Ok so heres my question, I have an old PC i put together with some spare parts laying around that i plan on using as a media storage PC. I have 4 hard drives inside the PC. The motherboard is a ASUS M3N78-VM there are 5 Sata ports (3 red .. 2 black) i have 3 hard drives hooked up to 1-3 Sata ports (red) however because of the motherboard Sate ports 4-5 (black) can only be used when i have it set in ACHI or RAID mode which i dont want to do.
I am wondering if it is possible to have my 4th hard drive installed internally and powered internally and use a Sata to eSata cable (fed out the back of the case) to plug the hard drive into the eSata port on the back of the motherboard.
I cannot tell from the manual I checked whether the SATA Port Mode settings on this board are made separately for SATA #1 through 3 as one group, and for SATA #4 and 5 as a different group, or whether there is only ONE mode setting for all five ports. You don't specify what OS you are using. IF you are using any version of Win XP, I can understand why you might not want to set ALL of the ports to AHCI mode. That would require installing the AHCI drivers from floppy as the OS is installed on the boot drive.
HOWEVER that can be avoided in either of two cases:
1. IF your OS is Vista or Win 7, they HAVE built-in AHCI drivers and you CAN set ALL of your SATA drive ports to AHCI mode. Those OS's will have no trouble dealing with drives that way.
2. IF you can set the first 3 SATA ports to IDE mode and the last two separately to AHCI, even in Win XP this can work. All that will have to be done is that with Windows running and the fourth SATA drive connected to SATA_4 with its mode on AHCI, you will need to install the AHCI driver in Windows XP, just like any other device driver. It will use the SATA_4 unit that way, and the other 3 the other way. I assume you are NOT trying to use any RAID array here.
Sorry about that, I am using Windows 7 64bit ... I didn't set them to AHCI due to everytime it tries to boot up like this i get a bsod. The motherboard has an eSata plug on it so i just picked up an eSata to sata cable and its working. But now im curious why does it blue screen whenever i set it to AHCI with windows 7 64 bit? I'm trying to get it working without using any RAID array if possible.
At this point eSATAp (Power over eSATA) is still faster than USB 3.0 & backward compatible with USB 2. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PqlqCoQMLsQ
eSATAp is best used for pain free data recovery & virtualization.