ESATA Hot Swap

The last time I rebuilt my system I switched my sata hard drives over to AHCI mode because I heard this would make my External SATA drive hot swappable. My question is how do I swap it. I have a 1 TB that I leave connected thru ESATA. I would like to be able to swap this out with a 500gb occasionally for when I want to run a backup as SATA is much faster then USB. When I click on the drive (or right click) in explorer there are no options to disconnect the drive. When I pull up the windows disconnect utility the drive isnt listed. Is there a way to shut the drive down, cut off my ESATA external adaptor, plug in the other drive, turn on the adaptor and have the drive come up all without rebooting? What is the correct method for hot swapping an ESATA drive?
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  1. Can ESATA hot-plug???
    Hot-swap functionality is dependent on the SATA driver for the controller in question. One would think that if a manufacturer implements eSATA compliance in their controller, that they would also implement hot-swap, but alas that isn't the case.

    A prime example is the Intel ICH8R/9R south bridge. It is eSATA compliant, and in fact if you purchase an Intel motherboard, it even comes with a bracket that allows one of the internal SATA ports to become an eSATA port, so you can plug in an eSATA device. Of course, in Intel's infinite wisdom, they did not implement hot-swap in the ICH driver, so there is no Safely Remove Hardware icon in the system tray to allow you to actually hot swap the drive.
  2. All the information that I have read says that when running in AHCI mode that an ESATA drive should be able to hot-swap....but nowhere ever says how. Maybe its like the quote you listed where its available in "Theory" but not actually implemented.
  3. I have searched the net intesively to find a solution to this problem, but could not find any. I could not get an esata device to hot swap.

    Here is the solution for intel platforms:

    Esata does not allways work automatically.
    Enabling AHCI in the bios doesn't do the trick. If you try to upgrade de drivers for the esata, windows 7 tells you that you have the latest drivers.
    Make shure the esata in the bios is set to AHCI (not IDE) AND download
    'intel matrix storage console 8.9.1023' for your operating system from the intel website to update the drivers. Install it, reboot and now your Esata drives are automatically hot swappable.

    This was the solution that worked on my system with an intel core 2 quad processor and windows vista 64bit (also worked on the 32 bit version).

    Hope this works for you too!
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