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Esata

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October 6, 2009 4:42:09 PM

I have a seagate eSATA drive (baracuda 1200.9), I bought a SATA casing, and it did not seems to work. The casing for eSATA and SATA is different? I suspect that the PCI board on the esata drive may be faulty, if so is there anyway to change that PCI board? Appreciate some enlightenment.

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a b G Storage
October 7, 2009 1:29:49 PM

Is your sata port set to AHCI mode? Without this it may not support hot swap.

It has to be hot swappable for the OS to detect it automatically like a USB device.
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a b G Storage
October 7, 2009 1:31:46 PM

Otherwise reboot the computer, check in the bios that the drive is recognized, exit, load Windows and your drive should be there.
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a c 342 G Storage
October 7, 2009 2:21:40 PM

Nobody sells "eSATA drives", and I don't think there is a model 1200.9. But Seagate does sell two 7200.9 models - an 80 GB PATA drive and a 120 GB SATA unit - so I presume you have the latter device. Further, I assume you actually bought an external enclosure that accepts a SATA (or SATA II) drive internally, and has an eSATA connection to the computer available. But right now it does not seem to work.

If you suspect the SATA drive itself is faulty, start the troubleshooting process by separating it form the enclosure. Mount the bare drive inside your computer's case (even temporarily) and connect data and power cables to it. Boot the computer and go immediately into the BIOS Setup screens to see whether the new drive is detected by the BIOS. To do this, make sure the SATA ports are enabled. If the disk unit is detected, go to the screens that control the SATA ports and check how they are configured. Some (maybe all) may already be set to IDE emulation, native SATA, or AHCI mode. If they are, it's probably best to set the new drive's port that way, too. In fact, you may not have a choice - some BIOS's will set ALL the SATA ports the same way. If, however, this is the ONLY SATA device in your system, set its mode to IDE PATA) Emulation mode for simplicity.

Now Save and Exit the BIOS screens to complete the boot into Windows. You still will NOT find the disk in My computer. Windows cannot handle a blank new disk without preparation. But you can check whether Windows can at least detect the presence of the new hardware. Click on Start and in the menu RIGHT-click on My Computer, then choose Manage from the pop-up menu. In the new window expand Storage if necessary and click on "Disk Management". Look at the resulting lower right pane, which is scrollable to see it all. You should see there a block labeled "Disk #" (where "#" is a number) showing the size of your new device (110 to 120 GB, likely); the other part of that block probably shows it all as "Unallocated Space". If all this is right, then your hard disk itself appears to be OK, but it just is not ready for Windows to use it. You can exit back out of Disk Manager.

If you really want to be sure, go to Seagate's website and download and install their Seatools utilities. Use them to do lots of tests on your new hard disk to be sure it is working well. Or, if it is not, (maybe it did NOT show up in BIOS or in Disk Manager), these utilities will help you identify what the problem is. In fact, if you have a bad HDD and want Seagate to replace it, their first request will be for you to download and use these utilities to tell them what they say about your failed HDD.

Now, IF your new drive appears to be all OK you can shut down and move that HDD back to the external enclosure. From here you need to check a few things. First step will be to settle how it is connected. If your motherboard has its own eSATA controller and back connector, the it is truly an eSATA device. But if you are using an adapter bracket on the back in a PCI card slot, with a cable internally to one of the regular SATA ports on the mobo, then it will be recognized as a plain SATA device on that port. So next step is to set the BIOS for this. Boot directly into the BIOS Setup screens. If you are using the adapter and it is just a regular SATA device, go to the area where the SATA ports are configured. Undo any special settings you had to make when you temporarily mounted the drive internally, and make sure the SATA port you are using for the external enclosure is Enabled and configured correctly. The Mode is important. IF you have Windows XP, it does not know how to use native SATA or AHCI devices without having a driver for that installed in Windows. In that case, you have two choices. You can have the port set to either of these options (and AHCI may be better), but you will have to install the required driver for that in Windows. On the other hand, you can configure the ports to Emulate an older IDE (aka PATA) device and Windows will be happy to use it with no further tweaks. If you are using Vista or Win 7, both of those DO know how to use native SATA or AHCI devices already, and you can set the port that way with no additional steps needed. Save and Exit the BIOS screens.

But suppose your mobo actually has a separate eSATA controller that provides an eSATA connector on the back without an adapter plate. In this case when you boot into the BIOS Setup screens, first go to the SATA port configuration place and undo any special settings there from when you mounted the drive internally. Then go to where that eSATA port is configured and ensure that it is Enabled and set to a suitable mode - IDE Emulation, native SATA, or AHCI - anything but NOT RAID. Again, Save and Exit. Now your machine should be able to see the new eSATA device on the port in the BIOS, and windows Disk Manager should be able to see it as a piece of hardware with Unallocated Space. If that is the case, then your unit is working properly. If it shows up in the BIOS but NOT in Disk Manager, check to be sure that you have already loaded into Windows the driver for that motherboard device, the eSATA unit.

If you got this far and it's all working, the real source of your dilemma is just that you have to prepare the drive for Windows to use it. This means establishing on it one (or more) Partitions, and then Formatting each of them. If you are unfamiliar with these, go to the Seagate website and read up on Installation of a hard drive, then download their handy tools for this purpose and use them to get the job done.
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October 8, 2009 3:57:12 AM

thanks for the detailed answers, i have change the enclosure and tested on different computers. The problem seems to be the PCI board on the sata drive, it could be caused by a different voltage adapter that was connected when I stripped the disk out from seagate off the shelve eSATA drive. Sent it to data recovery hopefully it works. I really appreciate the detailed guidance that you have provided. Cheers and thanks
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