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Onboard eSATA and RAID enclosure

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July 29, 2012 9:02:44 PM

I have an ASRock Extreme4-m with an onboard eSATA port. Can I run an external RAID enclosure into that eSATA port and use Intel Rapid Storage Technology to setup RAID?

This mobo doesn't recognize my RAID card in any of my open PCIe ports... Also, the onboard SATA2 ports intermittently recognize my HDD's. So the onboard eSATA port seems like my last option for RAID.
a c 88 G Storage
July 29, 2012 9:19:29 PM

Intel's RST doesn't specify eSATA so most motherboard manufacturers use an add-in chip from JMicron, ASMedia, Marvell, etc... to provide additional SATA and eSATA ports.

External raid enclosures also create and manage the RAID volume themselves, no need to do anything in software. Some may make SMART data available but I don't know of any that do.
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July 29, 2012 10:08:11 PM

I have this RAID tower. It's only an enclosure, no RAID support without and add-on card.
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a c 88 G Storage
July 29, 2012 10:21:35 PM

Oh jeeze. SATA port multipliers are hugely problematic because very few controllers actually support it since it's not part of the specification. This includes the Intel ICH/PCH controllers and most add in cards. If you want to go with the single initiator -> multiple target approach you're best off using an SAS controller which should support SATA port splitting by design.

The chances of that tower working with anything that you have are extremely slim. Get a proper RAID enclosure which exposes a single disk
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a b G Storage
July 29, 2012 10:40:27 PM


I suspect you might, but ...

Unless you F6'd the AHCI drivers when you installed your OS, you may have issues with some functions, including the port multiplier.

There are work-arounds on the internets involving editing the registry to disable the MSAHCI and force the Intel INF.

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July 30, 2012 6:30:59 AM

This is the RAID card I have, but it doesn't work in the PCIe 3.0 slot on my mobo. (It works in the PCIe x1 slot, but that's covered by my gpu)

My understanding was that I could use that card with that tower for port multiplication.

Do you have any recommendations on a different RAID card? It needs to work with that tower, work in a PCIe 3.0 slot, have at least one eSATA port, support RAID 0/1/5/10 in Win7 and Linux, and be a low profile card (so not to interfere with my GPU cooling)

I'll look into SAS, but I'd rather eSATA since I already have a tower for it.
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