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ESata port - manual switch only thru BIOS?

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November 1, 2010 3:11:32 PM

Hi - quick question. I have 5yr old Pentium D and have installed an eSata "converter" which is basically just a port that screws into the back of the PC, and a Sata cable hooks from the Mobo Sata slot into the port, and then an eSata cord can be plugged in to the other side. It came with an external drive I bought several yrs ago.

In order to use the drive, I need to go into Bios and turn "ON" Sata port 3. The problem (more an annoyance) is that whenever I DON'T have anything plugged into the eSata cord (which is most of the time since my external drive lives offsite....) then when booting the computer I get a "Drive 3 Not Found" beep and the Bios waits for me to press F1. Also, its then not possible to use the eSata drive unless I power off the computer, plug in and power up the drive, then re-boot so the computer can "find" the drive.

Is this just the way it is, or is there a way to make the eSata "hot swappable" (is that the right term?) so I can just plug it in, and it will then get recognized right away, without having to re-boot every time?

a c 355 G Storage
November 1, 2010 3:57:22 PM

My Dell computer at work is the same way. I don't think the chipset and/or bios supports hot swap. The motherboard's bios, chipset, and the drive all need to support hot swap for the drive to be plug&play.
November 1, 2010 4:19:26 PM

Yeah mine is a Dell 9100 with Phoenix Bios I believe. Oh well, just an annoyance in the grand scheme of life I guess. It throws off others in the family who use the computer though as they hear a BEEP BEEP and the black screen, and they often just walk away for fear that something is wrong. I guess I'll just disable the port from the BIOS since I'll always have to reboot anyway to use the drive....can just enable from BIOS it at that specific time on the reboot.
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a c 328 G Storage
November 2, 2010 3:54:48 PM
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The root of the problem is that the "converter" you have that came free with the external drive is a connection "converter" only. That is, it simply allows you to connect an eSATA cable to a plain SATA port. The standards for eSATA have several extra features that plain regular SATA does not. Among those are support for "Hot Swap" and support for longer cable lengths. Now it happens that some of the recent SATA chip and BIOS makers used for mobos actually add these features to "normal" SATA ports, but not always because it is NOT required in the SATA standard. So users of these adapters can get their eSATA units to work just fine with those systems. However, if your internal SATA port never had Hot Swap support, no "converter" is going to do that for you. You can live with what you have and do what you've been doing. Or, you can buy a proper eSATA port controller that mounts in a PCIe x1 or higher slot and gives you a TRUE eSATA port with all the features required by that standard.
November 3, 2010 2:27:48 AM

Paperdoc said:
The root of the problem is that the "converter" you have that came free with the external drive is a connection "converter" only. That is, it simply allows you to connect an eSATA cable to a plain SATA port. The standards for eSATA have several extra features that plain regular SATA does not. Among those are support for "Hot Swap" and support for longer cable lengths. Now it happens that some of the recent SATA chip and BIOS makers used for mobos actually add these features to "normal" SATA ports, but not always because it is NOT required in the SATA standard. So users of these adapters can get their eSATA units to work just fine with those systems. However, if your internal SATA port never had Hot Swap support, no "converter" is going to do that for you. You can live with what you have and do what you've been doing. Or, you can buy a proper eSATA port controller that mounts in a PCIe x1 or higher slot and gives you a TRUE eSATA port with all the features required by that standard.



That makes sense. My PC is 5.5 yrs old and Dell, so not surprising it has "basic" Sata ports.

I'll be getting a new PC once SandyBridge comes out (hence my hanging around these boards) so no need to spend $$ on an eSata PCI card.

Thanks for the info
November 3, 2010 2:27:58 AM

Best answer selected by hogan773.
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