Using an internal sata port externally
Hello. I have been looking for an external case that isn't a usb or esata enclosre. Isn't there a way of using an extra internal sata port externally? I have one of those Dell Short forms that has extra sata ports internally but no way of physically adding another hard drive. Why use eSata when you have have the real thing? thanks
I am in a minority, but I strongly recommend that you not do this. My motherboard came with a dongle to present an internal SATA port as eSATA, but the differences in the specs are not just physical. The signal voltage ranges for SATA and eSATA are different. They overlap, so it works sometimes, but I would not depend on it. True eSATA enclosures have a buffer chip to convert the eSATA signals to SATA signals to present to the drive.
Personally, I use bare drives and a bay that allows me to hot-swap them in a running system, connected directly to my SATA ports. This one: http://kingwin.com/products/cate/mobile/racks/kf_1000_bk.asp .
For my girls' machine, I use a true eSATA enclosure with an SATA drive, but that machine has a true eSATA port. I bought an eSATA card for my PC so that I could read it.
SATA was not designed to go external, which is why there are not external SATA enclosures. eSATA was designed to go external, and there are external eSATA enclosures and docks. There are many kits to present an internal SATA port as an eSATA port, like this: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16812200501
Personally, I would not use one even if it were free. In fact, I have a free one. You can have it if you want.
You can add one of these that converts an internal sata port to an esata.
These brackets tend to come with esata enclosures in case your motherboard doesn't already have an esata port.
Some people condone these , but I've never had problems with them.
I did use one of these mentioned from newegg. They also require an adjustment in the BIOS to work and are not hot swapable, unlike eSata. But I guess I don't understand. Isn't eSata slower than a direct connection to a sata port? Not to mention that the eSata port is terrible. It comes loose so easily. Especially with these very stiff eSata cables; I eventually found some very flexible cables that work very well. I have several eSata enclosure, as well as eSata docks but the slightest movement causes them to not work. What ever happened to ports that really stay snug and tight. HDMI is also a terrible port in this same way. Though sata ports are not that great either but at least you end up with a decent connection. My point is not to be able to swap easily but just a direct connection to be able to dual boot WinXP and Win7. The previous comment recommends an internal solution which is not what I need, since there is no room in this Dell Short Form computer. I guess the only solution is for me to rig something.
ESata is just as fast. I've benchmarked drives with HDTune and they are the same. For any drive to be hot swapable in windows, you must be using the AHCI setting in your bios instead of IDE. I buy locking sata and esata cables. They don't come loose.
The enclosure must also support hot swap in addition to uing AHCI in the bios.