no eSATA detection (Full Version)

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Freeco -> no eSATA detection (12/12/2006 11:57:47 AM)

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
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 [&o]

In the CDRinfo review everything seems to work fine, without any effort [&:]

SithTracy -> RE: no eSATA detection (12/13/2006 10:56:55 AM)

Bear with me... I need to order one of these and try it out - it looks like an outstanding device.  I would not expect you need drivers to anchor off of your existing SATA.  I'll get back to you as soon as I get one.  In the meantime check google around to see if other experience this with your motherboard... I will be using mine on an Asus A8N-SLI Deluxe when it arrives.

Freeco -> RE: no eSATA detection (12/13/2006 11:03:56 AM)

ok, tnx [:)]
I've already been browsing via Google. Most reviews are very positive, but some problems with eSATA in general have been reported on some forums. Unfortunatelly no solutions are posted, anywere. At least... none that I found...

Freeco -> RE: no eSATA detection (12/13/2006 3:34:25 PM)

Well, I'm a bit embarrassed to say that without changing anything the eSATA drive is working like a charm...
It doesn't even require a cold start to get detected in Windows: it's fully hot-swappable.

So as long as it keeps working like this, you won't hear me complaining again [:-]
Computers... sometimes the live a life of themselves [:D]

SithTracy -> RE: no eSATA detection (12/13/2006 4:39:23 PM)

No problem... we often overlook the obvious.  SATA is hot swappable on my system as well, though sometimes I wish it wasn't (you know how many times I have screwed up by "safely removing" my boot drive or page drive by accident).  We all have those moments.  Still, it would be great if you post details on your solution/conclusion.  Might help another member that comes seeking information on something CDRinfo reviewed.

Freeco -> RE: no eSATA detection (12/14/2006 5:46:01 AM)

Seems I was a bit too fast to jump to conclusions...
After my final succesful test yesterday, I've put my PC back to it's place with the housing next to it standing upright. I restarted the PC and the drive was no longer detected, again [:@]
When I shut the disk down and lay it horizontal again, when powering on everything was working like before. Apparantly it only works when laying down and not standing up (even though there's a plastic foot included). The only reason I can think of  to cause this kind of behaviour is a bad contact inside the housing, though all screws are tightened and external cabling have been properly checked.
I guess I'll consider an RMA of the Vantec...

alexmacris -> RE: no eSATA detection (1/19/2007 5:31:39 AM)

hello, we haven't tested eSATA (External SATA) but the internal SATA does work OK! However there are boot problems we have mentioned and most of the other reviews, missed/failed to report. However we are told that Asus has a new firmware in works to overpass this issue

Freeco -> RE: no eSATA detection (1/19/2007 6:55:52 AM)

I went back to the store where I bought my eSATA case en received a new one. I must say that the drive is now better detected, laying down or standing up, but it's still not 100%. In case there are problems I still have to shutdown my PC and cold start with the eSATA running first.
I bought the same case for my colleague with that Asus P5N32-SLI SE Deluxe motherboard I mentioned earlier, and he has no problems at all.

I hope a BIOS update from Asus can solve this for once and for all, but at the moment I'm fairly content with the current situation: a shutdown/restart doesn't take that much time nowadays.

Chingus -> RE: no eSATA detection (3/27/2007 8:54:48 PM)

Hi guys,  I'm new to the forum and just found this thread through google.  I just purchased one of the Vantec eSATA enclosures and have the Asus P5N32-SLI SE Deluxe motherboard like Freeco's friend.  I am not having the luck his friend had however.  The eSATA port is hooked to the Silicon Image raid controler with minimal options in the mobo bios.  The only option for this controler is raid or sata2.  I am set sata2 to allow hot swapability.  When the raid controler posts after the bios post it times-out and doesn't detect the drive.  It works fine usb2 but not esata.  If it wont detect the drive it wont let me get into the settings via cntl S, or F4. 

Did your buddy's board detect the drive right off the bat?  If so, did he have to set it up as a Concatenated drive in the Silicon Image raid setup. (I heard thats how you have to do it for a single drive.)  If you could ask your buddy how it worked initially on his rig I would apprediate it.... I've been searching for days.  If anyone else has any ideas they could throw my way that would be cool too.  I'm about ready to see if I can hurl this thing all the way back to newegg.  lol

SithTracy -> RE: no eSATA detection (3/27/2007 10:02:43 PM)

I'll say this Jmicron SUCKS!!!  What the heck was ASUS thinking?  I've got a P5B Deluxe WiFi/AP board... that eSATA controller is useless (especially if you are using the PATA controller with an optical drive)... You, you're fortunate with having the nVidia controller... are you able to cable off of it and use the supplied bracket to try your external drive?

For the SI eSATA port, what bios rev are you on... you may want to check with ASUS to see if they have a new BIOS or if they plan on updating the SI controller's bios to address your issue.  Never have been much of a fan for SI controllers, but Jmicron is worse!!!

Chingus -> RE: no eSATA detection (3/27/2007 10:40:53 PM)

Sith Tracy,

I have tried the supplied bracket with the nvidia controller w/dif results.  It recognizes the drive but locks up in windows.[X(]  I am using the 0603 BIOS version.  (I think it was version 0403 that had the SI update.)  I have tried 2 different drives, both @ SATA2 and jumpered to SATA1.  Same results.  I just emailed Vantec and I'll see if they have any usefull info.  I just ended up throwing the 500gb drive back in my rig and I'll mess with the 320gb drive with the enclosure.  Maybe I should just RMA this thing though if Vantec doesn't help me out.  I got this thing for the eSATA.... I could have gotten a cheeper enclosure if I wanted USB2 only.

SithTracy -> RE: no eSATA detection (3/28/2007 7:17:23 AM)

I don't have the board you are using... Have you tried the Asus forums?  You might find some help there...

Freeco -> RE: no eSATA detection (3/28/2007 8:31:13 AM)

Chingus, I've shown your post to my colleague.
He asks to post your BIOS settings here and he'll compare them with his.

off-topic: I must agree with SithTracy. I don't like the JMicron controller either.
And since I installed Vista on my machine, I'm experiencing problems with the gigabit controller: speed has dropped from 25MB/s to about 8MB/s. But OK... Vista is new, so I hope some future drivers will solve this...

Chingus -> RE: no eSATA detection (3/28/2007 4:34:10 PM)

-BIOS ver. 0603 -I mention this because I would like to know his BIOS version.  the 0403 was the version that was supposed to change the SI boot rom.

-The only setting for the SI controller is in advanced-onboard device configuration.  The options for the SI raid controller are 1. SATA2 mode (this is the one I am set too.  This gives me hot swapability and disables raid) and 2. Raid Mode(not active)

-I have three other hard drives installed on the Nvidia controller. (2x 250gb in raid0 and 1x 500gb storage)  There is nothing plugged into the internal sata port for the SI controller.

-When the drive is plugged into the eSATA port the SI BIOS configuration utility times-out trying to identify the drive.(I have tried 2 different drives.  Both in SATA1 and SATA2)  Unless it finds a drive it won't let you enter the utility via., Ctrl+S or F4.  I believe you have to set the drive up as concatenation when your in the utility, but I'm not sure about that yet.  Maybe if it just finds it there I will be able to see it in windows disk manager.

-If I plug the drive in hot while in windows MCE, it locks me up.  I have a fresh install of windows and everything else works perfectly.
Since there really is only the 1 option in the system BIOS, I don't know what else to try.  I know the drives I used work because they have been hooked up internally.

Thanks for the help Freeco.  You too SithTracy.[;)]

Freeco -> RE: no eSATA detection (4/16/2007 3:18:10 AM)

Chingus, sorry for the late reply. I've reminded my colleague to answer your question, but he forgot about it.[&:]
He also said he wants your BIOS settings as detailled as possible! So write them down on a piece of paper and post them here. He'll do the same afterwhich.

Abyzz -> RE: no eSATA detection (4/17/2007 7:09:57 AM)

I have also just got the Asus P5B-E motherboard with an eSATA port on the back.
I bought a new eSATA enclosure and put in my spare Maxtor 120GB drive.

I have been unable to get the computer (Running Vista) to automatically recognise the drive, not even after a boot with the drive running.

The only way i have found to get it recognised, is to go into device manager after Vista starts, and right click on computer, and "scan for hardware changes"
Then it shows up in the device manager and Windows Explorer.

I have the Jmicron controller set to IDE in the BIOS - no raid drivers installed.

Any ideas why this might be?

Abyzz - UK

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