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Esata to sata internal via cable

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  • Hard Drives
  • SATA
  • Cable
  • External Hard Drive
  • Storage
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July 7, 2009 4:04:22 PM

Is it possible (and/or practical) to connect an external HDD to PC via an eSATA I to SATA L cable? In other words, just hang the cable out through a hole in the back of the PC. Also, are external hard drives hot swappable? I want to use my drive on 2 PC's.

using this cable, probably:

http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?c_id=102&...

More about : esata sata internal cable

July 8, 2009 6:33:28 AM

In theory, SATA drives are hot swappable. In reality though, this really depends on what hard disk you're using. Your best bet is to get an external hard drive that also supports eSATA, as you can be sure that drive is designed to be hot-swappable via a SATA port.
July 8, 2009 8:11:05 AM

Yes, eSATA is the same EXACTLY as regular sata, you can just run a cable outside your case. As to whether it is hot swappable, the drive and motherboard need to be capable of this.

+1 for monoprice..I got a 100 ft cat 6 cable for dirt cheap !
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July 8, 2009 3:53:55 PM

No, eSATA is not the same as SATA. eSATA includes power supply similar to the way USB powers devices and has a different connector. Also eSATA connectors are designed for the more rugged use of repeated plugging and unplugging - SATA are not - and the two are not compatible

However HDDs do not get their power from the SATA connection so you could run a SATA to SATA cable from an external HDD through a "hole in the case" and connect to an internal motherboard connection. Or you could get an adapter to connect the mobo SATA to a connector on the rear of your case. If you do the latter, take care to note whether the exterior connector is a true eSATA connector (which will not have power but will require an eSATA cable coming to it) or is actually just a SATA connector. Early on some manufacturer's where using SATA connectors and calling it eSATA since it was external. That was a year ago and I don't know if the problem still exists. Of course, if you intend to install only HDD.s, you may prefer the SATA connector, but note that the connector was not designed for repeated plugging and unplugging. If you search online you should be able to find the specific design standard - the number of pluggings - for each.

Are you trying to boot both PCs from the same drive or just share data?
a c 127 G Storage
July 8, 2009 4:21:30 PM

eSATA does NOT include power supply, that is Powered eSATA and its very scarse at this moment. Most eSATA right now (95%) are non-powered, meaning you need a seperate power plug and probably a power brick for the external HDD.
July 8, 2009 4:32:53 PM

The signal levels for eSATA is a bit different. So there is a difference.
July 8, 2009 6:41:44 PM

no, esata runs off the internal sata bus. The difference is the connector specs, nothing electrical or signal wise. In REAL life, running a cable out the back or using an adapter bracket, such as comes with motherboards, is just fine.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ESATA#External_SATA

. Some of these use the internal SATA connector or even connectors designed for other interface specifications, such as FireWire. These products are not eSATA compliant. The final eSATA specification features a specific connector designed for rough handling, similar to the regular SATA connector, but with reinforcements in both the male and female sides, inspired by the USB connector. eSATA resists inadvertent unplugging, and can withstand yanking or wiggling which would break a male SATA connector (the hard-drive or host adapter, usually fitted inside the computer). With an eSATA connector, considerably more force is needed to damage the connector, and if it does break it is likely to be the female side, on the cable itself, which is relatively easy to replace.[citation needed]
July 8, 2009 6:43:27 PM

Yes, ESATA uses an EXTERNAL power supply...how you gonna run your sata plug from your ps out the back...?!
July 8, 2009 7:04:26 PM

This is what I have.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
It doesn't come with an eSATA connector. It has it's own power supply. I just want to swap the drive to use as storage back up for two different pc's. I just want to leave an SATA cord hanging out the back (through an empty pci slot cover) so that I can swap the drive between pc's. The power cord is long enough, so all I would have to do is remove the eSATA plug from the drive, and plug the eSATA from the other pc in. This is the way I'm doing it right now, with USB (of course, it's not internal, just in the back of the pc, but same difference) but I want the speed of eSATA.
Thanks everyone, so far!
July 8, 2009 7:11:16 PM

Just get this and do it right :) . Yes, you'll get full speed by just hanging the cable out the back ! The bracket however will look cleaner and guard against pulling or breaking the internal sata connector or cable end if you tug on it accidently.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
July 8, 2009 8:10:31 PM

royalcrown said:
no, esata runs off the internal sata bus. The difference is the connector specs, nothing electrical or signal wise.


Yes there is a difference. It also says so in the specs. It is due to the longer cables. It is more "relaxed", so more noise is acceptable.
a c 127 G Storage
July 8, 2009 8:22:02 PM

eSATA they managed to get the max cable length up to 3 metres, with normal SATA this is 1.5 metres. The actual electrical signalling/interface is 100% compatible however.
July 8, 2009 8:24:06 PM

It actually says so right there in that wiki...

* Minimum transmit potential increased: Range is 500–600 mV instead of 400–600 mV.
* Minimum receive potential decreased: Range is 240–600 mV instead of 325–600 mV.

The difference is there
July 8, 2009 9:27:21 PM

mikrev007 said:
Yes there is a difference. It also says so in the specs. It is due to the longer cables. It is more "relaxed", so more noise is acceptable.


Yeah Esata cables should be sheilded, but not like OP can't use his sata cable out the back.
July 11, 2009 3:28:57 AM

The monoprice eSATA to SATA cable is shielded...
Thanks, RC!
I'm not worried about looks, or anything breaking the connector (my 6 month old son can't reach it yet), as long as it works, it's good for me!
July 11, 2009 4:29:53 AM

Lavarin said:
In theory, SATA drives are hot swappable. In reality though, this really depends on what hard disk you're using. Your best bet is to get an external hard drive that also supports eSATA, as you can be sure that drive is designed to be hot-swappable via a SATA port.


Nope, all SATA 3.0 Gb/s drives I've seen support hot swap. I can't remember back to SATA 150 days, sorry.

It's not about the drive, it's about BIOS. Nothing more than BIOS. ASRock was one of the first companies to add this feature to BIOS with Intel chipsets, but it's been present on nVidia BIOS since SATA 150 days....whoops, I guess I do remember something from back then!
July 11, 2009 6:00:50 AM

Crashman said:
Nope, all SATA 3.0 Gb/s drives I've seen support hot swap. I can't remember back to SATA 150 days, sorry.

It's not about the drive, it's about BIOS. Nothing more than BIOS. ASRock was one of the first companies to add this feature to BIOS with Intel chipsets, but it's been present on nVidia BIOS since SATA 150 days....whoops, I guess I do remember something from back then!


the only reason I mentioned the drives and the board (well a backplane would be better for this) is that I believe "swappable" drives take hot plugging surges and current into account via caps or something to prevent damage. The drives at least and proper backplanes, not actually MB afaik.
a c 127 G Storage
July 11, 2009 2:27:13 PM

All SATA cables are physically made to allow hot swapping, because they have ground connectors that make first contact; so any residual charge will be sucked to the ground line. Then there's the software part; the controller, disk and operating system must support hot swap.

With controllers and disks, SATA 3.0Gbps has mandatory support for hot swap, so all SATA 3Gbps controllers/disks support hot swap. Some SATA 1.5Gbps controllers also support hot swapping, but because this support is optional and not mandatory, many 1.5Gbps controllers do not have hot swap support. Same goes for NCQ.
July 12, 2009 12:09:20 AM

Hmm, good to know sub mesa.
July 12, 2009 12:57:49 AM

sub mesa said:
All SATA cables are physically made to allow hot swapping, because they have ground connectors that make first contact; so any residual charge will be sucked to the ground line. Then there's the software part; the controller, disk and operating system must support hot swap.

With controllers and disks, SATA 3.0Gbps has mandatory support for hot swap, so all SATA 3Gbps controllers/disks support hot swap. Some SATA 1.5Gbps controllers also support hot swapping, but because this support is optional and not mandatory, many 1.5Gbps controllers do not have hot swap support. Same goes for NCQ.


A bunch of SATA 3.0Gb/s motherboards don't support "quick disconnect" through BIOS however, so you don't get the "Safely Remove Hardware" feature in Windows.
a c 127 G Storage
July 12, 2009 1:11:09 PM

Hm, yeah. Hot swap and NCQ won't work with the controller in "IDE" DOS-compatibility modus. It will only work in native AHCI mode.
July 12, 2009 9:03:17 PM

sub mesa said:
Hm, yeah. Hot swap and NCQ won't work with the controller in "IDE" DOS-compatibility modus. It will only work in native AHCI mode.


It's more than that. MOST motherboards since the P35 chipset support AHCI mode WITHOUT supporting "quick remove". It has to be a controller tag that Windows reads, because I've used the same driver on dozens of boards with adding "Safely Remove Hardware" function and others not.

In fact, it's a SEPARATE SETTING in MSI and ASRock BIOS.

Top brands like ASRock have it, while cheap also-rans like Asus do not. That's obviously a shot at Asus, since it appears the budget brands are far more innovative.
July 12, 2009 10:44:05 PM

Here is an Apricorn external enclosure which is USB2 and eSATA capable. It has a large fan which keeps the drive cool and the ones I have used are quiet.

Shielded cables are good because of the potential for interference from various electrical cords and such running around the back of most computer cases.
a c 365 G Storage
July 13, 2009 6:04:16 PM

For starters, goresnet, you say your external case "doesn't come with an eSATA connector", but the Newegg specs and photo clearly show one on the back. Maybe you mean it did not come with a eSATA cable, nor with an adapter plate to provide an eSATA connector on the back of your computer. That adapter plate is what royalcrown pointed to. The eSATA cable you need to connect to the back of your external case will NOT accept a plain SATA cable run out of your computer - the connectors are different. Buy one of the adapter plates like royalcrown showed, either from Newegg or from a local shop, plus a proper eSATA cable, and you'll be fine. Your computer mobo may not have a true eSATA controller built in, but most people find that using the adapter plate and connecting to a standard SATA mobo port works well, even though theoretically it MIGHT not work. One important difference between the e- and regular SATA is the cable length allowed from port connector to external case - eSATA was designed for longer cables allowed - so try not to choose your cable too long.
July 13, 2009 10:22:40 PM

Paperdoc, that's what I meant, the cable, sorry. Did you see the cable I linked to in my first post? Just wondering if that would work. It has an L connector on one end (for the mb) and and I connector on the other, for the hdd case. Thanks again!
January 2, 2010 8:53:45 AM

My External E-Sata - USB works perfectly if I connect through the internal motherboard sata port (I use the standard cable connector that comes with my external box). The same enclosure box does not work with the e-sata of my motherboard, nor with an e-sata express card on my laptop.

This proves to me that e-sata must have some difference with normal sata. I tried everything, booting with the external HD turned on, go to the bios, check the e-sata controller of the motherboard, it told me that no drive is connected (My e-sata internal controller support AHCI and NCQ). If I use one of the 6 sata standard port of my motherboard everything works, hot swap, etc etc.

I'm actually looking to a compatible e-sata external box for a 1Terabyte 3.5 disk that is compatible with e-sata express card.

alk.
May 7, 2011 1:49:24 PM

Here is some advice from the school of hard knocks... an eSata to Sata adapter works great with Windows XP - I've used this configuraiton for over a year with zero problems in an older AMD based HP tower. The same eSata to Sata adapter in a very new i7 Based ASUS system appears to work fine BUT, windows 7 starts popping sata controller errors and eventually results in your internal SATA drive (the C drive in my case as I only have 1 internal HDD) becoming corrupt - MFT errors etc. IF you are going to do this with a newer chipset and OS, spend the $30 for an eSATA card or just run USB 3.0. I think this is a win7 / driver issue as the same hardware config works fine with the Shadow Protect live CD, which if you do this, you will become familiar with as you will be restoring your internal HDD from a backup when it gets toasted. To the previous poster - the difference in the eSata and Sata specs may seem minimal - but for the current win7 driver - its very significant.
a c 316 G Storage
May 9, 2011 4:54:47 PM

mikrev007 said:
It actually says so right there in that wiki...

* Minimum transmit potential increased: Range is 500–600 mV instead of 400–600 mV.
* Minimum receive potential decreased: Range is 240–600 mV instead of 325–600 mV.

The difference is there

Mikrev007 is correct. The voltage spec for SATA and eSATA overlap, but it is out of spec to connect one to the other. Technically, the signal change is usually accomplished with a buffer chip in the case where the manufacturer bothers to be in-spec.

However, except for eSATA-specific controllers, the spec is frequently ignored. My Asus motherboard came with one of these SATA to eSata cable thingies.

In my experience, it usually works and sometimes fails. The convenience is not worth the occasional failure to me; when I use an eSATA cable, it is attached to a real eSATA controller and a drive in a real eSATA enclosure.

The real truth is: The out-of-spec connection usually works. There is no guarantee that it will work in any specific case, and you run the risk of lost data or a corrupted drive. I believe that a few anecdotes of failure (one of which I can provide) trumps any number of anecdotes of success.

Edit: Oh, techlawyer has provided another anecdote of failure. Thanks.
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