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M4A87TD EVO how to set up E-SATA port multiplier

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January 25, 2013 8:19:25 PM

Hello all,
I just bought a Thermaltake external dual bay docking station for internal hard drives. The station has connections for USB or E-SATA. However, the manual says that if I want to access both drives via E-SATA, my motherboard MUST support a Port Multiplier Feature. I have scoured the poorly written manual on my M4A87TD EVO (ASUS) and can't find any documentation, nor can I find anything in the BIOS setup for Port Multiplier.

Does anyone know if my mobo supports this and if so, how can I do it? AS an aside, I did not use the BIOS controller on the mobo as it is really touchy and unpredictable. So the setup on the PC is just a straight set of individual drives without any RAID configuration.

If anyone has info on how to set up E-SATA Port Multiplier features on this mobo, I would really appreciate the help. I'm hoping that it doesn't involve the RAID controller as the alternative is to connect the docking station via USB. That would be a shame since the 2 drives I have are WD Raptor 10,000 RPM drives which defeats the purpose of fast data access.

TIA,
MIACLOCKMAN
a c 150 Ĉ ASUS
a c 559 V Motherboard
January 25, 2013 8:49:58 PM

Hi,
From JMicron:
JMB361: Port Multiplier with Command-based Switching Supporting ("The controller can issue commands to only one disk at a time and cannot issue commands to another disk until the command queue has been completed for the current transactions. This also hampers the use of Native Command Queuing (NCQ). This means that the full bandwidth of the link will most likely not be used. This kind of switching is therefore used when capacity is the major concern, and not performance" - wikipedia).
No RAID involved, have you connected the docking station and it does not work?
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January 26, 2013 5:18:42 AM

alexoiu said:
Hi,
From JMicron:
JMB361: Port Multiplier with Command-based Switching Supporting ("The controller can issue commands to only one disk at a time and cannot issue commands to another disk until the command queue has been completed for the current transactions. This also hampers the use of Native Command Queuing (NCQ). This means that the full bandwidth of the link will most likely not be used. This kind of switching is therefore used when capacity is the major concern, and not performance" - wikipedia).
No RAID involved, have you connected the docking station and it does not work?



JMicron:
Thanks for the info. I've connected the docking station via USB first and windows 7 didn't even see the device other than a Human Interface. I connected (after unplugging the USB cable) the E-SATA cable to the port in the back of the motherboard. As you said, it only recognizes one drive. The drive that it sees is fully functional.
Should I assume then, that in order to get both drives accessed that I will have to get a 3rd party contoller card? If that is the case, do you have a recommendation?
MIACLOCKMAN
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a c 150 Ĉ ASUS
a c 559 V Motherboard
January 26, 2013 5:43:14 AM

It should recognize both drives. What JMicron driver have you installed? They can not be used at the same time, but you should be able to use both of them.
If still not working, maybe something like http://www.amazon.com/DATOptic-Serial-Multiplier-SiI-37... connected to two SATA ports would do the job.
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February 1, 2013 11:34:23 AM

Yes, I have connected the docking station and getting more frustrated each time I try to use it. I gave up on trying to connect to the E-SATA port on the back of the motherboard (ASUS M4A87TD-EVO) as it only recognizes one of the two drives in the docking station.

Last night I tried connecting it via the USB port. Windows 7 saw both drives, but when I went into Disk Management, both drives showed up, but one was marked as "invalid". I tried to make it a simple basic drive which seemed to work. However, when I attempted to format it in NTFS, the format failed (and I KNOW the drive is working as it was pulled from another computer).

the second drive had no problems, formatted with no errors and was assigned a drive letter by Windows.

I've read various reviews by other users of this Thermaltake docking station and they all say the same thing - it is "Glitchy", some have success with USB, others only can use E-SATA.

At this point, rather than shelling out another $50 for a 3rd party SATA controller card, I'm going to ask for a refund from Tigerdirect and look for another brand of docking station.

thanks for the help, though.
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February 10, 2013 12:32:12 PM

sorry that you are having trouble mine works great Do you have both lights lit on thermal take mine is switchable using power switch and sometimes I must search for new to get both did not have to with xpro but do now with win8 mine is BlackX duet 2.5 or 3.5
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February 18, 2013 2:26:22 AM

Thank you both for your replies. I thought that maybe the problem was with the thermaltake enclosure. Several reviews on the Internet claimed that the enclosure was defective, so I returned it and bought an Ultra dual drive enclosure. Same problem. I'm not interested in mirroring or striping the drives... I simply want to use them as extra drives. All I need to figure out is how to wipe the drives when Windows 7 keeps giving me errors. I'm assuming that at the MBR there is some information when the drives were originally striped before the MOBO died.

Is there a simple program available that will wipe the drives even if it's with a command prompt. In addition, do I have to remove the drives and wipe each one separately using the internal SATA connectors on the MOBO?

Thanks,
MIACLOCKMAN

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