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ESata VS Firewire

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August 10, 2009 8:20:16 AM

Hi,

I am new to this forum and this is my first post. I have read quite a few articles in this website though.

Recently I bought a 1 TB seagate Xtreme external Hard drive. I wanted to use the eSata as my primary connectivity to my PC. My PC has Intel P965RY motherboard with C2D 2.4 processor.

As my PC do not have the eSata Port inbuilt I bought a Sata to ESata convertor. (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000IZE8XM/ref=ox_ya_o...) with a 3ft eSata cable.

Currently I have a dual partition with WIn XP SP2 and Windows Vista.

In Win XP
First I connected the external drive with Firewire. It detected and I copied few of the files. The speed was good and mounting/unmounting was easy.

After I connected the convertor to my PC I connected my hard drive through eSata. Initially it did not recognize the new HDD. When I scanned the PC for new Hardware it detected. When I tried copying, the speed was dead slow. Copying a 2.2 GB (approx) file took more than 15 mins, which took only 1:30 mins through Firewire.

So I decided to try the same in Win Vista.

First even in windows vista the new HDD did not get recognized as soon as I connected the Esata cable. I had to scan for new hardware for detecting it.

Regarding the speed the same 2.5 GB file took about the same 1:30 mins thru firewire. Average data transfer speed about 30 MBps.

But thru eSata, it took ony 45 secs!! Average speed about 55 MBps.

So I have the following questions.
1. Why the data transfer speed is so slow in WIn XP? Do I need to install some drivers as I did not get any drivers along with the convertor?
2. Every time when I had to unmount the ext HDD when connected thru eSata, I had to restart. Is there a better way of unmounting HDD connected thru eSata.
3. What is the realistic speed which I can expect thru eSata? I have read it can go up to 3GBps. How far is it realistic?

More about : esata firewire

August 10, 2009 9:34:26 AM

sandeepsblr said:
Hi,

I am new to this forum and this is my first post. I have read quite a few articles in this website though.

Recently I bought a 1 TB seagate Xtreme external Hard drive. I wanted to use the eSata as my primary connectivity to my PC. My PC has Intel P965RY motherboard with C2D 2.4 processor.

As my PC do not have the eSata Port inbuilt I bought a Sata to ESata convertor. (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000IZE8XM/ref=ox_ya_o...) with a 3ft eSata cable.

Currently I have a dual partition with WIn XP SP2 and Windows Vista.

In Win XP
First I connected the external drive with Firewire. It detected and I copied few of the files. The speed was good and mounting/unmounting was easy.

After I connected the convertor to my PC I connected my hard drive through eSata. Initially it did not recognize the new HDD. When I scanned the PC for new Hardware it detected. When I tried copying, the speed was dead slow. Copying a 2.2 GB (approx) file took more than 15 mins, which took only 1:30 mins through Firewire.

So I decided to try the same in Win Vista.

First even in windows vista the new HDD did not get recognized as soon as I connected the Esata cable. I had to scan for new hardware for detecting it.

Regarding the speed the same 2.5 GB file took about the same 1:30 mins thru firewire. Average data transfer speed about 30 MBps.

But thru eSata, it took ony 45 secs!! Average speed about 55 MBps.

So I have the following questions.
1. Why the data transfer speed is so slow in WIn XP? Do I need to install some drivers as I did not get any drivers along with the convertor?
2. Every time when I had to unmount the ext HDD when connected thru eSata, I had to restart. Is there a better way of unmounting HDD connected thru eSata.
3. What is the realistic speed which I can expect thru eSata? I have read it can go up to 3GBps. How far is it realistic?


There are a bunch of issue, most are related to your motherboard. For eSATA to work properly (hot-swapable) you need to have AHCI enabled in BIOS first. Then hot plugging works. But for hot removal, you need to enable a special BIOS mode that isn't available on a motherboard that old. In fact, it's not available on most newer Intel chipset boards. The first time I saw it available on ANY Intel chipset was on an ASRock board about a year ago.

The hot swap mode enables your drive to be detected as removable by the OS, enabling the "safely remove hardware" icon for that drive. The "other" way to safely remove it without restarting is to disable it in device manager prior to disconnection.

Vista has native AHCI support but that doesn't help with the "safely remove hardware" icon unless the controller BIOS also enables "hot swap function". Also, you can't simply "turn on" AHCI mode after the OS is installed, you have to have it enabled when the OS is being installed or you'll get a "no boot device" error when windows looks for the boot loader after enabling AHCI.

For Windows XP, that usually means having the AHCI driver on a floppy, having a floppy drive, and pressing "F6" when requested during installation CD booting.
a b G Storage
August 10, 2009 1:11:09 PM

Vista works fine with AHCI, and you will not run into problems with a new install. However, if you change this setting underneath an installed Vista, it will likely blue-screen on you. The trick is to edit the registry setting here:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\Msahci

Edit the Start key and change its value to 0. Then shut down, change the BIOS to AHCI, and reboot. All going well, Vista will detect the change, install new drivers, ask you to reboot once more, and it’s done.
Related resources
August 10, 2009 11:15:05 PM

I have had a simliar question for awhile. Crashman, what is the setting you are referencing in the BIOS. I am running an ASUS M4A79. I have AHCI Enabled but I cant find anywhere in Windows to disconnect the drive. (Vista 64). Can you tell me more about the setting besides AHCI mode that must be set in BIOS?
August 11, 2009 1:29:27 AM

Your board doesn't have it.

There's a setting on SOME boards to enable a tag that the OS reads to enable the "safely remove hardware" icon. NVIIDA has had it since the beginning (its in NVIDIA's reference BIOS) while ATI and Intel don't have it in their reference BIOS.

Various companies generally start with a reference BIOS and modify it to fit the customizations they've made to their own motherboards. But in the process, they must also ADD that feature to enable the icon on ATI and Intel chipsets.

"Safely Remove Hardware" flushes drive cache so that nothing is lost prior to disconnection. Without it, the easiest way to remove a drive safely is to disable it in Device Manager.
August 11, 2009 2:02:32 AM

Crashman said:
Your board doesn't have it.

There's a setting on SOME boards to enable a tag that the OS reads to enable the "safely remove hardware" icon. NVIIDA has had it since the beginning (its in NVIDIA's reference BIOS) while ATI and Intel don't have it in their reference BIOS.

Various companies generally start with a reference BIOS and modify it to fit the customizations they've made to their own motherboards. But in the process, they must also ADD that feature to enable the icon on ATI and Intel chipsets.

"Safely Remove Hardware" flushes drive cache so that nothing is lost prior to disconnection. Without it, the easiest way to remove a drive safely is to disable it in Device Manager.



Hi Crashman..long time..

just for your information, and to all of you that might be interrested, there is a small utility called hotswap! (with the !) that allow to disconnect an esata device on ATI chipset equipped motherboard. I'm using it on mine and works great. add a small icon in the system tray that allow you to select the drive you want to disconnect.

right there
August 11, 2009 4:18:34 AM

Thanks for the reply guys...

I will try this out today and get back on what happened.
August 11, 2009 4:26:49 AM

pat said:
Hi Crashman..long time..

just for your information, and to all of you that might be interrested, there is a small utility called hotswap! (with the !) that allow to disconnect an esata device on ATI chipset equipped motherboard. I'm using it on mine and works great. add a small icon in the system tray that allow you to select the drive you want to disconnect.

right there


I know of that program, from what I can tell it's basically a shortcut function for the disable service of device manager. It was buggy for me.
August 12, 2009 2:39:41 AM

Thanks for the Info Crashman, I've asked this question before and you are the first to give a detailed answer and back it with useful information.
!