it then post again and people will point
> you to the various guides that exist. Don't just change your BIOS settings
> whatever you do or you may not be able to boot your PC!
>
> PS - You should set Windows mail to post in plain text to newsgroups.
>
> --
> Jeff Gaines
> Damerham Hampshire UK



pbl:
First of all, we're assuming that your laptop supports SATA capability,
right? The laptop presently contains a SATA HDD, does it not? Because if it
doesn't go no further with this...

Anyway, assuming that your system does support SATA capability...

I'm not sure where Jeff is getting his information re achieving
"hot-plugging" ("hot-swapping") capability for SATA HDDs. It is true that
this capability must be supported by the motherboard (together with the HDD
itself) but you would be hard-pressed to find any motherboard or HDD
produced during the past few years having SATA-II capability that does not
support "hot-plugging"/"hot-swapping". It is *not* necessary to set your
BIOS to AHCI mode as it involves SATA HDDs to achieve this capability. As a
matter of fact it could be counter-productive to do so in many instances.

Assuming we're not dealing with a RAID configuration, in general the BIOS
"default" setting for detecting a SATA HDD in the system will work just
fine, e.g., the IDE setting or some similar label (if differs from
motherboard to motherboard). Assuming your system does contain a SATA HDD
and it's functioning just fine you should be OK with the present BIOS
settings.

Understand that an eSATA port basically provides a more secure connection
than a "normal" SATA port. The latter provides "hot-plugging"/"hot-swapping"
capability just as well as an eSATA port as long as the system supports that
capability as described above. Usually a better-shielded cable is used with
an eSATA connection since the SATA HDD will be used as an external device
and the heavier shielding provides add'l security re data transfer. Frankly,
we've never run into any problems re data corruption/data loss even using
non-shielded SATA data cables.

No doubt the Antec external enclosure Jeff recommends will do the job just
fine. It is well, as he suggests, to have an enclosure that provides USB
capability as well. Virtually every SATA enclosure coming on the market has
both types of connectivity. And virtually all of them are equipped with an
eSATA port rather than the "normal" port so that's no longer even a
consideration.

All things considered, it's probably best to purchase the drive & the
enclosure separately. While I'm not sure there's any great savings any more
to do this (at least here in the U.S. where the commercial SATA external
enclosures w/drive have fallen dramatically in price), you can select the
precise SATA HDD you want and should the need arise, find it reasonably easy
to uninstall it from the enclosure and install it in your laptop. Take a
look at newegg for their various offerings. You would probably want one that
accommodates 2 1/2" drives.

There's also another way to go for you to consider. Coincidentally I just
posted the following message in another newsgroup that bears on your
situation...

Another consideration would be to purchase an ExpressCard with an eSATA port
so that you could connect a SATA external HDD to that device. See, for
example, http://www.meritline.com/1x-e-sata2-...xpresscard.htm

This assumes, of course, that your notebook is equipped with an ExpressCard
slot. If it has the older CardBus (PCMCIA) slot then you would need the
latter type of device. They come with both a "normal" SATA port as well as
an eSATA port. Do a Google search on "Cardbus with SATA port" for various
models.

The great advantage of the SATA interface over the USB interface is data
transfer speed. Considerably superior to USB. Also, (at least in theory)
with the ExpressCard device, the external SATA HDD connected to that device
is bootable assuming the drive contains a bootable OS obtained via a
disk-cloning program such as the Acronis or Casper programs. We're still
experimenting with that aspect. But we have never been able to achieve
"bootability" with the CardBus device.
Anna


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  #5 (permalink)  
Old 05-05-2008
Jeff Gaines
 

Posts: n/a
Re: eSATA Drive Question
On 05/05/2008 in message <#gVe7HrrIHA.1200@TK2MSFTNGP03.phx.gbl> Anna wrote:

>I'm not sure where Jeff is getting his information re achieving
>"hot-plugging" ("hot-swapping") capability for SATA HDDs. It is true that
>this capability must be supported by the motherboard (together with the
>HDD itself) but you would be hard-pressed to find any motherboard or HDD
>produced during the past few years having SATA-II capability that does not
>support "hot-plugging"/"hot-swapping".


I guess I must have had the only one in existence :-(

It was SATA 1 from memory and I had to convert to AHCI to get hot
plugging. Good to know it's easier with newer boards / SATA 2.

--
Jeff Gaines
Damerham Hampshire UK
Reply With Quote
  #6 (permalink)  
Old 05-05-2008
Colin Barnhorst
 

Posts: n/a
Re: eSATA Drive Question
They are not rare. They are just SATA cables and you have to be sure that
you get I to I or L to I as needed.

"Jeff Gaines" <whitedragon@newsgroups.nospam> wrote in message
news:xn0fptlt93p60c000@msnews.microsoft.com...
> On 05/05/2008 in message <O7GdnX4gPtmzW4PVnZ2dnUVZ_uCdnZ2d@internode> pbl
> wrote:
>
>>I need to get a new external HDD for my laptop and I'm thinking of getting
>>an eSATA drive. My question is this: Can any HDD be turned into an eSATA
>>drive by housing it an enclosure which has an eSATA port or is there
>>something special about SATA drives? I'm not sure whether I should buy an
>>already enclosed SATA or buy the HDD and the enclosure separately (cheaper
>>option). Thanks for your help.

>
> A good external enclosure is the ANTEC MX-1 EC, it's on Amazon UK at:
> http://www.amazon.co.uk/ANTEC-COOLED.../dp/B000PJ4JDK
>
> It does USB2 and eSATA and has a built in fan for cooling, you need to add
> your own HD. You also need an eSATA connection on your laptop so make sure
> you do (I would think they are rare on laptops).
>
> Whether or not eSATA will work depends on how your computer is set up. If
> you want hot plugging you need to have your SATA ports set up in the BIOS
> as AHCI. If they are set up as ATA or Normal or Off (depending on the
> terminology used in your BIOS) then you won't get hot plugging, although
> turning the PC off, plugging the eSATA drive in and then turning the PC on
> again should allow you to see the drive.
>
> Changing to AHCI on an already installed system is not trivial, although
> it can be done. If you want to do it then post again and people will point
> you to the various guides that exist. Don't just change your BIOS settings
> whatever you do or you may not be able to boot your PC!
>
> PS - You should set Windows mail to post in plain text to newsgroups.
>
> --
> Jeff Gaines
> Damerham Hampshire UK


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  #7 (permalink)  
Old 05-05-2008
Jeff Gaines
 

Posts: n/a
Re: eSATA Drive Question
On 05/05/2008 in message
<4CCD1F15-292F-40E4-8404-B9A61AAEBADE@microsoft.com> Colin Barnhorst wrote:

>They are not rare. They are just SATA cables and you have to be sure that
>you get I to I or L to I as needed.


Assuming you are responding to my point about eSATA connections on a
laptop I would certainly be interested to know which laptops have them. My
Lenovo R50e certainly doesn't!

--
Jeff Gaines
Damerham Hampshire UK
Reply With Quote
  #8 (permalink)  
Old 05-05-2008
Colin Barnhorst
 

Posts: n/a
Re: eSATA Drive Question
For laptops without a eSATA port but with an ExpressCard/34 slot, there are
several adaptors like:
http://www.iogear.com/product/GPS702e3W6/
or
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16839113007

For laptops with eSATA onboard see for example the ASUS C90S (click on the
specs link below the thumbnails):
http://www.cyberpowerpc.com/spec/spec_C90S.asp
Or if you prefer the specs on the ASUS site (I hate the slowness of the ASUS
site some days):
http://www.asus.com/products.aspx?l1...&m odelmenu=2

There are some others but all I know of are gaming laptops so far. I have
not tried booting off a hard drive connected to one of these onboard ports
like on the C90S because I don't have a laptop so equipped but it should
work. I know it is more of a problem booting off of a hard drive connected
to an eSATA ExpressCard adaptor, however.

"Jeff Gaines" <whitedragon@newsgroups.nospam> wrote in message
news:xn0fptvogh4c6h002@msnews.microsoft.com...
> On 05/05/2008 in message
> <4CCD1F15-292F-40E4-8404-B9A61AAEBADE@microsoft.com> Colin Barnhorst
> wrote:
>
>>They are not rare. They are just SATA cables and you have to be sure that
>>you get I to I or L to I as needed.

>
> Assuming you are responding to my point about eSATA connections on a
> laptop I would certainly be interested to know which laptops have them. My
> Lenovo R50e certainly doesn't!
>
> --
> Jeff Gaines
> Damerham Hampshire UK


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  #9 (permalink)  
Old 05-05-2008
Anna
 

Posts: n/a
Re: eSATA Drive Question

> "Jeff Gaines" <whitedragon@newsgroups.nospam> wrote in message
> news:xn0fptvogh4c6h002@msnews.microsoft.com...
>> Assuming you are responding to my point about eSATA connections on a
>> laptop I would certainly be interested to know which laptops have them.
>> My Lenovo R50e certainly doesn't!
>> --
>> Jeff Gaines
>> Damerham Hampshire UK



"Colin Barnhorst" <c.barnhorst@comcast.net> wrote in message
news:8196115D-8137-4DB2-A2FD-E5D62D9B53BD@microsoft.com...
> For laptops without a eSATA port but with an ExpressCard/34 slot, there
> are several adaptors like:
> http://www.iogear.com/product/GPS702e3W6/
> or
> http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16839113007
>
> For laptops with eSATA onboard see for example the ASUS C90S (click on
> the specs link below the thumbnails):
> http://www.cyberpowerpc.com/spec/spec_C90S.asp
> Or if you prefer the specs on the ASUS site (I hate the slowness of the
> ASUS site some days):
> http://www.asus.com/products.aspx?l1...&m odelmenu=2
>
> There are some others but all I know of are gaming laptops so far. I have
> not tried booting off a hard drive connected to one of these onboard ports
> like on the C90S because I don't have a laptop so equipped but it should
> work. I know it is more of a problem booting off of a hard drive
> connected to an eSATA ExpressCard adaptor, however.



Jeff & Colin:
Notebooks equipped with an eSATA port are indeed a rare commodity. To the
best of my knowledge ASUS is the only major player that has released a few
models with an eSATA port. I'm not aware of Acer, Dell, Gateway, Compaq,
Sony, etc. having *any* models with an eSATA port. If they're out there,
they're few & far between, that's for sure. More's the pity, of course.

Some time ago I had occasion to work with one of the ASUS notebooks that
came equipped with an eSATA port (I can't recall the model #) and we were
able to boot from that port with a SATA HDD that had been the recipient of
the cloned contents of the notebook's internal HDD. That was no surprise, of
course, since every eSATA port that we've worked with on various desktop PCs
have proven to be "bootable". (For that matter it really makes *no*
difference whether the port is a "normal" SATA one or an eSATA one). A
bootable external SATA HDD connected to either type of port will boot.
Obviously we're talking about motherboards that support SATA capability.

We have never been able to boot from a CardBus (a/k/a PCMCIA) equipped with
either a SATA or eSATA port. We've concluded that it's just not a bootable
device.

As I mentioned in my previous post, we're still experimenting with various
ExpressCard devices to determine their potential "bootability". Every one
we've come across is equipped with an eSATA port and they're supposed to
provide boot capability. However, our experience has been mixed to date
although we were able to boot from a SATA HDD connected to an Addonics eSATA
ExpressCard.

Colin, if you've had any direct experience with an eSATA ExpressCard I'd
like to hear about it.
Anna


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  #10 (permalink)  
Old 05-06-2008
Colin Barnhorst
 

Posts: n/a
Re: eSATA Drive Question
We had this conversation a month or more ago. Remember? I don't have any
new reason to revisit it.

"Anna" <myname@myisp.net> wrote in message
news:%23svdV$vrIHA.672@TK2MSFTNGP02.phx.gbl...
>
>> "Jeff Gaines" <whitedragon@newsgroups.nospam> wrote in message
>> news:xn0fptvogh4c6h002@msnews.microsoft.com...
>>> Assuming you are responding to my point about eSATA connections on a
>>> laptop I would certainly be interested to know which laptops have them.
>>> My Lenovo R50e certainly doesn't!
>>> --
>>> Jeff Gaines
>>> Damerham Hampshire UK

>
>
> "Colin Barnhorst" <c.barnhorst@comcast.net> wrote in message
> news:8196115D-8137-4DB2-A2FD-E5D62D9B53BD@microsoft.com...
>> For laptops without a eSATA port but with an ExpressCard/34 slot, there
>> are several adaptors like:
>> http://www.iogear.com/product/GPS702e3W6/
>> or
>> http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16839113007
>>
>> For laptops with eSATA onboard see for example the ASUS C90S (click on
>> the specs link below the thumbnails):
>> http://www.cyberpowerpc.com/spec/spec_C90S.asp
>> Or if you prefer the specs on the ASUS site (I hate the slowness of the
>> ASUS site some days):
>> http://www.asus.com/products.aspx?l1...&m odelmenu=2
>>
>> There are some others but all I know of are gaming laptops so far. I
>> have not tried booting off a hard drive connected to one of these onboard
>> ports like on the C90S because I don't have a laptop so equipped but it
>> should work. I know it is more of a problem booting off of a hard drive
>> connected to an eSATA ExpressCard adaptor, however.

>
>
> Jeff & Colin:
> Notebooks equipped with an eSATA port are indeed a rare commodity. To the
> best of my knowledge ASUS is the only major player that has released a few
> models with an eSATA port. I'm not aware of Acer, Dell, Gateway, Compaq,
> Sony, etc. having *any* models with an eSATA port. If they're out there,
> they're few & far between, that's for sure. More's the pity, of course.
>
> Some time ago I had occasion to work with one of the ASUS notebooks that
> came equipped with an eSATA port (I can't recall the model #) and we were
> able to boot from that port with a SATA HDD that had been the recipient of
> the cloned contents of the notebook's internal HDD. That was no surprise,
> of course, since every eSATA port that we've worked with on various
> desktop PCs have proven to be "bootable". (For that matter it really makes
> *no* difference whether the port is a "normal" SATA one or an eSATA one).
> A bootable external SATA HDD connected to either type of port will boot.
> Obviously we're talking about motherboards that support SATA capability.
>
> We have never been able to boot from a CardBus (a/k/a PCMCIA) equipped
> with either a SATA or eSATA port. We've concluded that it's just not a
> bootable device.
>
> As I mentioned in my previous post, we're still experimenting with various
> ExpressCard devices to determine their potential "bootability". Every one
> we've come across is equipped with an eSATA port and they're supposed to
> provide boot capability. However, our experience has been mixed to date
> although we were able to boot from a SATA HDD connected to an Addonics
> eSATA ExpressCard.
>
> Colin, if you've had any direct experience with an eSATA ExpressCard I'd
> like to hear about it.
> Anna
>


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