Cause my new Asus P5B-E motherboard features an eSATA connector and having a Maxtor DiamondMax10 SATA150 300GB disk lying around from my previous PC, I thought doing a good thing buying a Vantec NexStar.3 enclosure and thus having a big and fast external backup device.
Unfortunately it seems not to be an ideal combination...
First of all, connecting the Vantec via USB2.0 everything works fine: the disc is immediately recognized in WinXP SP2. I've removed the previous partitions, created 1 new big partition and formatted it as NTFS.
Though, when trying to connect the disk via eSATA, simply nothing happens... In the Windows disk management no extra disk appears and in the explorer no extra drive letter is assigned.
- I've already tried giving the PC a cold restart, but again... nothing.
- In the BIOS I've tried setting the JMicron SATA controller to AHCI instead of IDE, but still no disk. Even worse: with this config my 2 IDE DVD-drives are no longer recognized.
- I've installed the included SATA->eSATA bracket and did a cold restart again. In the BIOS there was finally some reaction: a drive was recognized on SATA5, but the name was in stead of "Maxtor..." just a long line of "CECECECECE etc". The disk size was +570GB in stead of 300GB. And in Windows still no drive to be seen.
- I've installed the JMicron RAID driver, though I don't use the RAID functionalities of the controller. Still... nothing.
- At work I connected the Vantec via the SATA->eSATA to a brand new HP desktop. It was detected by the BIOS, but after pressing "F1 to agree" the PC restarts again (normal behaviour) without eSATA drive...
- I've done the same thing on an older HP tower: no detection at all.
- My colleague tested the enclosure on his new Asus P5N32-SLI SE Deluxe motherboard at home and he has the same problem as I do. He also tried the SATA->eSATA bracket, and tested the enclosure with a WesternDigital hard drive. He also tried it under WinXP SP2 and Vista.
- Somebody said that some eSATA enclosures have problems with SATA300 and jumpering the disc to SATA150 would solve that. As my disc is not SATA300, I didn't think jumpering it would help but did it anyway. Result: the drive does not spin up with the jumper, so I quickly removed it. There are only 2 pins on the disc, so I couldn't have jumpered it wrong. I guess they're for other purposes.
To be sure part of the Vantec enclosure wasn't DOA, I've hooked up the SATA->eSATA bracket to my previous PC which has an older Asus A8V Deluxe motherboard. WinXP froze for a couple of seconds, but it quickly came back into play WITH the extra drive ready for use.
One thing I'm not sure of: must the eSATA drive letter be able to assign a drive letter that immediately follows the internal HD and DVD-drives? Cfr: a USB memory stick won't be available if a network mapping directly follows the last physical drive.
I have an internal USB card reader setup as follows: A = CompactFlash
B = SecureDigital
C to F = 4 partitions on my WD 500GB SATA disc
G = NEC DVD+RW
H = DVD-ROM
I = MemoryStick (never used, that's why these come last)
J = SmartMedia (never used, that's why these come last)
I've already freed the I drive letter and assigned the MemoryStick to Q, but it made no difference.
Seems I'm having a very confusing problem here:
- the Vantec does not work at all via eSATA on all tested PC's
- via SATA->eSATA it's only detected in the BIOS of some machines, and not working in XP/Vista, except on my Asus A8V Deluxe motherboard
- via USB there's no problem at all
Am I missing something? Did I forget to add some motherboard driver or some setting in the BIOS that I'm overlooking?
A BIOS issue? A compatibility issue between the onboard SATA controllers and the controller inside the Vantec?
I'm out of ideas here
In the CDRinfo review everything seems to work fine, without any effort http://www.cdrinfo.com/Sections/Reviews/Specific.aspx?ArticleId=15876