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Using PCI card to add SATA on IDE system - Will SATA dismount ?

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November 24, 2007 5:20:38 AM


I know kind of a bizarre question: I plan on using a PCI card to add SATA connectivity and a large SATA drive to an older computer. The computer is currently running IDE and Firewire drives. The SATA drive will probably be divided into several partitions and be used to backup everything.

I'd like to be to dismount the SATA when done backing up, just so that it's safe from viruses or anything else that could damage the backups. I can't think of any reason why I would not be able to dismount the SATA drive, even though it's connected via a PCI card on an IDE motherboard. Just curious if anyone has experience or opinions on this.

Using Windows 2000 SP 4 and Windows XP SP 2 (it's OK if this doesn't work under 2000).

Thanks
November 24, 2007 6:49:52 AM

Yes, you can dismount the drive. The problem is that most controllers don't support the disconnect funtion in the driver, so you need to pick the right controller. Otherwise, disconnecting the drive could cause you to lose anything stored in the drive's cache.
November 24, 2007 9:32:29 AM

Crashman said:
The problem is that most controllers don't support the disconnect funtion in the driver, so you need to pick the right controller.


By that you mean picking the right PCI to SATA card? How would I go about finding one that will support the driver disconnect function? So far, knowing so very little about this, I've just been looking at price and newegg reviews (not the perfect system, I know).

I appreciate the help, thank you.


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November 24, 2007 3:05:22 PM

I don't really know how to figure out which card to use. I'm only familiar with the phenomena from using onboard controllers. For example, Intel's ICH9R and ICH8R have the AHCI hardware required for hot-plugging drives, but the driver provides no disconnect function button to the O.S. Sometimes when I disconnect a drive I lose cached data.

In fact, the only controller drivers I have that give you the disconnect button (the same button as used for USB drives) are nVidia controllers.

Maybe someone who's tried a few controllers will have more information.
November 25, 2007 4:56:19 AM

Crashman said:
... For example, Intel's ICH9R and ICH8R have the AHCI hardware required for hot-plugging drives, but the driver provides no disconnect function button to the O.S. Sometimes when I disconnect a drive I lose cached data...

Maybe someone who's tried a few controllers will have more information.


So you're saying the ICH9R and ICH8R (and I'm guessing ICH7R as well) Southbridges all will let you dismount without checking for unwritten data in the drive cache? Is there a way you can avoid this? (such as waiting X anount of seconds from the appararent completion of your last write) until dismouinting the dirive?

November 25, 2007 5:17:08 AM

No, I'm saying you can eject the drive and add another without informing the system that you are doing so. There's no controls in the OS for disconnecting the drive, and those controls would be a driver function. Perhaps a third-party software add-in offers the cache-flushing feature?

I've even checked device manager for a few boards, and the option "optimize for quick removal" is greyed out.
!